Developer Climax Studios has shared some footage of their cancelled Legacy of Kain game, four years after Square Enix formally shut it down.
For those that might not know, Legacy of Kain was a vampire action series that enjoyed a lot of love back in the days of the original PlayStation, so the prospect of a new single player, story driven Legacy of Kain for new consoles was an inviting prospect for fans.
In 2012, publisher Square Enix cancelled the project (which was never formally announced). The game had been in development for three years.
The people who worked on the title aren’t even allowed to officially admit that they did, because of a non-disclosure agreement. But the ever excellent Eurogamer managed to do some digging, and even got hold of footage for the project.
One source close to the project noted that:
From the very beginning Square said it had to be super gritty and modern, while still staying within the remit of this world.
Gritty and modern. Two words that are almost guaranteed to kill a franchise. Anyway, Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun was intended to launch across the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC and potentially even on the – at the time unannounced – Xbox One and PS4.
Climax’s plan was to create the new Legacy of Kain using Unreal Engine 3, the idea being that this would free up the studio to focus on design.
The mantra for the project that apparently got everyone excited and kept them motivated was “if HBO made Zelda“. Certainly, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt proved that something like that could work, so what went wrong?
Ultimately, Square Enix’s and Climax’s visions for the game were just too different. Square Enix allegedly wanted Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun to be as simple as possible, with some of the developers describing sections of the game as “insultingly easy.”
It was this kind of constant conflict, coupled with the worry that the game wouldn’t sell led to Square Enix pulling the plug on the project.
The team later tried to re-purpose the work they’d done on the game to pitch as a Prince of Persia reboot, but nothing ever came from that plan, as we now know.
Take a look at the footage below. As you can see, Climax Games were well into development, so it’s a real shame their work never saw the light of the day.
For a full and incredibly detailed account of the game’s life (and death) check out Eurogamer’s article.