Ratchet & Clank is one of the most iconic series from the PlayStation 2 era. What you may not know, however, was that Insomniac first began development on a completely different game, which was tentatively known as Girl With a Stick. Appropriately enough, it starred a girl who had a stick, and it was much darker than games the studio had made before.
In an interview with IGN, Insomniac CEO Ted Price said the developer wanted to change direction after three Spyro the Dragon games on the PlayStation. The studio wanted to follow its audience and try “something that was a little more mature.” Girl With a Stick was originally a linear adventure game that took place in a fantasy-inspired world, which is a far cry from what Ratchet & Clank ended up being.
After about six months, Sony came to check up on Girl With a Stick. While the demo was, in Price’s words, “ok,” Sony wanted Insomniac to stick to its roots. “You guys are good at platformers,” Price recalls being told. Despite Price’s insistence that the studio stick to the more mature Girl With a Stick, the rest of the team felt following Sony’s advice would be wiser.
It was Brian Higgins, a partner at Insomniac, that first threw the idea of what would become Ratchet & Clank out. He suggested a game featuring “a little character who has cool weapons and flies from planet to planet.” The rest, as they say, was history.
Naturally, no game concept is set in stone. At one point, Ratchet was a lizard and Clank was three robots that would attach themselves to Ratchet. In time, Ratchet & Clank became the game we know and love. It recently went through a resurgence of sorts, as the original game was rebooted back in 2016. It soon became Insomniac’s most successful game ever. Though, the studio’s newest game, Marvel’s Spider-Man, is on track to overtake it.