Harvey Smith is best known for his work on Arkane’s Dishonored series, but he’s now revealed a trio of games he pitched that never entered development.
Speaking to NME, Smith said he at one point pitched a Blade Runner game, a fourth entry in the Thief series, and an immersive sim inspired by the 1995 crime drama Heat.
Smith is obviously a fan of the immersive sim genre, which is a staple part of most Arkane games. So it’s no surprise that the games the designer pitched largely fall under that umbrella. The Thief series is one of the defining examples of the immersive sim genre, and it did eventually get a fourth entry with 2014’s Thief developed by Eidos-Montreal.
While the interview didn’t share many details about the Blade Runner pitch, arguably the most interesting pitch was the Heat immersive sim. Heat was directed by Michael Mann and stars Robert De Niro, a master criminal planning one last big heist before retirement. According to Smith, this game would have had “immersive sim values.”
Instead, Smith went on to work on BlackSite: Area 51, before moving onto Arkane.
Redfall – Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase 2022 Screenshots
While these three games didn’t ever see the light of day, Smith has carved out a very nice game development career, serving as Creative Director for the Dishonored series and Arkane’s upcoming Redfall. In the interview, Smith also said Dishonored began as a concept for a ninja game, and when Smith entered the picture, Bethesda approved his wish to move away from the ninja premise.
For more, check out IGN’s own interview with Smith, where we talked about Redfall’s story, co-op, player choice, and more. Or read about how Redfall’s open world was actually ‘too open’ at first.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN covering video game and entertainment news. He has over six years of experience in the gaming industry with bylines at IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine, and Lifewire. Find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.