E3 2019: A Mario Party-Style Simpsons Game Was Once In Discussion At EA
It wasn't meant to be.
Electronic Arts considered developing a Mario Party-style Simpsons game, but it was too ambitious and it was ultimately canceled. The news comes from an E3 2019 Coliseum livestream where series producers Matt Selman and J. Stewart Burns spoke about it for what appears to be the first time. Selman mentioned the game after host Aaron Bleyaert asked the panel which Simpsons game was their favorite to work on.
"My favourite game to work on was the Simpsons party game that never came out that we just got paid for," Selman said with a laugh. "At the time there was a trendy kind of, Mario Party, lots of mini-games ... we briefly discussed getting on that bandwagon."
Burns said the Simpsons party game was going to span around 20 different party games, but he estimated it would take a year to make each one, and that was simply not possible.
"It looked like it was going to be a 20-year project or longer because I don't think we were going to get one of the party games done in a year," he said. "That was not my favorite thing to work on. It was great when we heard it was not going forward. That was our fault, not EA's."
Burns added that he felt like the Simpsons production team owed Electronic Arts the mobile game Tapped Out after the unannounced party game fell apart.
Tapped Out went on to become very popular and lucrative, and it's still operating today more than six years after its initial release in 2013. The game continues to receive new updates, the latest of which is called "Royale." Its new content pokes fun at battle royale games like Fortnite.
It's unclear what developer was tasked with working on the unannounced and unreleased Simpsons party game, and it's also unknown if any actual development was done on the title or if it was only conceived in the planning stage.
Whatever the case, it's almost always exciting to hear about unannounced games and think about what they could have been. This is also true for the Simpsons party game. There are seemingly countless opportunities for fun and silly Simpsons-style mini-games. You could imagine something about Homer eating donuts, Bart skateboarding, or Barney drinking as many beers as possible. The possibilities are pretty much endless.
Also during the livestream, Selman talked about how much he enjoyed 2007's The Simpsons Video Game for its meta-narrative in particular, even if the gameplay wasn't all that great. He also enjoyed how God was the final boss.
It's no surprise that EA would want to try to make its own Mario Party-style game, as Nintendo's franchise is enduringly popular. The latest instalment, Super Mario Party, has sold more than 6.4 million copies which makes it one of the Switch's most successful games.
The Simpsons Video Game in 2007 was the latest Simpsons console/PC game. During the livestream, Burns said the producers are always thinking about how they could make more Simpsons titles, but, sorry, there is no word yet on if Hit & Run 2 will ever happen.
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