Games Missing In Action [01/02/04]

Update [01/15/03]
Some recent events have occured when it comes to the potential development of Strident, Duality and Chrono Break.

With so many games coming out every year, month, or week, there's bound to be a number of promising title that don't get to the shelves or just fall off the radar. This leaves most gamers wondering "What happened to [insert game]?" Here are a list of games that were, or maybe still are, in development and have either been canned or falling into developmental hell (where less popular games go to fester until they either completely die or get rushed onto the shelves) without so much as a good-bye to the people waiting for them.

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Console(s): Xbox, GC, PS2
Publisher: 3DO
Developer: 3DO
This action/horror title was being developed by 3DO and Simon Bisley as a way to bring back respectability to 3DO, who had languished in recent years with many mediocre Army Men titles before the company folded. Ever since then, the game went into a news vacuum, but with sites like still listing the title with a release date (we all know how reliable those are). I wonder if this title may still see the light of day.

The Lost
Console(s): Xbox, PS2
Publisher: Crave
Developer: Irrational Games
Irrational Games' horror action title first in development for the PS2 and then additionally for the Xbox was to place players in Dante's Hell trying to rescue a mother's child. This title has been in development for some time and at one point Irrational Games decided to completely rebuild this game from the ground up because they weren't happy with the game engine they had. Since then, publisher Crave decided to shift its focus to cheaper titles and this game just fell off the map. Earlier emails garnered responses that Irrational was still behind this title.

Asylum (previously known as Darkblack)
Console(s): Xbox, PS2, GC
Publisher: Darkblack
Developer: Darkblack
This title was originally called Darkblack, after the development company, but was later changed to Asylum. The first person horror title looked to have both a great premise and an interesting look to it. But, when you go to Darkblack's (the company) website, it redirects to Hot Head Studios, where there is no mention of the title. Emails sent to the contact for Darkblack come back as if the studio doesn't exist anymore.

Console(s): Xbox
Publisher: Phantagram
Developer: Phantagram
This title was in development for the Xbox by Korean developers Phantagram (Phantom Crash). That is, until Phantagram got snapped up by NCsoft, who apparently dropped all of their projects, except Kingdom Under Fire and Shinning Lore. Any emails sent to Phantagram never received replies. Apparently, NCsoft didn't want to fund this title as it didn't fit into their MMORPG-heavy catalog.
Update [01/15/03]
As reported on Phantagram's own website, the company recently bought back from NCsoft all the shares owned by the company so that they could once again become an independent company. While no word was mentioned about reviving Strident or Duality, Phantagram has gone on record stating that Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders is still in development. We can only hope that their other projects can be revived.

Console(s): Xbox
Publisher: Phantagram
Developer: Trilobite Graphics
Much like what happened with Strident, this Phantagram published title got canned when they were bought out by NCsoft.
Update [01/15/03]
As mentioned above with Strident, Phantagram is now independent and calling their own shots.

Duke Nukem Forever
Console(s): PS2, Xbox, PC
Publisher: Gathering of Developers
Developer: 3D Realms
Okay, I just threw this one is because it's become a long-running gag that no dedicated gamer actually believes will come out. In fact, this game has been in development for so long, the developers themselves just reply "The release date of this game is 'When it's done'." when asked for the release date. Want a good laugh at 3D Realms expense, take a read at Something Awful's "The Five Biggest Jerks in Gaming". Number 1 will give you a good idea of what is going on.

Chrono Break
Console(s): ???
Publisher: Square-Enix
Developer: Square-Enix
Guess what? No one knows anything about this title. Well, except for the ton of unfounded rumors floating around. What we do know is that Square copyrighted the name for Chrono Break at the same time as Unlimited Saga (and that game is already out). So, for the record - there is no real info on this title, except for a bunch of sites that are regurgitating rumors or stating that there is no info.
Update [01/15/03]
Apparently, Chrono Break is technically no more. Square Enix has ditched its US Trademark of the name. Oddly enough, though, the name Chrono Brake is still filed with the Japanese Patent Office.

Console(s): Xbox, PS2
Publisher: ???
Developer: Argonaut Games
This one was supposed to be a launch title for the Xbox and feature the band No Doubt and lead singer, Gwen Stefani, as the voice of the main character. But, that was back when Vivendi Universal still even wanted to release it. Now, Argonaut, who has recently done I-Ninja, needs to find a publisher if they still want to finish this title.

Dead Phoenix
Console(s): GC
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
As a part of an exclusivity deal with Nintendo, the Capcom action/shooter was to be developed alongside other titles, like Viewtiful Joe, P.N.03, Resident Evil Zero, Resident Evil 4 and Killer 7, but Capcom later canceled this title, along with Red Dead Revolver from the PS2. The only reason I mention this title is because Red Dead Revolver later was picked up by Rockstar for the PS2 and Xbox, leaving at least a modicum of hope that this title will likewise find a home elsewhere.

Donkey Kong Racing
Console(s): GC
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Rare Ltd.
Yeah, this was a Donkey Kong Kart Racer being developed by Rare when they were a part of Nintendo. Now that they're gone to Microsoft, this project seems to be in limbo. Rumors had it that Rare tried to take the game engine and make another Kart Racer for the Xbox featuring their Sabre Wulf license, but that title got dropped for other more high profile projects. I'm sure that Nintendo will revive this project, but it may not be any time soon.

Console(s): Xbox, PS2
Publisher: Namco
Developer: Argonaut Games
Much like Malice, this is another game from Argonaut that has all but disappeared. There's not even mention of it on their own website. Outside of the initial batch of preview screens, this title barely even exists.

While this list is not even close to complete or may not be the final word on anything, I hope it serves to at least answer a few questions about some games you might have been remotely interested but didn't know where they went to.

- - Kinderfeld

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