MMORPG

Highlander: The Gathering [PC – Cancelled]

Highlander Online (The Gathering) was a MMORPG that was in development by Kalisto Entertainment in 2001 / 2002, before the company was closed down. It was based on the series of films with the same name, but the project was probably cancelled in early development. A new Highlander game is coming out in 2010 for the PS3 and XBOX 360, but it’s not related to this unreleased MMORPG.

Thanks to Fishinsoup and Pierre-Mony for the contributions!

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Quest (Rare MMO) [GameCube / XBOX – Cancelled]

Quest was a cancelled Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) game that was in development at Rare Ltd. Before Raretopia.com vanished from the web, they had some interesting informations about the project:

When Microsoft purchased RARE, one of the things it highlighted was its established series. Having paid such a high price for the renowned codehouse, Microsoft naturally wanted to exploit its past work to the utmost. Shortly after its acquisition, it therefore organised a restructuring of the company where high-profile franchises such as Perfect Dark and Conker were prioritized over more experimental titles.

The first game to suffer from this change of focus was  RARE’s top-secret online game that was originally planned for the Nintendo GameCube but soon converted to the Microsoft Xbox. Codenamed Quest, it was a massively multiplayer online space shooter led by Mark Edmonds, Duncan Botwood, and Chris Seavor in the programming, design, and art roles respectively. Despite having been in the works for about two years, development on the game was progressing slowly, largely due to its lack of distinct direction with regards to design. With the Xbox already being overcrowded with online games, Microsoft thus decided to cancel the title and relocate the 13-strong team to more important titles.

Thanks to Purerarity, some more info were leaked in october 2011:

Quest started around 2000 after Perfect Dark N64 as a mixed fantasy MMO. One name it had for a while was Elements of 3 Powers but it wasn’t related to Kameo (the other team probably took over the name when it was abandoned). Around 2001 Quest was a space shooter for the Gamecube and in 2002 it was converted to the Xbox and shortly thereafter put on hold. After Perfect Dark Zero a fantasy MMO version came back, this time titled Cascade. It was however cancelled in 2007 when the team did GoldenEye 007 for the XBLA instead. As you all know, the latter was finished but never released.

Sadly there are no Quest images or videos available at the moment. 

Grandia Online [PC – Beta]

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Grandia Online was a MMORPG being developed by Game Arts and published by GungHo Online Entertainment. It was announced in 2004 with a planned released in 2006, but the project was postponed many times and in the end it was released only 5 years later. In the gallery below you can see some images from the original announcement, with an early graphic and some different world areas, if you played the final game and can write a list of all the differences shown in these beta screens let us know!

Thanks to fishinsoup for the contribution!

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HALO MMO (Titan) [X360 PC – Cancelled]

Our nice friends Robert Seddon and Batzarro have linked us to an intersting news that was spotted on Game Set Watch and Gamasutra, that talks about the find of some screenshots from “Titan Project”, an HALO inspired Massive Multiplayer Online game that was in development at Ensemble Studios, but was cancelled in 2007.

Ensemble Studios has recently closed (for financial problems?) after they had finished to work on Halo Wars and a supposed former employer of the team has started to share screens and some infos about the cancelled games that he worked on. On his Flickr Account we can see a wonderfull collection of images from Titan, and on his blog we can read that: “In 2005 Ensemble Studios completed Age of Empires III. Following that, several game prototypes (a major one was ‘Wrench’, more at a later point) were developed. One of them was a Halo inspired MMO codenamed Titan; cancelled after around two years in June 2007.” 

Ultima Worlds Online: Origin [PC – Cancelled]

Ultima Worlds Online: Origin (UWO:O) – originally titled Ultima Online 2 (UO2) – was to be the first sequel to the popular 1997 massively multiplayer online role-playing game Ultima Online. Origin Systems revealed that they were developing UO2 in September 1999 for release within a year or two, but development was cancelled in March 2001.

UO2 was to be set in Sosaria but in an alternate timeline where a cataclysm has collided the past, present and future of Sosaria into a single world, thus bringing Industrial Revolution and steampunk elements to the medieval fantasy world. Players would be able to choose from three playable races.UO2, billed as a “2nd generation MMORPG”, was to improve upon Ultima Online and previous MMORPGs. The most noticeable advancement was the competitive 3D engine that replaced UO’s aging isometric view. The design also changed several aspects that players voiced dislike for in the original UO. In UO2, player vs. player combat was to be disabled by default (except in special areas, such as arenas). The game also would have emphasized grouping, including groups of 20-30 players, and reduced the ability of single players to become all-around grand-masters (i.e., prevent the notorious “tank-mage” characters that appeared in UO).

In March 2001, Electronic Arts (parent company of Origin) announced that development on Ultima Worlds Online: Origin would cease in order to provide additional support for Ultima Online. Shortly after, EA announced it had laid off 200 employees including some at Origin Systems. EA feared that UO2 would compete for subscribers with UO, which was still profitable and not showing signs of slowing down. About one-third of the team that worked on UO2 joined Destination Games to work on Richard Garriott’s MMORPG, Tabula Rasa.

Just a few years later, history repeated itself when EA cancelled Ultima X: Odyssey in 2004. [Info from Wikipedia]

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