The history of video games is filled with unreleased games: Prey 2, Star Wars 1313, StarCraft: Ghost. Some projects ran out of money, others were lost in a shuffle of corporate reorganization. But every now and then, one of these unreleased games sees the light of day years later, like when Nintendo released Star Fox 2 on its SNES Classic. This will soon be the case for Hardcore, an unreleased game for the Sega Genesis developed by DICE, better known today for its Battlefield series.
In the early 1990s, the company was coding pinball games and working on Hardcore—a 2D action and exploration game like Metroid. It looked great but there was a problem: it was set to come out on the Sega Genesis and publisher Psygnosis had lost faith in the console.
It was 1994, the Super Nintendo had crushed the Sega Genesis and the PlayStation was about to release and change everything. “We had one bug left to squish and the game would have been finished,” DICE founders Andreas Axelsson and Olof Gustafsson told a crowd at Datastorm 2010. “Unfortunately Psygnosis still owns the license … but we’re working on it.” Axelsson and Gustafsson demoed a running version of the game while they talked about what had gone wrong.
Eight years later DICE has finally worked something out with Sony, which owns the Psygnosis back catalogue, because Hardcore is finally coming out in 2019. “I know the care, love, sweat and hard work that went into creating Hardcore it in the first place by all involved parties,” Fredrik Liljegren, another DICE founder, said in a statement. “Thus, I think it is fantastic that this product finally gets to see the light of day and for people to be able to play it finally.”