The Games that Weren’t: Stargate SG-1: The Alliance

February 22, 2012

In The Games that Weren’t, our writers take a look at their favorite stories behind video gaming’s canceled projects.

I’m an unashamed die-hard sci-fi fan. My favorite sci-fi franchise is Stargate, and my favorite entry in the series is SG-1. The SG-1 license was enough to make me interested in an MMO (the also-canceled Stargate Worlds), and if my PC had been capable of running it I would have lost many nights fighting with the SGC in Stargate Resistance (the only SG-1 game that actually came out). As it was, I had both a PS2 and an Xbox, and after watching the Season 8 episode “Avatar,” I was all sorts of excited to play through an all-new adventure dealing with new and old enemies.

What It Was: The Alliance was a first-person shooter based on Stargate: SG-1
What Happened: Legal battles
Why We Wanted It: Because SG-1 is a great franchise that actually makes sense to receive the video game treatment

Perception had developed enough assets to use them in the aforementioned episode, the show’s talent had lent their voices to the project, and SG-1 is one of the few franchises I can think of that actually could work well as a video game. Fighting against Anubis, the late-season primary villain, and a new alien race called the Haakan would have worked as a video game for one reason: it could have worked as a show arc. I don’t know the ins and outs of the story, but it feels organic. Anubis knows about a lot of people, places, and technology that the SGC doesn’t, and assuming that The Alliance was set to be of average length, you can tell that story in eight hours and fill it with firefights, computer hacking, stealth, and maybe some Norse runes (I have a soft spot for the Asgard).

What Perception didn’t see coming though was JoWood, the game’s publisher, claiming that their quality standards hadn’t been met. What JoWood didn’t count on was Perception firing back and taking JoWood to court over who actually held the rights to create games against the SG-1 IP. It took two years, but it turns out that JoWood had no rights to the Stargate franchise. What I think really killed the project was that part of the court ruling detailed that while Perception had all of the rights to The Alliance (and any further SG-1 games) they were not allowed to use any parts of the game that had already been created.

We all missed out on what could have been a great addition to the SG-1 story, and even though we’re a generation past when it should have come out, and I have ten seasons worth of great episodes that I can and do rewatch fairly regularly I’d pick up The Alliance in a heartbeat and love it to pieces on my original Xbox if it were released tomorrow.