Project Deluge is an organisation that I, as a Gaming Historian (please don’t be mad at me Norm), can get behind. Run by Hidden Palace, they have announced that are releasing hundreds of prototype games for the OG Xbox and Sega Dreamcast.
They released an update on Saturday stating that made 349 Xbox and 135 Dreamcast prototype games available to the public. By “prototype” the team is talking about unreleased games, early versions, ports, tech demos, unfinished localizations, etc. Each one is checked by the team to make sure it is playable and will make sense to be in the collection.
According to the members of the team behind the project, the Xbox is a “spiritual successor” of sorts to the Dreamcast, which is why they decided to release the archives for the two consoles together. In evidence of this, they went on to say how so many Sega games were consequently released on the Xbox; some of which have made their way into the archive.
Project Deluge has released a list of games that they are releasing for both consoles: Among the games for Dreamcast, there are Crazy Taxi, Jet Grind Radio, Phantasy Star Online Version 2, and Virtua Tennis. Included in the games for Xbox are Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 1, Dynasty Warriors 5, Hitman: Contracts, Ninja Gaiden, and Star Wars: Battlefront II.
As you can see, there are some amazing games on that list. To see the whole list, you can check out the website.
The reason for Project Deluge is to archive games. An endeavour that I’m 100% behind. A lot of the Xbox games weren’t ever released due to, as the Project Deluge site says, “developers / publishers [getting] cold feet and [deciding] against porting some games that might not have sold well on the platform”. This is probably due to the fact that Microsoft was the newcomer to the console market, so it wasn’t the slam dunk that a release on the console is today.
Project Deluge have promised to release even more lost games in the coming months, so it’ll be interesting to see what they come up with in the future. It will be really interesting to see the differences between the games on the list that were released and their prototype versions. For those of us who are interested in game development and history, this project will be super exciting to follow.