The history of beta and cancelled video games is a fascinating road to go down. So many titles have images resurfaced decades later and sometimes prototypes find their way online to be archived. The latest story to be added comes directly from Sega with a reasoning being directly related to Yuji Naka himself.
On a recent episode of the Retro Hour Podcast, former Sega of America producer Mark Subotnick revealed he was overseeing a team that was working on what could have been a launch title for the Sega Dreamcast.
This team was working on the title Geist Force which would have been Sega’s attempt at a Star Fox-like space shooter for the Dreamcast. It’s long been believed that the reason for the game’s cancellation was ultimately down to numerous deadlines being missed, but now it seems there is more to that story.
Subotnick says that Yuji Naka himself was directly the cause for the game’s cancellation. The story goes that one day during development Naka and his team came down to their studio to inspect their game engine. Naka allegedly started speaking in Japanese, but unbeknownst to him several members of Subotnick’s team were bilingual. While in conversation, Naka said in Japanese that once Geist Force was shipped they were going to fire everyone except for the engineers that were working on this title. Those few employees would be brought over to the Sonic Team to work on an upcoming Sonic title. This ultimately led to this specific development team to lose both man-power and money which ultimately led to the cancellation of the title.