Square-Enix

Tomb Raider: 10th Anniversary Edition (Cancelled) [PSP/PS2/PC]

Overview:

After Tomb Raider: the Angel Of Darkness had been considered a failure. Core Design (Core), in 2004 came up with a new Tomb Raider Project. The project known as “Tomb Raider: 10th Anniversary Edition” aimed to recreate the original Tomb Raider game released in 1996 including various enhancements and extensions to the original game. Core developed their version of Tomb Raider: 10th Anniversary Edition for approximately 9 months until it was cancelled early June 2006 by SCi. A trailer for the unfinished game emerged on the internet, later that week Eidos officially confirmed the game had been cancelled. Following these events, Crystal Dynamics developed their own Tomb Raider: Anniversary game which released in 2007.

Origin:

Interview by: PlanetLara with former Artist Richard Morton. (24th July 2007)

Richard: It was a strange time really, we’d just finished Free Running for PSP/PS2 and had developed a really good control system and camera, we started messing about with a Lara model on the PSP in the Free Running engine and the idea of 10th Anniversary was born. We suggested it to Eidos who allowed us to develop it, but when Core was sold to Rebellion it seemed like they didn’t want the franchise to go ‘out-of-house’ hence the cancellation of our project.

It is confirmed that PC/PS2 versions were also in development. However, the existing leaked footage and in-game screenshots have been confirmed to be taken from the PSP version. The trailer which leaked from an unknown source seems to show various different builds of Tomb Raider: 10th Anniversary Edition. Some sequences in the trailer are from builds later than others. Both Core Design and Crystal Dynamics were working on separate games (Core Design – Tomb Raider: 10th Anniversary Edition, Crystal – Tomb Raider Legend). Eidos (the game’s publisher at the time now Square Enix) requested Core Design to alter their Lara Croft model so it looks similar to the Lara Croft model used in Tomb Raider: Legend. This is why the Lara Croft model seen in early prototype versions of Tomb Raider Legend is very reminiscent of the one seen in Core Design’s Tomb Raider: 10th Anniversary Edition.


Various variants of the Lara Croft model and how it changed during development

The leaked trailer:

Press releases:

By Core Design (www.core-design.com) – 15th June 2006, 11:02:06.

Following speculation on the internet, we would like to offer the following clarification.

The video of Tomb Raider: 10th Anniversary Edition that appeared on certain sites was an unauthorised release of an internal presentation of a game that was being developed by Core Design until very recently. It was running on PSP and used a Core-developed engine. However, following a recent review this project has been officially cancelled by SCi.

Core is alive and well and working on some great new projects, and we are still planning to announce some exciting news very soon!

By Former Core Dsign Arist Carl released a fly through video of a level he worked on:

By Eidos – June 16th, 2006

Eidos Interactive, one of the world’s leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, confirms today that they are developing a special ’10th Anniversary Edition’ of Tomb Raider.
The new game is being developed by Crystal Dynamics, who recently launched Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend on Xbox 360, PS2, Xbox, PC and PSP, with versions on Nintendo DS, GBA and GameCube later in 2006.
“Our ’10th Anniversary Edition’ of Tomb Raider, is a one-off title to celebrate both Lara and Tomb Raider, it will appeal not only to the loyal fans of the Tomb Raider series but will also attract a totally new audience.” Said Larry Sparks, Head of Brands Management at Eidos.
Tomb Raider originally launched in 1996 and is still one of the best selling videogame franchises of all time, with over 30 million copies sold.
The special ’10th Anniversary Edition’ of Tomb Raider will be available on PlayStation 2, PSP and PC.

Core Design’s opinion:

In 2016 an interview with Gavin Rummery was published by arstechnia. It provided some details as to how the game started and speculation as to why it was cancelled:

By: Gavin Rummery (Former Core Design Studio Head) – 31/03/2016 arstechnia

He put the pieces together in his head and pitched Eidos/SCi (SCi having taken over Eidos in 2005). They loved it, so a team of Tomb Raider veterans at Core set about remaking the original game in the new engine. It was going well, Rummery recalls—both looking and playing great. But Crystal Dynamics didn’t want Core back in the picture, and the American studio built a rival demo.

“They convinced whatever the politics in SCi was like that it made more sense to just keep it all in one studio,” says Rummery. “Keep the franchise in one place. And so ours was killed, and you’d have never heard if it hadn’t been leaked by someone.”

Steve Pritchard responded to Gavin’s claims with the following:

Steve Pritchard (Producer) via Facebook

No worries. It was a tricky time in the studio when Crystal were doing Anniversary – a lot of hard work had gone into that idea and to have it taken away and handed to Crystal was a painful thing.

Crystal Dynamics are in no way at fault for this – Eidos had become SCi at this point and that whole Eidos/Core/Tomb raider multi-brand was something that hung a little heavily around a few necks. Someone, somewhere, realised that handing a TR title back to the now-not-Core guys would have seemed like a strange commercial move, and with CD having a lot of cool tech all ready to go, it was a straightforward choice for them.

Yeah, it was a massive, massive kick in the nuts for those of us who had done a lot in a very short space of time to get Anniversary running, but from a business perspective it was understandable.

Gav was right to be angry about the way the whole thing unfolded and he’s also right in saying that SCi were up for it – Ian Livingston grinned a smile a mile wide when I described the concept as a “director’s remastering” of the original, with additional content filling out the whole TR1 game. So yes, it was a winner and yes, at the time it looked like me might claw it back. But someone, somewhere realised the media issues that might arise from the old Core lads doing another Lara game . . . and that was where the split began, not with CD.

I put more hours into the Core version of Anniversary than anyone else on the team – production tend to do that – and as we had such a small team most of what is seen in the leaked video was stuff I pulled together across a couple of evening shifts, the thing cut together by Gaz Tongue later. We were all gutted when the project went away. Projects do, all the time, but this one really felt like the last chance to grab back a bit of TR.

