2020 is coming soon and as every year we’d like to review what we did last year and make some plans for the new one.
As most of you know we work on Unseen64 in our own free time, after a long day of our day-jobs. We take away this extra time from our sleep, friends and family just to search info on lost games, write articles, read Unseen64 related emails, reply to messages on social networks, resolve technical issues on the site, save media and contact developers.
Here are some of the lost games we archived on Unseen64 in 2019:
- Project Dropship [Xbox 360, PS3 – Cancelled]
- Crimson Skies 3 [Xbox 360 – Cancelled]
- Naughty Dog’s Lost Sci-Fi Game (Savage Starlight?) [PS3 – Cancelled]
- Team Buddies 2 [PC – Cancelled]
- MooN 2: Mansion Omnibus Occupant Nest (LoveDeLic) [PS1 – Cancelled Pitch]
- Contra Online [PS2, Xbox, PC – Cancelled]
- Big Brother (George Orwell’s 1984 Video Game) [PC – Cancelled]
- “PreCore” (Armature Studio) [Xbox 360, PS3 – Cancelled]
- Metro Panic (Nichibutsu RPG) [Cancelled – Game Boy]
- Dear Blue (Konami RPG) [N64 – Cancelled]
- Ninth Will (Seventh Cross 2) [Dreamcast – Cancelled]
- Cryptid Hunter [PS3 – Cancelled]
- Madstix [PS2 – Cancelled]
- Grafan (Emogence) [PC – Cancelled]
- Showdown: Scorpion [PC – Cancelled]
- Battle Mania 3 NY: Gankutsujou [Dreamcast – Cancelled]
- Missile Fighter [PC Engine CD – Cancelled]
- Dark Matter (Nanotainment) [PC – Cancelled]
- Die Hard 64 [N64 – Cancelled]
- Shinbatsu (Gainax) [Sega Saturn – Cancelled]
- Raiders (Coop Tomb Raider) [Cancelled – PS3, Xbox 360, PC]
- Joust X [Nintendo 64 – Cancelled]
- Hanasaki Gassen [GBA – Cancelled]
- Demon Hunter [GBA – Cancelled]
- Sofa Kingdom (Angel Studios) [PC – Cancelled]
- Forgotten Castle: The Awakening [PC – Cancelled]
- Fate (Airtight Games) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3]
- Ochanoma Densetsu [SNES – Cancelled]
- Redemption (Cranberry Source) [N64 – Cancelled]
- XGirl [Xbox – Cancelled]
- Gravity Zero Racing [Nintendo DS – Cancelled]
- Insane Warrior (Core Design) [Playstation – Cancelled]
- Outworld 2375 AD [Mega Drive / Genesis – Cancelled]
- Flux (Eight Cylinder Studios) [GameCube, PC – Cancelled]
- Alex Carver: Futurebrighter [PC – Cancelled]
- Nightfall (Core Design) [PS2 – Cancelled]
- Citadel of the Black Sun [PC – Cancelled]
- Apros: Tenku no Sho (WolfTeam) [Sega Mega CD – Cancelled]
- Pilot X (Tornado Studios) [Cancelled – PS3, Xbox 360, PC]
- Kunio-Kun RPG [NES, Famicom – Cancelled]
- Geist DS [Nintendo DS – Cancelled]
- Evil Twin 2: The Messenger [Cancelled – PS2]
- Planetfall 2: Floyd’s Next Thing [PC – Cancelled]
- Fall of the Artificer (Psygnosis) [PS2 – Cancelled]
- Mario Motors (Yoot Saito) [Nintendo DS – Cancelled]
- Sports Immortal [N64 – Cancelled]
- Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari 2 (River City Ransom 2) [Wii, PC – Cancelled]
- Ghostman (Widescreen Games) [PS2, Xbox – Cancelled]
- Hogs of War 2 [Cancelled – Wii, PS2, PC]
- DK Project: The Last City Of Heaven [PC – Cancelled]
- Dennin Aleste 2 [Cancelled – Mega Drive Sega CD]
- Without Warning 2 [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3]
- Drachen Zor [PC – Cancelled]
- Mimic Book (Blossomsoft) [Nintendo DS – Cancelled]
- Pest! (Rocket Science) [Playstation – Cancelled]
- Necessary Evil (Illusions Gaming) [PC – Cancelled]
- L42 (Blue Planet) [GameCube, PS2, Xbox – Cancelled]
- Angel quest (Virtual Studio) [PS1, PC – Cancelled]
- Earthbound (Mother) [GameCube – Cancelled]
- Invasion [PS2 – Cancelled]
- Captives (Impressions, Sierra) [PC – Cancelled]
- Spanish Blood (Scavenger) [Playstation, Sega Saturn – Cancelled]
- Fang of Alnam (no Kiba) [Cancelled – SNES, Super Famicom]
- Revolver (Jade Empire 2) [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3, PC]
- Metroid Prime 1.5 [GameCube – Cancelled Pitch]
- MediEvil Legends [PSP – Cancelled]
You see a few articles published on the site every week, but to keep Unseen64 alive we invest dozens of hours of work every week. 95% of needed work is done by monokoma and in the last few years it became harder and harder to find more people who can help the site steadily. Most contributors just write one or two articles, before vanishing forever.
