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.
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.
Wicked Witch Software is a video game developer founded in 2001 which created a few original IPs for their projects. One of these IPs was “War Monster”, a medieval fantasy world similar to Warcraft that could have been used for many different kinds of games, such as RTS, platform, action adventure and even MMORPG. This Nintendo DS tech demo was created by the team to pitch their skills to different publishers, hoping to find someone who could be interested in supporting their ideas.
“We would love to see an awesome multiplayer RPG on handheld. Imagine while traversing the open world you come across a dungeon: you could enter alone or connect to other players to explore the dungeon together. Each dungeon would increase in difficulty and adjust the challenges as more players join your team!
Deeply immersive 3d world and a varied cast of characters from tiny fairies to massive giants!
Unlimited random levels and scripted quests to complete and achieve!
Immersive RPG elements with customizable characters, weapons, abilities and attacks.
Unlock and explore worlds and seek out mystical items to aid in your adventure.”
As with their Game Boy Color version of War Monster, unfortunately the team was not able to get funds to work on this Nintendo DS project, so it had to be canned. The War Monster IP was later reused to create a RTS released (?) for Cell Phones.
Wish is a cancelled MMORPG that was in development by Mutable Realms between 2002 and 2005, planned to be released on PC. Like many overly ambitious projects, Wish fell under the weight of its own concept. The game promised to be the world’s first “Ultra Massive” Online RPG: according to Mutable Realms the game would simultaneously support up to 10.000 players in a single world / server, with no divided zones nor shards.
More details about its gameplay and world-settings were shared by many websites, such as IGN:
“player guilds will be able to reclaim towns and become “Noble Houses”. These Noble Houses can declare war on each other, as part of the ongoing story where, as Rickey indicated, the “world has fallen to barbarism and petty warlords.” Thus, you have player vs. player combat in these house wars. Should someone not wish to be a part of this, they simply do not participate in a Noble House or strive to make their House a peaceful one. “
“Character advancement will follow a skill-based system. The selection of playable races named so far includes a half-dozen familiar archetypes ranging from Humans to Orcs, Elves, Halflings, Dwarves and Gnomes. There’s also one we don’t see as often – and when we do, it’s invariably in the role of a monster – the Cyclops. “
“Wish is providing that control in the form of the Houses. Being a House means conquering a monster-controlled town and becoming responsible for its well-being. You gain control of the town, its buildings, and the resources that surround it, and you get rewarded by being able to collect taxes on transactions within that territory.”
“The various towns successfully replicate the feeling of medieval villages, complete with fortified walls, domesticated animals and inhabitants that continuously go about their daily business. Player characters have a fair amount of weapons and armor to equip thus far, and the color of clothing can be altered through use of a dying tub. Spell effects, while currently sparse, show dazzling potential as in the case of the Necromancer’s Decay cantrip, which issues forth a large skeletal ghost and several gravestones around the caster. “
“At present, monster loot primarily consists of gold and resources such as hides, although a few creatures drop weapons. Since characters have no level indicators or experience to accumulate, it facilitates the ability for players of varying skill levels to aid each other in group combat. “
“Live Content is the primary defining feature of Wish. In the ongoing Beta 2.0 test we publish a daily newspaper, which contains clues to what may come to pass, as well as summaries of what happened on the previous day. The events described within the paper are actual in-game events and refer to real players. We now mirror this paper online in our newspaper section. You can read all five daily papers there. New papers will be added daily. “
“Wish has been shut down because with the data we gathered during the first 10 days of our Beta 2.0 test, even with our best-case projections for player numbers, we could not have reached enough subscribers for Wish to sustain itself.”
Engadget and Escapist published a couple of articles with more details about what happened to the project:
“The beta lasted only nine days. On January 9, 2005, after careful consideration of the way the beta had played out, examination of our internal metrics and an honest appraisal of the MMOG landscape (WoW launched the previous November), we made the decision to shut things down.”
