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Franchise: Killer Instinct
1
On the 19th of February 2024, designer Kevin Baylis revealed a pitch he made for Killer Instinct 3 for the Nintendo 64. It was meant to be a prequel featuring younger versions of the characters, where players could hone the characters' moves, then gaining more before moving on to "the next chapters of their lives". The game didn't make past the concept phase because the people at Rare thought that "the fighting game ‘fad’ was over".
1
During 2004, Next Level Games was working on a game based on the WWE franchise called "WWE Titans: Parts Unknown". Planned to release on the Playstation 2 and Xbox as a 1-vs-1 fighter, the game was planned to have a radically different direction from past WWE titles, featuring a new art style that focused on exaggerated character designs and cinematic locales. Settings for the game included urban environments (i.e. rooftops in a city) and an old castle located in the snowy wilderness. Additionally, one stage concept was labelled "Cena Stage", likely in reference to wrestler John Cena. This suggests that some individual wrestlers would have received arena dedicated to them.

While the game would have featured several established wrestlers, Next Level also considered adding original cast members made specifically for the game. One piece of artwork for the game shows that there were plans for anthropomorphic characters (such as crocodiles and bears) and sorcerers. Not much is known about the gameplay, though art for the game suggests that destructible environments were intended to be a key focus. For unknown reasons, the pitch was rejected by the game's publisher, THQ.
1
Next Level Games once had a project pitch for an action game called "Catalyst" that would have been released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. As the game was never officially announced, not much is known about it other than what is seen in the pitch video, which involves an unidentified man attacking a group of soldiers using a device called the "Catalyst" after they had betrayed him and kidnapped his daughter. The game was never released, likely due to not being able to find a publisher.
Yo! Noid 2
1
One of the developers of Yo! Noid 2 also worked on STRAFE, a game featuring Totino's product placement. Through these food industry connections, said developer managed to contact Domino's Pizza and almost pitched the idea of having some kind of official collaboration. The developers ultimately did not go forward with, as the game's developers didn't feel they had enough energy to go through the hassle of making a pitch document. Despite the pitch not being made, the developers did compile a video of streamers talking about how the game made them hungry for Domino's for the purpose of the pitch.
Clockwerk
subdirectory_arrow_right Next Level Games (Company)
1
In 2011, Next Level Games began work on a game called "Clockwerk", that never made it to the prototype stage before its cancellation. The game was about a pair of elderly Hausmeisters named Otto and Herman, who take care of "The World Clock", a magical clock tower that governs the flow of time throughout the universe. On the day before their retirement, however, a group of gremlins attack and dismantle the clock tower's innards, forcing the grumpy pair to defeat the invaders and fix the inner workings before they can finally retire. Supposedly, it was pitched to multiple companies (including Sega and Nintendo), but was ultimately cancelled when the company they had partnered with felt that the gameplay was too similar to another game they were publishing.
Bully
1
In June of 2020, an uncredited animator who worked on the game named Dennis Opel posted various development clips on his Twitter page. These clips were for a pitch to rework the game's combat system, which he worked on in the sidelines while the game was still in development. Some of his ideas included incorporating dodging and counter attacks; certain moves the player could perform being affected by the enemy's actions, stats, and distance from the player; etc. In the end, this pitch was never submitted to Rockstar.
person ZpaceJ0ck0 calendar_month January 11, 2024
Sonic Underground
3
The story section of Sonic Underground's manual has numerous inconsistencies with the plot of the show it's based on, though are still featured in early production documents. These include:

• Robotnik at one point being referred to as "Sheriff Robotnik", likely a reference to the Sheriff of Nottingham from the legend of Robin Hood. He does not bare this title in the show itself; early leaks to the show's plot prior to release also reference his role as a sheriff, suggesting it was a scrapped concept from early on in development.
• The Oracle of Delphius being banished to the Frozen Wastes by Robotnik and passing away from unknown causes sometime after, telling Sonic how to reunite with his siblings in his dying breath. While the Oracle does take up residence in Ice Cap in the final show, he was not banished there, nor does he ever die.
• The Medallions being stated to be golden, but in the final show they bare a more silver coloration. Another detail stated in the manual but not in the final show is that they each possess three notes engraved into them.
• Robotnik's given motive for finding Queen Aleena is so that he can marry her and make her his consort, as he believes that by doing so he can become the rightful ruler of Mobius. While not his overall motive in the final show, the episode "Wedding Bell Blues" did use a similar premise for its plot.
• While not in early production documents, the game's manual states that it ends with Sonic, Manic and Sonia reuniting with their mother, which never actually happened in the original show, making it the only piece of Sonic Underground-related media where this goal is actually accomplished.
person chocolatejr9 calendar_month December 15, 2023
Bug!
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A well-known claim relating to Bug! is that legendary film director Steven Spielberg endorsed the game as "the character that is going to do it for [the Sega] Saturn." This claim is somewhat dubious however, as both the 2009 IGN article the quote was popularized by and the internal pitch video for the game's sequel that the quote originated from cite the origin as being from his visit to the 1995 Consumer Electronics Show, which was in January, 5 months before Bug! would be revealed to the public at E3. Bug! creator David Warhol has stated that he was not there to actually see Spielberg approve of the game, but did know that he approved of the game.
person Rocko & Heffer calendar_month December 9, 2023
Twitter thread researching quote history:
https://twitter.com/PandaMoniumGR/status/1637489008950362117

IGN article the quote originated from:
https://www.ign.com/articles/2009/02/02/what-hath-sonic-wrought-vol-10

GameFan magazine Volume #3, Issue #7 (Page 52):
https://retrocdn.net/images/d/db/GameFan_US_0307.pdf
Super Mario Spikers
subdirectory_arrow_right Mario (Franchise)
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Attachment After the launch of Mario Strikers Charged, Next Level Games had pitched to Nintendo a Mario volleyball game titled Super Mario Spikers. Referred to during development as simply Mario Volleyball, it was to be a mix of volleyball and wrestling mechanics, and was presented with hints of a TV game show. It was intended for the Wii and work began on it around the end of 2006. Development was canceled in 2007 after the pitch had failed with Nintendo. The game was financed as a reward from the studio's previous work on the Strikers games, and the volleyball mechanic was thought to have been reused for Mario Sports Mix.
person Boyobmas calendar_month September 19, 2014