• Five Cancelled Titles That Were Overhauled to Become New Games

                Don’t you hate it when you begin anticipating a newly announced game then all connections to the game is somehow lost? Then after months and months of wanting to hear even just a smidget of news, you find out the game is cancelled? You become upset the title was cancelled because you really wanted to play it, but there’s just no hope of ever seeing it. Did you know that you may be playing that game right now not even consciously aware of it? Some of those infamous cancelled titles are actually overhauled into new games entirely. These are some of those games.


                Cancelled Title: Super Mario 128
                Super Mario 128 was initially planned to be a sequel to the revolutionary Super Mario 64 (64+64=A Sequel). Mario 128 was shown off as a tech demo back in 2000 and was intended for a Nintendo GameCube release. The game was to revolutionize again with its “sphere-walking” mechanics, which was a new graphical technique to give players the ability to walk around a spherical shaped object. Besides that information, nothing was ever known about the game and it was silently cancelled.


                I always thought it meant that there was going to be 128 in-game Marios

                The Overhaul:

                Just by reading about the above sphere-walking mechanic, from Super Mario 128, you probably immediately knew that the title brought life to the Super Mario Galaxy franchise. The sphere-walking mechanics are the main focus for Super Mario’s topsy-turvy space adventure. Nintendo has been known to never scrap any of their old engines for any franchise and that they will put the ideas into good use at a later time. So that’s what they did with Super Mario 128.


                Cancelled Title: Project: Van Buren

                Van Buren? Like the eighth President of the United States? Correct, but that’s not what this game was about. It may not sound familiar, but this game was definitely Washington DC related. Project: Van Buren was the original codename for Fallout 3…but not the Fallout 3 you’ve become accustomed to. The original version of Fallout 3 was developed by Black Isles Studios as the sequel to Fallout 2. The title was dropped for the development of a spin-off console Fallout titled, Brotherhood of Steel. Ring a bell? Probably not. It wasn’t a game critics got antsy over. Project: Van Buren was 90% completed before it was cancelled. This is a shame since Black Isles Studios were the original developers of the series.

                The Overhaul:

                After the cancellation of Project: Van Buren, development for Fallout was shipped on over to Bethesda Studios. That’s where the franchise became the iconic and revolutionary series you’ve all come to love. When Bethesda obtained possession of the series, everything was changed and the Fallout franchise went from a turn-based RPG, to an action first person RPG in the blink of an eye. I’m sure purists from the first two Fallout titles weren’t appreciating the changes brought to the series but, with how popular the franchise has become, it’s apparent the change was much needed.


                "Van Buren really let this place go."

                Cancelled Title: Marvel Universe Online
                DC Comics has an online universe, Marvel Comics is DC’s rival, so why wouldn’t Marvel? Tragically, there actually was a Marvel Universe Online in development and was basically going to be just the same as DC Universe just with Marvel characters but it fell out. I would have fully welcomed that. Creating an awesome character then having Peter Parker telling me to go do a quest for him…EPIC! So what happened? Microsoft, who was to be the publisher of the title, was having some character licensing disputes with Marvel Comics back in 2008 and the game had to go through a massive overhaul in order to be released.

                The Overhaul:
                What is this massive overhaul you speak of? Marvel Universe Online became what we now know as the free-to-play title, Champions Online. Neither Marvel nor Microsoft has anything to do with Champions Online. Basically, anything Marvel related was removed, Cryptic Studios was now the developer, Atari became the publisher, and the game was released. I’ve played Champions Online, I do think it’s a good game, but I really wish it could have been the game it was intended to be. Champions Online was almost released on the Xbox 360 back in 2009 as well, but it was cancelled. If this were to be released, the Xbox 360 could have had a head start on the MMORPG-front before Sony did with DC Universe Online.


                I feel there’s some sort of strange stigma around this title. Why? In 2009, after the disputes, Gazillion Entertainment gained a 10-year contract with Marvel Comics to develop video games for the company. Their first title? Marvel: Super Hero Squad Online.


                Like, seriously?

                Cancelled Title: EA’s Black 2

                Back in the PS2 and Xbox days, Criterion Games and EA joined together, yet again, to develop a game that wasn’t Burnout. In EA’s 2007 financial report, EA's Black 2 was mentioned. Since the financial report leak, word on the game has been dead ever since. Shortly after this, Stuart Black, the creator of EA's Black left the studio for Codemasters.


