Vaporware Chronicles – Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada Of the Damned

(Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada Of The Damned - Disney Interactive Studios)

In my humble opinion, Disney hasn’t been making the proper decisions when it comes to their video game development. First they shut LucasArts, which cancels some pretty amazing Star Wars game, then they give EA the Star Wars license, and now they doomed what looked to be an amazing Pirates of the Caribbean game. With the success of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, you would think that developers would be climbing over each other to get another swashbuckling adventure out to the masses. Yet all we have to look forward to is Sea of Thieves, and that looks to be a pirate game with a huge multi-player component, something I’m not completely interested in or sold on yet, sadly. This game met its demise in 2010 a week or so before the shuttering of Propaganda Games. Here is the sad tale of Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned:

The game was announced in 2009 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo and was met with much enthusiasm. Gamers were thrilled to have a go at the life of a pirate, scabbards and ships and all. Personally, I was excited to play in the Pirates of the Caribbean universe without directly interacting with the movies, much like Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Unfortunately, that’s all the hype that this game would ever receive, Propaganda Games began this title after their incarnation of Turok was released in 2008. Sadly, script problems and certain mechanics in the games were just not meshing correctly and began to derail the project. What may have hurt Armada of the Damned was the fact that the studio was also working on Tron: Evolution, which pulled a lot of the talent in many different directions. Then in October of 2010 Disney announced a restructuring program that laid off the entire development team of Armada of the Damned but would allow developers to stay on to finish Tron: Evolution and the DLC. While a decent game, Tron never took off and Disney fired the rest of the staff and canceled the DLC, forever closing the doors on Propaganda Games.

What would have made the game unique was the fact that it was a tie in with the movies, but not a tie-in, if you catch my drift. The game is set before the events of The Curse of the Black Pearl and you play not as Jack Sparrow, but as a pirate captain named James Sterling. Sterling wanted to gain notoriety and travel across the Caribbean Sea–this of course all happened after he died. Yes, seeing as the game was to take place in the movie world, there would have to be some supernatural aspect to it. Once resurrected, you would have some decisions to make: would you be a legendary pirate who’s deeds would be looked upon as heroic, or would you be a dreaded pirate, one that strikes fear into all seagoers? Your decision to be good or evil would then affect your ship, the Nemesis,  and certain crewmen and abilities would only be available to good guy Sterling or bad guy Sterling. It wouldn’t have been dissimilar to the likes of the level up factor in Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic when you were a dark Jedi or a light Jedi. This mechanic would have been amazing, and I can’t even imagine what the evil ship would have eventually looked like!

(Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned - Disney Interactive Studios)

(Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned – Disney Interactive Studios)

I wish Disney would pull their head out of their behind when it comes to their franchises in gaming, they’ve cancelled and shelved so many potential hits; it’s sickening. Two Star Wars games and this Pirates game and who knows what else is in the vaults that we will never hear about. I would have loved to have sailed the seas as Captain Sterling while playing a nice combo of Grand Theft Auto meets Fable on the high seas. In my opinion, gamers just don’t get enough booty in their life, and Disney has snapped some precious booty right from under our consoles.

What do you think? Should Disney wake up and give us some memorable gaming experiences like these? What are some game ideas of your own? Let us know in the comments below!

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