In the same interview with VG24/7 in which former Obsidian writer and co-founder Chris Avellone revealed what the studio had in mind for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 3, he also shed some light on the mysterious Alien RPG that never saw the light of day. According to Avellone, the reason you never saw the game (titles Aliens: Crucible) had to do with some problems between Sega and Obsidian.
“We wanted to make it. But by that point Sega, I think, was… the publisher/management relations had gotten to a point where they were just tired of dealing with [Obsidian],” Avellone said. “Everyone working on Aliens: Crucible was really excited about it. It was shaping up to be a really cool game. The prototype was really cool. But then Sega’s like ‘nope!’”
While Avellone says he doesn’t necessarily blame Sega for the product’s cancellation, he does express some regret that Obsidian never got the chance to develop a game that he described as “basically Mass Effect but more terrifying.” The game would have seen players find a mysterious installation on an alien planet that Avellone says was shockingly similar to what we eventually saw in Prometheus.
“The weird thing is that when Prometheus came out, I saw some of the similarities,” Avellone said. “[I thought] ‘Oh, we had a character like that.’ But the entire world was more violent and there were a lot more aliens running around. It was more a question of survival, and ‘how do we recover all the supplies, and desperately try to make a base?’ It was fun to set up.”
Interestingly, Avellone even speaks of a system in which player conversations could be interrupted by an attacking Xenomorph. The idea there was to ensure that players never felt safe during the experience.
It’s certainly a shame that we’ll never get to play this game, especially when you consider that Obsidian has had to deal with some rocky development cycles in the past that have prevented the studio from releasing its full vision. Thankfully, Obsidian is returning to the world of bigger budget sci-fi RPG action with The Outer Worlds.