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    Mid-development IP Split

    Concept »

    A game that was once in development as part of an existing franchise, but was released as an all-new property, with any explicit connection to the original franchise removed. The change can occur anywhere from the conceptual stage to the final weeks of development.

    Short summary describing this concept.

    Mid-development IP Split last edited by reverendhunt on 03/01/23 03:17AM View full history


    It is sometimes the case that as a title related to an existing franchise undergoes development, the decision may be made to disassociate the title from said franchise in favor of creating a new intellectual property. The reasons behind why this occurs vary greatly, from legal battles that force an identity change to the game simply not being deemed a fit for its originally intended franchise. Some examples of this phenomenon are explained below.

    Devil May Cry

    Devil May Cry began development as Resident Evil 4. However, mid-way through development, it was thought that the direction Hideki Kamiya and his team were taking the title had strayed too far away from what is desirable in a Resident Evil title. Rather than scrap the game in the process of starting over, as had been the case of the unreleased original version of Resident Evil 2 commonly known as Resident Evil 1.5, the decision was made to continue development of the game with a story and universe distinct from the Resident Evil series.


    BMX XXX began as a sequel to Acclaim's series of Dave Mirra BMX games. However, Mirra and his camp were not happy with the game's direction, which largely consisted of low-brow sexual innuendo and scatological humor. Acclaim was forced to remove Mirra's name from the title, disassociating it with the Dave Mirra franchise.

    Sleeping Dogs

    Sleeping Dogs was the end result of a series of development stop-and-starts. It was intended as a continuation of Activision's True Crime series. However, after Activision cancelled the game, seemingly for the final time, Square Enix purchased the rights to the game, but not to the True Crime IP. The game was rebranded and released under the name Sleeping Dogs as a result.

    Croc: Legend of the Gobbos

    Croc: Legend of the Gobbos was originally conceived as a platformer starring the Nintendo character Yoshi. However, Argonaut Games, the developer, had begun work on the title before approaching Nintendo with the idea. When Nintendo declined, they were forced to remove all association with Yoshi from the game, which was eventually published by Fox Interactive.

    The Last of Us

    During early development, The Last of Us was initially conceptualized as a more realistic interpretation of the Jak & Daxter universe. As such, Jak was to be a regular human being, and Daxter would function like an ordinary weasel -- most notably lacking the ability to talk. This idea was eventually scrapped, and Naughty Dog quickly settled on creating a new IP instead.

    The Wonderful 101

    The Wonderful 101 was initially conceptualized as a game starring an all-star cast of Nintendo characters. The basic gameplay premise of the title was not that dissimilar from the final product, and was to involve the characters joining in various formations. However, when the formal pitch of the concept was presented to Nintendo, it was quickly rejected, as one of the pieces of concept art depicted several Mario characters holding each other to form a bridge, with Mario running atop Princess Peach. Hideki Kamiya then reworked the premise, removing the Nintendo characters and replacing them with a team of original superheroes.

    Bravely Default: Flying Fairy

    Bravely Default: Flying Fairy was originally intended as a sequel to the Nintendo DS RPG Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light. As development progressed, however, certain elements began to clash with what was thought suitable for the Final Fantasy name. Development shifted, and the game was named Bravely Default in reference to two key mechanics of the game's battle system, "Brave" (to spend Brave Points for extra combat actions during a character's turn) and "Default" (to defend, spending no BP and stocking more for the following turn). Various elements of the game's origins as a Final Fantasy title remain intact, including the naming conventions of items and spells and the structure of the game's Job System.


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