Full Throttle: Payback (aka Full Throttle 2) is a cancelled action adventure game that was in development in 2000 by LucasArts, planned to be released for PC and with a rumored Playstation 2 port. As we can read in Wikipedia, the game would have been an official sequel to continue the storyline of the original Full Throttle. Since Tim Schafer had already left the company at the time, Larry Ahern, who was involved in the original game’s development, was appointed the project lead and Bill Tiller, the art director.
At the early stages, the project received positive feedback from other LucasArts employees but according to Tiller, it eventually fell apart because of disagreements on the game style between the productive team and “a particularly influential person” within the management, which lead to a series of “mistakes”. The production ceased in November 2000, when 25% of the levels and about 40% of the preproduction art were complete. Both Ahern and Tiller left LucasArts in 2001, after Payback was canceled.
From Retro Gamer #62 we can read some more info of Payback from Larry Ahern, who designed ‘a version of it that never got off the drawing board before [he] quit, and the bloody remains of it were handed over to another team’. Some of it we already knew from the Classic Adventure Gaming article.
The villain was a Senator with an anti-biker agenda, pushing to replace the worn-out highways with new, biker-unfriendly hover lanes. The game also featured Ben’s estranged weasel-of-a-brother, who was mixed up in one of the Senator’s shady operations, and a more central lead for Father Torque. Maureen had a cameo, but the female lead was a reporter who covers Ben after his subsequent fame for the alleged murder of Malcolm Corley. We had some fun new biker gangs also, like the Dragons, who sported flamethrowers on the handlebars of their bikes, and the Leeches, a gang in rocket-powered side-cars that cruise the highways jumping from vehicle to vehicle and attaching to them to syphon fuel.
Some time later LucasArts decided to start the development on the even more action-heavy Full Throttle: Hell on Wheels, that was also cancelled in the end.
Thanks to Robert Seddon and lorenzo55 for the contributions!