MMORPG

Ramayan 3392 A.D. [PS3,PC – Cancelled]

Ramayan 3392 A.D. [PS3,PC – Cancelled]

In 2007 Sony announced that they will add a new MMO to its collection on MMOs released to that time (Everquest).
On 10th August 2007 Sony announced that they will be developing new MMO in partnership with Virgin Comics. Game will be based on Ramayan 3392 A.D. comics released under Virgin Comics. It is a futuristic reinterpretation of indian mythology.
Sony signed a multiyear cooperation with the team behind the comics.

Virgin Comics cofounder and CEO Sharad Devarajan explained that the game’s cultural roots will help bring a fresh perspective to the genre.”

Ramayan 3392 A.D. is based on the ancient Sanskrit epic Ramayana. The story follows a
battle between humans and demons in a post-apocalyptic world. The comic was written by
Shamik Dasgupta with illustrations by Abhishek Singh, and was based on a story by author
Deepak Chopra and Elizabeth (1998) director Shekhar Kapur.

Ramayan 3392 A.D. was aimed for 2010 release. Until today, the game hasn’t been released and on most sites can be found its status on release date only as TBD.  

Hinter Wars: The Aterian Invasion [N-Gage, PC – Cancelled]

Hinter Wars: The Aterian Invasion is a cancelled online RPG that was in development around 2005 / 2006 by Activate Interactive, planned to be published by Nokia for N-Gage and PC. As in other MMORPG players would choose between different characters, each one with their own skills and appearances, then log online to explore the game world, fight enemies and chat with their friends.

A playable beta was available for free on their official website, and people could help the team testing their server for online multiplayer. Players could then play on their PC while at home, then continue their adventure outside using the same profile on N-Gage. Some more details on Hinter Wars’ settings and gameplay were also shared at the time:

“HinterWars: The Aterian Invasion’ was derived from an original storyline that revolves around a group of space-faring races that face the possibility of being invaded by the Aterians. The game features four broad character types – the Humans, Firans, Brucians and Taikuus – whose costumes, appearances and armour can be customized according to each player’s specifications. The game also allows interaction between players such as broadcast and private chat, trading of items and teaming up for conquests. Successes are rewarded by new downloads, rare items, additional power and experience, virtual cash rewards – and ultimately, fame within the HinterWars gaming community.”

Possibly because of the N-Gage failure on the market, Nokia and Activate canned the project and Hinter Wars was never completed.

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Star Net Frontier (Dart Studio) [PC – Cancelled]

Star Net Frontier is a cancelled Massive Multiplayer Online Sci-Fi RPG / Shooter that was in development by Dart Studio around 2002 – 2004, planned to be released on PC. Players would have been able to take different roles (trade captain, soldier, rogue, politic, etc.) while exploring a series of alien planets (with up to 100 square miles of open terrains), travel and trade around the galaxy, battle on planets and in space. As we have already seen many times in other cancelled games with similar premises (huge galaxy full of explorable planets, freedom to choose how to play the game, online multiplayer with thousands of players) Star Net Frontier’s ambitions were too high for a small team.

The game was planned to feature:

  • Highly flexible and modular design of the online world supported by dynamic game-play
  • Large-scale episodic storyline to extend and update game environments and locales as well as launch a major episode on a regular basis. Each episode will be based on such events as civil wars and invasions, large-scale battles, discovery of new planets, natural disasters, etc.
  • Simulation of sophisticated economy and politics; players will be able to engage in cutthroat trade, support or oppose political parties, establish governments, and even declare wars.
  • Player-to-player and player-to-NPC interaction of the thousands online players in the single persistent Universe.
  • Experience of multiple environments using First and Third Person View:
  • Large open terrain environment – roam on foot or vehicle from 10th up to 100th square miles of continuous open terrains including deserts, forests and jungle, hills and mountains, etc.
  • Open terrain environment will support real-time weather and environmental factors (rain and snow, alteration of day and night, etc.)
  • Open outer space environment – huge network of star systems, connected together. Using a spacecraft players will roam from one star system to another, orbit planets, explore asteroid belts, dock to space stations, land on the planets.
  • Large indoor environment – play inside of such structures as factories, mines, board huge space stations and battleships.
  • Water and underwater” as well as “in the air” environments.
  • Unique profession of reporter will allow players to record/replay events in the game. It will allow players to report and share in-game events and experience with other players in the game as well as with a bigger community out of the game, on the web.

