Arkane Director Once Pitched Thief 4, Games inspired by Blade Runner and Heat

Harvey Smith, creative director of the Dishonored series at Arkane Studios, revealed three pitches he made that ultimately never saw the light of day: Thief 4, a game based on the sci-fi film Blade Runner. from 1982, and an immersive simulation inspired by the 1995 heist epic Heat.

Speaking to NME, Smith says he was working at Midway when he pitched the Heat-inspired game to its CEO. Instead, he was convinced to serve as Executive Creative Director for BlackSite: Area 51 and let his “Heat” pitch languish. Midway filed for bankruptcy and closed in 2010.

Smith then joined Arkane, and as the studio tried to flesh out their next project, he proposed both a fourth entry in the cult-classic Thief series and a game based on Blade Runner. He was again asked to work on another project.

“How about you work on this ninja game we call Dishonored, which is fair [on] Paper straight?” he remembers the question.

Smith says he asked for Dishonored to move away from the ninja arrogance and that publisher Bethesda supported the change in direction.

“We just did what we love to do and to our complete surprise, they gave us their full support every step of the way,” Smith said. “The weirder we got, the more they said, ‘Wow, that’s very distinct.’ Most publishers aren’t like that. Most publishers are like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, maybe you can play it in Detroit instead?'”

Smith is now serving as creative director on Arkane’s upcoming vampire first-person shooter Redfall, due for release in the first half of 2023. Arkane Director Once Pitched Thief 4, Games inspired by Blade Runner and Heat

Greg Norman

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