“Wish had no single cause of death, but overhype played a huge role. Our statistics didn’t lie. At every step of the way, from signing up for beta, to downloading and installing the client, to playing the game for more than an hour, we lost huge percentages of players. In case we didn’t trust the stats, tons of players told us about their departure on our forums, as well.”
“For small and mid-sized developers, this battle can never be fully won. Usually, simple economics means they’re going to produce mid-quality titles. What they need to recognize is what niche their game fills and try to attract a community that respects that. A decent game can be sunk if the community expects more than what’s delivered and simply doesn’t buy it on principal.”
“In the end, Wish’s assets were carved up and sold off, with some being used forIrth Online.”
M.O.S. (Military Occupational Specialty) is a cancelled “Massively Multiplayer Tactical Role Playing Shooter” (M.M.T.R.P.S.) that was in development around 2003 – 2004 by SharkByte Software, planned to be released on PC. It was an ambitious online FPS / RPG hybrid, conceived to become the “next genre of online gaming”, featuring a huge 42.987 miles² explorable planet, which is quite unbelievable even by today’s standards if you compare it to such open worlds as Final Fantasy XV (700 miles²), Just Cause 3 (400 miles²) or Fuel (5.560 miles²) .
Players would take the role of a soldier sent to an alien planet called Balia, to combat for one of the available military factions: The Dominion, The Divine Separation and The Sovereignty. As in other MMORPGs Players VS Players and Realm VS Realms would have been available, you could drive different types of vehicles and
Details on SharkByte Software’s hopes for M.O.S. can still be found in old interviews and in their (now offline) website:
“The Idea for M.O.S. game about because we all liked playing FPS’s and tactical shooters such as Rainbow Six. We also like some RPG’s especially the online ones, so we thought man would it be cool if we could play Rainbow Six but in an Everquest setting? From there we started laying out the details of how this type of game might work. Now we are working on making that happen.
We currently have two server technologies that are being used and I can say that one will support approximately 30k per world and the other should allow for everyone to play together (obviously not in the same square inch :) ).”
“The initial game world covers approximately 142 kilometers by 193 kilometers. When you add the uncharted continents, seas, and oceans, the entire game world will encompass an area of 260 kilometers by 430 kilometers. This translates into an area of 161 miles by 267 miles.
A player will have three ways to develop their character. Since this is a military game the first method of advancement is in rank. A traditional rank system is being used. Secondly, the player will hone his skills by means of missions. Skill points are awarded which the player uses to develop the character skills. Thirdly, since this is a role playing game, the player will accumulate valuable information on which the players’ ability to decipher and implement what is learned can affect the outcome of the game.
The overall aim of the game is to establish and maintain the superiority of the player’s own shard. Within this framework the player will amass personal wealth and advance in rank with the successful completion of missions.”
“Killing of players within one’s own shard is also allowed although highly discouraged. As in any society, the attempted killing of an unarmed or peaceful citizen carries severe consequences. Friendly fire, on the other hand, may be unavoidable in the heat of combat.
Shard vs. shard attacks will be available. It is highly recommended that a player build up his skills before going into battle to increase his odds of survival.
A Shard is a group of military personnel under the rule of a General. There are 3 Shards on the planet: The Dominion, The Divine Separation and The Sovereignty. We chose the term Shard because it emphasizes the splitting of a single object.”
“Initially you will have to join a shard. Since this is a military type game and the player is recruited to serve on this planet the player is obliged to serve for a period of time. After fulfilling the obligation the player will have the option to continue within the system or make their fortune on the frontier.
A player will have access to use of vehicles as part of items necessary for use in missions. If a player can afford the cost of a vehicle, it is available to him.”
The team just showed concept art and a single 3D render from the game, so we don’t know how much was really done before its cancellation. As it usually happens with these ambitious MMORPG from the early ‘00s, we can assume the team underestimated the efforts, skills and budget needed to develop such a game and never find a publisher interested in helping them.
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