Mega Man Universe is a cancelled 2.5D platformer game that was being developed by Capcom for XBLA and PSN. It was officially announced on July 16, 2010 with a short video made by Iam8bit.
Its first gameplay video was unveiled at PAX 2010, showing three different levels and some of the available characters; the stand outs of which were “Bad Box Art Mega Man“, and a teaser for Ryu from Street Fighter. Arthur from Ghost n’ Goblins was planned to be playable too.
Six months later, Mega Man Universe was playable at TGS 2010, where its main features were introduced in more detail.
The same three stages from PAX, created only for demonstration purposes, appear here too; each one representing a different difficulty level (Easy, Normal and Hard).
Shortly after the successful first season of the Heroes TV series concluded in May 2007, Ubisoft entered talks with NBC Studios to use the license for a video game adaptation. This was to be the second big TV property Ubisoft would adapt following the development of LOST: Via Domus, which had began earlier that year in February. While Ubisoft’s Montreal division was busy working on that game, the publisher reached out to external developers including High Voltage Software.
At the time, High Voltage already had experience with developing TV tie-in games, including the Family Guy video game, and was therefore “a natural choice for Ubi”, one developer recalled. Ubisoft successfully negotiated a deal with NBC, which they announced in June, but the final decision to secure High Voltage as its developer was made over the following few months without ever being revealed to the public.
High Voltage Software’s Vision For Heroes
Just as LOST: Via Domus introduced an original character, Elliot Maslow, as its protagonist, the Heroes video game would have centred around a new female character of High Voltage Software’s own invention. Given how short the project’s lifespan was, it appears as though this redheaded heroine had yet to be named, but you can see some concept art of her below.
In the vein of Ubisoft Montreal’s character, this new member of the Heroes mythos would have acted as the player’s vessel through which they could explore the world of the show and interact with its extensive cast of superhumans. She would have enabled High Voltage and Ubisoft a higher level of creative freedom as they attempted to delve into the Heroes universe without too greatly interfering with the pre-established lore.
Driver 5 is a cancelled racing game which was, for a short period of time, in the works at Sumo Digital, the developer of the Sonic & All-Stars Racing games. It would have been published by Ubisoft and released around early 2011 on Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii.
In January 2010, Ubisoft released a financial forecast for their next fiscal year, detailing a number of their scheduled releases. Among these were some vague plans to release an untitled fifth entry to the Driver series, although no other information was provided at the time. Behind the scenes, it was around this point that Driver 5 (a working title) was in pre-production at Sumo Digital, who had been contracted externally. Previously, Sumo had partnered with Ubisoft to produce Driver ’76 on the PSP, who they worked on alongside Ubisoft Reflections.
Christian Bravery of design studio, Lighting Lights, was brought on board to draft concept art for the Driver 5 project.
“It was interesting to be involved at the beginning and the end of this project and something I’d love to do more often.”
The lifespan of Sumo Digital’s Driver 5 was brief, as it never moved past pre-production. It was cancelled when Ubisoft elected not to partner with Sumo Digital on it, instead giving the project to Ubisoft Reflections. Reflections would then go on to create Driver: San Francisco.
By the looks of it, this original vision for the game would have incorporated destructible environments of some sort. The concepts show Tanner’s surroundings crumbling around him as he races away from his pursuers. Perhaps this was a small stepping stone towards Sonic & All Stars Racing: Transformed, which incorporated a similar concept of tracks that would dynamically change and fall apart as the race progressed.
Clockwerk is a cancelled puzzle platformer game, which was in development at Next Level Games; the creators of the Super Mario Strikers games, as well as the unreleased Super Mario Spikers. The title was planned to be worked on for multiple unspecified home console platforms during mid-late 2011 (believed to be Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3) , but was never produced.
Two Grumpy Old Men Who Just Want To Retire
The project began towards the start of 2011 and was being worked on in tandem with Next Level’s other main undertaking at the time, which was Captain America: Super Soldierfor the Xbox 360 and PS3.
It was conceived as the story of two old men, Otto & Herman, who work as Hausmeisters (caretakers) in a magical floating clock tower suspended in the clouds called ‘The World Clock’, that governs the flow of time throughout the universe. On their final day before retirement, a faction of evil gremlins attack the tower, dismantling its innards and disrupting the behaviour of time. In order for the grumpy twosome to finally retire, they must defeat the invaders and repair its inner workings.
Black 2 is the cancelled sequel to Criterion Games‘ 2006 shooter, Black, which was being worked on by the same developer for publisher and IP holder, Electronic Arts. It was planned to be a co-op shooter for the Xbox 360 and PS3 with a release in late 2007/early 2008.
The Original Idea For Black 2
Despite recurring rumours of Black 2 rumbling for several years after the release of the original game, its development was, in actuality, rather short-lived and it never was able to leave pre-production. As it turns out, EA and Criterion had plans to expand Black into a franchise for some time before the first game was even released. Preliminary work on the sequel commenced as early as April 2005, a whole 10 months before Black was finished.
Artists were contracted externally to produce conceptual documents for the game, including drawings of the protagonist, Jack Kellar. According to one of the artists who spent a short period of time on the project, there was some debate over the direction the follow-up would take. One possible path, for example, would have continued the story of the first game, as Kellar continues his hunt for Lennox at the behest of the US government.