Speaking to NME as part of our feature on cancelled game projects, developer Darren Yeomans – who is now AtomHawk‘s Studio Director – has shared that 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand was originally meant to be a Tom Clancy game.
On the topic of getting a game in development across the finish line, Yeomans stated that one way is to “shoe-horn an I.P. into a game and try and cash-in on the name”, before elaborating on his own experience.
Swordfish Studios worked on the project – which was “originally based on a Tom Clancy title” – for over a year, according to Yeomans. However, although “several levels completed and well-established gameplay” were all sorted, the studio’s publisher “threw in a massive curve-ball” and announced that the game should instead revolve around a famous personality that it held the rights for. The finished product?
“After throwing away several levels, months of work and re-writing the script; 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand.”
The game followed rapper 50 Cent as he fought through an unnamed country in the Middle East to retrieve payment for a G-Unit concert. Released in 2009, the game still sits at a favourable 72 per cent on Metacritic, however Swordfish Studios closed down just one year after release. Yeomans is listed in the credits of the game as part of Production Management within the studio.
Joel Beardshaw, who worked on the game but joined production after it had shifted to a 50 Cent game in its entirety, remembers playing demos of the game where it was based on the Covert-One book series, a franchise of thriller novels written by different authors using ideas from the Jason Bourne creator Robert Ludlum after his death.
“The reason for the switch that was chatted about in the team was a Covert-One TV show was due to come out but was canceled, and the PS2 game 50 Cent: Bulletproof had made the publisher good money & they already had the rights.”
It’s worth noting that Vivendi was behind the 50 Cent titles and also had the Robert Ludlum license, as evidenced by their Bourne games. Vivendi was not directly involved with Ubisoft (the publishers who held the Tom Clancy license) at the time.
In other news, an all-new ‘Deathloop‘ trailer has shared a deeper look at protagonist Colt Vahn, who suffers from amnesia due to being trapped in the time loop he’s trying to break out of. The trailer also shares more on Blackreef, the mysterious setting of Deathloop.
Additional reporting by Jake Tucker