During Facebook Connect event in 2020, on 16th September was announced new Splinter Cell game, exclusive for VR system Occulus Quest 2. Ubisoft announced two games being developed for VR. First was Assasins Creed VR and the second was new Splinter Cell VR. Not much info was shared during the event, but it was said that Splinter Cell VR will be developed by Ubisoft Red Storm. Both games will be developed from ground up and optimized for VR system. Not much info was available from that time until 21st of July 2022, when Ubisoft announced that Splinter Cell VR was cancelled during development as a result of cost reduction and . economic uncertainty.
Hateful Chris: Shoot the Moon is a cancelled action game that was in development by Furious Entertainment and Ubisoft, planned to be published on Playstation 2. As described on its old official website the game was meant to be “a unique blend of cultural satire, outrageous violence and toilet humor that bridges the gap between interactive platform-based action and arena fighting intensity”.
“Hateful Chris will soon be making his 3d debut! Armed with an extensive arsenal garnered from his interactive environments, HC must fight to prevent Dollar Bill from using the moon as a giant, 24-hour billboard! This proposed game from Furious Entertainment is in the design stage check out the site for a detailed story overview, gameplay description and loads of cool concept art!”
“Sworn to destroy advertising and consumer culture in all its incarnations, Hateful Chris is the icon of brand resistance! He trashes malls, he burns billboards, he berates boy bands AND he flosses regularly! What more could you want in a protagonist? Using everything from fire hoses to chainguns, Hateful Chris works to change the world into an unbranded paradise – albeit through ridiculously violent and exaggerated means! […] With over 200,000 downloads and steady cult support, Hateful Chris is easily the world’s favourite little cartoon anarchist!”
When released Hateful Chris became a hit and noticing this success Ubisoft approached Chris and Dana to propose a collaboration for a 3D version of the game. As we can read on Ookpixels:
“Released in June of 2001 as Hateful Chris: Never Say Buy, the game developed a loyal cult following and piqued the interest of Ubisoft, who hired both Bourassa and Fortier right after graduation. Furnishing them with a full team, the massive publisher gave them the freedom to expand on their original game and take it to epic new heights.
Their follow-up – slated for release on Sony’s PlayStation 2 – would feature a total 3D graphical overhaul, and centre around Dollar Bill’s plan to extend his commercial grasp to outer space. Dubbed Hateful Chris: Shoot the Moon, it was set to be Bourassa’s big debut in the industry. Then, in a move his own character could have seen coming from a mile away, Ubisoft canceled the game.”
We don’t know how much of the game was completed before its cancellation, but some pre-rendered videos created for the project are still available online. Even if Shoot the Moon was never released, Many years later Chris Bourassa and Dana Fortier worked together on another idea that later became the indie-hit Darkest Dungeon.
Prince of Persia: Redemption is a cancelled reboot of the classic series, that was internally pitched at Ubisoft Montreal (FoxTeam) around 2010 – 2011, just after the release of The Forgotten Sands. The project was mostly unknown until May 2020, when fans finally noticed a video uploaded on Youtube in 2012 by an anonymous user. By looking at this footage, the game looked like a mix between 3D Prince of Persia, God of War, Uncharted and Assassin’s Creed: a cinematic adventure game with huge monsters and time-rewind mechanics.
“Wow – haven’t seen this in ages. Amazing work from animation director Khai Nguyen (For Honor) and team. This target game footage (pre-rendered game pitch) inspired our own pitch for Assassin’s Creed 3 as they did such a great job making it look like real gameplay.
Sadly Ubisoft are generally quicker to cancel Prince of Persia games than others IPs because AFAIK original creator Jordan Mechner still holds license rights so the profit margins are lower. Would love to see a new one though. I’ve always wanted a PoP set in contemporary Iran.”
We can assume The Forgotten Sands did not sell enough for Ubisoft to invest more resources on another title, preferring to focus on the more profitable Assassin’s Creed series.
“How did you get the opportunity to work for Ubisoft?
My best friend Frederic Markus worked on a game called Starush for Amiga, Atari ST & PC while I was finishing my military obligation. Then, I tried an approach to join the team. We had a strategy to show something big to Ubisoft to be able to make another (console) version, me as the main programmer. We decided to show a huge boss on the Amiga platform, something the current programmer for this game was not capable of… Ubisoft had no more than 50 employees at this time. I remember showing my Game Boss Demo to Yves (best Big Boss on earth), he told me “ok, I don’t know the project you will work on but here’s some money, consider yourself working for Ubisoft. It was the beginning of my career.
