I recently interviewed Tom Keegan, cinematic performance director on Battlefield, the Wolfenstein series, Star Wars Battlefront 2, Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, and more. The same week we spoke, two of the games he had been actively working on had been cancelled. He couldn’t say what these games were, but I do know neither of them was Visceral Games’ Star Wars game.
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It got us speaking about the subject of cancelled games, and I wondered if there were any that he had been working on that he wished had seen the light of day. “We had a Jason Bourne game that we were going to make with Starbreeze. That was really exciting and we actually did a two-day shoot on that,” Keegan says.
“We weren't sure if Damon was going to be involved. There was talk of it, but it was more based on the books,” Keegan continues. “I devoured the books - it was so cool to read the books, which were much more James Bond-ish. Lots of swilling cognac after a dangerous encounter.”
Set in modern-day Europe, it was planned to be a first-person adventure, which is no big surprise coming from Starbreeze. Unfortunately, it was around the time the movies were on a break, which is why the project got cancelled.
As for the two recent projects of Keegan’s that got canned, non-disclosure agreements means he couldn’t say what they were. All he could say was: “I can’t really talk about the one that got cancelled that was never announced, but it would have been... I wish I could say. Maybe someday.”
Two projects being cancelled in a week certainly isn’t the norm. Keegan says that he has been lucky that not too many of the games he’s worked on have been pulled. It does feel like these cancellations are becoming more of a regular occurrence, however, and I wondered how the director felt about that, particularly with the current worried around the viability of single-player games.
“People are going through a lot of soul-searching right now around the single-player game, you’ve probably read some stuff about that,” he says. “That makes me nervous. But as long as I’ve been in the industry, which is about 15 years now, there’s always rumours of the death of the single-player game, the death of cinematics. But then you release a game without cinematics, like the first Star Wars game that DICE did, and everybody goes, ‘There’s no story, there’s no cinematics!’”
My full interview with Keegan should be live on the site later today.