Rockstar Almost Made A Game Based On John Carpenter’s The Thing

In 2002, a video game adaptation of The Thing, the 1982 masterpiece by John Carpenter, was developed by the now-defunct Computer Artworks for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC. Despite limited “graphical capabilities” on older consoles, dodgy mechanics, the wonky “infection” system and low budgets, the title was a critical and commercial success.

Wind the clock forward, and a new game inspired by The Thing entered development in the early 2010s, hoping to build on what came before. Concept art was created in partnership between Atomhawk Design Studio (founded by Cumron “Ron” Ashitanti, a lead artist on the 2002 title) and Ruffian Games (Rockstar Dundee as of 2020).

Due to issues with ownership rights, the title sadly never lifted off the ground. 

“With The Thing being quite an old movie now, I think that the IP has moved around in ownership between a few different companies,” Ashitanti explained in a conversation with Syfy (H/T ComicBook). 

“Who owns the rights to the films and the games and all this stuff has got quite muddled over the years. So I think that’s been a bit of a challenge to get the IP rights to do another game.”

In 2012, Ruffian Games revealed a “pitch video” featuring real-time gameplay of The Thing, powered by CryEngine 3 (see above) and demo footage running on the Unreal Engine 4 (see below). Each of the clips are dripping with horror and atmosphere with potential despite being outdated by the technical and graphical standards of today. 

The lead designer on the adaptation for The Thing, Andrew Curtis, suggested that if the game were to be remade for the PS5, they would need “to address so many core elements of the game” and potentially, transform it into “a new project.”

“There’s a desire for recreating that game again. So, I imagine at some point in the future, we will see another Thing IP game,” Curtis added. Here’s hoping with fingers tightly crossed. 

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