The last presentation to the SCi board had Gav and I demoing the Playstation version AND the PSP version, both of which had co-op gameplay in it. They were rough around the edges, still some way from alpha, but if you knew the original game well you could see where we had added real fan service, extra content and just cool stuff that expanded on the original narrative. It felt good to show off, it was received well, but that last presentation had us re-introduced to Toby Gard and some of the CD team who were there to see it. Two days later we got the news that they were going to do the Anniversary project, using their engine and tech from TR Legend. And that was that.

Horrible end to the story but I find it really difficult to lay the blame at Crystal’s door. SCi made the decision, and they really weren’t very good at decisions. They are not there for good reasons.

Not too long after that the studio was sold to Rebellion, Gav moved on and I ended up running the show for the next 18 months to two years. By then Core were a bit battered and bruised and being asked to shift their skills to “quick and dirty” work that was almost outsourcing saw all the talent start to pour away to other companies. “Corebellion” fought on for a while but the writing was on the all by then.

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Highlander [X360 PS3 PC – Cancelled]

Highlander is a canceled third-person action game developed by Widescreen Games which was going to be published by Square-Enix for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. The player had to control Owen MacLeod, a predecessor of the more famous immortals Connor MacLeod and Duncan MacLeod of the tv series, through an epic adventure that began in the Colosseum of ancient Rome and which was supposed to be concluded in the New York of our time.

Much like Ninja Gaiden, the main character could use many kinds of weapons and spells. The possibility of choosing between various fighting styles and the division of the game in eighteen missions suggests that Devil May Cry was an inspiration too. Even if the game was originally announced in 2005, the first trailer of Highlander, embedded below, was shown to the public only in 2008. In 2010, Square Enix officially confirmed the cancellation of this project.

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Gun Loco [Xbox 360 – Cancelled]

Gun Loco is a cancelled third person shooter / action game that was in development by Square Enix for the Xbox 360. Players would have took the role of a series of crazy criminals in a prison-planet with no guards, in which they had to fight against each other to survive and take the power. In march 2011 Square Enix announced the cancellation of the project, but without an official reason for the decision. We can speculate that it was because of quality or economic problems.

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Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep [PSP – Beta / Unused]

As we can read on Wikipedia, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is an action RPG developed and published by Square Enix for the PSP. The game was released in Japan on January 2010 and it is planned to be released in North America and in Europe on September 2010. Development of the game began in June 2005 and was originally intended for the PlayStation 2 with Sora as the prototype protagonist of the game.

Birth by Sleep was developed by Square Enix’s fifth Product Development Division, based in Osaka, the same team behind Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories, and uses the same graphical engine as Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.

The plot was completed for the PS2, but development was halted six months after it began due to development of Re: Chain of Memories. The development team changed the platform to the PlayStation Portable so as to make use of the PSP’s functions such as co-operative and competitive multiplayer gameplay.

In August 2009, new Famitsu scans revealed a revamped User Interface (having been revamped twice before) as well as new worlds after a lack of news for close to a year.

As posted by Granville in our U64 Forum, hidden in the final game’s code there is a very cool secret world that was cut, but that you can still access via hacking! It’s a world based off the classic movie The Jungle Book.

The first area is in the Monkey Temple of the orangutan Louie. The other areas are your basic jungle type areas, although they are all clearly incomplete and lack a lot of their texture work. I’d say the Temple is the only complete area. The only way to access these areas is via hacks, they were never used in the main game and no images were shown in prerelease photos. It’s a pretty interesting find actually. A hack hasn’t been released yet, but i imagine it will soon.

On Youtube we can also see a video of Keytotruth, who managed to hack his/her way into the data and play around in it.

Thanks to Granville for the contribution!

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Final Fantasy 13 (XIII) [PS3 X360 – Beta]

Final Fantasy XIII is an RPG developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2009 / 2010. First appearing at E3 2006, FF13 runs on the Crystal Tools engine, a seventh generation multiplatform game engine built by Square Enix for its games.

Final Fantasy 13 was originally in development for the PlayStation 2 but it was later moved to the PlayStation 3, as we can read in an article at  IGN:

Toriyama, director of FFXIII, commented a bit on the differences between the PS2 and PS3 versions of the game. FFXIII was originally in development for the PS2, but underwent a platform change following May 2005.

There is apparently very little shared between the two versions. The graphical elements that were prepared for the PS2 couldn’t be used, explained Toriyama. “The areas that we kept are the Fabula Nova Crystallis world, the pieces of the mythology related to FFXIII, and the character details. On the other hand, the battle and gameplay systems were restarted from scratch when production moved to the PS3.”

The development staff also underwent some changes. “During development for the PS2, the staff was centered on the Final Fantasy X-2 team. However, in an effort to work with the new PS3 hardware, many new staff members are now taking part.”

As reported by Siliconera and Kotaku, according to art director Isamu Kamikokuryou, many additional areas that were functioning in an unreleased build, from Team Nora’s secret base, to Lightning’s home and even a zoo, were cut from the game owing to concerns about the game’s length and volume. Kamikokuryou additionally remarked that the volume of content cut was, in itself, enough to make another game. [Info from Wikipedia]

Zero7 noticed some beta differences in the early screens released (preserved in the gallery below):

  • Mock up HUD, completely changed in the final
  • Fang at one hour in? You cannot meet her so soon in the final
  • Snow had a slightly different coat
  • The black-haired girl has a different outfit

If you can notice more differences in the early screens and videos, please let us know!

Thanks to Robert Seddon, Zero7 and Anonymous for the contributions!

Thanks to Jason for the english corrections!

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