Sony

This Means War! (bigBIG Studios) [PS3, PSVita – Cancelled]

This Means War! Is a cancelled third person team-based shooter that was in early development by bigBIG Studios around 2009, planned to be released on Playstation 3 or PSVita. The team was mostly known for Pursuit Force and Little Deviants, but they worked with Sony on many more canned projects, such as Survive, Autorobotica and this one.

By looking at the only remaining images we speculate This Means War!’s gameplay could have been similar to Battalion Wars, possibly with a huge emphasis on team VS team online multiplayer. Players would have been able to use military weapons and vehicles to fight other teams on small spherical levels (somehow similar to Mario Galaxy planets). Many different character classes would have been available as DLC to be purchased on PSN, each one with different skills, appearance and nationality.

Unfortunately as far as we know This Means War! was never officially announced by Sony nor bigBig Studios, so we don’t have more details about the project and why it was never released. In 2012 Sony closed bigBIG Studios: some images from This Means War! are preserved in the gallery below to remember the existence of this lost project.

Thanks to Tonz for the contribution!

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Strike Jaguar (Gaps) [Playstation – Cancelled]

Strike Jaguar is a cancelled shoot ‘em up that was in development in late ‘90s, planned to be released by Gaps for the original Playstation. The game featured some original mechanics for a vertical shmup, with a multi-route system that would create a new series of levels each time you play (including rare hidden areas) and combination attacks when playing in coop with a friend.

Screenshots and details about Strike Jaguar were published at the time on Gaps’ old website, but the game was canned when it was about 10% complete. It seems a former Gaps developer reused some of the Strike Jaguar sprites to create another shmup for PC and released it for free on their website.

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Surface Tension (Krome Studios) [PS2 – Cancelled]

Surface Tension is a cancelled Playstation 2 strategy / adventure game that was in early development by Krome Studios around 2008. Gameplay would have been similar to a mix between Pikmin and Populous, with players exploring an alien “non-Newtonian fluid” world commanding creatures to resolve puzzles and fight enemies. Krome worked on this prototype to try some new ideas but it was soon pushed aside to work on new projects for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

As we can read in an old article by GamesOn (now closed):

“[Surface Tension] was sort of a cross between Pikmin and Populous,” says Steve. “The surface of the world was this sort of non-Newtonian fluid, and you had to guide your creatures from island to island, but if you had too many in one spot, they’d sink.” The team worked on the game’s development for six weeks, creating a demo which allowed you to order your creatures around, drop markers to attract and repel enemies, and so on. The objective was to send your creatures to the end of the level, directing them to solve problems along the way – chopping down trees to serve as bridges across the water, and generally being completely adorable.

“It was never really meant to get shown,” says Steve. “It was more a test to see if we could do something different.” Developed on Krome’s PS2 engine, the game was abandoned when they began to migrate to the next-gen engines built for the Xbox 360 and the PS3, although they did discuss returning to it after the first episode of Blade Kitten was published – a dream that, sadly, may never be realised.

Only a few tiny screenshots for Surface Tension were published on GameOn, if you know someone who worked on this lost game who may help us preserve more images, please let us know!

Thanks to Maik for the contribution!

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Survive (bigBIG Studios) [PSVita – Cancelled]

Survive is a cancelled zombie game that was in development by bigBIG Studios around 2009, planned to be released on the Sony PSVita. The team was mostly known for such titles as Pursuit Force and Little Deviants, but they worked on more games for Sony that were never released. Unfortunately as far as we know Survive was never officially announced by Sony, so we don’t have details about its gameplay.

By looking at the only available screenshots, we speculate it was going to be some kind of tower defense / survival adventure set in a zombie-apocalypse world. In 2012 Sony closed bigBIG Studios: some images from Survive are preserved in the gallery below to remember the existence of this lost project.

Thanks to Tonz for the contribution!

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Severity (Escalation Studios) [Cancelled – PS3, Xbox 360, PC]

Severity is a cancelled eSport-focused FPS that was in development around 2007 by Escalation Studios (later renamed to Bethesda Game Studios Dallas) in cooperation with John Romero and funded by the Cyberathlete Professional League. It was planned to be released on Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

As we can read in an old article published on FiringSquad:

“Mustaine told us that he already has a group of about 10 team members working on Severity and plans to expand that team to about 20 members in total.

Mustaine isn’t revealing much about the game itself at this stage but he did tell us that the game will be a mix of modern day and futuristic themes in terms of weapons and level settings. While the game will not have a lengthy single player experience except maybe for tutorial levels, he did say they did plan for AI bot play for people to practice offline.

Of course, creating a game for pro gaming tournaments means adding more features that will make the game better not just for the players but also for the spectators. In addition to support for tournament ladders and detailed stats for players, Mustaine told us that Severity has plans to expand its options for spectators, including in-game cameras that can be controlled by commentators and finding ways to display important stats to the spectators in order to get them more fully involved in the matches. Mustaine compared what they wanted to do to how professional poker matches became a huge draw among the general public thanks in part to how TV had commentators and stats for the poker matches. As far as Severity’s game modes, Mustaine told us that they are planning to have modes with different player speeds, different game physics and different weapon loadouts.”

Some more details can be found in an interview published by PSU:

“PSU: There have been beliefs floating around that the game will play exactly the same as Quake III Arena. If there’s a game with a similar gameplay style to Severity what game would it be?

Angel: It will not play identical to Quake 3 or any other game, but Quake 3 is definitely one of the major inspirations for the development team. Severity will have very unique characteristics and a rich visual environment, but it will also be a faced-paced game.

PSU: Will there be the ability to have cross-platform gaming? i.e. PlayStation 3 vs. Xbox 360 vs. PC gamers?

Angel: That is absolutely the plan!”

It seems Severity’s development was already canned or slowed down in 2008, as told by John Romero to That Gaming Site. Later Escalation Studios denied the game’s cancellation, but in the end it was never released anyway. After working on small projects such as Samba de Amigo on Wii and Doom Resurrection for iOS, in 2012 the team was acquired by 6waves Lolapps and then sold to ZeniMax Media in 2017 after they helped with the development of Rage and Doom reboot.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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