Tag: video games

Biggest video games never released

Biggest video games never released

StarCraft: Ghost is one massively hyped game that never made it into players’ hands.

So, the unthinkable has happened: once-dead tongue-in-cheek shooter sequel Duke Nukem Forever has been uncancelled, and should be heading to stores sometime in 2011. But what games weren’t so lucky? Which high-profile projects were cancelled and won’t ever rise from their graves? Read on for some of our favorites.

Starcraft: Ghost

Starcraft II is ruling the charts this year — but this console-based spin-off probably never will. A stealthy, third-person adventure set in the popular Starcraft universe, it was abandoned in 2006. It’s technically “suspended” and not cancelled as such, and some fans still cling to the faint hope that it might see the light of day at some point.

Super Mario 128

First named in the late ’90s as a follow-up to the seminal Super Mario 64, Mario 128 originally saw the light in 2000 as a tech demo for the then-new Gamecube. Rumors around its development persisted for years but to no avail; bits and pieces of the Mario 128 concept have shown up in other Mario titles, including Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy, however.

Halo MMO

This World of Warcraft-style Halo spin-off was never formally announced, and details only emerged after it had been canned by Microsoft around 2007. With a budget said to have been as much as $90 million, it could be the most expensive cancelled game around.

Warcraft Adventures

Warcraft fans were devastated when this point-and-click adventure was dramatically canned in 1998. It was to have been a light-hearted, hand-drawn 2D affair in the vein of the early Monkey Island games, but developer Blizzard decided it had been outpaced by its competitors and pulled the plug.

Snow

The mid-00s didn’t exactly go well for publisher Take Two. Reeling from the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas “Hot Coffee” debacle, it took steps to clean up its image — and one of them was to quietly cancel Snow, which was to have been a drug-dealing sim that let players advance from small-time marijuana pusher to cocaine kingpin.

This Is Vegas

Open-world gambling and womanizing sim This Is Vegas always sounded like a bit of a risky bet. Publisher Midway poured as much as $50 million into development of the project, but came up snake-eyes, filing for bankruptcy last year. Warner Bros. picked up the company’s assets — including Vegas — but word is the game is no more.

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‘Inception’ world may live on as video game

'Inception' world may live on as video game

Christopher Nolan says he has lots of ideas that couldn’t fit in the film. But game won’t come soon.

Christopher Nolan might have the Midas touch when it comes to making movies, but he hasn’t had a lot of luck in the videogame arena. But that’s not dissuading the writer / director / producer, who plans to bring his hit film “Inception” to a console near you.

“We are looking at developing a videogame based on the world of the film, which has all kinds of ideas that you can’t fit into a feature film,” Nolan told reporters at a press conference in Rome, according to a report in Variety. “That’s something we’ve been talking about and are looking at doing long term, in a couple of years.”

The move makes sense. “Inception” has grossed over $750 million dollars at the box office since its release – and the film’s target audience lines up perfectly with the core gaming demographic.

But Nolan has tried to bring one of his movies to the gaming space before – 2008’s “The Dark Knight” – and it didn’t go well.

The game first missed a coordinated launch with the theatrical release, then failed to materialize when the DVD hit shelves. Ultimately, Electronic Arts cancelled the title after shutting down the studio that was working on it.

The world of video games is, of course, littered with forgettable movie-based tie-ins. The vast majority of those were rush jobs done by developers who were far removed from the film process, rarely (if ever) coordinating with the director.

'Inception' world may live on as video game

If Nolan were to take an active role in the “Inception” game’s development, that would be an encouraging sign – but it would hardly be a guarantee of success.

Just ask James Cameron. The most successful director of all time worked closely with Ubisoft when that publisher was creating the videogame companion for “Avatar”. But when the game launched, it didn’t come close to mirroring the film’s success, failing to even crack the list of the top 20 best-selling games last December.

Atari had better luck when it worked with the Wachowski brothers on “Enter the Matrix”. Launching simultaneously with “The Matrix Reloaded” in 2003, the game went on to sell 5 million copies – but it was lambasted by critics and players, and future “Matrix” games weren’t big sellers.

Other Hollywood directors have been able to extend their cinematic prowess to the gaming screen, though. Peter Jackson worked closely with Ubisoft to create the gaming adaptation of his “King Kong” film, a game that went on to become one of the premiere launch titles for the Xbox 360. And Steven Spielberg has worked on non-movie related games with Electronic Arts — including his “Boom Blox” puzzle games — that have gone on to become critical smashes.

More recently, developers at Disney Interactive Studios worked closely with Pixar on the video game version of “Toy Story 3.” That game became one of the most lauded movie tie-in titles in the company’s history.

Nolan’s not the only celebrated director expressing interest in exploring the game world these days. Guillermo Del Toro, director of the “Hellboy” franchise and “Pan’s Labyrinth,” is said to be close to signing a deal with publisher THQ to work jointly on “games that are going to be technically and narratively very interesting.”

Like Nolan, del Toro has an artistic vision that’s distinct from the rest of Hollywood. Gamers are wary, having been burned by too many bad Hollywood tie-ins already, but hopeful that the magic the directors bring to the big screen is something they can deliver to the consoles as well.

Related Link: Inception Movie Full Production Notes

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NASA lets you go to the moon… for free

NASA lets you go to the moon... for free

If you’ve ever dreamed of being an astronaut, you’ve probably idly checked out the price of one of those private rocket flights into orbit. And you’ve probably compared them unfavorably to a nice five-bedroom house in a fashionable urban area, and decided you didn’t want to go into space quite that badly after all. But courtesy of NASA, now you can take a trip all the way to the moon — for free.

OK, so there’s a catch. NASA’s moon “trip” is probably a little more virtual than you might have had in mind. Moonbase Alpha challenges gamers to step into the oversized moon-boots of an astronaut stationed on a fictional (but plausible) moon base. Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to restore life support to base, after a meteor strike cripples a solar panel.

It’s available for free over digital delivery system Steam, and you can either play it on your own or as part of a six-strong team. Available base-fixing resources include a fully stocked equipment shed, robotic repair units, and a totally sweet lunar rover.

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