The crazy story behind Saving IMSA Racing | 8 More Unreleased Games – 3DO M2 #2

The crazy story behind Saving IMSA Racing | 8 More Unreleased Games – 3DO M2 #2


Welcome to Part two of the ongoing series
Unreleased 3DO M2. I’m going to cover the rules then jump right
into it. The rules for inclusion are simple, there
has to be some proof that the game was in development. Be it an article in a magazine, known copy
of a prototype, a retail order sheet, an interview with a developer, etcetera. With that, let’s get started. This is Retro Impressions Unreleased 3DO M2 Eurofighter 2000 was released on pc to rave
reviews. The flight combat simulator was considered
by many to be the best of it’s kind taking home numerous awards in the simulator category. The game required fairly cutting-edge technology
to run and the M2 offered hardware capable of handling it. With the system being canceled, Eurofighter
was never ported to a home console keeping it a PC exclusive. Evil Night known as Hell Night in Japan was
an amazing three player arcade experience released in 1998 by Konami using the M2. This on rails shooter offered players the
choice between Harry and Joe who both use a six-shooter and Alicia who relies on a shotgun
for survival. The game was limited in released and has remained
extremely popular. It’s set across five stages and mechanically
is largely similar to House of the dead. Depending on your performance there are four
possible endings. Unfortunately, the Konami built M2 arcade
boards have experienced an unusually high failure rate leaving just a handful intact
and in operation across the world. The game was even released in America though
less than 4 remain in service as of the posting of this video. It has never been ported and due to the complex
architecture of the m2 chips, no emulation has been achieved. If you ever are lucky enough to see this machine
in the wild, be sure you spend what you can to experience it through to the end because
that might be the only opportunity you’ll ever have. Back when some of the more obscure consoles
were still in production, the games most associated with those brands are not the ones people
most associate with these systems today. The CD-I, for example, is now remembered for
the laughable Zelda games, but back when the system was relevant, no one talked about those
as reasons to own the system. Games that sold the CD-i were Mutant Body
Rampage, the Appreciate, burn cycle, and of course Thunder in Paradice. The 3DO for it’s part has become associated
with FMV games such as Plumbers don’t wear ties along with a vast quantity of other titles
not exclusive to the platform. While these games were popular when the system
was relevant, the 3DO was most known for its incredible arcade-like and forward thinking
games. Ones such as Way of the Warrior, Need For
Speed, D, Street Fighter II, and Road Rash were reasons people wanted the system, and
would have owned had 3do priced it right. The list is quite extensive, but at the top
of the stack is Gex by Crystal Dynamics. Like numerous companies developing games for
the 3DO, Crystal Dynamics benefited greatly from the 3DO’s extremely pro developer licensing
program and were the first to sign on as a licensee for the system. Gex was designed as part of the platform animal
mascot craze prevalent through the 90s. It was praised for its gameplay, beautiful
graphics, and for being what many felt was the first game to utilize professional voice
acting giving the character a voice that truly belonged to them. The game was so popular, 3DO even included
it as a pack in title helping to cement it as one of the best selling 3DO games ever
with over a million copies sold. Crystal Dynamics was absolutely loyal to 3DO
developing and releasing games on their platform first then porting them to other consoles
down the road. In total, they would release seven classic
3DO games before the system was pulled from the market. Gex would receive a follow up announced in
early 1997. It was slated for release on the M2, PSX and
N64. Heart of Darkness started development in 1992
with intentions of releasing on the upcoming 3DO and PC. The studio behind the game was founded as
a collaboration behind the driving forces responsible for Another World and Flashback. A budget of one million British Pounds was
set as Virgin decided to back the project. Fast forward to 1996 and the game was still
in development, though a release date for that same year was finally announced along
with Sega securing rights to released Heat of Darkness on the Saturn as a timed exclusive. June saw an announcement of a port to 3DO’s
M2 but by December, Virgin had lost faith in the project and pulled funding. For most games, this would have killed them
due to disputes over ownership of game assets and a development houses ability to survive
without funding. For Heat of Darkness the rights remained with
the developer, and after four years the team was determined to not throw away their work
no matter what personal sacrifices it took. From December 1996 until September of 1997
the staff would continue to work on the game without compensation and were finally able
to present it at the European Computer Trade show where Interplay picked up distribution
rights, saving it and guaranteeing it’s release in the process. In July of 1998 the game finally released
to rave reviews on PC and the PSX. No one has discussed what happened to the
other versions, but by 1998 the Saturn was done and the M2 canceled removing any mystery
as to why they never released on those systems. Heat of Eleven 98 is an association football
game developed by Konami. It was released and remains stuck in arcaded
using the M2. As with all the games that saw a physical
release on M2 hardware, this one is by far the most obscure. Beyond one photo, no video, review, or description
of gameplay has survived the internet. A rather odd situation for any big budget
game by Konami, no less one that was released to the public. You might be wondering why there is video
of the game when I just gave this spiel, thats because three days before recording this episode,
a youtube channel called igorstellar posted footage of the game in action making It the
