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'Primal Rage II' from Heartbreak to Resurrection: The Journey After Cancellation


Chris Tang (Senior Game Designer, Hitsparks Games)

Location: Room 3005, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 21

Time: 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference, GDC Summits, Expo Plus, Expo, Audio Conference + Tutorial, Educators Summit, Indie Games Summit - Get your pass now!

Topic: Advocacy

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Game cancellations are devastating, both personally and professionally. How do you deal with it, move on, and will anyone ever see your work again? Game designer Chris Tang talks about a rare comeback story. Despite the popularity of the Atari Games franchise, arcade fighting game 'Primal Rage II' was cancelled in 1997, doomed to be forgotten. Or was it? First as a prototype arcade unit and more recently in emulated form, the game was resurrected through twists of fate and heroic fan efforts, allowing the masses to finally enjoy the 20-year old "game that never was". This unique and heartfelt postmortem chronicles the development, challenges, untimely demise, personal consequences, and eventual comeback for what Engadget called "2017's hottest new fighting game".


Cancellation doesn't have to mean non-existence. As the story emphasizes the importance of work ethic, documentation, and following up on past works with fans and collaborators, attendees will leave empowered with a better understanding of what can be done to ensure their works live on, even for projects that don't make it to full launch.

Intended Audience

This talk is of interest to the entire spectrum of attendees as it offers a unique, historic perspective on a cancelled project; a common and traumatic occurrence among all walks of developers. it may be of additional value to those interested in arcade game history and preservation.