Here’s another thing that’s gone MIA – Ghouls Ghosts Online. It was being developed by Game Factory in taiwan (many people thought it was developed by Zona, because of this poser, but Zona is actually an online middleware provider), and was very very early. No enemies yet, just a trailer, and a playable environment. Why they showed something so early is beyond me, but I was glad they did!
Anyway, I got basically the only footage of it that exists, as far as I’m aware, so give it a gander if you’re curious. The intro, and several gameplay segments are included – incidentally I have absolutely no idea who the person standing behind me making comments was! Ah, the mysteries of our time. The game was cancelled pretty early on without much pomp and circumstance – though it was further along than Metal Slug Online, which was supposed to have its first beta in december 2004. In fact, Game Factory’s website is no more, so I wonder if they’re still around? Here‘s the best other source for info on this game, in the form of an official press release. I’ll excerpt a few clips:
“This is the first time that a Chinese digital
entertainment company has been authorized to re-design a classic Japanese game
and develop into a Massive Multi-Player Online Game (MMOG), which will be the
first product launched into the international market since Game Factory
Digital Entertainment Studios established its own brands.
Mr. Monte Singman, founder and Chief
Executive Officer of Game Factory, states, “It is Game Factory’s honor to be
authorized to network Ghouls and Ghosts. It shows Capcom’s confidence in the
research and development capacity of Game Factory. Game Factory will create a
brand-new version of “Ghouls and Ghosts” by integrating the essence of this
classic game with the most cutting-edge 3D technology for the online game. We
will offer ‘Ghouls and Ghosts Online’, a game created by the Chinese that
meets the international standard. Game Factory hopes to navigate a new path
for the Chinese game industry, that is, to initiate a development pattern
incorporating international markets into originality.”
“Ghouls and Ghosts Online”, currently under development, is projected to
be finished in the middle of 2004. At GDC, two versions, PC and Xbox, were
disclosed, which will be displayed at E3 in the United States next May and
will be launched into markets in the United States, Japan, South Korea, Europe
and Greater China region.“
Obviously that last part is the most interesting – PC and Xbox development. I’m not sure that an Xbox build was playable at the time. Another odd bit of info from my own post, was that there was a title called ‘Ghouls & Ghosts Match Fight’ as well – not sure if that was simply a renaming, or if it was a second title in development. At this rate, we may never know…
Update: A number of people have written in, not the least of whom was my boss, saying that Game Factory is indeed defunct, as the CEO (monte singman) has moved on to form Radiance Digital Entertainment, also in china. He used to work at Capcom with Yoshiki Okamoto, thus the license crossover. Slateman also wrote in to send a batch of concept images from the game. Unfortunately I can’t confirm the origin of these files to prove they’re legit, but they sure seem to be.