Putting out a video game alongside a film release used to be commonplace even if this meant the two properties had nothing in common with each other. There is a Little Nicky game for the Game Boy Color. What? It never ceases to amaze us what movies get made into games.
That’s why we weren’t that shocked to see the ten games below on our list that got canceled. While interesting we can also see why they were canned.
10 Tr2n: Liberation
Disney did its best to reboot the franchise in the late 2000s with Tron: Legacy. They wanted it to be a multimedia project and one of those entertainment pillars was video games. Two companies pitched ideas to Disney. Propaganda Games won the bid and developed Tron: Evolution to mixed reviews.
Based on footage from Day 1 Studios, their Tr2n: Liberation idea was going to be a more open-world experience, with every fight actually mattering just like in the original film. The coolest part of their pitch was being able to summon a light cycle on command in midair.
9 Dirty Harry
The late 2000s was lousy in games based on old properties that had relatively no relevance to the current generation. The first Dirty Harry film released in 1971 meaning that by this point, it was over thirty years old. At first, a lot of the key members from the film, including Clint Eastwood, were going to be involved, but the ambitious cop drama went through several revisions.
Perhaps the biggest flaw was the fact that it was being developed for way too many platforms, including the Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii, PS2, Xbox, DS, and PSP. That is a broad range of targeted platforms! No wonder it got canned.
8 Snake Plissken Chronicles
It almost seems crazy that it took this long for someone to think of making Escape From New York into a video game. That is to say, it shouldn’t have taken this long for Snake Plissken to become a video game star. Metal Gear Solid practically rips off the character, or at least a third of his DNA does.
Namco was developing this for the PS2 and original Xbox. There are some very blurry screens and a few videos archived on Unseen64’s website. Looked like it was going to be a stealth action game. Hmm, sound familiar?
7 Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned
Nearly all of Pirates of the Caribbean films got a video game adaptation across dozens of platforms, be it consoles or portables. They were all terrible. At long last someone finally had the bright idea to think outside the box and create a game based on the world without having to solely rely on the films.
This was going to be an open-world pirate RPG for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 and was being developed by Propaganda Games. Oh look, this studio again. Propaganda Games closed in 2011 shortly after Tron: Evolution launched. At least there is a lot of footage out there.
6 Taxi Driver
We know what the first question is on the mind. How does one make Taxi Driver into a game? Well, Majesco was trying and it appeared to be a typical action shooter, which doesn't make sense. The movie is more like a psychological drama-thriller depicting the mind of a deranged man in love.
There is really no action until the end. For once we are kind of glad this PS2 and original Xbox game tanked. Yes, if one is curious, there is gameplay.
5 City of the Dead
Not really much exists about this game other than a few screenshots. It was being developed by Kuju Entertainment for the PC, PS2, and original Xbox. They are relatively unknown despite the fact that they have existed for almost two decades.
They mostly work on licensed based games like Dancing with the Stars and ports. It makes sense then that a company like this would want to adapt George A. Romero’s classic zombie franchise into a game, but things just didn’t pan out.
There also isn’t much information on this game based on the cult classic Kevin Bacon hit. It was being developed by Rock Solid Studios and would have been a GameCube, PC, PS2, and original Xbox title. It would have been based on the universe but would have followed an original new cast fighting various forms of the wormed creatures with classic survival horror gameplay mechanics.
As far as we can tell Rock Solid Studios never made a single game. However, former members then went on to form the more successful Avalanche Studios of Just Cause fame.
3 Highlander: The Game
Highlander seems like the perfect property to turn into a video game, right? It’s all about being the one Highlander and stopping an endless line of challengers. Well, Square Enix was at one point going to publish this for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 via Widescreen Games.
The studio's biggest game looks like it was Dead to Rights II. At one point they were going to port the first Witcher game to PS3 and Xbox 360, but that also fell through. They closed shop in 2009 after ten years of business. Here is the one trailer.
2 Aliens: Crucible
Another game based on Alien? Why should readers care about this idea? Two words: Obsidian Entertainment. This was going to be on PS3 and Xbox 360 and would have been an RPG in the classic Obsidian Entertainment fashion.
Of the many, many Alien games, an RPG had never been done before so that along with this studio had us intrigued. A contributor to Unseen64 got to talk to a former developer on the project in order to share some information on how this title would have possibly played out.
Let's finished this one off with an old school look back at the SNES and Sega Genesis. Based on grainy footage captured off-camera at a trade show in 1994, the game looked pretty ambitious in terms of the genres it was going to try.
There were motorcycle chases, first-person exploration segments, and 2D platforming. What kind of game was this even going to be?