Aliens vs Predator

1997 Rebellion

Platforms: Sony PlayStation, Atari Jaguar CD edition and SEGA Saturn

Thanks to Ross Sillifant for the heads up, a short clip of what seems to be the unreleased PlayStation version of Aliens vs Predator can be found in this fascinating video of the E3 show back in 1997:

It should start at the right place, but if for any reason it doesn’t – skip to 2:05:29. Ross also found an archive link where Jason Kingsley talks about the project in a development diary – with some fascinating details.

The entire video (which has been online for a few years) is worth checking out, as it features a number of unreleased titles within. The game was also planned for release on the Sega Saturn, which also saw cancellation. The PC version was delayed and eventually released in 1999.

In April 2023, contributor Molasar fed back a number of other links showing parts of the PlayStation edition and various scans. Here are the resources:

More gameplay from E3 1997:

Scanned screenshots from Micromania Spanish magazine:


Scan from Next Generation 34 Oct 1997 with 3D characters:

Scan from PC Zone 54 (September 1997):

Scan from Playstation Plus Vol #2 Issue #11:

Then in August 2023, Molasar dug out a conversation about the development from a recent podcast:

Aaron: While we’re here to primarily talk AvP Extinction, I know Mike you used to work at Fox Interactive and had some hand in the development of AvP Classic. Now it’d be criminal of me not to ask you about it while we’re on here and we’ve got you. So, tell us about that experience working on that game?

Mike: I had worked at Acclaim. That was my first job in the industry, and I worked on a lot of things. I feel like there was something Aliens – I think maybe it was being talked about when I was at Acclaim. Then I left Acclaim, I went to Sony and then about a year after I left to Acclaim, I ended up at Fox so it must have been that Alien Trilogy was being talked about when I was there. I got there and it was a license deal so we weren’t really involved but we were also basically like handling reviewing of all the licensed products right just for like video gameness. Because I had like a bad relationship with Acclaim. When they came for like the final approval of Alien Trilogy they said well why don’t you take care of this, like have a little fun and so I went into the room.

I was like “No you can’t ship this. It’s awful” and I have to thank whoever that was for letting me have that tiny, tiny iota of revenge but after that shipped, I was like “I really like these Aliens games. Like this is kind of fun. I want to do something like with AvP because we had this Jaguar game we’re playing. The Jaguar game – the thing that made it so cool was that they built models of all the Aliens and they photographed them from all the different angles and made sprites. So even though it was kind of janky that they looked really good because they were they were models instead of hand-painted and so I found those guys. It was Rebellion in the UK, and I was like “Hey look we want to do another AvP game. Can you just basically do like what you did before and do that on Playstation?”

And they were like “Yeah cool”, and it was like a really tough project. Like they were really small. It was like five or six people on the team and the model thing just wasn’t really working on Playstation and design wise, like the design wasn’t really there and they didn’t have a great plan. Luckily for me, I went to go work at Activision on Battlezone and as I was leaving, I handed the project to a guy named Dave Stalker who just comes back to the story like a few years later. I said to Dave “You’re a designer. This game really needs a lot of design now” So it turns out after I left, he basically spent like a year and a half at Rebellion working with them on the design of the game and it turned out to be a great game.

Oh, and like five minutes after I left, they were like “Hey we really don’t want to do this the model thing. Can we just make 3D models of everything” and Dave was like “Yeah sure.” They blamed me for that. They were like “Oh we asked him, and he wouldn’t let us do it.” At the time I was at Fox, we kept saying hey it’d be really cool to do like an AvP RTS and we talk about it at lunch all the time right. So a couple years later I was talking to Novak who’s one of the founders of Zono and he’s like “Yeah we’re doing this AvP RTS” and I was like “Ah that was a great idea. I’m glad they finally did that.” So, I guess that’s my history.

Adam: So, the game, there was a PS1 version in development that was dropped, and they just went with PC for that one, right?

Mike: Yeah it was it was PC, Playstation and Saturn and so Playstation was kind of like the lead SKU around the time that I left. I think what my understanding what had happened was like I said development was a little troublesome and I don’t think it was troublesome like that they couldn’t handle it. I think it was just they bit off more than they could shoot right. It was the amount of stuff they were trying to put into the game I think was more than a Playstation could handle and so I think after I left, they just pragmatically said “Let’s just drop this and stick with PC that can handle so much more memory, more power”.

Then finally, not quite related to the PS edition, here were some details about a CD update for the Jaguar version that were uncovered by Ross Sillifant:

With thanks to Ross Sillifant for the original video heads up and to Molasar for the resources.

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