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January 3, 2014 - 4:42 PM Posted by Vitas Varnas
Top License Pitches That Fell Through
Top License Pitches That Fell Through Many games go through a long due process of development and many initial ideas tend to get altered or scrapped entirely. Developers start off with their desired game which they’d like to develop, but over time it might tend to change to fit with game play mechanics, demands of the game’s publisher or affected by time constraints.

There are a number of titles which had first conceptually began as a pitch for a game based on particular franchise and though the idea may’ve seemed perfect, the deal had never came to an agreement. So then let’s have a look at the top license pitches that fell through.

5. Mad Max Vehicular Combat
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A vehicular combat game based on Mad Max would seem like an interesting concept and developer Stainless Games wanted to make one. The only problem was that no one knew who owned the rights to the series so they were unable to pursue it any further. Eventually they decided to make a tie-in based on the then news of a possible sequel to the film “Deathrace 2000”, though with no further news surfacing about the movie, the idea was dropped. The game would however later become the popular and controversial Carmageddon.

4. ZootFly’s Ghostbusters
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Even though a modern “Ghostbusters” video game wouldn’t be released until 2009, developer ZootFly had previously wanted to create one of their own. Before even gaining permission, ZootFly had gone ahead and started developing one. They began releasing work in progress videos but were soon ordered by Sony to stop and pull down all footage of the game when they were unable to gain the license. This however did not stop them from using what they had worked on and instead made the game as an original title called “TimeO” with all references to Ghostbusters removed.

(Update: Fixed ZootFly's entry.)

3. Fighting Universal Studios Monsters
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What would become as the popular arcade Capcom fighter “Darkstalkers” was originally pitched as a fighting game featuring monsters from classic Universal Studios horror films. The game’s producer, Alex Jimenez, who was a big fan of these classic movies wanted to do a game surrounding them, however Capcom was unable to acquire the rights from Universal. Though not able to create a game based on this initial idea, some of the in-game characters are named after the monsters and actors from those films.

2. Argonaut Software’s Yoshi
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Argonaut Software wanted to do a 3D platform game based on Nintendo’s character Yoshi and one which was unique compared to any other available at the time. Nintendo had been then known to rarely allow outside developers to handle their franchises, especially after previously licensing them to Phillips and other companies. When they pitched the game to Nintendo, they had declined the idea resulting in ties between the two to sever; however the game would instead become what many consider today to be a classic title, Croc: Legend of the Gobbos.

1. Super Mario Bros. 3 PC
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Smooth scrolling PC games were very difficult to create during the time of early PC gaming. When you would progress to the next screen, the game would slowly pan or simply instantaneously change to the next area. Whilst working at Softdisk, John Carmack and Tom Hall had developed a demo of the first level of Super Mario Bros. 3 on PC featuring John Romero’s character Dangerous Dave in Mario’s place. The demo was titled Dangerous Dave in Copyright Infringement and was aimed to revolutionize PC gaming by featuring smooth scrolling graphics. The team had then created and pitched a full PC version of Super Mario Bros. 3 to Nintendo as a potential port, and though Nintendo was impressed with the game, they had instead wished to focus on their own platforms. Though the game wasn't released, it did pave the way for the birth of Id software and the Commander Keen series.


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About the Author
Vitas Varnas
Vitas Varnas
Vitas is an Australian actor who has worked in Television and on a number of short films, and has also studied acting. He has occasionally made appearances in the television series "The Hamster Wheel" and "The Checkout" by the Chaser comedy group and has also studied journalism.
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