Five Cancelled Games You Never Knew About «

Though we’d like to believe legendary game developers exist in a lawless world rife with boundless potential, the untold millions funneled into their projects provide a compelling reason to keep these talented folks on a tight leash. After all, it only takes a single slip-up before you go from designing triple-A system-sellers to working in a dank pachinko warehouse under a guy with elaborate tattoos and a conspicuously missing pinky finger. Even if you manage to whip up a basket of innovative, untested gameplay mechanics, they won’t go far beyond the prototype stage without first winning over the slack-jawed masses enticed into a focus group with the promise of free Baconators and access to indoor plumbing. And while these half-formed ideas usually end up buried in Disney-style vaults, 1UP’s vast array of resources and lack of shame over dumpster-diving has given us access to five unproduced projects from five mega-talented game developers. It’s a shame we’ll never get to play any of these for ourselves, but we can at least feel relieved that the next time we drop a quarter into a panhandler’s crumpled hat, it won’t belong to someone who once held court over GDC.

  • Shigeru Miyamoto – Wii Scrimshaw

    Wii Scrimshaw Box ArtIt’s no secret that Miyamoto’s games often draw inspiration from his actual life. From the wonder of exploring caves as a child (The Legend of Zelda), to the horrors of adult-style weigh-ins (Wii Fit), to the questionable effects of waving your arms around like a person covered in deadly bees (Wii Music), the pastimes of Nintendo’s Godfather have made many appearances in the company’s most popular titles. But Miyamoto’s latest hobby didn’t promise the same joys usually attached to the dalliances of a bored multi-millionaire. Based on Miyamoto’s love of carving elaborate 18th Century tableaus onto whale bones, Wii Scrimshaw vowed to bring all the fun of this lost art to a casual audience — though its implicit anti-whale message and costly pack-in ivory Wii-mote caused stockholders to send at least 80 “warning bricks” through the windows of Nintendo’s Kyoto headquarters. A sad fate for a game wrapped up in the throes of cultural relativism. After all, what rational person hasn’t laid their eyes on a whale without pondering on the majesty, wonder, and many industrial uses of the valuable goo inside its skull?

  • Tomonobu Itagaki – Dead or Alive Beach Babies

    Dead or Alive Beach Babies Box ArtBefore Itagaki’s falling out with Tecmo in 2008, he had one reputation-saving trick up his sleeve. Though he made a name for himself with an air of masculine bravado and his ever-present sunglasses — necessary due to his vestigial, cave salamander eyes — at heart, Itagaki’s existence as a family man betrayed his too-cool-for-cram-school snakeskin exterior. To rectify this contradiction between image and self, the infamous game developer teamed up with popular photographer Anne Geddes, famous for photographing horrible half-insect/half-fruit infants and selling the evidence to calendar merchants.

    The purpose behind this pairing? To combine Geddes’ trademark take on larval humans with Itagaki’s cast of bikini-clad characters. The prototype ended up being an uncharacteristically earnest creation from the Team Ninja developer, as the game celebrated the power of youth and innocence in a way that couldn’t possibly be misinterpreted by a suspicious audience. Unfortunately, the villains behind Ubisoft’s Imagine: Babyz line didn’t cotton to Itagaki dipping his toe into their particular monopoly, and they responded in kind. Several car explosions later, Itagaki went into hiding, to this day authorities have found no traces of Geddes aside from an inspirational quote-a-day planner filled with mad etchings which may or may not indicate her whereabouts.


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