                The Overhaul:

                Unlike others on this list, this one is a little different. After Stuart Black left Criterion Games, he and his new team at Codemasters, began development on a new first person shooter in the same vein as EA’s Black titled, BodyCount. BodyCount, in essence, is basically a spiritual successor to EA’s Black. It basically IS EA’s Black 2. In fact, it even has the same controls as EA’s Black, which is why the controls feel so dated in the title. So Black left Criterion Games and took Black with him. Either I’m Tarzan and just said a racial slur, or Stuart Black is an egotistical narcissist who names his creations after himself. I had to put “EA’s Black” to not confuse any readers, you douche!

                If I were to tell you these were different games, you'd probably not believe me.

                Cancelled Title: Peter Molyneux’s: B.C.
                Peter Molyneux, who is known for promising too much for what he can’t deliver on while still being a great programmer, had a video game in development called BC. BC, which I assume was a fancy acronym for “Because Creationism,” was an action adventure title set in prehistoric times where humans roamed with those things Steven Spielberg created, where it was the player’s goal to lead on a group of primitive human beings from going into extinction by fighting these large lizards off and promising safety in a new world. The player was to hunt and stave off the creatures for territorial control, meet new tribes, complete quests, and even defeat a rival tribe to ensure that their own tribe prospered and grew. Molyneux also revealed that players did not necessarily have to play as the tribe leader and could, at any time, choose to play as any other member of the tribe. He stated that players would be able to train and interact with other tribesmen using a very simple interface where players used a single button to 'tag' tribe members which would make them follow or copy actions performed by the player, and a single button would make all of the tribe members perform an action for themselves. Action examples given by Molyneux included collecting fruit or wood and using stones or sticks as a weapon.


                "One day this story will be taught to people in a place called The Midwest."

                The Overhaul:

                While the hype-train for this game was still going full-speed ahead, Molyneux had a brilliant idea to announce a new project he just STARTED working on called Project Ego. Because of that, word on this game dwindled down more and more by the day. Project Ego would later become the Fable series in 2004. Judging from the description of Peter Molyneux’s BC above, you can probably already conjugate what BC evolved into. Much like Nintendo with Super Mario 128, many of the mechanics from Peter Molyneux’s BC were brought into Fable. Instead, Fable took place in a more medieval era rather than prehistoric. Did you know that BC had a fully functional ecosystem as well? The ecosystem included insects hunting for food that, in turn, are hunted by rodents, which could also be hunted by the dinosaurs, and so on. Peter also indicated that it might have actually been possible for players to affect this natural order of things to a certain degree. An example of this would be how the player’s actions could affect the ecosystem to control the inhabitants of the area as a whole.


                Although there isn’t a fully functional ecosystem in Fable, there IS a fully functional economic system in the Fable series and it acts the same as how the ecosystem would have acted in BC. The smaller man always loses. Always.



                If you liked this list of cancelled videos games, then you'll probably like the Top 5 Wii Titles You Forgot Were Cancelled list as well.

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                Comments 17 Comments
                1. Pro A.'s Avatar
                  Pro A. -
                  I always wondered what happened to B.C. I seem to recall reading about that game as far back as late 2001 when the Xbox was getting rolling.
                1. Crazybone126's Avatar
                  Crazybone126 -
                  Quote Originally Posted by Pro A. View Post
                  I always wondered what happened to B.C. I seem to recall reading about that game as far back as late 2001 when the Xbox was getting rolling.
                  Yup. That's when it was announced and even shown off. Also had a showing at E3 '02.
                1. Pro A.'s Avatar
                  Pro A. -
                  Ten years ago... wow. Fable felt more like an exercise as to what they wanted to do and Fable II was the representation. Not to say the original was a bad game, but it felt like a practice test for the real test.
                1. D3adcell's Avatar
                  D3adcell -
                  I remember anticipating B.C. and I kept looking in magazines and stuff for any new info about it. Then when I finally found out new information about it "B.C. Cancelled".
                1. masteratt's Avatar
                  masteratt -
                  Great article, very interesting. I only knew the Mario one.
                1. Pro A.'s Avatar
                  Pro A. -
                  I'm surprised they even bothered doing an overhaul with Black 2 since the original Black was so lame.
                1. Crazybone126's Avatar
                  Crazybone126 -
                  Quote Originally Posted by Pro A. View Post
                  I'm surprised they even bothered doing an overhaul with Black 2 since the original Black was so lame.
                  Probably why BodyCount is so lame.
                1. Segitz's Avatar
                  Segitz -
                  Was Mario 128 really a "game", though? I always thought it was just a tech demo...

