The video game world is no stranger to canceled projects; major projects often never make it to foreign shores, or are scrapped entirely for a variety of reasons. Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures and Champions Online never made it to the Xbox 360, for example. Earthbound 64 was canceled and remade as a Japanese-exclusive Gameboy Advance title. Seiken Densetsu 3 was never released in the United States. Then there are those tragic games that were scrapped during development, like Ultima X: Odyssey and the rumored Final Fantasy “Fortress” title. Project D, a wonderful-looking oriental action MMORPG, is one of those unfortunate titles that had its plug pulled due to unforeseen circumstances.
Developed in Korea by Gream Studio, Project D featured unique aesthetics, amazing environments and a martial-arts theme that is markedly similar to NCsoft’s own martial-arts MMO, Blade & Soul. According to a report by webzine Inven, it seems that Gream Studio was part of the larger Actoz Soft company, the latter of which recently decided to switch gears and become a more mobile-oriented business. Project D was canceled and the development team left as a result.
One of these developers posted the following gameplay footage of Project D on Youtube, so that others might see the “game that could have been.”
Though one can’t get a solid feel for the combat due to the sparse fighting segments, the video reveals a qinggong-esque traveling ability (much like Blade & Soul). Near the end of the video, we can see the player utilize this ability to quickly move around a battlefield. The character designs look great, and the environments look fantastic. Combined with the game’s traveling system, exploring the world of Project D could have been amazing.
Because of copyright issues, the future of Project D remains uncertain.
In case you’re wondering: no, the music featured in the video is not from Project D. Uploader Ragemooni supplemented the gameplay footage in the video with music from Gundam U.C. and Blue Exorcist: the tracks “Unicorn” and “Exorcist Concerto Second Movement X,” respectively.