Harvey Smith is best known for his work on Arkane’s Dishonored series, but it’s now been revealed that three of the games he pitched never made it to development.
talk NMEAt one point, Smith said it pitched the Blade Runner game, the fourth entry in the Thief series, and an immersive sim inspired by the 1995 crime drama Heat.
Smith is clearly a fan of the immersive simulation genre that is a staple of most Arkane games. So it’s no surprise that most of the games the designer pitched fall under its umbrella: The Thief series is one of the definitive examples of the immersive simulation genre, developed by Eidos-Montreal. Finally got his 4th entry in his Thief in 2014.
The interview didn’t go into many details about the Blade Runner pitch, but perhaps the most interesting pitch was the Heat immersive sim. Heat is directed by Michael Mann and stars Robert De Niro as a criminal planning one last big heist before retiring. According to Smith, the game would have had “immersive sim value.”
Instead, Smith continued working on BlackSite: Area 51 before moving to Arkane.
Redfall – Screenshots from the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase 2022
While those three games never saw the light of day, Smith has carved out a very impressive career in game development, serving as creative director for the Dishonored series and Arkane’s upcoming Redfall. In an interview, Smith said he started Dishonored as a ninja game concept, and when Smith entered the picture, Bethesda approved his wish to move away from the ninja premise.
For more, check out our interview with IGN’s Smith on Redfall’s story, co-op, player choices, and more. Or read about how Redfall’s open world was really “too open” at first.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN covering video game and entertainment news. He has over 6 years of experience in the games industry and has bylines for IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine and Lifewire. Find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.