Suppose Al Pacino’s Tony Montana survived the massive, drug-fueled shootout at the end of 1983’s Scarface film, and he went on to rebuild his empire, granting the fans of his iconic character yet another rags-to-riches story. Wouldn’t that be interesting? Well, that was precisely the narrative of 2006’s Scarface: The World Is Yours video game which, despite being a successful GTA clone, never received a well-deserved sequel. In fact, the recent footage leaks show that Scarface 2 was in the making.
According to Kotaku, the canceled Scarface 2 footage leaked on YouTube, showcasing the gameplay elements of the never-released sequel, known now as the Scarface Empire. Admittedly, the footage only shows the early build of the game with updated graphics, improved combat elements, and lots of swearing on the streets of Las Vegas. However, the footage also demonstrates some driving mechanics and quick-time events, which are typical in modern gaming, but were gaining popularity in the gaming industry in the early- and mid-2000s (despite existing since the ‘80s).
The leakers have also shared more clips and screenshots on Elon Musk’s social media platform, showcasing the game’s early build and information regarding the game’s engine. Radical Entertainment, the game’s developers, have used the engine that powered 2003’s Hulk and modified it for the purpose of the never-released Scarface 2. This same engine was later further updated to run the studio’s open-world Prototype games, starting with 2009’s Prototype.
There were plenty of rumors suggesting that Scarface 2 was being developed in the late 2000s, but this is the first time we’re seeing any evidence of such a game ever being conceptualized before it was internally canned sometime between 2008 and 2009. Vivendi Games, the game’s original publisher, initially intended to turn Scarface into a multigame franchise with more than one sequel. However, Vivendi Games was later merged with Activision.
Such is the fate of gaming companies and their IPs. In 1995, Vivendi Games acquired Blizzard Entertainment, and in 2008 it was merged with Activision to form the now infamous Activision Blizzard — which Microsoft is now acquiring for nearly $70 billion. It was initially thought that Scarface 2 and the rest of the Scarface gaming IP rights weren’t transferred to Activision during the 2008 merger, leaving the game forgotten to the ages.
However, the rights to Scarface 2 were transferred to then-formed Activision Blizzard, which dropped several rights to their inherited IPs, so the property reverted back to Universal Studios, which owns the film rights. Unfortunately, Universal’s gaming division, Universal Interactive, was previously acquired by Vivendi in 2004, so Universal, which currently holds the rights, has no internal or collaborative studio that would produce Scarface 2 and would have to rely on a third-party developer and publisher.
The original game amassed a massive following, and fans loved the silly notion that Montana somehow survived the shootout and went on about his business. Sure, the game was a GTA copy, and the fans knew it and still adored it. Unfortunately, while it offers the gamers some closure regarding this long-forgotten classic, the recently leaked footage only prompts the question of a remaster or a remake of the original and subsequent release of Scarface 2.
But will that ever happen? Remasters are currently incredibly popular, but their quality is declining rapidly as companies now bite and claw for new ways to monetize the gamers’ nostalgia. Perhaps Scarface and Scarface 2 should be left where they belong — in the past — so that we might remember them fondly, instead of being disappointed in them in the present.