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Primal Rage 2; a cancelled fighting game and another example of bad decisions in 90s gaming

VGEsoterica

Member
The history of Primal Rage 2 is interesting; make a sequel for a hit arcade game...then cancel it when its 90% + done. Why? Because you sent test boards out for location tests that froze and crashed and should have never been sent in the first place then you WONDER why feedback was negative.

But you press on with development anyway. Create models with 1000 photographs and digitize them into the game. You market the HELL out of it....get everyone hyped. You send it out for NEW location tests...and feedback is great!

Then if you are Atari and Midway...you get cold feet, worry a home console port may be too hard...and throw out a few years worth of work and money by cancelled the sequel to a hit game when it was just getting buttoned up to ship.

Great business decision guys!

But for real Primal Rage 2 is legit even if its not finished. It has some interesting design choices people will either love or hate...but you can see the passion in the game design and gameplay and this one should have absolutely been finished and shipped

But curious GAF...who here has played Primal Rage 2? Or what other examples of straight up BONEHEADED business decisions in gaming do you have for me? (Like Xbox One game sharing bad)

 

thief183

Member
Really really cool, i would have love this as a Kid.
I think sometimes licensing costs are what stops games to get release, thibking about sound effects, music, or characters. I mean, the game is pretty much donne there is totally a reason if they decide not to release it.
 

A.Romero

Member
Didn't know this existed. Pretty interesting.

Does the character gets a stick up his ass at around 1:09 ?
 

STARSBarry

Gold Member
 

MrA

Member
Sony passing on demons souls in the west
Nintendo needing there are twisted to release xenoblade
 

01011001

Member
to be fair tho, Primal Rage was pretty shit, so I think at that point in time feedback would have been bad either way because people at that time slowly caught on what a good fighting game needs to feel like

Competing with Street Fighter 3, Tekken 3, MK4, UMK3/MK Trilogy... no chance in hell
 

Stuart360

Member
'It doesnt look like soemthing the PS1 wouldnt be able to run', well looks wise maybe, but animation wise the PS1 version would of been waaay behind this.
I agree with your point though, they should of just released console versions, not just cancel the game.

Having said that, i'm not keen on the humanoid characters. Playing as dinosaurs was the big hook for Primal Rage, and its what made it different to other fighting games of that time.
 
The concept of sunk costs and any related decision-making is usually difficult for companies/people in general, but video game companies particularly are extremely bad at it.

The game would have probably not done well at all if they released it, even bombed, but the financial math should have been done using the amount of money it would cost to go from 90 to 100%, not how much it cost to go from 0-100%. They were going to cancel the game anyway, so that money is dead money regardless.

The other question is what did these devs move on to after abandoning this game?
 

Pagusas

Elden Member
The concept of sunk costs and any related decision-making is usually difficult for companies/people in general, but video game companies particularly are extremely bad at it.

The game would have probably not done well at all if they released it, even bombed, but the financial math should have been done using the amount of money it would cost to go from 90 to 100%, not how much it cost to go from 0-100%. They were going to cancel the game anyway, so that money is dead money regardless.

The other question is what did these devs move on to after abandoning this game?
And if i recall the SNES version of Primal Rage was a best seller, it obviously had some fans in the home console market, I'm surprised a N64/PSone port didnt get fast tracked.
 

RAIDEN1

Member
Up against the competition it would have likely have bombed anyway....so it is of no great loss....not exactly the first one was a primal hit on the consoles anyway....
 

VGEsoterica

Member
The concept of sunk costs and any related decision-making is usually difficult for companies/people in general, but video game companies particularly are extremely bad at it.

The game would have probably not done well at all if they released it, even bombed, but the financial math should have been done using the amount of money it would cost to go from 90 to 100%, not how much it cost to go from 0-100%. They were going to cancel the game anyway, so that money is dead money regardless.

The other question is what did these devs move on to after abandoning this game?
the fact companies seem to be blind to this concept confuses me

Spent 2 million to get to this point. Need to spend another 500K to finish and you start to worry you might not recoup? and that it will take another million to manufacture?

