There are many video games out there, some that have gone on to be great successes. However, not every game gets released. A few even got far into development but were axed later on. This week I will be looking at three games that never reached store shelves.
#1: Sonic-16 (Cancelled Sega Genesis/Mega Drive game, 1993)
There are several cancelled Sonic the Hedgehog games throughout the series’ history. This one, referred to as Sonic-16, was pitched to Sega by Sega Technical Institute (a long-defunct American development studio of Sega). Sonic-16 was based off the hit TV-show at the time simply called Sonic the Hedgehog or as fans call it, “Sonic SatAM.”
It featured noticeably slower and more methodical game play than the series was known for back then. This reason alone is often cited as why then series director Yuji Naka gave the pitch a thumbs down. There is a video of the cancelled game on YouTube, but I thought it would be best to share it here.
Personally, I would have been interested in trying the game out if it ever released. (Granted, I wasn’t even alive in 1993). Funnily enough, the old Saturday morning cartoon is what introduced me to the overall Sonic series. I’m pretty sure younger me would have been thrilled to see this as a fully playable game. However, as an adult, I can see why Yuji Naka made the decision he did. It would have been too risky to change the game play so drastically early on in the series. Though, I will admit, part of me would love to see this game revived officially or through a fan-made ROM-hack.
One last thing to note, Sonic-16 has been said to be an earlier form of another, much more infamous cancelled Sonic game. However, I feel the story of Sonic X-treme is best saved for its own post.
#2: Maverick Hunter (Cancelled Mega Man first-person shooter)
Ah yes, the Blue Bomber himself has his own set of cancelled games, too. However, the most interesting one to me is the cancelled first-person shooter game. This game, entitled Maverick Hunter, was based off the Mega Man X sub-series. It would have reportedly been similar to what Metroid Prime brought to the Metroid series. (In fact, some of the people who worked on Metroid Prime also worked on Maverick Hunter).
Maverick Hunter features fast and high-octane action akin to DOOM (2016). Players would have been mowing down robots and performing stylized kills on them too. The video featuring its game play was first released back in 2013, presumably some time after the game had been cancelled.
I honestly think this game could have been quite a bit of fun and an interesting spin on Mega Man X. It would have been a much darker take on the series and a radical genre shift, too. The Mega Man X games are traditionally “run ‘n gun” platformers and a bit more lighthearted. Suffice to say, I can see why this project got shelved.
#3: Star Wars 1313 (Cancelled multi-platform action game, 2013)
Among all of the Star Wars games developed by LucasArts, Star Wars 1313 was one of the last. This wasn’t because LucasArts went under, it was because the Walt Disney Company had bought Lucasfilm around the time of development. Ultimately, the game was scrapped due to the acquisition by Disney and subsequent layoffs at LucasArts.
The game would have starred bounty hunter Boba Fett as he explored the subterranean society “Level 1313” of the planet Coruscant. It would have been a darker, grittier take on the Star Wars universe.
Given the recent success of The Mandalorian, I could see a game like this being done for the current gen of consoles and PC. It probably wouldn’t be a straight-up revival of 1313, but a potential game could take a lot of inspiration from it. Considering that the Star Wars games license will no longer be EA’s in a couple years, I would say a 1313-inspired game is completely possible.
Like I said before, not every game gets to make it to store shelves. Regardless, it is still interesting to look at what could have been for some game series. There are still far more cancelled games I could cover in the future, and even some other lost media too. Though, that is for another time. As always, feel free to let me know what you think of this post in the comments. Until next time my fellow nerds, peace!