third person shooter

Taxi Driver [XBOX / PS2 – Cancelled]

Taxi Driver is a 1976 film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. The movie is set in New York City, soon after the Vietnam War and it stars Robert De Niro as the main protagonist. In 2005 Papaya Studios were working on a Taxi Driver game that was going to be published by Majesco for the Xbox and the Playstation 2, but something went wrong during the development and the project was never released.

The game was essentially canceled because Majesco ran out of money – if you correlate their financial difficulties during that time, they went from thinking they could print their own money (because of the initial massive success of putting episodes of licensed cartoons like SpongeBob SquarePants on GBA cartridges) to seeing multiple investments fall flat. They had a yen for buying up movie properties to make into games (like the poorly-received PS2 version of JAWS) that worked out about as well as it did for Brash Entertainment. Who is out of business now.

Thanks to Blue for the contribution!

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Ikon / Scavenger [PS2 – Cancelled]

Ikon was a third person shooter / sandbox game that was in development for the Playstation 2 from 2002 to 2005 at Ratbag Games. In three years the project evolved and it was later know as Scavenger, as it was shown at E3 2005.

As we can read on the official press release: “Scavenger’s hero is a loner battling for his survival and searching for a sister sold into slavery. Scavenging, trading and raiding, he builds up his arsenal of weapons to wreak revenge on the men who took her. Centred around a huge desert wasteland, the game features convoy attacks (players pit their skills against escorted convoys to try and steal their cargo) and allows players to trade to increase their wealth, align themselves with different factions, and increase their attack power by modifying their vehicles and upgrading weapons.

As we can read from a former Ratbag developer:

Scavenger was a Free Roaming 3rd Person Action game with exciting vehicle combat and a unique economy simulation that the player could influence and exploit. The player could roam the waste lands hunting bandits and convoys shipping goods between settlements or escort the convoys for a fee. Each settlement produced something the others required, if the player intercepted the goods they could then sell them to the towns that needed them for a higher price. Money was used to buy new vehicles weapons and upgrades. Unfortunately Midway had no interest in taking the project into full production and moved the team on to The Wheelman before eventually closing the studio.

Even if they did find a couple of publishers interested in Ikon / Scavenger, the game was dropped by Rockstar after being dropped by Sony and sadly the development was stopped after E3 2005. Midway bough Ratbag Games and shut them  down with this promising game still unfinished.

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Brute Force [XBOX – Beta / Prototype]

Brute Force is a third person shooter released for the Xbox in 2003. It was developed by Digital Anvil, one of Microsoft’s internal developers. The team had previously worked on games such as Wing Commander, Strike Commander, and Starlancer. Brute Force was designed to be a first-party game for the Xbox and begun in 1999 / 2000, before the console had launched. However development had begun before the takeover of Digital Anvil by Microsoft, and the title was originally meant for PC. Microsoft promptly turned it into an Xbox exclusive title.  Only three months were spent on the concept stage of development, but would spend the next two years on the prototype cycle of development. Brute Force has the distinction of being the last game developed by Digital Anvil, as the studio was closed down officially on January 31, 2006. The staff was integrated in to Microsoft Games Studio in Redmond. [Infos from Wikipedia]

In the video below we can see a comparison between the final character design and some of the early prototypes.

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The Executives [PS2 – Cancelled]

The Executives was an action game in development in 2003 for the Playstation 2 by The Collective studios, that was going to be published by Midway. The game was never officially announced and it was cancelled during the early stages of development. Only some screenshots and concept arts remains from the project

It’s interesting to note that in some of these concepts, the title of the game was changed to “Career Criminal”. A title which was also used for an internally developed but also cancelled Midway game (see “Career Criminal”, a cancelled Xbox 360 / PS3 game). That project was started soon after the efforts of The Collective were cancelled.

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Avalon [X360 – Prototype]

Avalon was an early prototype for a third person squad based shooter (that somehow reminds me of Outtrigger) that was in development in 2004 at Climax Studios for the (not yet released) Xbox 360. The project was probably being worked on the original Xbox development kit (or some early X360 ones) but it was soon cancelled for unknow reasons.

Thanks to Hey Hey for the contribution!

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