only video of the game online. HMS Carnage also called Dreadnought was Oceans
attempt to move away from movie licenses and start development of their own unique properties
. It was a steampunk shooter set on Mars that made use of the most cutting-edge 3D technology
available. It also featured 48 minutes of pre-rendered
footage designed to tell the story as you progressed through the game. Most of the pre-rendered footage was finished
and the game demoed at E3 in 98. It was a technically ambitious project with
the PC and M2 being the target platforms though it was also announced for PSX and Saturn later
on. Near the end of 1998 Infogrames acquired Ocean
and canceled all projects that were further out that six months from completion. This was regardless of time and money investment. HMS Carnage fell into this group and was a
casualty of the buyout keeping it unreleased on any system. IMSA World Championship Racing was developed
in-house by 3DO as a launch title for the M2. Playable builds were shown off at expos with
numerous articles appearing in magazines. The game was directed by Ed Rotberg of Atari
Star Wars and Battlezone Arcade fame and had a veteran development team behind it to ensure
its success. It looked to be a massive step forward for
home racing games and was pushed hard along with D2 as stand out exclusives that would
sell the system. The game was nearly finished when 3DO pulled
the plug for reasons related to the m2 being canceled. For nearly a decade a small group of 3DO enthusiast
worked to track down info related to the unreleased M2 game. As prototype hardware and development systems
found their way into public hands, the search intensified. The situation was similar to the Nintendo
Playstation where working hardware existed, but no games or software. Two people were leading unrelated quest to
locate IMSA they were Tekknorg also known as NikeX and WindowsKiller. As not much was known about the team behind
the game, they reached out to people who held position at 3DO during the game’s development
in an effort to gain a lead. Tekknorg would reach out to Phil Burk and
Kevin Hester who were both happy to discuss IMSA, but neither had kept copies of the game. They both echoed the same advice, if anyone
had a copy it would be Tom Bazzano or Ed Rotberg. Unfortunately for Tekknorg, neither could
be reached and his quest to locate IMSA grew cold. In the meantime, WindowsKiller obtained a
copy of the game from one of it’s programers Alex Werner, along with a tech demo called
Shooter 2D. WindowsKiller would release Shooter 2D in
December of 2008 , but refused to dump IMSA stating that Werner requested the game only
be shown but never released. Promises were made to release video of the
game in action, but it never happened. Tensions within the M2 community were high
leading to frustration and infighting between people concerned with preserving the game,
and those in the business of collecting and selling rare and unreleased games who grew
tired of the topic of preservation over ownership. As had been done in the past, a petition was
started requesting the release of the game, even if it required the community to raise
money to compensate WindowsKiller for it’s public release. WindowKiller responded with the following
message. 1. I’m not selling it. 2. I’m not releasing it, since it’s copyrighted
and licensed work, and I’m also not going to risk losing trust of the person who gave
it to me (morality, anyone?). 3. It’s preserved for the next 30 years, so don’t
worry. A backup is stored on a DVD-RAM type 1 cartridge
which is in turn stored in a temperature-controlled room… So, please stop your selfishness. You want that the game is preserved? Then be quiet, because it is. You want a copy of it? Sorry, but that won’t happen. Things for Tekknorg weren’t lining up. Why would Alex Werner authorize the release
of one game and not the other? Trying to track him down had proved impossible
before, but shooter 2D provided something that would solve that problem. As Tekknorg played through the game bubbles
containing the faces of the developers along with their names would appear on-screen. Phil Burk, Kevin Hester, Tom Bazzano, Ed Rotberg
and Alex Werener… They were all there. Knowing what Alex looked like, Tekknorg was
able to locate him using Facebook and sent a message. He asked about the M2, and what exactly was
the truth behind the copy of IMSA WindowsKiller had in his possession. The response was positive and immediate as
they discussed the hardware, 3DO as a company, IMSA, and one major bombshell. It was revealed that when the game was given
to WindowsKiller, it was with the understanding that he would distribute it to the public. Unbeknownst to Tekknorg, Alex was already
aware of the situation due to conversations be had with 3DO preservationist Bitsrite in
early 2009. Alex encouraged Bitsrite to talk with WindowsKiller
and convince him to do the right thing by releasing the game so he had promised, but
that conversation was over a year earlier and no progress had been made as Windowskiller
maintained he would Never release the game. The situation was clear, if things were left
as they stood, IMSA would remain in the possession of a profiteer and never make it to the hands
of the public as Alex intended, so he sent a digital copy via e-mail to Tekknorg tasking
a second person with releasing it to the 3DO community. On July 26th 2010 he made good on his promise
releasing the game on the 3DO Zone Forums. It might be impossible to play for all but
a handful of people, but due to the efforts of Bitsrate and Tekknorg, it’s preserved for
future generations. WindowsKiller withdrew from the community
though he still maintains a website where some development documents and Shooter 2D
can be downloaded. Tekknorg has maintained links for IMSA that
can still be found on the 3DO Zone Forums. A huge thanks to Tekknorg and Bitsrite for
being stand up members of the community doing their best to preserve what they can. Without people like them, so many games would
remain unknown, undocumented, and lost forever. It really is a small group of people doing
most of the work and I solute you. Thanks for watching. I hope you enjoyed this episode.

