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Iron Man Video Game (Z-Axis) [PS2, Xbox – Cancelled]

Around 2003 – 2005 Z-Axis (AKA Underground Development) was working on a new Iron Man video game tie-in for Activision, using the Marvel license. The project was planned to be released for Playstation 2 and Xbox, but in the end it was never completed and quietly vanished, forgotten by everyone.

As we can read on IGN, Z-Axis was hiring new devs for Iron Man around November 2003:

“Z-Axis, the hard-working folks who brought gamers Dave Mirra’s BMX Freestyle and Aggressive Inline (and if you go a little farther back, Fox Sports College Hoops and Thrasher: Skate and Destroy), is now officially working on two new games for Activision based on the Iron Man and X-Men Marvel licenses.

Activision has not officially announced either of these two titles, but we have learned that both are definitely action games. The X-Men game is all new, and should not be confused with the Raven-developed X-Men: Legends.”

In the end only Z-Axis’s “X-Men: The Official Game” game was released in 2006. We can assume the team had some issues in developing two Marvel games at the same time and Activision decided to cancel Iron Man. Some screenshots from an early Iron Man prototype are saved below, to remember the existence of this lost game.

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Leisure Suit Larry: Island Tale [Cancelled – Xbox, PS2, PC]

Leisure Suit Larry: Island Tale (AKA Cocoa Butter) is a cancelled adventure game in the Leisure Suit Larry series, which was in development by High Voltage Software around 2005 – 2006. The project was planned to be a sequel to Magna Cum Laude, to be released for Xbox, Playstation 2 and PC.

In the game Larry would visit San Areolas Islands to seduce women and resolve simple puzzles. Some more details were shared online by a former HVS developer:

“Cancelled at about 70% complete, this adventure game (like its predecessor) would have certainly pushed the boundaries of both story, design and taste. The focus of this UI was the match the game’s island feel, with warm sunset skies for the main menu and bright, colorful blues and reef colors for the in-game experience. We used classic postcards as inspiration for how we wanted the user to feel while in the menus, while still injecting a bit of Larry’s sexual references within the design work itself. We had the UI about 80% finalized when the game was sadly cancelled, so what you see here was pretty much final.”

As far as we know Vivendi Universal canned the game, possibly to cut costs during a difficult time. Because of this High Voltage Software had to lay off some of their staff, as reported by Gamasutra and GameIndustry in January 2006:

“Chicago-based independent developer High Voltage has officially announced that the company has “right sized” its operations from 156 full time employees to 120, following a recent project cancellation.”

“The layoffs are believed to have occurred last Friday, January 13th, and according to a source within the company, the cancelled project was one being undertaken for Vivendi Universal Games – which has published several of High Voltage’s recent titles.”

Some images from the game are preserved in the gallery below, to remember this lost project.

Thanks to Sean-Paul for the contribution!

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SNO (Headstrong Games) [Cancelled – PC, PS4, Xbox One]

SNO is a cancelled action adventure that was in development  by Headstrong Games in 20142015, planned to be released for PC and unannounced consoles (possibly PS4 and Xbox One). The project was officially announced in February 2015 on their site and by reading its description it sounds a bit like Okami, but unfortunately it soon vanished with no explanations.

“Usher in Spring and bring your frozen world back to life in this 3rd person action puzzle game.

Clear the ice and snow that have blanketed your world. Encounter and defeat mysterious ice demons intent on holding back Spring. Discover ancient secrets and paths through the frozen wasteland as the Gods guide you on your journey.

SNO toys with your expectations, leaving you wondering whether you’re a dead soul raised to tend a magical land, or an android designed to repair a deserted spacecraft. As you emerge from your grave-like stasis chamber, it’s apparent a catastrophe has occurred – the world is carpeted in a thick layer of snow. As you clear the ice and snow, you reveal verdant patches of grass that catch the light and start to fend off the creeping frost.”

Headstrong were mostly known for their Art Academy series and Battalion Wars series published by Nintendo, but around 2017 Kuju Entertainment (their parent company) dissolved the team to incorporate their employees directly into Kuju.

If you know someone who worked on this lost game and could help in preserving more images or footage, please let us know

Need For Speed 10: TerrorFive [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3]

Need For Speed 10 “TerrorFive” is a cancelled chapter in the long-running NFS racing series, pitched to Electronic Arts around 2008 and planned for Xbox 360 and PS3. It was conceived as a strange mix between a racer and some kind of terrorism – hacking adventure, trying to imagine illegal street racers in a post 911 US city.

A racing gang / terrorists named “TerrorFive” would drive around the city while doing missions and hacking jobs, such as looking into the Police network and security cameras. Yeah, it sounds a bit like Watch Dogs, but probably most of these concepts were just meant to be the settings of the game and not it’s main gameplay.

While EA never officially announced this game, in 2010 they released Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit which was a completely different project. We can assume the pitch for TerrorFive never went much far from its early concept or prototype. Concept art for the game was found online around 2014, as reported by Kotaku.

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ZTA (SDP Games) [PSP – Cancelled]

ZTA is a cancelled open world action game that was in development by french studio SDP Games (Smack Down Productions) for Sony PSP. As you can imagine from its name, the game was meant to be a clone of GTA, but focused on the zombie apocalypse. This lost game was revealed some years ago by a French website, with a few details directly from the developers. It seems SDP Games tried to pitch their project to Rockstar Games, but without any luck.

As we can read from the original article (“translated” with Google Translate):

“This is our very first game prototype! It was indeed a GTA with Zombies on PSP, very zany with the music of Weird Al. We were in contact with Rockstar for the edition, but we never could agree on a budget. Unable to find another publisher, we had to abandon it to move to Nintendo DS ”

Only a bunch of screenshots from the ZTA prototype survive today after the closure of the studio, preserved below to remember the existence of this lost game.

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