The Avengers is a cancelled first person co-op beat ‘em up game that was planned to be released alongside the 2012 superhero movie of the same name. The project was under development at THQ Studio Australia (Studio Oz) until THQ decided to close it. It was being worked on for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC; with further plans for a Wii U release.
Pre-production on the Avengers video game began in August 2010 at the Brisbane-based, THQ Studio Australia with approximately 80 employees working on it. During the first months of preliminary development, it was originally being planned as a third person game.
An Avengers movie – with Skrulls?
When details of the project began to leak online in September 2011, there was a number of claims and rumors from various sites that the game was in some way connected to Marvel Studios’ Avengers movie, which was to be released the following year. Concept art was soon uncovered depicting the heroes facing down the Skrulls, an alien race from the Marvel comics. This lead some to believe that the upcoming film would also feature Skrulls, through the assumption that the game was directly tied into it. Jeremy Love, an artist who worked on the title for THQ was adamant that this was never the case:
“[It was] totally unrelated to the film. We were given early film art to use as reference for certain things but that’s about it.”
He continued, elaborating on possible sources of the confusion:
“Some toys were released before the film which were based on designs we had done for the game. People naturally jumped on that and drew their own conclusions. When the game was cancelled, some footage and art was leaked which also fueled speculation that the Skrull race would feature in the upcoming film.”
Sadness is a cancelled horror game that was in development by Polish video game developer Nibris for the Wii. Frontline Studios had previously signed a deal to co-produce Sadness. However, as of March 17 2007, the companies parted ways due to “artistic differences”. Set in pre-WWI Eastern Europe, Sadness would have followed the story of Maria, a Victorian era aristocrat who has to protect her blind son Alexander after their train derails in the countryside. Their subsequent adventures were based on Slavic legends. [Info from Wikipedia]
After years of development issues, in February 2010 Sadness’ website was closed and the game was officially cancelled, probably because they never found a publisher interested in the project.
Some music tracks created for the game were leaked online, as we can read on Polish Music Blog:
Polish game music blog Gramuzyka has come into possession of thirteen unreleased tracks by composer Arkadiusz Reikowski from Sadness , proving there was actual work done on the game. It seems this music was to be included in a demo version of the game that never saw the light of day.
– Started as a wii game, but the development moved to wiiU after Nibris was disbanned in 2010. It was picked up by two american development teams, HullBreach Studios and Cthulhi Games, who had „some part in making the original”. They wanted to keep the game close to the original vision, but the work was practically started from scratch, changing a lot of technical aspects. – Maria’s (the protagonist) full name was Maria Lengyel – The train derailment takes place „somewhere in eastern Europe”, but another source states it was specifically Ukraine. – Aleks wasn’t blind from the start; he lost his eyesight in the derailment, which also caused him to suffer from narcolepsy, schizofrenia and nyktophobia (fear of darkness). – Aleks’ behavior was supposed to get more and more unsettling as the game progresses – The game’s visual style is described as „gothic” and „lacking in color”, using only shades of gray. – Actual fights with monsters were rare; instead, the player would have to use stealth, exploration and „other actions” that would help in the protagonist’s survival. – Wii version was 3D and made on the gamebryo engine, while the WiiU version was made in 2D on the unity engine. – The WiiU version put greater Focus on puzzles and „RPG-esque elements” – Maria Lengyel was a polish-hungarian aristocrat – Maria was supposed to lose conciousnes after the derailment. When she wakes up, she sees men dressed in black killing off the other survivors. Her husband and two other children are dead, her third child, Aleksander, is missing. Grieving Maria goes to find her son. – Apparently, there were multiple plot synopsises: One is the above one, the second one has Aleks losing his sight, and the third one stated that Aleks was Maria’s brother, not son. – Frontline Studios based in Bydgoszcz was allegedly to co-produce the game – Nibris apparently didn’t have a publisher chosen – FOG studios from Kraków was responsible for marketing. – Game was planned for the end of 2007, but was pushed to 2009. There were periodic updates about the development going well. – The game was allegedly supposed to be featured on E3 2009 – After removal of the site, a part of the team started Bloober Team, while the rest of the team is coordinating the European Game Center (Europejskie centrum gier) in Kraków – The train at the start was heading to Lvow – Some sources say the game took place before WWI, but this source says it takes place during it. – Everything was done with the wii remote, forsaking menus for a seamless experience – There was a rumor that the music was to be composed by Piotr Rubik, a fameous polish composer. – Aleksander was eight years old – Cutscenes were planned, but its unclear if they were made on the game engine. – NPCs that the player could talk to were planned. – Eight endings were planned, each one with a different message. Player’s actions were judged, the most important were ones concerning Aleks, how the player treated him and took care of his physical and mental well-being.
Thanks to Unvaluablespace, Userdante, Andrew, Olga and Anonymous for the contributions!
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