43 Replies to “The crazy story behind Saving IMSA Racing | 8 More Unreleased Games – 3DO M2 #2”

  1. Further cementing the bitter hatred the classic gaming/computing communities have for resellers and their vile kin. Alas, I don't live in an area where rarities pop up, but if I happened to luck into something stupidly rare, I'd share it immediately, or loan it to a reputable tech museum for an indeterminate period of time.

  2. What if the 3DO M2 was made and released then these games will be released on the M2. And that WindowsKiller guy is like I'm holding the game and not releasing it. Well the game is not under or if it still is under copyright then yeah he can keep it preserved but people want to see the game and try it out but due to him leaving the community then this game is so far out of people's hands. I think that WindowsKiller is afraid that he might get caught and be sent to jail. I like that the founder of EA still run The 3DO Company until it's closure. Now he owns a company that makes games for smartphones. If there is still more unreleased games for any platform then you will get the info about the games the are unreleased then cover it in the next video.

  3. Definitely appreciate the 3DO M2 content. For whatever reason I find it a fascinating piece of unreleased hardware and it is one prototype console that I'd like to own some day. Part of it I suppose was due to Trip Hawkins being a true force in the game industry in the 80's and 90's. It would be cool to see how he could right the ship with EA if he were take it back over some day, but obviously that won't happen. From an interview with him, he said the reason the 3DO failed was because all their investors sold all their stock on the IPO and so they only have about $100 million when it really takes $1-2 billion to launch a new console. Of course, it was also the fact that they weren't able to manufacture the hardware themselves and had to go with Panasonic as a partner and have ridiculously expensive hardware. I have to wonder what 3DO would have looked like in 1993 with a $299 price point and proper marketing and development budget. It was basically the Playstation but a couple years ahead of its time.

  4. Great video. I really do appreciate people like Tekknorg and others who go through great lengths to preserve games across various platforms so future generations can enjoy them. On the other hand, screw people like Windowskiller. People like him are the reason so many amazing betas/prototypes are still technically lost today, instead of being released and preserved for everyone. These type of 'collectors ' are only concerned with building a collection only they will see, trying to turn a profit, or use it as leverage to get other prototypes that they'll also horde away.