From Dart Studio’s old website we can also read more about the game settings:

“Game takes place in the far future, millennia after the human race first steps on the moon of the home planet and in space. Humanity spread widely among the stars and settled hundreds of thousands of star systems. Vast computer networks spread across all those stars. And in this network AI woke up and gained consciousness. Controlling millions of mechanisms and bio-machines (cyborgs), it tried to free itself from the slavery as well as conquer and dominate humanity. Hundreds of years of wars followed that moment.

During the wars separated human worlds were united in the vast and mighty Empire and finally AI was forced beyond the borders of the Empire. But it wasn’t terminated, the threat still remains and war continues. AI mechanized legions are still attacking unprotected worlds at the borders and it sends spies deep into the Empire, looking for weaknesses. On the fringes of the human Empire, among the stars and on the surface of alien planets, the future of the sentient being will be decided.”

An interview with Dart Studio’s Vladimir Tarasov was also published by HomeLand in 2003:

SNF world will be populated by humans, AI machines, and cyborgs – hybrid combinations of humans and machines.

As a citizen of one of the planet-states or as a member of a free mercenary outfit, players will have a chance to try and learn many professions in the army, merchant fleets, trade guilds, and many more.

SNF game takes place on several planets, moons and space around these planets. Each SNF planet is a 3D emulation of one or several regions of the planet’s surface. Each region may cover up to hundred square miles of different kinds of terrain. Players may navigate on foot or using different vehicles to small towns, trade-posts, watchtowers, military bases and forts, ruins of underground labyrinths and mazes of abandoned scientific laboratories or industrial installations. In space the game takes place between planets, space stations, moon bases littered with fields of debris of destroyed spaceships, blown-up space stations, and ruined battle platforms and satellites left from previous wars. Planets and moons have asteroid fields and other space junk in their orbits as well. Players may travel in space using starships.

In the end Star Net Frontiers quietly vanished and today no one remembers about this lost game. We speculate the team did not find a publisher of funds to continue working on their ambitious MMO, so the project had to be canned.

Thanks to Dan for the contribution!

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Warrz (Shouei System) [Saturn, Dreamcast – Cancelled]

Warrz (ワーズ) is a cancelled MMORPG that was in development around 1996 – 1999 by Shouei System and directed by Kensuke Mitsuru, initially planned for Sega Saturn and later moved to the Dreamcast. The team conceived Warrz as the harbinger of “next generation” online RPGs on consoles, allowing 5.000 people to connect and play together:

“When the company showed the game at Tokyo Game Show 1997, the game was playable with 16 simultaneous players from three different booths (Shouei, Sega, and Sieg) connected via a telephone line. The game was polygon based, set on a medieval-like world (with the usual magic and swordplay), where players tried to beat an evil lord. Players could choose to be a merchant or to be married to another player, with a kid.”

As in every other online RPGs in Warrz players would level-up their character and collaborate with other players to defeat enemies. The behavior and choices of each player would affect the progress of the game, and the main storyline would change from moment to moment.

It seems Shouei System invested 200 million yen (about 1.800.000 $) to develop the game and set-up 100 servers for its online world. When it was clear the majority of the market was losing interest in the Sega Saturn, the company decided to move the project to the Dreamcast, but without any luck. Shouei System was already in economic difficulties in 1999 and without being able to paid-off their debts they went bankrupt, cancelling Warrz and all of their other projects.

Previews and interviews about the game were published at the time in a few gaming magazines, preserved below.

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LandFall (Paragon Studios) [PC – Cancelled]

LandFall is a cancelled MMORPG that was in development by Paragon Studios between 2011 and 2012, planned to become their “Next-Gen MMO” after their classic games City of Heroes and City of Villains. The game was quite ambitious for its time, taking inspiration from the “new wave” of survival / crafting indies such as Minecraft and Terraria, while letting thousands (?) of players explore procedurally generated islands to gather materials and craft new tools, weapons and buildings.

LandFall would have been played on savage islands full of dinosaurs and other kinds of weird monsters: possibly their idea was somehow similar to what Ark: Survival Evolved would offer some years later, but with a graphic style more similar to something like Fortnite.

Unfortunately in August 2012 Paragon Studios was closed down by their parent company, and every game they were working on had to be halted. While LandFall was never officially announced, many former Paragon developers and artists shared online artwork, screenshots and details on their lost project. Some of these images are preserved below, to remember the existence of this cancelled game.

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