                  Well, in any case. Eight Days is notably missing from this list. I really loved the setting and technology shown off. Sadly, it never made it much beyond preproduction.

                  ---------- Post added at 08:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:01 PM ----------

                  Was Mario 128 really a "game", though? I always thought it was just a tech demo...

                  Well, in any case. Eight Days is notably missing from this list. I really loved the setting and technology shown off. Sadly, it never made it much beyond preproduction.
                1. Crazybone126's Avatar
                  Crazybone126 -
                  Quote Originally Posted by Segitz View Post
                  Was Mario 128 really a "game", though? I always thought it was just a tech demo...

                  Well, in any case. Eight Days is notably missing from this list. I really loved the setting and technology shown off. Sadly, it never made it much beyond preproduction.

                  ---------- Post added at 08:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:01 PM ----------

                  Was Mario 128 really a "game", though? I always thought it was just a tech demo...

                  Well, in any case. Eight Days is notably missing from this list. I really loved the setting and technology shown off. Sadly, it never made it much beyond preproduction.
                  Yup. Mario 128's technology was originally being optimized for a Gamecube game and was going to be a sequel to Mario 64. Then Nintendo stopped and ended up making Super Mario Sunshine (not a sequel to Mario 64). There was never a formal sequel to Mario 64.

                  I would have put Eight Days, but nothing about that game evolved into another game. It was just cancelled. This list was for cancelled games you thought you never played, but for all these years, you always were.
                1. ebgeer's Avatar
                  ebgeer -
                  Quote Originally Posted by Crazybone126 View Post
                  Yup. Mario 128's technology was originally being optimized for a Gamecube game and was going to be a sequel to Mario 64. Then Nintendo stopped and ended up making Super Mario Sunshine (not a sequel to Mario 64). There was never a formal sequel to Mario 64.

                  I would have put Eight Days, but nothing about that game evolved into another game. It was just cancelled. This list was for cancelled games you thought you never played, but for all these years, you always were.
                  I was out of the country when PS3 came out here in the states and never got any of the initial gaming news for any of the current consoles..but I just watched the Eight Days demo and it has a very "Uncharted" feel about it--not so much the setting or location--but the mechanics are very reminicient.
                1. Crazybone126's Avatar
                  Crazybone126 -
                  Quote Originally Posted by ebgeer View Post
                  I was out of the country when PS3 came out here in the states and never got any of the initial gaming news for any of the current consoles..but I just watched the Eight Days demo and it has a very "Uncharted" feel about it--not so much the setting or location--but the mechanics are very reminicient.
                  I needed solid facts of anything, and couldn't locate any. It's very much a possibility that Eight Days turned into Uncharted, but I highly doubt it considering, about two years ago, Sony claimed the game wasn't cancelled and was just "put on hold." The main reason it was put on hold was because it lacked online and when the game was intended to come out, there was already a huge line-up of first party games coming.
                1. Segitz's Avatar
                  Segitz -
                  I think it's the other way around, actually... or a synergistic effort. A lot of tech done for Uncharted was done by ICE team and included in Edge etc... and I don't doubt that SCEE wouldn't use it.

                  I still hope we'll see Eight Days some day down the line.
                1. masteratt's Avatar
                  masteratt -
                  I enjoyed Black. It knew what it was and it was definitely the most satisfying gun play of PS2 gen for me. Great weapon textures, sounds, 'weight', kick factor etc etc.
                  Same can't be said about Bodycount (probably one of the worse demos I ever played).
                1. Otacon305's Avatar
                  Otacon305 -
                  I played Black and was very disappointed. They claimed "fully destructible environments". Complete and utter lie.
                1. venomv's Avatar
                  venomv -
                  Quote Originally Posted by masteratt View Post
                  I enjoyed Black. It knew what it was and it was definitely the most satisfying gun play of PS2 gen for me. Great weapon textures, sounds, 'weight', kick factor etc etc.
                  Same can't be said about Bodycount (probably one of the worse demos I ever played).
                  I never played Black, but I have to agree on the Bodycount demo, it was deleted almost immediately after I started the game.
                1. Pro A.'s Avatar
                  Pro A. -
                  Same thing, five years older. Nuff said.
                1. sam's Avatar
                  sam -
                  Anyone remember the getaway PS3 title?

                  That was used as one of the main selling promos.