As 2001 started, Sega began to give out little yellow flyers In the boxes for their own published games which although littered with screenshots of the upcoming big hitters from the company, the rear cover was reserved for games planned later in the year, it was in this section that we got an insight into a few 3rd party games coming to the system, a few of which actually didn’t happen in the end, one such game was Planet of the Apes.
Planet of the Apes was planned to be released in time for the movie featuring Mark Wahlberg which debuted in cinemas in July 2001, however, the game release didn’t actually happen until later in 2001 when the buzz around the film had come and gone, this was actually seen as an intentional delay as the game had little to do with the movie, not being a standard tie-in, the game opted for an action adventure stance much in the same play style as games like Tomb Raider.
So, what went wrong here? Well, firstly Fox Interactive decided they wanted to out source the publishing duties for the game, which eventually Ubi Soft picked up the rights to distribute the game, this made the production of the game, which was around the Dreamcast’s era of 2000, to the very end of the lifecycle at the end of 2001 and 2002 (For Europe PS-One version) which would of course not be seen as a worthwhile venture, this wasn’t the first time that Fox had done this, Buffy was also due for Dreamcast and instead was outsourced to Dreamcast haters, EA to which it only came to the Xbox. What was also seen as a factor was advertising, Fox had already marketed the title in 2000, with a year passing by, did Dreamcast gamers care about what would be perceived as a straight PS-One port by this point? Fox didn’t think so, which is a shame as the developers went on record to state in 2000 that the Dreamcast version was using some impressive lighting and shadowing techniques not present in the 32- Bit incarnation. Sadly the game was badly reviewed, none of the actual released version gained a decent Metacritic score so again, cancelling the DC version perhaps seemed the best thing to do between Fox Interactive’s deal with Ubi Soft (who actually supported the Dreamcast quite well).
So what can you play Planet of the Apes on today? You can give the PS-One version a try if you really feel like giving it a go, or perhaps the PC version would stand up more to what the Dreamcast version may have looked like, sadly no DC builds have been leaked as of yet.