THQ

Saints Row: The Cooler [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3]

Saints Row: The Cooler is a cancelled fighting game, which was in development for the Xbox 360 and PS3. It was being created by Heavy Iron Studios in Los Angeles and was funded by THQ.

“It was a brawler game. Go to a bar, pick a fight, smash a bottle over someone’s head” – Former Heavy Iron Studios artist

Work began on the title in March 2010 at developer, Heavy Iron. In partnership with THQ, the company sought to create the first Saints Row game controlled entirely by motion; a ploy to capitalise on the rising industry trend at the time.

Two versions of the game were planned initially: an Xbox 360 game using Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral and a PS3 port with Playstation Move support. The Xbox 360 was the lead development platform for The Cooler, as the team’s creative focus was very much on Kinect.

A team of around 40 people were put on the project, while the rest of the studio was occupied with another Kinect-centric project for Disney called ‘E-Ticket’.

We were able to get in touch with several people, a mix of both former and current employees at the developer, who shared some details with us on the game’s lifecycle. According to these sources, the title was a brawler set in the Saint’s Row universe and was, in contrast with the rest of the series, not an open world game.

“It was a ton of fun to work on because we got to use the original Saint’s Row locales as concept art, basically, and give them a redesign and a highly upgraded art treatment (since Saint’s Row was open world and our game was not, we could afford to devote more time and engine resources to artwork)”

Saints Row The Cooler

One of the gritty environments of Saints Row: The Cooler

Kinect lap dancing

Despite it ditching the free roaming traditions of the previous games, The Cooler apparently offered a myriad of activities to experience. Its main premise was of motion-controlled fighting in various parts of the Saints Row universe, but players would have also been able to compete in poker tournaments and other miscellaneous mini-games. 

Saints Row: Money Shot [Cancelled – Xbox 360/PS3]

Saints Row: Money Shot was an action/adventure game scheduled to be released on the Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network sometime in late 2011. It was never officially announced by THQ or Volition, but it was leaked to the web in August 2011. From the existing screenshots and video, we can see that it was going to be some kind of on-rails game where you have to control a bullet in slow-motion through various obstacles before finally hitting your target. Here’s its official description from the leaked XBLA entry.

You are Cypher, a deadly assassin in the world of Saints Row, and you hunt the most elusive targets with the most sophisticated weaponry that Ultor has to offer. How sophisticated? You have the ability to control the path of your bullet to such a degree that you can weave through the hallway of an apartment complex, steer through the legs of a hooker, and even snake your way through a moving train! Avoid striking solid objects and unintended bystanders and make sure you hit your mark!

Within a week of its leaking, Kotaku discovered that the Australian Classification Board had rated Saints Row: Money Shot already, hinting that it was possibly close to release at this point.

In an interview with Worthplaying.com, former THQ boss Danny Bilson stated that Saints Row: Money Shot was still not shelved and that it would possibly be released on the PSN instead as a free game.

On the XBLA, the game would have cost 800 Microsoft Points, and it appears that playing through it would earn you unlockable items for Saints Row: The Third. These items would later be released as a DLC pack called the “Money Shot Pack,” which contained the gun and suit seen in the game as well as a new hover bike, but the “Money Shot” game itself was never included and was officially considered cancelled by this point. Here is some leaked footage of the game from a Czech gaming site.

Article by Tony Lokester

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inSANE (Guillermo del Toro) [Cancelled – Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC]

insane Guillermo del Toro cancelled game

inSANE is a cancelled survival horror game that was development from 2010 by Volition in collaboration with film director Guillermo del Toro and to be published by THQ for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.  The game was intended to be the first installment of a planned trilogy of Insane games, but in August 2012 THQ announced the cancellation of Insane with the intellectual property rights transferring to del Toro. It’s currently unknown if del Toro will try to find some other developer and publisher to continue the development of this project.

Thanks to VolMuseum for the contribution!

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The Avengers [Cancelled – Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC / Wii U]

The Avengers [Cancelled – Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC / Wii U]

The Avengers is a cancelled first person co-op beat ‘em up game that was planned to  be released alongside the 2012 superhero movie of the same name. The project was under development at THQ Studio Australia (Studio Oz) until THQ decided to close it. It was being worked on for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC; with further plans for a Wii U release.

The Cancelled THQ's The Avengers videogame

The logo and title screen of THQ’s The Avengers.

Pre-production on the Avengers video game began in August 2010 at the Brisbane-based, THQ Studio Australia with approximately 80 employees working on it. During the first months of preliminary development, it was originally being planned as a third person game.

An Avengers movie – with Skrulls?

The Avengers - Cancelled Game Concept Art

When details of the project began to leak online in September 2011, there was a number of claims and rumors from various sites that the game was in some way connected to Marvel Studios’ Avengers movie, which was to be released the following year. Concept art was soon uncovered depicting the heroes facing down the Skrulls, an alien race from the Marvel comics. This lead some to believe that the upcoming film would also feature Skrulls, through the assumption that the game was directly tied into it. Jeremy Love, an artist who worked on the title for THQ was adamant that this was never the case:

“[It was] totally unrelated to the film. We were given early film art to use as reference for certain things but that’s about it.”

He continued, elaborating on possible sources of the confusion:

“Some toys were released before the film which were based on designs we had done for the game. People naturally jumped on that and drew their own conclusions. When the game was cancelled, some footage and art was leaked which also fueled speculation that the Skrull race would feature in the upcoming film.”

 

Come Midnight [Xbox 360 / PS3 – Cancelled]

Come Midnight is a cancelled adventure / survival horror game that was in development by People Can Fly for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, before being bought by Epic. We don’t know much about this unreleased project made for THQ, but it seems that it was canceled in very advanced phase. If you worked on this and would like to help to preserve more info, screens or videos, send us an email!

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