If you haven’t been keeping up, SEGA Technical Institute artist Craig Stitt has been posting quite a bit of lost video game concept art and now prototype footage of a game he pitched SEGA at first called Segapede and later renamed Astropede. Its a very interesting project since it seems Craig wanted this to be a part of the Sonic universe and even used ideas from Sonic 2 with a twist, for example each pod that follows you contained a power and if you got hit you would lose a pod. A very similar gimmick to Sonic’s rings.
SEGA Technical Institute had a short life at SEGA with the team being responsible for games like Kid Chameleon, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic Spinball, and a lot of canceled project. Some of these we know about, one that we didn’t know about has made it online for the first time ever. This canceled game was called “Astropede’ and was shared by artist Craig Stitt on the Facebook group ‘SEGA Retro Gamers’
“The only surviving video of ‘Astropede’, a game I pitched and went into production at SEGA (STI) circa 1994. Unfortunately after 14 months it was shelved after being starved to death by a lack of resources. The character had a train of pods with various power ups that would be pulled behind him. If hit, the pods would fly apart similar to Sonic and his rings. (my original intent was to have it be part of the Sonic universe) Somewhere I have a playable prototype… I just have to find it and hope it can be made to work!“
We have some assets that Craig has shared, including this concept art that really makes it seem like a ‘Sonic type’ game (hit the break to see that!), the animation loop on top of the page and he even found a protoype of the game… will he share it online tho?
If you haven’t been following the YouTube channel PtoPOnline run by Andrew Borman, you’re missing out on a channel that shows games that were cancelled, in-development or purely conceptual. As is the case for a video recently uploaded showcasing Climax’s development of a Crazy Taxi game, Crazy Taxi Twenty Four – Seven. The purpose of the video isn’t fully known nor how far the deal between Climax and SEGA proceeded, however the video was likely a demonstration to be shown to SEGA that outlines the general workflow of the game’s development had they decided to proceed with the project. Climax, now known as Climax Studios who are into VR development these days, are more famous for titles such as Sudeki on the original Xbox as well as the developer behind Silent Hill titles such as Silent Hill: Origins and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.
On this SEGA News Bits, Barry and George share their analysis of the rumor that Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comics are cancelled. How did this rumor spring up? Is there any validity to it? What could happen to the Sonic comic books should it happen? Give the video a watch to find out!
Over the past week there has been rumors circulating that Archie Comics would be losing the license to Sonic the Hedgehog, effectively cancelling the long running series. The rumors began when fans noticed that the Archie store was deeply discounting back issues and trade paperbacks by 75% and both Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Universe were dropped from the subscriptions page. The deep discounts are no sign for alarm, Archie has discounted sales all the time, but the missing subscription pages are a big red flag.
Ecco the Dolphin is a familiar face for SEGA fans, appearing in 4 different games and gaining a bit of a cult following due to it’s bizarre and surprisingly dark premise of a dolphin traveling through time to save his comrades from evil aliens. What many people didn’t know is that there was a fifth game in the series that was in development, acting as a sequel to the Dreamcast game Ecco the Dolphin: Defenders of the Universe. The game titled Ecco II: Sentinels of the Universe started in development sometime in 2001-2000, around the time the Dreamcast was on it’s last legs, with the build leaked in particular being made on February 19th, 2001. The game did not reach far into development, not receiving press coverage of any type and being silently cancelled when SEGA started to move away from the console business, though Ecco the Dolphin: Defenders of the Universe receiving mixed reception may of also contributed to the cancellation.
It’s not every day new info about old games comes out. It’s even rarer for new info about old, cancelled games to come out of the woodwork. In the dust of archived footage of CES, Space World, and E3s of twenty years ago, major undocumented secrets sometimes spring out. And now there’s been a very, very interesting find: a preview of a cancelled Genesis adaptation of the 1988 anime film, Akira. Hit the jump for details and analysis, as well as the video showing the prototype.
SEGA is well aware of the cult following that their Streets of Rage series possesses, so they have tried to resurrect the franchise but it always ends up being canceled for one reason or another. It seems that SEGA had a plan to release Streets of Rage 4, we had the first prove of this by leaked footage that was released a few years ago (you can view it here). The game was to be on the Dreamcast and was being developed by Ancient & SEGA with Yuzo Koshiro returning to do the soundtrack. The game was sadly canceled.
We have finally gotten more information on the canceled project thanks to Yuzo Koshiro posting concept art on his twitter account. He posted two sketches one showing off the four lead characters, which have some resemblance to members of the original cast but are actually all new heroes. Another photo shows off ideas for combos, on this photo we actually get the names of the Axel looking guy, who is called Burn and is the son of Axel (aka Axel Jr.). We also see the female character who’s name is Erie and happens to be a ‘Shinobi’.
What do you guys think of the canceled concept art? Do you think SEGA made a mistake cancelling this project or is this something that was going to be met with backlash? Let us know in the comments!
Ah, it’s Friday. Let’s check the news. Wonder if we’ll see a Sonic 4 trailer today… wait. What the fuck is this?! Pardon my language, but some breaking news!
SEGA Sammy announced today that it will carry out “structural reform” of consumer business. SEGA Sammy also said it will “streamline” video game operations in the west to “create a smaller company positioned for sustained profitability”. Part of this streamlining will include cutting the number of SEGA games produced and canceling some titles already in development.
The statement read as follows:
The Sega consumer business is expected to post operating loss due to the challenging economic climate and significant changes in the home video game software market environment in the US and Europe.
It is essential to streamline [our] organisation in the field of home video game software, while shifting to a structure that corresponds to a change in environment, including strengthening development in the field of digital content.
We decided to narrow down sales titles to strong IPs such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Football Manager, Total War and Aliens which are expected to continue posting solid earnings. In accordance with this, we are cancelling the development of some game software titles.
SEGA will still post profits of £152m for the 12 months ending March 2012. However, it will see a one-off “extraordinary loss” of £54m. This money will be spent on cutting back and restructuring. No word on what games are being cancelled or just who will be laid-off. Is this the end of crazy unique SEGA games? Or are the more risky games being relegated to digital services, and only the big IPs will get disc releases? Freak out in the comments section.
Update: According to IGN, with information said to come from sources within SEGA, all non-franchise titles will be dropped:
Earlier today, four franchises were overtly announced as being safe: Sonic, Football Manager, Total War, and Aliens. Our sources have revealed that any currently announced game that isn’t included on that list will not be published by SEGA, leaving a decent amount of the publisher’s upcoming publishing roster in jeopardy.
What does this mean for upcoming games like Rhythm Thief? At this point, it’s anybody’s guess. The source goes onto report that North America’s QA team has been axed entirely, with staff cuts also being made in the following departments: marketing, social, design, and development.
When I was in middle school, all I did was read the Official Dreamcast magazine and look at the long list of upcoming games. There is always something about seeing new information about a game before it hits the store shelves, especially when those games you are looking forward to never make it to the shelves. You are stuck wondering what those games could have been, if they came out.
Here is my salute to the most awesome looking cancelled Dreamcast games.