Thanks to Niklas Lindholm, we learn of yet another lost football management game, this time with a game in the Ultimate Soccer Manager series, with the 2000 edition. Niklas has produced a brilliant video about the series, where he also talks about the cancelled edition here:
Trouble had started when some of the old team decided to leave Impressions due to various reasons undisclosed, and the code was too messy/complicated for the new crew to be able to pick up and resume in an effective way. They decided to restart development, and had a promising and playable alpha coming together after a short space of time.
The problem was (according to an unnamed developer on the project), Sierra were incredibly impatient, and were frustrated at the delays caused. They wanted the game for a Christmas 2000 release, and were not willing to give the team more time beyond that. The friction caused by this saw productivity fall as morale dropped. When it was realised that the Christmas 2000 deadline would not be met, Sierra decided to cancel the game.
At present, all that remains are a series of adverts and screenshots – but it is hoped that something of the cancelled development will surface in the future. Maybe one of the developers still has something tucked away that they could share. For now, check out a few additional items provided by Niklas from his research.