Heroes: The Video Game
On July 26, 2007, NBC announced that the French gamemaker Ubisoft was given the rights and license to produce a third-person superhero action game based on the world of Heroes. The game would brings the series characters, locations, and story lines to next-generation game consoles (PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii) and the PC in early or late 2008. The deal with Ubisoft had apparently been long in the works, and was finally announced at Comic-Con. Producer Jesse Alexander (who first hinted at the game during an online podcast in May 2007) said, "From Day 1 we've all been thinking about the game... All along we've been writing some of our stories in ways they can tie into the eventual video game."
The game would focus on the entire ensemble cast rather than highlighting a specific character's journey. Additionally, the game was expected to play a crucial role in how the show's writers explore cross-platform storytelling for future seasons of the television show. Despite that, the plan was to have Ubisoft hire its own writer to write the game's script and to develop the game at one of its internal studios. However, TV series writers were to supervise and consult on game design and story. Because Ubisoft would have spent two years developing the game, the game's script wasn't meant to be used as a bridge between seasons. Jesse Alexander said, "We want it to have a lasting shelf-life and tell a distinctive story that gives you enhanced insight into the entire franchise." The game was to have a "heavy focus on storytelling."
At the time, Ubisoft was busy working on the video game Lost: Via Domus (from the television series Lost), so they reached out to various external developers including High Voltage Software. A partnership deal with High Voltage was made after July, but was never publicly revealed. High Voltage's vision was to center around a new female redhead character of High Voltage Software's own invention (see below), similar to the Lost game. However, because the project's lifespan was relatively short, the character was never named, though concept art was created for her. The character would have acted as the player's vessel through which they could explore the world of the show and interact with its characters.
After High Voltage Software came on board, the plot of the video game evolved to be a hybrid of "a direct adaptation of the show's premier season and an original story." Specifically, while the basic narrative of season one was unfolding, the new female character would concurrently be dealing with her own issues. But due to time, the character's backstory and abilities had not yet been figured out. Prototyping began with the Xbox 360 as the lead platform, with direct ports to the PS3 and PC planned for simultaneous release. A version for Nintendo Wii was also outlined, but production on it was never started. A High Voltage employee said, "There was one more character done and some environment work, but it was not in any kind of playable state."
Heroes: The Video Game had been in full development for no more than a month when the decision was made to terminate the project. High Voltage had intended to singlehandedly develop every version of the game themselves, but they soon released that the company's resources were insufficient for such a hefty task. They realized that it would have taken much longer than they had anticipated and they backed out of the project. Following cancellation at High Voltage Software, the game's assets returned to Ubisoft around August 2007. Ubisoft retained the license for some time after this with a possibility of contracting a new team for it. In fact, the game producer still had plans to potentially create the game if the show's rating recovered from its weak Season Two premiere in September 2007. However, when Season Three aired in September 2008, ratings were even lower for Heroes. The plans for the game were officially cancelled by Ubisoft around October 2008. It was announced a month later (around the time that NBC fired Heroes producers Jesse Alexander and Jeph Loeb), and the license reverted back to NBC.
A 3D model of Future Hiro
- For other uses of game, see game (disambig).
- Anticipation for the game's announcement at Variety, 7/24/2007
- Official announcement at NBC.com, 7/26/2007
- Announcement and news at Video Games Blogger, 7/26/2007
- Cancellation announcement at Multiplayer Blog, 11/6/2008
- Explanation and history of the game's cancellation, from Unseen64, 2/16/2015
|See Also: Production • Unaired Episodes|