Bomberman 2001

information

Title

ボンバーマン2001 / BOMBERMAN 2001

Console

PlayStation 2

Genre

?

Players

?

Developer

Hudson

Publisher

n/a

Releases

n/a

A game that never even got officially announced; all evidence of its development is anecdotal at best, and there's only one primary source for its actual existence!

After the PlayStation 2's announcement on March 1st 1999, several game companies were interviewed in Weekly Famitsu if they planned to develop games for the platform, posting the results in the March 26th 1999 issue of Weekly Famitsu. Hudson Soft's answer was: "It is under consideration. Nothing concrete has been decided." [src: Famitsu.com]

By September 13th 1999, Hudson had been confirmed as one of nearly two hundred companies developing games for the PlayStation 2 [src: Sony Interactive Entertainment press release], and a list of all the companies and their announced titles was distributed the same day.
Hudson's titles on the list were Bloody Roar 3 and Bomberman 2001 [src: ITmedia, IGN]; neither game had a proposed release date, though Bloody Roar 3 was eventually released in Japan on March 1st 2001. No more was said of it for the next eight months.


Bomberman 2001 listed among the PS2's announced games in Ação Games nº 146
(image from Retro Scans)

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3 2000) was held in the Los Angeles Convention Center from May 11th 2001 to May 13th 2000. Hudson Soft were not listed among the exhibitors [src: e3expo.com] and their presence was not reported on any major gaming outlets...
... except for Bombermania, a Bomberman fansite run by Sander van der Vegte, who attended E3 2000 (and later E3 2001). The page (with photographs of the flyer and a screenshot of the trailer's preface, presumedly) [src: Bomberman Board] had this to say:

At the E3 convention 2000 Hudson showed a short movie with a new game they were working on. The working title was Bomberman 2001. A game that had a little girl as main character. She was a hacker that got trapped in a maze of digital problems. Now she needs to get out and will use bombs to do it. We wern't actually allowed to take pictures there but it was a bit of shocking news so we did it anyway (sorry Hudson). What will happen to good old Bomberman? These photo's and scans from they're flyer are the only thing we have right now. [src: Bombermania]

After E3 2000 the game vanished, conspicuously dropped from all "upcoming games" lists and never to be heard from again! Besides the initial namedrop in Sony's list of third-party developers, there appear to be no official press releases concerning the game's announcement, nor any acknowledgment from official Hudson sources or video game news outlets. Bombermania was the only source to expound upon it in any detail.
It's possible Bomberman 2001 was merely a tech demo, used only as a development exercise for the PlayStation 2, similar to Super Mario 128 and The Legend of Zelda rolling demo at Space World 2000. One site theorises it later became Bomberman Jetters, based solely on the fact that game was the first Bomberman game released on PlayStation 2. [src: HEAD PLAN]

Those claims are purely speculation, though. Unless the trailer or other materials arise, there's little else that can be said about the game.

Famitsu.com: PlayStation Special Feature (Japanese)

Excerpts from Weekly Famitsu's March 26th 1999 issue concerning Hudson's interest in the PS2.

Sony Interactive Entertainment press release (Japanese PDF)

Dated September 13th 1999. Hudson confirmed to be a third-party developer for PlayStation 2.

ITmedia: PlayStation 2 domestic software lineup (Japanese)

Published September 13th 1999. The big list of third-party developers and their games... in Japanese!

IGN: Sony's Got Games

Published September 13th 1999. The big list of third-party developers and their games... in English!

e3expo.com: Exhibitor Information (archive)

The official website for E3 2000. Hudson Soft isn't listed among the exhibitors, though as far as I'm aware they hadn't an American subsidiary during this period (having closed Hudson Soft USA in 1995 - see Wikipedia). It's possible they or their games may have been represented by Sony.

Bombermania: Bomberman 2001 (archive)

A Bomberman fansite run by Sander van der Vegte until August 9th 2001. The only source of information for the game beyond a namecheck! The Internet Archive is unfortunately missing all the relevant images besides the logo.

HEAD PLAN: Game Title Before After (Japanese)

A list of games that changed their title/distributor during development, an offshoot of a similar list of discontinued/"phantom" games. It claims Bomberman 2001 mutated into Bomberman Jetters; while that game was the first Bomberman game released for the PS2, it's a bit of a stretch to link them like this!

Bomberman Board: Bomberman 2001 - Cancelled PS2 title [...]

Post dated November 20th 2014. Sander (under the username SvdV) responds to a thread discussing the game with the two photographs he took during E3 2000, now the only surviving images of the game.

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page last modified: 31/12/2017