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Cancelled Game Theater: Metallica – The Game

What was it?

At first, it seemed “Metallica” was going to be a mix between Carmageddon and Twisted Metal interwoven with the band doing voiceovers and using Metallica and other real-life bands for the soundtrack. It was being developed by Black Label Games and published by Vivendi Universal, and it seemed really promising. Quickly two years went passed and nothing was ever heard or seen from the game.

What happened?

Then in 2005, it was announced that Vivendi Universal would no longer publish the game, and thus scrapped. The reasoning was “because Vivendi felt that the project’s creative direction didn’t pass the quality standards set by the company.”

A pretty straight-forward decision based on a financial perspective that if it wasn’t up to quality they knew it wouldn’t sell well and not cover the cost of development. Though, this wasn’t the end as years later (2009), we did get a Metallica game based off of the Guitar Hero franchise, with it’s own special branding of: “Guitar Hero: Metallica”.

The first and only trailer, a CGI teaser:


Concept Art:

More from the artist of these concepts, who worked on the game

Original Press Release from June 2003:

Vivendi Universal Games Signs Exclusive Worldwide Development Agreement With Legendary Rock Band Metallica

Deal Includes Publishing Rights for Multi-Platform Action Game Featuring Band’s Music and Voice-overs

LOS ANGELES, June 4, 2003 – Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) today announced that it has signed an exclusive multi-year agreement with renowned rock band Metallica. The contract grants VU Games the worldwide rights to publish and distribute a multi-platform vehicle combat action game featuring music, voice-overs and inspiration from the band. Scheduled for release in 2005, the game will be produced in collaboration with Segnana, Inc. ( ), a company that partners with Metallica on interactive and online endeavors.

The new title — a high action, third person vehicle combat game packed with fully customized vehicles and weaponry, endless terrain and desperate, murderous opponents — will include voice-overs from band members, incidental background music and other exclusive content from Metallica. Under terms of the contract, Metallica will also record an original song exclusively for the game along with a music video featuring elements from the interactive experience. A sneak-peek trailer of the title will appear on Metallica’s new album, St. Anger, which hits store shelves on June 5, 2003, and will also be featured during the band’s “Summer Sanitarium Tour” kicking-off July 4th in Detroit, Michigan.

“We are excited to bring game fans an interactive entertainment experience that delivers intense vehicular combat action along with the powerful music and energy of Metallica,” said Luc Vanhal, Vivendi Universal Games’ President and COO, North America. “Today’s announcement further underscores Vivendi Universal Games’ commitment to work with leading artists in the entertainment industry to create engaging interactive products that appeal to the expanding games audience.”

It is unfortunate to see a game go years into development just to be cancelled. Until next time…