mmorpg

Infiltrator: Shadow Wars [XBOX – Cancelled]

Infiltrator Shadow Wars is a cancelled Massive Multiplayer Online RPG that was in development by Orbital Frog Productions for the XBOX. As we can read in the original press release, the game was set in a futuristic online world of espionage: Orbital Frog promised that Infiltrator would had in-depth character development and an enveloping and interactive environment for the player to interact with. There was to also be an interactive online environment to pit the players to the task of creating their own teams, researching new weapons, and brand new technologies.

During the development something went wrong and Infiltrator: Shadow Wars had to be cancelled. Sadly only few concept arts remain from this lost project.

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Abraxas (Fabled Lands MMORPG) [PC – Cancelled]

Abraxas is a cancelled Massive Multiplayer RPG that was in early planning stage at Eidos. The project was originally based on the Fabled Lands series of fantasy gamebooks written by Dave Morris and Jamie Thomson, published by Pan Books in the mid 90s. Originally planned as a twelve-book series, only six books were released between 1995 and 1996 before the series was cancelled.

In 1996, the authors decided to use their experience with gamebooks to enter the computer games industry – taking the Fabled Lands series with them.

They started work at Eidos Interactive on an MMO. Eidos was skeptical as to whether an MMO would be financially successful, but was interested enough to set the authors up with a team to research the relevant technology. [Info from Wikipedia]

At Bit Tech we can read in a long article about the project:

When it came to developing the fiction and the overall settings of the MMO though, it was an entirely different story and the groundwork was quickly laid down for adapting Fabled Lands to a new medium – until legal problems reared their heads anyway. Soon, Dave and Jamie were forced to drop the Fabled Lands setting and look at new setting.

“Our publishers told us that our book contract entitled them to 50 percent of our revenue from the game,” says Dave. “They meant our salaries, as Eidos wasn’t going to pay anything to licence a fantasy world when they could just as easily pay us to create one from scratch. Then the publishers said, ‘Okay, not 50 percent, but you have to give us 2% of what you get.’ That was just going to be an irritation, but we decided we’d just come up with a new setting.”

Needing to distance their burgeoning MMO from the Fabled Lands books, Jamie and Dave set about creating a number of new world, one of which became known as Abraxas and Dave describes as being very different from most other fantasy settings […]

The team’s plans for the game were extremely ambitious for the late 90s, as the Abraxas MMO was supposed to include advanced AI that acted as a digital gamesmaster, tailoring the experience for each player.

In the end the game was never released; according to Morris and Thomson, this was because of their own, over-ambitious designs, colleagues who didn’t understand their ideas and the general poor management of game design and development at the time.

“Well, it was all pretty convoluted,” Dave says, a little sadly. “To start with, we had a project manager we’d hired who led a sort of coup! We turned up one day and he told us, ‘The team has decided not to do a fantasy role-playing game. It’s going to be about giant battling robots now.’”

The Abraxas setting is still being developed by the two authors, and may become an interactive e-book for the iPhone and iPad in the future. You can find more info about Fabled Lands and the Abraxas MMORPG at the official Fabled Lands Blog!

Thanks to Robert Seddon for the contribution! Thanks to Jason for the english corrections!

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Dominion [PC/XBOX – Cancelled]

Dominion  is a cancelled Action RPG that was in development from 2001 to 2003 by Pharaoh Productions for the PC, with a planned Xbox port. The game was meant to be based on the multiplayer mode, with up to 8 players (LAN or Internet) on the Xbox and probably more for the PC version. The game was never released probably because of quality issues and for the lack of a publisher interested in the project.

From the only screens preserved in the gallery below we can speculate that Pharaoh Productions worked on the graphic engine and the game’s world for a long time, but they did never finish to implement a real gameplay system into Dominion. It’s possible that they never started to work on the Xbox version, as the images look to be from the PC build (those little icons would never work on a console port).

In 2004 Pharaoh Productions closed down when their founder, David Allen, resigned from the gaming business.

Thanks to Userdante for the contribution!

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Ragnarok Online [PC – Alpha / Beta]

Ragnarok Online is a MMORPG developed by GRAVITY and originally released in South Korea in 2001 for PC. While looking at some videos on Youtube, Sumikuroi noticed many differences in the alpha / beta footage:

  • Only 1 hair style
  • Different maps
  • No zoom
  • Different hud
  • Most the options ingame not working or disabled
  • Different skill tree and job change
  • Different marks in the ground when select for moving
  • Baphomet (Boss ingame) is doubled sized

Thanks to Sumikuroi for the contribution!

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Ambrosia Odyssey [PS2 – Cancelled]

Ambrosia Odyssey is a cancelled Action RPG with online multiplayer that was in development for the Playstation 2 in 2003 by Rocket Studio with help from KAI Graphics (for CG movies) and Supersweep (for music), meant to be published by Square Enix. The game had a multiple branching storyline  in offline mode, in which you were able to create towns and foster their development to follow different plots, then connect online to share your game world with other players and visit their own towns and stories.

A video of the game was shown at the Tokyo Game Show 2003, but it only has some characters creation footage, blurred combats and a pre-rendered FMV (thanks a lot to CRC for preserving this video!).

An online beta testing was planned for spring 2004 (?), but we are not sure if it really happened before the cancellation. Ambrosia Odyssey was soon removed from Square Enix release list, maybe because of the popularity of their other online game, Final Fantasy XI.

Thanks to Userdante for the contribution!

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