The disheartening cancellation of video games is nowhere near a new phenomenon (why, Microsoft? Whyyyyyy?!). Developers have been practicing in the art of cancellation for years. Mind you, I think the people behind every Sonic game for the last decade should have practiced a bit of the old cancellation. Am I right...?
Anyway, one of the times that Sega did actually cancel a #Sonic game resulted in the obliteration of every '90s kid's dream: Sonic + skateboards. Sonic Extreme was set to firmly plant the lightning fast feet of our favorite hedgehog on the soft cushion of a hover board. It wasn't meant to be. Well, it kind of was... you'll see.
The Cancelled Hoverboard Dream: Sonic Extreme
Being developed by Vision Scape Interactive at the time, Sonic Extreme was actually being worked on without the consent of #Sega. A bold move indeed. Essentially, the developers reused technology that they created for their Tech Deck Playset software and then combined that technology with remnants of a cancelled game based on Nickelodeon's Rocket Power cartoon. Crazy mix.
In the game, players would have been strapped to a hoverboard and been able to pick between Sonic and Shadow Sonic as playable characters. The skatepark in which the two dudes grinded around was inspired by the iconic Green Hill Zone and had tons of ramps and rails and other things that skateboarders skate on...
A single player mode was planned along with a multiplayer combat mode that would have thrown stuff like rockets and grenades into the mix. You can watch a prototype race below:
Confidant that they were on to something good, Vision Scape eventually presented the pitch to Yuji Naka, the former head of Sonic Team. Allegedly, the man was quite impressed by their work and how the game was looking! However, Sega were seemingly very unhappy with the project, communication broke down and eventually the whole thing was canned.... then Sonic Riders came out a few years later — which was abysmal.
However, it did share a lot of similarities with Vision Scape Interactive's pitch. You have to wonder whether Sega were developing a similar game at the time or simply adapted it after the breakdown in communications. Allegedly they just went silent and ignored Vision Scape's creation.
In any case, though the developers were hoping Sonic Extreme would make its way on to the Xbox, Gamecube and PS2, it disappeared. It was thought to be lost entirely! But more and more details about the game keep making their way out of the darkness.
New Details Emerge On Sonic's Extreme Venture
In the video above — brought to you by DidYouKnowGaming? — numerous new details regarding the development of the game, including new footage of it in action, were compiled. It's a great watch for those who enjoy a bit of gaming history. But how come we know it exists?
Well, it seems that the developers of the game, who shut down in 2006, were asked to dispose of all of their creations upon closing. All of their dev kits were to be brought to an electronic recycling plant, though it seems like some of their stuff never quite made it there. Which begs a few questions.
Why was footage of Sonic Extreme preserved? Did the developers want the world to know that their original concept gave birth to a string of successful (but ultimately garbage) Sonic spinoff games? Was their idea robbed by big old Sega or was it purely coincidental? In any case, seeing new Sonic gameplay footage is sure to make you nostalgic. All the better. Now you can be even more hyped for this beauty: