Back in 2011, Kotaku Australia shared a leaked video of a multiplayer shooter called Blood Dust, which never saw the light of day. It was in development at Visceral Games‘ Melbourne branch that closed down in September that year. Now, a new Polygon report has revealed that Blood Dust was a by-product of a cancelled Jack the Ripper game.
The very concept of Jack the Ripper garnered a mixed response from Visceral developers as it put players in the shoes of one of history’s most brutal murderers. One of the proponents of the idea suggested portraying Jack as an insane and troubled soul who thought he was saving London by killing his victims, who he saw as evil forces.
“In no way were we trying to sully the history of these victims and the families associated with them and all that; we wanted to be very respectful,” said an unnamed developer on the project. However, other developers were still apprehensive, with one noting that “possibly celebrating” someone who claimed a number of innocent lives was unsettling.
With a budget of $25 million, Visceral set off to develop a pitch for the game.
Eventually, it wasn’t Jack the Ripper‘s controversial theme that led to the game’s cancellation but rather Visceral losing direction that caused it. With multiplayer gaining popularity, EA executives demanded a multiplayer mode, which resulted in the project “losing its soul,” according to a developer.
Then came Blood Dust – an attempt by EA to save what they could from Jack the Ripper. However, it wasn’t meant to be. When things didn’t pan out, the publisher canned Blood Dust and shut down Visceral Melbourne.
A re-uploaded copy of Blood Dust‘s demo is embedded below.
What do our readers think of Jack the Ripper? Should EA have gone ahead with it? Let us know your thoughts.
Former Visceral Devs Discuss Cancelled Jack the Ripper Game