Games come and go, but there are a few which are announced only to forever fade away from our memories. One game that may have been forgotten about despite it’s stature within the hierarchy of classic video games was the Contra reboot from Konami. If you recall, back at E3 2011 Konami released a very short teaser for a new Contra game.
Merely consisting of a flaming C, this Contra reboot was new to all of us as it hadn’t been teased or rumored prior to the E3 reveal. Jump a year later and we finally have an update on the Contra reboot but it’s not the news fans of the series may have hoped for.
Uncovered in the resume of a former designer at Yager was the revelation that the studio behind Spec Ops: The Line was also prepping the Contra reboot for Konami. Given the reveal of such news from a resume we don’t have too many details on the matter, but the former Yager staffer lists his time on the project June 2011 to December 2011. After that period the game was seemingly cancelled, though for what reasons is still a mystery.
Putting a Contra reboot in the hands of Yager, who back then didn’t have the accolades and praise for the stellar Spec Ops: The Line, must seem like an odd move for Konami. Prior to Spec Ops Yager had only released one game so to put the Contra series in their hands, purportedly under the guise that it was a huge project, may seem like yet another example of the carnival of stupid Konami seems to be participating in.
However, despite not seeing a single of frame of Yager’s Contra project I must admit that I’m disappointed the game was cancelled. The design decisions in Spec Ops: The Line were rather inspired, and despite having what most likely would’ve been a more fantastical approach, I’m sure Yager would’ve put their own stamp on the game without making it feel too much like yet another Gears of War clone.
The reasons for why Konami cancelled Yager’s Contra reboot could be chalked up to a variety of reasons ranging the standard complaint of development woes or company restructuring. It’s also possible that everything was going rather well with the Contra remake but Konami simply cancelled it because of financial/company issues, much like why the Silent Scope reboot from Day 1 Studios was given the boot.
Seeing as how it’s been nearly a year since the Contra reboot was cancelled it’s unknown when we’ll ever see a glimpse of the project either through a leaked video or some conceptual art. I would like to imagine that at some point we’ll see what Yager’s vision of Contra was since we saw a glimpse of Grin’s take on Strider for Capcom, but it’s not a sure thing that we’ll ever see what sort of action fueled mayhem a modern Contra would’ve offered us.
Konami may not have entirely cast the Contra series aside as David Cox, Producer on Castlevania, let it be known at E3 this year that he and Mercury Steam would be interested in revitalizing not only Contra but the action genre as well. So maybe once the next-gen consoles roll around we’ll see a unique take on Contra from the fine folks at Mercury Steam.