Others

Vampire Hunter (Square Enix + Digital Extremes) [Cancelled – PS3, Xbox 360, PC]

Digital Extremes is a Canadian video game developer founded in 1993, best known for creating Warframe, Dark Sector, The Darkness II and co-creating Epic Games’ Unreal series. Around 2012 the team was working with Square Enix to develop a new action adventure set in a fantasy vampire world, possibly to be published for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC.

Unfortunately the project was never officially announced and they cancelled it in the end: we don’t have any more information about how it would have been played nor why it was never completed. Some concept art from this Vampire Hunter game is preserved below, to remember the existence of this lost project.

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Ninth Doctor Who (2005 Video Game) [Cancelled / Tech Demo]

A Doctor Who video game, based-off the science-fiction series of the same name, was being developed by Australian developer IR Gurus Interactive (later rebranded Transmission Games). The game would have coincided with the first series of the revived 2005 tv-show starring Christopher Eccleston as The Ninth Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler. Development lasted half a year and was funded through substantial government subsidies. The reason for its cancellation according to Paul Callaghan who worked at the studio was simply “It’s complicated”.

“I’d wanted to work on a Doctor Who game since I was about 11 years old, so this was kind of a dream project for me,” said Callaghan. “When it was cancelled, I had to take a step back to work out whether or not this was the career I wanted to pursue.”

As to the plot for the game, it is vague whether the details given by Callaghan are what was planned for it. From the Sydney Morning Herald article:

“He conceived a plot around aliens modifying the human race with airborne nanobots, allowing companion Rose Tyler to undergo some changes: “We could give her some cool alien powers!””

According to Andy Widger, then head of communications for BBC Worldwide, there were no intentions of releasing it as he told website GamesRadar:

“The news of a Doctor Who game is a little premature. At present the only work being done is on an interactive demo for internal evaluation. There is no firm proposal for a game and no commitment to particular formats or an idea of a potential release date – and no screenshots.

Article by Vitas Varnas 

Mythica (Microsoft MMORPG) [PC – Cancelled]

Mythica is a cancelled MMORPG based on Vikings folklore and Norse mythology that was in development by Microsoft Game Studios between 2002 and 2004, planned to be released on PC. At the time most big gaming companies tried to launch their own massive online multiplayer games, as it was quite a lucrative market (at least until they over-saturated it). Mythica boosted impressive graphics for its time, and Microsoft also promised fun gameplay mechanics.

As we can read from their official 2003 press release:

“When playing ‘Mythica,’ players will feel like genuine Norse heroes on a personalized journey unique to them,” said Adam Waalkes, studio manager for role-playing games at Microsoft Corp. “Through ‘Mythica,’ Microsoft Game Studios will revitalize the massively multiplayer genre by putting the focus where it belongs: on gameplay.”

In the quest to become the one true hero in a vast gaming world, players may adventure with a band of fellow immortals into huge, populated public spaces or enter a Private Realm. “Mythica’s” Private Realms Technology envelopes players in story lines and environments that react to their actions in private areas of the world. Here players become the central characters in a heroic tale where actions have lasting consequences in their own persistent game world.

The Private Realms are spread across several traditional planes of existence from Norse mythology, from the grassy fields and eternal spring of Asgard to the fiery heart of Muspellheim. Using godlike powers, players can dispel droves of menacing monsters with a single blow or battle massive, monstrous beasts such as the Midgard Serpent.”

In 2011 Justin Olivetti wrote a great article about why Mythica could have been a great addition to the MMORPG market:

“No matter how similar MMOs may be to each other, each one needs a “hook” that devs and marketers can bandy about to capture the imaginations of gamers. […] With Mythica, the hook was “Let players be gods.

[…] Each day, players would get to choose whether they wanted to adventure in an open world setting or in personalized “private realms” that would change the game according to their deeds. In private realms, what you or your small group of friends did would have a lasting impact on the game world — as long as you were in that version of the game, that is.”

Mythica’s development team consisted of about forty people, but most of them were fired in 2004 when the game was officially cancelled. Just a year before Microsoft already faced another sudden problem: Mythic Entertainment (developer of popular MMORPG Dark Age of Camelot) sued Microsoft, seeing in the similarity between their name and Mythica. We could speculate it was just a way to get some money from Microsoft or interfere with their game, seeing it as a potential competitor in the same genre as DAoC. In the end Microsoft just recognized the MMORPG market was over saturated: it would have been risky to proceed with Mythica’s development, so the project was canned.

Thanks to Josef for the contribution!

