It's always fascinating learning what caused a video game to be canceled before release. Developers pour thousands of hours on games, so it always seems baffling that a publisher would pull the plug after so many hours and so many dollars invested into any given project.
One high-profile game that never saw the light of day revolved around Marvel's Daredevil. The title certainly looked promising: open world, radar sense, beat 'em up combat. It seemed to be everything a fan could want in a Daredevil game, but as revealed in a new video from video game historian Unseen64, the game was far from on track.
Daredevil the video game began as a "greatest hits" game that sought to pay tribute to classic moments from the Marvel comics, only in interactive form. Marvel seemed 100 percent on board with this idea, but the 2003 Daredevil film would throw a wrench into things.
The development team at 5000ft Inc. decided the scope of the game needed to increase in an effort to capitalize on the upcoming movie. The game went from a brawler focused on retelling iconic Daredevil moments to an open-world action game where players could freely navigate Hell's Kitchen.
So far so good, but it would the a dueling conflict of interest between Marvel and Sony that would eventually tear the game apart. 5000ft Inc. met with Sony regularly to ensure that Daredevil met quality expectations in order to be released on the PlayStation 2. During these meetings, Sony would offer advice on how to improve the game, suggesting new mechanics and gameplay elements to the team that they expected to see added. One of these suggested gameplay features was a grinding mechanic not so different from the one seen in the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series.
Marvel wasn't too keen on this idea, wanting more authenticity to the comics. Daredevil grinding on rails and rooftops isn't exactly authentic (Daredevil prefers to parkour and swing around town).
Unfortunately, the dueling interests of Marvel and Sony were just part of the problem. 5000ft Inc.'s publisher, Encore, didn't want to continue paying for the game engine currently being used to develop Daredevil, which caused further rifts between the development team on how to move forward. This would also see the scope of the game downsized, as it once again became a linear brawler rather than an open-world title. Eventually Marvel revoked the Daredevil license from 5000ft Inc., unhappy with the direction of the game.
It's yet another sad story of a game that looked promising on the outside, but internally couldn't have been more than a mess. Here's hoping fans of the Man Without Fear eventually get the Daredevil game of their dreams.