    I find it hysterical that he had the nerve to call others 'selfish' in that post when he and other hording collectors are the very definition of selfish.

  5. This is really off the point, but a game I would like to see tracked down would be Jurassic Park survival on the PS2. Looked to be a tomb raider like game.

  6. Great work, I can't believe that guy was trying to keep the game for himself when he had been asked to distribute! Geeeezzzz

  7. Loved the 3DO, that console was so ahead of its time that computers wanted to be like that console (creative 3DO blaster anyone?)
    Take that master race

  8. I can't stand people like Windowskiller. "Protect the value", they say. Fuck the value! A game being preserved is not just about backing up a ROM, it's about making sure people are able to play and experience it.

  9. That was a crazy story all about getting Imsa released, glad it turned out right in the end.

    Also, It sounds like a ligma joke.

  10. i forgot about evil night i always like horror light gun games they are so cheesey its great. thats good about IMSA racing not being locked away forever good job on them

  11. Great video, panasonic paid millions for the m2 only for them to cancel the console . At least konami made a few games on their arcade version of m2

  12. The M2 wouldn't have been a steep leap in generation. The Dreamcast, showing Soul Calibur, was a true new generation experience.

  13. Thanks for using my Evil Night playthrough footage 🙂 there actually is a cough working cough emulator for the konami m2 arcade games. The guy that made it refuses to pick the project back up for some reason, he said he was embarrassed by the work he did on it. Yet was the ONLY guy who could get the games to run, so I can't imagine why??? It is called the 'm2x emulator'. You can find it on google. Currently it only runs heat of eleven if you know what you're doing and have an actual bin/iso image from a ripped disc. Sorry, no rom zips or chd files will work!

  14. Another great video and a great channel. Thanks for the kind words. To all Gamers and Interested, let me share something with you a former 3DO audio engineer told me many years ago::SEGA was very interested in buying our M2 chip for their next console. But when we got the first prototype chips back from the fab, they were missing a layer of metal. Some engineer at the fab left a line out of a script. This killed all the on-chip RAMs including the graphics texture RAM and the DSP RAM. So, the demos we showed to SEGA did not have any textures and ran very slow. The next chip worked fine but it was too late.
    That's why we never saw a SEGA M2 Console.

  15. Evil Nights and Heart of Darkness seem to be interesting games. Specially the Evil Nights game hopefully they make an emulator for that Arcade.
    There are already more than enough Soccer, Simulator and Racing games even without the unreleased ones. Although Saturn could not compete with PSX library still Sega Rally & Daytona USA were very good Racing games and i doubt that the Racing game on M2 could compete with them still it is good that these Games are getting preserved.

  16. Wow, WindowsKiller's attitude is really bad to the community. Rather than share a rom of the game that can help to keep the existence of the game he decided to keep a copy in its original CD, that in a couple of years can get old and unusable.
    Thanks for the investigation Jenovi! I really would liked to play "Gex: enter the gecko" in a complete release for the M2.

  17. I'm an Evil Night owner and can confirm there's at least 3 endings, Normal, Bad, and Good. The speculation of a fourth came from two currently-unknown music tracks and the cabinet artwork mentioning a "perfect" ending. Likely a mistranslation, but you never know…

  18. People who collect games instead of releasing them are rather selfish, at least if they are unreleased games. A game should not be selfishly kept to yourself if it can be uploaded to the wonderful world of the internet for others to enjoy. I mean, it's not like he has to give the game away to do so.

  19. WindowsKiller omg dude, if nobody can try a game out EVER except you, the fact that it's preserved becomes meaningless. 😛 The actual hardware doesn't matter if an emulator can be made which definitely the best coarse to preserve M2 games.

  20. I need to have HMS Carnage/Dreadnought in my life. Those funky warplanes have the Crimson Skies vibe that I dearly love, and the entire concept of Mars Steampunk combat is too good to simply leave unfinished.

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