Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Cut Down In Their Prime 88

Gamecloud has a piece looking at some worthy games that never made it to market for one reason or another. The one that hurts the most for me is Microsoft's canceled, but intriguing, Norse MMOG Mythica. From the article: "Date of Cancellation: February 2004. Microsoft Games Studios decided to get into the MMORG genre with this fantasy themed game that was announced with much fanfare in April 2003. This game, with a Norse mythology theme, was going to have more of a single player experience than most MMO games. However, less than a year later Microsoft decided to shut down development of Mythica with the team all laid off as well."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Cut Down In Their Prime

Comments Filter:
  • by ianscot ( 591483 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @02:53PM (#14877316)
    "In their prime" would refer to something that had a prime to begin with. Pre-release cancellations would maybe be "stillborn," forgiving the crudeness of referring to it that way.

    The litany of reasons for the cancelled games:

    • Decided it would never be profitable.
    • Studio working on it was shut down due to broader financial troubles.
    • Studio sold off to another company.
    • Sequel to a poorly received release "never got off the ground."
    • Studio cancelled it to concentrate on another title, then closed up shop altogether owing to financial troubles.
    • Had a successful MMORPG, didn't want to siphon subscribers from it to a new one.
    • Second sequel to that same game cancelled, developers devoted to the original.
    • "Wasn't coming along as planned." This was a precursor to "The Sims Online."
    • "Internal problems" (followed by developer essentially shutting down).
    • Weren't ever serious about it. ("This was a game we had to give to our publisher in order to get a very sweet deal in another area. We've since talked them out of it.")
    • Well underway, but LucasArts decided it would never be profitable and pulled the plug.
    • Just plain "decided to cancel."
    • Missed its release date and eventually (sort of) got released using a different engine.
    • Shut down development, developers laid off.
    • Just plain cancelled.

    That's almost all financial troubles and projections -- "Our studio is strapped for cash and can't follow through," or "We don't think there's a market." Aside from the Sims title, the absence of "We got halfway there and decided it just didn't work that well" from the list is conspicuous.

    Another indication of how much like movie producing the games industry has become. Indies strapped for cash that can't follow through, big studios making projections about market space...

  • Other than the fact that some of them have big names attached (Bab5, X-Com, Dikantana*cough*), the article doesn't give us a good reason to have wanted these games over the hundreds of others that have never made it out the door. Experience with games that have made it out the door, has shown that that only a small number of them are ever actually worth investing time and money into. Those that are blockbusters or cult favorites usually have something exceptional about them, such as powerful storylines, intense gameplay, or amazing engines.

    So quite seriously, what is it that makes these games special?
  • by mrsev ( 664367 ) <mrsev@nOSPaM.spymac.com> on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @03:22PM (#14877578)
    If you want real physics in a space combat game there was an Elite sequel called Frontier ...a long time ago for amiga and atari st days. (I think there were some java conversions running round the net...to play now that is ). This game used real physics ... and I can tell you it was almost totally unplayable. You accelerate and accelarate and half way there you have to slow down ...or you smash into a planet at several hundred km/sec. You try to fight and the other guy is travelling 150km/sec in one direction and you are at 200km/sec in the other. You have 1 second to get him in your sights at 100km range before he is gone.... then good luck in turning round. Great idea but could have met you half way. Anyway ...happy childhood memories.
  • by tehdaemon ( 753808 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @03:40PM (#14877740)
    Sounds about right. My guess is that any real space combat will look al lot more like submarine warfare than air-to-air combat. Fat on stealth, sensors and long range weapons.
  • by sehryan ( 412731 ) on Wednesday March 08, 2006 @03:45PM (#14877793)
    Well, if you are looking for games or, even better, series that were cut down in their prime, then I think the Freespace series deserves mention.

    In terms of space sims, both Freespace 1 and 2 are each easily near the best, if not the best, in the genre. I was disappointed when a Freespace 3 didn't materialize. I guess space sims just aren't that popular.

There's no such thing as a free lunch. -- Milton Friendman