Cliff Bleszinski announced only few hours ago that he was shutting Boss Key Productions down. The developer of LawBreakers and Radical Heights “is no more,” and he’s taking a break from the video games industry.
Interestingly, he took some time to talk about three scrapped video games projects he and his development team pitched to multiple publishers, which were unfortunately refused for several reasons we’ll see later.
The first was a VR spiritual successor to Toobin, “Mario Kart on water with animals in VR,” he claims it was going to be. It was “the silly/fun one,” called Donuts.
The second was “DogWalkers,” initially planned for VR too, “inspired by WW2 tank crews/battles/the movie Fury. It was a 5 v 5 v 5 v 5 v 5 Zoid looking walkers fighting it out in MP.”
The third and most important was DragonFlies, a $40 million single-player action adventure game that was pitched to multiple publishers, such as Microsoft, Sony, Activision, EA and Warner Bros., and always got refused.
“Basically you were ninja/samurai in airships riding dragons fighting zombies with friends in a PVE “feudalpunk” setting on floating islands. (the airships = your “aircraft carriers”, the dragons = your “planes”),” Bleszinski explained.
“You used melee and guns and could outfit your beasts for combat. Basically do for dragon riding what Halo did for vehicles. (…)you’d find dragon eggs, hatch them, and raise them. (…) The plan was to learn from the mistakes of Lair/Scalebound.”
We don’t know the reasons why this stuff was refused by publishers but let me say that’s disappointing to see that’s happened, and especially considering the to keep Boss Key Productions in the business Bleszinski had to try and launch a scrappy Fortnite clone.
“One problem with publishers, generally? You pitch something and the response is often ‘too similar to something we have or out there so no’ or ‘this is too unique so we can’t do a proper financial model for it’,” he suggested. “I respect them but as a creative it’s frustrating.”
Here’s one of the games I wanted to do codenamed “DragonFlies.”
Basically you were ninja/samurai in airships riding dragons fighting zombies with friends in a PVE “feudalpunk” setting on floating islands. (the airships = your “aircraft carriers”, the dragons = your “planes”) pic.twitter.com/yX2ivPwezb
— Cliff Bleszinski (@therealcliffyb) May 15, 2018