10 canceled games that found new life in fan projects

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There are many factors that can cause a game to be canceled. Sometimes senior management becomes nervous and decides to unplug unfounded fears that the game will not sell. Sometimes development is disrupted and key talent is forced to leave, dooming the project. Whatever the reasons, cancellations are almost always a negative point.

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However, sometimes cancellations can lead to something new. When an editor drops the ball, fans can take the opportunity to catch it and something innovative can come from the void that has been left. Like a phoenix rising from its ashes, many games are born from the cancellations of other titles.


ten Dementium: The Ward was meant to be a Silent Hill game

Dementium the cropped room

In 2007, a small business called Renegade Kid showed potential silent Hill game for the Nintendo DS at Konami. Although Konami agreed to meet with the studio, the reunion didn’t last very long and ended with the company telling Renegade Kid that they wouldn’t allow them to develop for the silent Hill franchise.

Instead of abandoning the project, it was reworked into Dementia: The Ward and released on DS the same year. Years later, Renegade Kid launched another silent Hill game to Konami to be refused again. This second game would be reworked into a sequel called Dementia II.

9 Bomb Rush Cyberfunk fills the gap left by Sega

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk Cropped

Despite fan demand, Sega shot two developer pitches for a third Radio Jet Set Title. These pitches were kindly provided by UK developer Kuju Entertainment in 2006 and Dinosaur Games in 2017. Dutch developer Team Reptile has decided that if Sega isn’t interested in releasing another Radio Jet Set, then they would make one themselves.

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Bomb Rush Cyberfunk Deliberately invokes Sega’s anarchic skateboarding franchise with vibrant art flair and cel-shaded music from series composer Hideki Naganuma. A major difference between Bomb Rush Cyberfunk and the franchise it pays homage to is the addition of skateboards.

8 Strangeness is the spiritual successor of the mother

Short Oddity logo

Mother fans have been clamoring for a fourth installment for years, but creator Shigesato Itoi has said he has no plans to continue the series. Still, a group of dedicated fans have collaborated to make an unofficial sequel to the series.

In what appeared to be an effort to avoid a Nintendo DMCA, the team then decided to change the name from Mother 4 To Singularity and retool it in an original property. Contrary to Mother timeless frame, Singularity is a period piece that uses the era and aesthetic of the 1970s.

7 Sam & Max’s cancellation helped create revealing games

Sam & Max Remastered Cropped

Cancellation of Sam & Max Independent Police has been attributed to the declining popularity of graphical adventure games in the industry. When LucasArts canceled the game, they also fired their adventure games division to focus all of their resources on Star wars and Indiana Jones. Several of these key members formed Telltale Games and were successful in securing the rights to the Sam and Max comics by creator Steve Purcell.

In 2006, the studio released Sam & Max Season 1, a graphic adventure in the same vein as the classic titles of LucasArts released episodically in digital storefronts. It was Telltale’s first big hit and it helped pave the way for other episodic content from the studio.

6 Axiom Verge was released during a time of terror

Axiom Verge Elsenova

Before the release of Terror of the metroids for the Nintendo Switch, there was a long absence of any 2D or 3D Metroid content. Fear was originally announced for the DS in 2005, but it was later presumed canceled. In its decades-long absence, many independent developers have decided to fill the 2D metropolitan void left by Nintendo and Konami.

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One of these developers, Thomas Happ, had already made a Metroid fan game called Orn. Axiom Verge summons Metroid more than other indie metroidvanias with its dark color palette and frigid alien locations.

5 Black Mesa came out as Alyx Vance’s fate was uncertain

Half Life Black Mesa Cropped

In 2020, Valve released the prequel VR game Half-life Alyx, teasing players with the option to end the series. However, there was a huge gap between this game and the 2007 release of Half Life 2: Episode 2. All the while, it seemed like the cliffhanger would never be resolved.

A fan group called the Crowbar Collective has announced plans to remake the first game from scratch using the source engine. The final result, Mesa black, was like an oasis in a desert for Half-life Fans.

4 Mega Man X Street Fighter gave the Blue Bomber a real celebration

Street Fighter Mega Man Cropped

After the cancellation of the two Mega Man Captions 3 and Mega Man Universe, it looked like the Blue Bomber’s 25th anniversary was about to begin with no matches to celebrate. It was then that an unknown fan from Singapore named Seow Zong Hui completed a pet project in which the 8-bit racing and gun hero takes on the cast of another beloved Capcom property. . street fighter.

Zong Hui introduced the game to a member of Capcom and the company was so impressed with the project that they decided to help with development. Street Fighter X Mega Man got an official release and published for free in digital storefronts.

3 Sonic’s freedom fighters became the planet of freedom

Planet of freedom cropped

Planet of freedom started life as Sonic the hedgehog fan game and included its nemesis, Dr. Robotnik, as well as the collectible rings the franchise is known for. However, developer Sabrina DiDuro decided that the game would perform better without the Sonic name and changed it to Planet of freedom.

The Mark rings have been replaced with red leaves, and the method of destroying robots has been changed from jumping on them to punching or kicking them. DiDuro has also taken influence from other Genesis titles such as Gunstar hero and Ristar

2 Silent Hills cancellation spawned layers of fear

With the participation of Solid metal gear creator Hideo Kojima, acclaimed director Guillermo Del Toro and horror manga artist Juniji Ito, Silent hills looked like a horror game that was just too good for this world. Its cancellation by Konami drew mockery from fans and the gaming press.

While Silent hills would remain a specter in the history of horror games, Layers of fear was one of the many games that popped up after the cancellation. Courtesy of Polish developer team Blooper, the game deliberately evokes the playable teaser of Silent hills.

1 Mother 3 received an unofficial translation and inspired Undertale

Undertale boy and Toriel

Since Mother 3 would not receive an official English version from Nintendo, Western fans decided to experience the game in other ways. Kingdom Hearts II translator Clyde Mandelin spent almost two years translating Mother 3 in English and made it available via a patch for the roms of the game.

Almost a decade later, a small indie game called Subtitle captured the hearts of gamers and became an internet sensation. Toby Fox, the creator of the game, took to Twitter to claim that its creation wouldn’t have been possible without Mother 3.

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