So its 3.5 to finish and ship...or 2 million to give up.

Don't recoup but do 2.5 million in sales? 1 million loss.

Don't recoup but do 2 million in sales? 1.5 lost

DUMP AT 2 million...guaranteed 2 million loss
 

Stuart360

Member
the fact companies seem to be blind to this concept confuses me

Spent 2 million to get to this point. Need to spend another 500K to finish and you start to worry you might not recoup? and that it will take another million to manufacture?

So its 3.5 to finish and ship...or 2 million to give up.

Don't recoup but do 2.5 million in sales? 1 million loss.

Don't recoup but do 2 million in sales? 1.5 lost

DUMP AT 2 million...guaranteed 2 million loss
I mean over the years we have had games that have been like 90+% finished and canceled, hell even ones that were pretty much 100% complete.
I honestly dont get it myaelf. Just release it, even if it bombs you will probably get a bit of your money back as oppose to zero back just cancelling them.
 
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VGEsoterica

Member
I mean over the years we have had games that have been like 90+% finished and canceled, hell even ones that were pretty much 100% complete.
I honestly dont get it myaelf. Just release it, even if it bombs you will probably get a bit of your oney back as oppose to zero back just cancelling them.
the sunk cost fallacy is real...companies and accountants love what they KNOW. It's mentally easier to take a guaranteed X loss vs wondering if they will sell enough to LOWER the loss even if they don't make it back

Some companies are just TOO risk adverse
 

Stuart360

Member
the sunk cost fallacy is real...companies and accountants love what they KNOW. It's mentally easier to take a guaranteed X loss vs wondering if they will sell enough to LOWER the loss even if they don't make it back

Some companies are just TOO risk adverse
Maybe they feel that the negative press and negative reactions from gamers from a bomb would be worse to the studio than the financial hit from cancelling a game?.
 

Naked Lunch

Member
I was always a huge fan of Primal Rage.
Stop motion animation dino fighting game was just too cool. Outside of Clayfighters im not aware of many others - but Primal Rage was cooler.

The game surprisingly had alot of depth with the combos - some really intricate and detailed stuff - different from other games - and the fatalities were weird as hell. Button combos to eat the worshipers too - lots of neat ideas.
Gamepro made a huge strategy guide of Primal Rage - I still have that guide.

I had the SNES and Genesis versions - and remember really liking the Saturn version years later. Pretty sure it was including on one of those Midway Arcade Collections.
Shame we never got part 2.
 

VGEsoterica

Member
I was always a huge fan of Primal Rage.
Stop motion animation dino fighting game was just too cool. Outside of Clayfighters im not aware of many others - but Primal Rage was cooler.

The game surprisingly had alot of depth with the combos - some really intricate and detailed stuff - different from other games - and the fatalities were weird as hell. Button combos to eat the worshipers too - lots of neat ideas.
Gamepro made a huge strategy guide of Primal Rage - I still have that guide.

I had the SNES and Genesis versions - and remember really liking the Saturn version years later. Pretty sure it was including on one of those Midway Arcade Collections.
Shame we never got part 2.
ClayFighter was a game I always wanted to love but never managed to
 
the fact companies seem to be blind to this concept confuses me

Spent 2 million to get to this point. Need to spend another 500K to finish and you start to worry you might not recoup? and that it will take another million to manufacture?

So its 3.5 to finish and ship...or 2 million to give up.

Don't recoup but do 2.5 million in sales? 1 million loss.

Don't recoup but do 2 million in sales? 1.5 lost

DUMP AT 2 million...guaranteed 2 million loss
Yeah it is silly, of course if they took the staff and immediately put them onto some huge likely profitable game then it might make sense, but somehow I doubt it.
 

Northeastmonk

Gold Member
I went to Galloping Ghost in Brookfield, IL a month or so ago. They had the board years ago according to their YouTube page. I don’t remember seeing it. I did play the original in the arcade. You could find it in just about any arcade you went to.
 

