Before Ensemble Studios was closed, they worked on serveral prototype games, such as Nova, Sorcerer, Wrench and Phoenix, an RTS which featured humans fighting aliens (which later evolved into Halo Wars). Another protype was known as “Bam” which Ensemble describes as a “Ratchet & Clank-Style Platformer”. As seen on various images posted by the company’s employees , in the game you would have played as Sprocket and the levels had a cartoony look to them.
O.D.T. (Escape … Or Die Trying) is a 3D action game with some RPG elements, created by Psygnosis for PlayStation and PC in 1998. A sequel (ODT 2) was started but soon cancelled for unknown reasons and only some concept art remains to remember this lost project.
After finishing Lair, Factor 5 was working on a new Turrican game for the PS3, but as the partnership with SONY was later terminated when Lair was a critical as well as a commercial failure, the development of this new game was stopped. We dont have an official name for this game, and it’s labeled simply as “Turrican” or “Project Cyclone” just because of the name of its artworks. Project Cyclone was put on hold still in early development and probably we’ll never see it again.
From the few artworks that remain, we can notice a character that looks a bit like an evolution of the one in Turrican and we can only wonder if this project was going to be a resurrection of the unreleased Thornado for the GameCube.
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.
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.
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.