Half-Life Dreamcast canned?

All quiet on the Freeman front

Source - IGN

Randy Pitchford did his best to impress us with the Dreamcast version of Half-Life at last year's ECTS, demonstrating some impressive scripted sequences and showing us how the game would be Half-Life all over again, and then some. To say warning klaxons were firing when the supposed Dreamcast extras were announced as a forthcoming PC release - Blue Shift - would be an understatement. From a sales point of view, Sierra made a wise decision with Blue Shift. Half-Life still rides high in the gaming charts as the most popular first person shooter for the last few years, and with Counter-Strike dominating the online arena, and one successful mission pack already on sale, why not scrape every piece of original content together and give the people what they want - more of the same? And that's precisely what they've done. Blue Shift is due out next month, and features the extra campaign, where you take up the role of a "Barney" security guard, as well as a completely revamped set of models and textures for the original adventure. The observant among you will have spotted that this is the meat and bones of what the Dreamcast version was going to be. And I say "was", because there's a lot of evidence to suggest that Sierra have canned the game. IGN have spoken to a number of retail managers at stores in the USA, and the game has apparently been removed from catalogues and pre-orders have been refunded. There's no official announcement (either to the press or to retail) on its future, and parent company Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing's UK office wasn't able to confirm or deny the reports at the time of writing, telling us that they were still waiting to hear back from Sierra USA. But we doubt that store owners gave up on it of their own accord… According to Adrenaline Vault, Electronics Boutique's American website actually lists the game as cancelled to customers who have it in their shopping basket or on pre-order. It's very hard to get word either way over here, but our local EB informed us that the game was not on their release dates list, and when we sauntered down to HMV, they told us that central office had advised them not to include it on projected release charts, and that "this sort of note from management usually means the game's no longer coming out". Of course, with the Dreamcast itself out of production (and supply completely dried up in Japan already), you can understand Sierra's reluctance to bother with it. You can also appreciate that after the billing the game has received (big stands at E3 and ECTS, plenty of print copy and a lot of screenshots and footage), they're also reluctant to announce its cancellation. Better to consolidate by moving everything over to another PC mission pack. At least people are still buying PCs, after all. Related Feature - Half-Life Dreamcast Preview

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Tom Bramwell

Tom Bramwell

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Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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