DonkeyPunchJr

World’s Biggest Weeb
the sunk cost fallacy is real...companies and accountants love what they KNOW. It's mentally easier to take a guaranteed X loss vs wondering if they will sell enough to LOWER the loss even if they don't make it back

Some companies are just TOO risk adverse
Ok just to be pedantic, the behavior you’re describing is the opposite of the sunk cost fallacy. Sunk cost fallacy is basically when someone says “we already spent so much, we can’t abandon this project now” even when they’d be better off abandoning it.
 

VGEsoterica

Member
I went to Galloping Ghost in Brookfield, IL a month or so ago. They had the board years ago according to their YouTube page. I don’t remember seeing it. I did play the original in the arcade. You could find it in just about any arcade you went to.
Could have been in the back for service. That happens there
 

wtftad

Gold Member
Characters (in humanoid deity form) look very reminiscent of clay fighter. Thanks for posting as always VGEsoterica VGEsoterica
Also, the "goatsy" at 1:12 is very distributing.
 
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SkylineRKR

Member
Primal Rage was kinda fun at the time but not very good, the inputs were pretty terrible. I also bought it for Playstation as it was closer to the arcade than the 16-bit version was.
 
Actually one other fact about this game is that Atari, the other Atari the console/computer one, was going aggressive on Midway who had owned Atari games on pushing out Cojag games in what was a lucrative partnership.

Atari Corp was mad that Atari games wasn't putting out more games as part of the partnership of Midway licensing the Jaguar chip-set for arcades called Cojag. Area 51 was a a hit, and a unrelated follow-up was released in 1997. This also ate into the confidence of releasing the game, especially since the 3D craze was in full swing and the Cojag arcade hardware licensed from Atari Corp to Atari games controlled by Midway games, didn't have enough games on the contract which focused on games to benefit both parties that were in the gaming industry, creating games.

And there you have it.

Prototypes were done for more games but never released, the only thing released after 1997, was a dual arcade cabinet in 1998 which combined Area 51 and Maximum Force together. Add in that Atari Games most successful game in the arcades from 1996 was a 3D game Sanfrancisco Rush and Midways was Crusin, that washed it. Primal Rage 2 was expensive for a late 90's 2D arcade cabinet.

Curiously, the Cojag games and the unfinished prototypes give glimpse as to what the Jag would have been able to do if they launched with a CD drive and had easier development tools.
 
primal rage was a cool ass concept, but it felt weird to play. wasnt responsive or structured enough, or something. and characters and levels werent nearly as memorable as other fighters.

primal rage 2's human/god stuff looks lame.
 

Ozzie666

Member
The creatures and the dinosaurs in general were the main selling point, combined with the violence and over the top violence. That was it's charm and it was a slow build game that found a lot of success home home consoles. It was so out there and crazy. It even got an Amiga port.

Changing to the gods and brief transformations changed too much of the game from the amazing beast concepts. They should have gone from strength to strength and brought in more crazy monsters. If you want to use human gods as some bosses and challenges, maybe? But it changed the core too much. The game became more of a Killer instinct, it may as well of become a different franchise. Easier to maintain the level of rude humour and violence with stop motion clay motion whatever it was, made up creatures.

I applaud their desire to change things up, but this was too much. Also Primal Rage is one of those perfect examples of where a game was 1 or 2 years late to the party. Release this game in early 1993 at the height of Mortal Kombat controversy and senate hearings, it would have been bananas success. This game would have been a poster child for violence beside MK and Dana Plato.
 

Futaleufu

Member
Primal Rage was kinda fun at the time but not very good, the inputs were pretty terrible. I also bought it for Playstation as it was closer to the arcade than the 16-bit version was.
The biggest problem for the 16 bit ports was trying to fit a 35 MB arcade game on a 4 MB console cartridge.
 

supernova8

Member
I'm just glad I got to play ClayFighter. Evil snowman dude with top hat will always have a special place in my heart.
 
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