Last week saw the European launch of Clockwork Aquario on Switch (North America has to wait until next week), finally letting players enjoy a title that's been 30 years in the making. It's been a long time coming, but it was certainly worth the wait.
As it happens, the game's well-documented delay in development (the project actually started way back in 1991) has earned it a Guinness World Record. That's right, Clockwork Aquario now officially holds the record for the longest time between a video game project start and final release.
Here's a recap on how it all went down:
"The initial development of Clockwork Aquario started in 1991. It was the last arcade game ever developed by the legendary company Westone. With the advent of 3D gaming and other genres vying for dominance, Clockwork Aquario’s development was canceled. Nearly 30 years later, ININ Games and Strictly Limited Games - two labels dedicated to preserving popular but also forgotten or never-released retro gems - joined forces to unearth this video game treasure.
A development team including members of the original Westone team such as Ryuichi Nishizawa - co-founder of Westone and creator of legendary Wonder Boy - was put together with the aim to bring Clockwork Aquario to life. With a motivated team of passionate retro game fans and the original creators of Clockwork Aquario, it was ensured that the lost arcade title gets its well deserved release, losing none of its charm, but staying true to its roots."
Incidentally, Clockwork Aquario takes the world record from Duke Nukem Forever, which held the title until now after reportedly being in development for 14 years and 44 days.
It'd take something pretty spectacular to beat a 30-year development cycle. Is there a long-lost version of Pong that we don't know about, perhaps?
Huh, what a weird record.
Welp time to go find some random Atari employee shake them awake to see if they wanna finish that canceled title from 40 years ago
Glad to see the record belongs to an actually good game now
Dreamworld Pogie was in development for 25 years (1992 to 2017) so Duke Nukem Forever shouldn't have had the previous record anyway.
What Slowdive said. There's a difference from constantly working to develop a game and resurrecting a cancelled game.
@mariopartyfan68 which is exactly why the Guinness folks got interested.
Hm, can you provide citation for the claim that it broke the record? Or was that perhaps your own determination? As far as the Guinness World Records is actually concerned, the title is still held by Duke Nukem Forever - and apparently that's up-to-date as of today.
Because keep in mind, this game was officially cancelled in 1994 and only revived within the last year or so - so, it's technically not been in development for as long as you're suggesting.
Additionally, I should add, the game was actually near completion prior to being cancelled.
If that's all it takes for breaking the world record, then it should've been broken sooner given other games that were cancelled over 20 years have also been revived in recent years, hence why I'm dubious.
WOW 30 years to develop a game, is better this game be worth all this time it was developed.
Don’t give Star Citizen any ideas…
It's not, though, is it?
I mean, it wasn't in active development the whole time like Duke was.
I mean, if this was able to take the record from Duke, then certainly Metroid Dread should have taken it from Duke earlier this year, too. This would still take the record over Dread, but my point is both of them were start and stop, unlike Duke Nukem which was actively ongoing.
Shouldn’t Clockwork Aquario be taking this record away from Metroid Dread now, not Duke Nukem Forever?
Sky Skipper lost on a technicality.
Now let's wait until Atari finished SwordQuest: Airworld, I'm sure that would take away the Guiness record from this game. Maybe Capcom could beat them with Mega Man Legends 3 in a few decades from now.
Haha, talk about a job with a scope way beyond the capability of current Atari lol.
It's a better game anyway.
That ain’t how Guinness works.
If Atari ever comes around and revives/finishes their Swordquest series of games (c'mon, Airworld!), then it would officially take the crown for this world record.
They’re not running around with a crack experts actively updating their grand tally. You call them up, give them $$ and work with their marketing team to come up with some random world record to beat for exposure. Once the random world record is in there and you want to beat it, you reach out to them and they go, “sure, fine, whatever”. Or something like that.
@noobish_hat This is strictly limited, not limited run. SLG is German. While I agree these small publishers don't really do much for preservation usually, due to the limited nature, atleast here they are actually funding finishing the production of a old game
Well yeah, i dont know rick. I mean, the game got canned, ergo, no further development. They re started it several years later. Nope, not buyin.
Do game localizations count?
Maybe Doug Bowser will give us Mother 3 in 2036 or later.
The localization of Mother 1 got leaked to the Internet in 1998 (7 years) but Nintendo waited until 2015 (24 years) to release it officially.
Would it? I'm not familiar with how this work
So I guess games like EarthBound Zero don't count?
@patbacknitro18 Actually... https://www.dankitchengames.com/
Dan Kitchen's Gold Rush, cancelled sequel to Keystone Kapers. Started in 1983, and probably not coming out this year, so it's pushing 39 years right now.
1) i highly doubt DNF was in development actively for all 14 years with no gaps. BUT, even assuming it's the case...
2) Where are you seeing "continuous development" in "...longest time between a video game project start and final release."
Im seeing alot more people asserting that this record has anything to do with "active development," but all I'm seeing is "Longest time between a video game project start and final release," in the article.
am i missing something here?
Unless the game is gutter trash, which it doesn't sound like it is, I'm going to get this just because I respect the effort.
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