As we wrote in 2018 working for Unseen64 is getting harder and harder every year. In 2019 we had the same issues: people are not much interested in a website of this kind, especially when popular lost games are already unveiled and well known. It’s hard to keep the interest high and find new support on Patreon:
- We still have hundreds of lost games for console and PC to write about, but most of them are obscure projects by small studios. There are no more popular projects like “Resident Evil 1.5” or “Sonic Xtreme” to uncover or it’s almost impossible to gather information about them.
- Even for those obscure and little cancelled games, it became harder to receive more details and write good articles. Some years ago we could contact 5 developers who worked on a lost game and we would get at least 2 or 3 answers. Now we contact 10 or 20 developers and 99% of the time we never get any answer. Internet has become a fearsome place, where news could deform and spread uncontrollably on social networks. Developers seem scared to talk about their old jobs, because they don’t want to get in trouble.
- Without being able to get in contact with developers, we cannot even save more screenshots or footage from many lost games we are researching. With no exclusive images or videos, we cannot even keep up with Patreon higher tier bonuses. This means people who donate to get bonuses are not happy (and we understand their disappointment).
- Without details and without good footage, we cannot create interesting video articles. In 2019 we just dropped our plans to create new videos, because we can’t get new information from developers. With the few details, screens and videos available is best if we focus on preserving some memories from these lost games in our website.
- Most people are not interested in supporting an old website in the age of Youtubers. With no interesting video content, not many people support Unseen64 on Patreon and we are not shared on major websites anymore. Many years ago those same websites would write news for many of the lost games we wrote in our site in 2019. Today if you don’t make a good video about it, you are not picked up by those websites.
Is Unseen64 doomed? Not yet.
Thanks to people like you who read articles on our website and support us on Patreon we survived 2019.
We still work every week to keep Unseen64 alive, instead of closing it down:
- We keep remembering those obscure lost games on Unseen64, even if most people don’t care about them.
- We keep sending emails to developers, even if 99% of the time we never get a reply.
- We write as much as we can about a lost game, by doing deep-research online, in old magazines, closed websites, developers’ resumes and online portfolios.
- Unseen64 support on Patreon remained stable in 2019 (it did not grow, but it did not decrease much compared to 2018).
- We keep working on other methods to raise funds (as with StoryBundle ebooks and publishing short physical books using the same content we publish on the site).
- We were able to lower fixed expenses for the site (asking for a discount and cheaper support to our server provider), saving money with no major issues for the site. This means that in 2020 we’ll spend less for the U64 server!
Patreon is essential for the survival of a niche project like Unseen64, a website mostly managed by a single italian guy in this age of Youtube and gaming videos in english.
In 2019 we were able to stay alive by focusing on text-articles about obscure lost games.
This is already a huge victory for Unseen64 :)
Will 2020 follow this trend? We’ll have to wait and see.
We are really grateful for your kind words and your help: without our Patrons, Unseen64 would already be dead. You prompt us to keep doing this, even during the hardest times.
Big gaming networks such as IGN, Polygon or Kotaku have the resources to own powerful servers and to pay a team to work full-time on their websites, keeping them online and publishing daily updates.
We don’t have their resources, but we have you: a community of gamers interested in preserving the unseen history of video games.
We’d like to thank all of you who are currently helping U64 on Patreon:
Joshua, gamemast15r, Sez, Malkavio, Thomas, chubigans, Patrick, Becki, Alex S., Marco, Patryk, Nick, Jordan, Reoko, Davidlee, Marty, Cody, Lachlan, Jake, James, Matthew, Rylan, Jessi, Riptide, Renee, Mcsahon, Itay, Faisal, Julian, Shane, Kaleb, Emily, Vitor, Joe, Peter, Robert O., Nathan, Alexandy1, Kirk, Robert D., Pedro, Ehren, Bransfield, Thibaut, joef0x, Conrad, Nick, Daniel, TheUnbeholden, MARTAZIA, Knight, Ben, The Video Game History Foundation, The Outpost Network, allan, tydaze, Gabe, Tim, Thomas, Mauro, Olivier, Alex M., Anders, Joe, James, Paul S., Brice, Guilherme, Alpha, Paul, Josh, Dan, Niels, Lou, Matthew, PtoPOnline, Jesus, Brandon, Martin, James, Tony, Christopher, Liam, DidYouKnowGaming, Cameron, Goffredo and everyone else! (did we forget someone?)