Games That Never Were, Entry #43

Tue, 07/18/2006 — Fasteriskhead

Nine Inch Nails: Make My Video

Company: Digital Pictures

Platform(s): Sega CD

Description: At the release of the Sega CD in 1992 motion video gaming seemed like the wave of the future. And Digital Pictures was at the crest of this wave: with their heavy-hitting, revolutionary titles like Night Trap and Sewer Shark planned for distribution along with Sega's new add-on, they seemed destined to become THE most important developer of the early '90s. Perhaps their greatest innovation, however, was the Make My Video series, wherein players take the role of a music video "director" for a hot new band and guide them to success by selecting footage to use in accordance with a set of instructions. The first three releases in this series were devoted to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, INXS (R.I.P. Michael Hutchence), and Kris Kross, and are commonly thought to be some of the worst games ever made. But that's not the whole story.

What is NOT well known is that the staff of Digital Pictures planned on creating several more of these games. Their first releases, they believed, would secure the concept by catering to a wider, "family-friendly" audience, with subsequent releases (planned for 1993 onwards) being more specifically focused. Noting the success of Nirvana and other "mature" bands, DP wished to take the series in a darker direction and planned a number of titles along those lines. Most of these games, such as Dr. Dre/Snoop Doggy Dogg: Make My Video, never got past the planning stage before the failure of the Sega CD forced Digital Pictures to trash the series entirely - however, Nine Inch Nails: Make My Video, scheduled for a release in early- to mid-fall '93, had actually reached a major production stage before being dropped. In its current form, it is actually quite playable (so to speak). As director, the players may make their own videos for three songs ("Wish," "Head Like A Hole," and "Happiness in Slavery" - although only "Wish" is working), choosing at particular points whether they want the audience to see (for example) a kidnap victim systematically stripped and tortured, a NIN concert with a bunch of people climbing on fences, a mechanical arm jerking around a human penis, or a guy running around inside a parking garage.

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