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Angelus 2: Holy Night [PC Engine – Cancelled]

Angelus 2: Holy Night is the cancelled sequel to Enix’s Angelus: Akuma no Fukuin, once in development by Asmik Ace Entertainment with such names as Yuzo Koshiro and Hiroyuki Kitazume working on the project, planned to be released for PC Engine and PC-98. The first game was a beloved visual novel, released only in Japan around 1988: Angelus 2 would have continued the story, left unfinished with a huge cliff-hanger. Somehow a CD-R containing data from this unreleased sequel was found some years ago by collectors, who later uploaded the content online: it seems the main plot was complete and you can listen to audio files (in japanese) to understand what would have happened in the final game:

“Angelus 2: Holy Night’s protagonist is Brian Pearl, the same reporter from the previous game. After the incidents seen in Angelus: Akuma no Fukuin, Brian and Ellis left London and had their wedding in New York. Two years have passed since then, and Brian is asked to cover a series of deaths happening in New York, caused by a strange disease (just like in the first game). He declines this request, as he doesn’t want to be involved again in a bizarre incident. Unfortunately his editor receive a letter warning of the next murder: the minister who witnessed the marriage of Brian and Ellis would be killed. Brian goes to the church, but the minister is already dead. He then decides to cover this case, because the mysterious disease has spread to people close to him. However, people involved in Brian’s life are dying one after another. As he continues his investigation, he discovers the existence of a group of evil spirits behind the incident and the resurrected demon Seva.”

In the end it seems the game was canned because the team switched development to the PC engine CD-ROM2, but the hardware sold poorly and they just decided to stop working on it.

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Gorge Tour (New Media Generation) [PC – Cancelled]

Gorge Tour is a cancelled comical FPS that was in development around 2002 – 2004 by New Media Generation, planned to be released on PC. Inspired by such titles as Quake and Unreal, Gorge Tour would have mixed horror shooting and humorous moments, thanks to its parodist story, weird enemies (such as rolling pumpkins) and funny weapons.

At the time some details were shared by the team on their official website:

“Classical First Person 3D action where a hero fights innumerable hordes of extraterrestrial monsters.  Year 2327. Mankind is actively exploring the profound space, but has not yet found any alien civilization. People founded a big colony on planet Tersa, a place rich in minerals and suitable for human life. Unfortunately a near galaxy is populated by various ugly and bloodthirsty, but intelligent monsters who spend all the time by ravaging the neighboring planets. The powerful scanners detected the human colony and sent their spaceship to it. Annihilate the greedy monster! The main hero wakes up in an isolated underground bunker and finds out the colony has been destroyed by a hateful monsters horde. The whole population has been exterminated. Now his main goal is to reach the spaceship and to leave the captured planet. Classical 3D First Person Action, unordinary game plot, 20 missions, 5 complexity levels, huge number of different monsters and weapons are waiting for you!

Former New Media Generation’s PR manager Kitaitseva Anna also had an interview with HomeLAN:

“We would like to make out a typical landscape of the lost-in-the-space setting, what would be determinative for creation of the right feeling of the inimical environment and anxious situation in the game.  The action takes place on a planet of the Earth type, where there are several moons in the light-green sky, poor vegetation and crooked trees. Rain falls in several locations, which are connected by several passages. The staggering music will intensify fillings appearing in this or that location.  We would like to diversify the game space and propose manifold locations and settings to the gamer. One will find the locations and settings of every sort and kind. Among them there are: various factories, workshops, laboratories, farms and combines as well as underground mines and nuclear reactors. Besides a lot of “ordinary” settings and locations will be available for training and mastering the skill of the combat against the extraterrestrial monsters. You will roam about the labyrinth of tangled streets, end up in a military garrison, administration offices, a police station, a sports complex, a club with a casino, a souvenir boutique of a luxurious hotel, a space center and finally in an alien spaceship on board of which you will manage to leave the planet.”

“In the game it is planned to use a lot of different kinds of weapons. Among them there are some weapon types for the close and distant combat as well as cold steel and fire-arms: a pistol, a shot-gun, a rocket-launcher, a grenade, a minigun, a flame thrower, a plasma gun, a lighting gun, a light axe and a laser mine, a tranquilizer and a butcher’s knife. But the player will have a possibility to use a unique specialized weapon of mass defeat “BANG!” It is a comic type of arm with a specific effect: all the enemies in its range fall on the ground bursting out laughing. The game space is interactive, so the player will be able to apply to various objects of the outward things as a kettle, the surrounding constructions and so on.

All the enemies in the game are extraterrestrial monsters. There are odd humanoid or lizard-like creatures, some of them can fly another are a cephalopoda, which move by rolling. The monsters will be able to pursue the hero, escape, try to take in rear, attack collectively and make common cause. We have planned the game with some parody elements on all games of this genre. So, sometimes the characters will be a little comic and odd with slightly hypertrophied characteristic features.”

We don’t know what happened to Gorge Tour, but it soon vanished after an impressive trailer New Media Generation published on their website in 2004.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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