Digital Extremes is a Canadian video game developer founded in 1993, best known for creating Warframe, Dark Sector, The Darkness II and co-creating Epic Games’ Unreal series. Around 2012 the team was working with Square Enix to develop a new action adventure set in a fantasy vampire world, possibly to be published for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC.
Unfortunately the project was never officially announced and they cancelled it in the end: we don’t have any more information about how it would have been played nor why it was never completed. Some concept art from this Vampire Hunter game is preserved below, to remember the existence of this lost project.
If you are a long-time fan of Square you may have read about this lost game before. Project Dropship was a canceled videogame developed by Square Enix Los Angeles and it would have been their first game. It was going to be a frantic but strategic shooter with a top down view and a strong coop multiplayer component.
It was 2008: Square Enix decided to open a new studio to test new technologies and develop digital-only, small-budget videogames. Their LA team was composed by around 10 or 20 developers and the director was Fumiaki Shiraishi, already know for his work on Crystal Chronicles: my Life as a King and Final Fantasy XI Online. In an interview with Gamasutra Shiraishi talked about their idea for the studio:
“We do like to have one full-size project if possible, and then have the downloadables on the side. We’re still in the process of trying to figure out what the first title will be. Right now we’re still in the very early phase of testing out gameplay stuff and testing out the technology. The scope of the game, and how it’s going to be sold, is going to come a little bit later.”
Even Dave Hoffman, Director of Business Development, declared to Siliconera that they were not ready to announce anything and for 3 years the Square LA studio didn’t release any videogame or announcement
2011 was a difficult year for Square Enix: in March they reported a loss in their last fiscal year, in part due to canceled videogames. Nothing was ever announced for their Los Angeles Studio until it was suddenly closed. Square Enix didn’t announce any reason for the closure, but thanks to Siliconera, Final Fantasy Universe and some leaked screenshots we know that the studio was working on a project titled “Dropship”
Dropship was in development for PS3 and Xbox 360 using Gamebryo, a 3D Engine created by Numerical Design Limited and later licensed by Square Enix in 2009. In the game you had to fight against large groups of enemies to proceed in the area, while using shields and rocks to plan attack or defense strategies. By looking at the video and screenshots leaked online it’s clear that Dropship had a strong focus on its coop mode, with up to 4 players at the same time
The game was set in a sci-fi-western world, featuring snowy, rocky areas and abandoned factories. You could use guns or lasers and choose between different characters, such as an old man dressed as a cowboy with a pirate hat and a girl with pink hair and goggles. Main enemies in the game were some kind of aliens, strange animals and monsters: we can notice a flying white fish and a huge creature similar to a snake
Dropship was probably cancelled in March 2011 even if it was in an advanced state of development. After the closure of the studio Shiraishi worked for other software houses and today he is Director of Game Development at GungHo Online Entertainment America.
Final Fantasy 15 / XV by Square Enix is currently in development for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but the game was originally unveiled for Ps3 at E3 2006 under the name Final Fantasy Versus 13 / XIII, because it was at the time part of Fabula Nova Crystallis, a series of unrelated RPGs that, however, shared the same underlying mythology. Yes, Final Fantasy 15 has been in development for almost 10 years! What’s changed in the game in this time frame ? What’s different between the old PS3 beta and the PS4 / Xbox One current builds? Continue below to see how the game evolved during the last years with the official trailers and leaked images that show its long development cycle.
Catacombs is a cancelled FPS that was being developed by Cavia for Square-Enix in 2010. The game was never officially announced and the project was shelved in 2011, but in 2012 Siliconera leaked some screenshots and informations about it.
Catacombs was basically an interesting crossover between a RPG with random-generated dungeons and a team-based shooter. The player could upgrade the guns that he found in the ruins but also use magic. Four different characters were available, each one with its own story, which according to the narrative director Brandon Sheffield had an important role in the game:
Since we’re all inherently different and our mind is the only thing we can truly know, then our reality exists only inside of our brains. So each stage was about these people destroying their own fears and doubts and also their identity. They were supposed to be overcoming their sense of self, and how that related to their identity as an American, but also their otherness.”
EDGE in 2012 played an early build of the game that ran on a heavily modifed version of Mindjack engine.
As we can read on Wikipedia, Final Fantasy Type-0 is an RPG published by Square Enix for the PSP and developed by the company’s 1st Production Department. The game was originally announced at E3 2006 with the name Final Fantasy Agito XIII for mobile cellphones, but even though the game no longer has “XIII” in its title, the final PSP game still uses the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology.
Thanks to Dreams and anony we can archive some beta screens, videos and info from Final Fantasy Type 0: there are 14 playable characters in the final game, with a couple of non playable guests.
The pic above show kurasame, type 0 teacher as playable character. It seems that the guest plus one more were supposed to be playable in the beta version, even supposed to have their own dogde animations, but most likely cut for space problems, as type 0 is already packed with a lot of content. So, through hacking, it shows kurasame, Joker, Gilgamesh (not playable only has the name).
In the gamefaqs forum we can read that there is a FF Type 0 Artbook that has some unused content in it. Does anyone have some scans of the beta / unused content? Plus somewhere in the web there is art/model of phoenix as an unused summon (but we can’t find it).
In the released game, modders have found 3D models for summons that don’t appear in the game: Pandemona, Phoenix and Typhoon. There is also a hidden unused video which has live actors doing motion capture for the game. It’s not used in the game, and it has a blue overlay with three kanji, the first meaning “temporary”. It also has mono audio, unlike all other videos in the game.
If you notice more differences in the old beta screens and videos below, please let us know! Thanks to Dreams and anony for the contribution :)