Tell us a bit more about the first game you worked on:
I ended up making ZODIAC (Starush inspired) on the Sega Mega Drive. It took me a year and a half, with Laurent Cluzel as graphic artist, making the engine, coding the tools, alone in my apartment… No internet at this time… The game was 100% finished, but Sega Mega Drive began to slow down at that time and unfortunately Ubisoft decided not to release the game. Only 2 roms exist at this time, Laurent’s and mine. Maybe someday I will give to the Mega Drive Emulator Scene a copy”
As posted by VGDensetsu on Twitter, a Zodiac prototype was shown by the Conservatoire National du Jeu Video (CNJV) at the Bibilothèque National de France (BNF). In there we can read Ubisoft decided to cancel the game because of the competition from Thunder Force IV and the high cost of cartridges, that would make hard to profit from its release.
As far as we know, the game ROM is still not released to the public, but we hope Frederic could share it in the future.
Attack of the Killer Rabbids from outer Space, later retitled Killer Freaks from outer Space, was a first person shooter developed by Ubisoft Montpellier that would eventually become ZombiU for the Wii U.
Originally planned as an untitled horror shooter for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2010, the game was already intended to be a part of the Rayman spinoff seriesRaving Rabbids wherein earth was attacked by a much more frightening “cousin” of the Rabbids. Early concept art depicts them as being very similar looking to the Rabbids but with sharp teeth and, in some instances, missing their eyeballs. Also revealed in concept art were designs for different types of enemies such as a basic trooper, a shield trooper, a giant Rabbid, UFOs, and a variety of other alien vehicles. Multiple soldiers can be seen fighting the Rabbids in some of the art, suggesting that would the player would not only be taking the role of one of these soldiers, but there would be co-op multiplayer as well.
This more “mature” tone and the level of violence in the game began to cause concern among the game’s developers as they felt it was begin to stray too far from the child friendly franchise. “We thought about making them cousins to the Raving Rabbids,” designer Jean-Karl Tupic-Bron stated in in an interview with Polygon, “but quickly decided to split [it off]- This is not what Raving Rabbids is all about.”
In response to the issue they changed the invaders from “Killer Rabbids” to “Killer Freaks” and officially revealed the game under that title at E3 2011 as a launch game for the Wii U. While the Freaks remained very similar to the Rabbids in size and stature they were given a much more reptilian appearance to differentiate them from their earlier counterparts. Set in a post-apocalyptic London, the game pitted 1-4 players against hordes of the Freaks with an arcade run n gun style of gameplay complete with a point system. An early trailer and gameplay video revealed a variety of weapons that could be used against the Freaks ranging from handguns and shotguns to a buzzsaw launcher and electricity gun.
Despite the early footage getting a positive response the team still wasn’t satisfied with what the game was turning out to be. The driving force behind this was their desire to create an experience tailor suited for the Wii U, something that the fast paced shooter that they had made didn’t deliver on. Another reason was that the Freaks, despite being well liked by the team, were too small and forced players to look towards the ground for a majority of the game. It is because of these pacing and gameplay issues that the team decided zombies were the next logical step.
Many of the aspects were completely overhauled in the transition to ZombiU, with Tupic-Bron citing the one vs many book and film I am Legend as a major inspiration towards the change. First and foremost the pace of the game was significantly slowed down, hence the change to zombies as they are generally depicted as being slow and stumbling. They introduced a focus on preparation, patience, and inventory management as opposed to the frantic gameplay in the previous installment.
This allowed them to utilize the Wii U pad more effectively, as it was now used for vital gameplay features such as displaying the map and organizing the player’s inventory. They also abandoned the more comical aspects of the game in favor of a darker and more serious tone. Co-op was also removed and instead was replaced by a unique “one death” in which every survivor the player controlled only had one life, and the next survivor the player controlled would have to make their way to the now zombified previous survivor and kill them for their supplies. One of the only aspects that remained relatively unchanged was the vs multiplayer in which one player would control an army of aliens/zombies with the game pad, while the other would try and survive as long as possible with a Wii-mote and nunchuck.
ZombiiU was released on November 18th, 2012 and ports for the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC were released on August 18th, 2015. News of a sequel in development began to spread when creative director Jean-Phillipe Caro mentioned working on a prototype, but It has since been 100% denied by the Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot as the game was not financially successful for the company. It has been more recently revealed that this proposed game would have re-instated co-op gameplay like in the previous installments. Ubisoft Montpellier continues to work on big franchise games such as the next Ghost Recon and the sequel to their cult hit Beyond Good and Evil.
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