An ambitious sequel to The Simpsons: Hit & Run was to include airships.
That’s according to the abandoned project’s executive producer, John Melchior, who revealed that developer Radical Entertainment was even considering including planes in a Hit & Run sequel.
Speaking to MinnMax, the producer, along with other members of the Hit & Run team, discussed the upcoming sequel and the studio’s various ideas.
“To the credit of everyone here, in the sequel we had airships, we had airplanes, we had a lot of stuff to do on The Simpsons,” Melchior said. “This was going to be a franchise, without a doubt in anyone’s mind.”
The developer revealed that there was even an offer for a “five-game deal” between The Simpsons and publisher Vivendi, before subsequent games were shelved. Melchior said no one who worked on the project understood why.
“It was a very good deal and Vivendi said ‘no,'” Melchior said. “There would have been no loss of momentum between the delivery of (The Simpsons: Hit & Run) and the ongoing work on the sequel.”
Melchior said his own boss at the time also didn’t know why the game was ultimately put on ice. “He said to me, ‘I don’t understand. I gave it to you on a silver platter, why don’t you just say yes and make these games?'” the producer recalled .
“It was just a really weird decision. I’ll never understand it. Most people at the production level never understood it.”
Although the sequel was not playable at the time the Hit & Run team learned of this news, the studio had prepared various elements and had a system in place that would allow players to tow objects behind their vehicles.
The actual story of the sequel, however, was more uncertain, with writer Chris Mitchell stating that “it was all over the map”.
Mitchell said: “In those days, everyone imagined whatever they wanted, so I’m sure there were 12 competing storylines at that point.
“Who knows what the final story would have been?”
Who knows indeed. Unfortunately not us. Sigh. At least while we lament what could have been, we can listen to the full soundtrack to The Simpsons: Hit & Run over on Spotify and Apple Music.