You remember Extreme Championship Wrestling, right? ECW? It was one of the top names in the wrestling world in the 90s. But then owner Paul Heyman sold the company to World Wrestling Entertainment a few years later, and became a pioneer in his own right. Well, at one point, after the somewhat awful Acclaim ECW games that came out, the company had almost forged a deal with one of the most noteworthy publishers out there – Rockstar Games.
Per a report from Wrestling Headlines, GCW wrestling star Kevin Gill recently appeared on the Tru Heal Heat Wrestling program and got into a discussion about the potential game.
“So just through a series of events, I ended up meeting with Sam Houser, who was the founder of Rockstar Games. It turned out through some of his past lives working at different companies, he was involved in producing that Onita VHS documentary that came out in Japan years ago. We kind of just hit it off. A short time later, he asked me to join the company. I was happy to do so,” Gill explained.
From there, plans began to form for a potential ECW/Rockstar union. “The way the game came about, I had actually put together a deal for Rockstar Games to do the ECW video game. Like I had put together a deal with Paul Heyman. We had a series of meetings. One weekend, I rented a van and brought the whole Rockstar Games team, like a 15 passenger van and brought everyone down to the ECW arena in Philly to see it in person. I was like you guys have to see it. Then also in my mind, be comfortable and fully understand every fucking thing that’s happening. You can’t pretend, ‘oh I didn’t know there was gonna be blood.’ A video game takes so many years to develop and cost so much to develop,” Gill continued.
But it just didn’t pan out, per Rockstar’s end. Gill added, “We had the contract signed from ECW and we were about to issue the check and the check then makes it because we didn’t sign the deal yet. Like we returned this signed deal and the check and that locks the deal. So he’s finally like, ‘if this was your million dollars right now, would you sign this check and send it to Paul?’ And I’m like ‘if it was my only million dollars’.
Because let’s be honest, if you’re on the pool of $15 million, it’s a good million dollar bet.
He’s just like ‘if it’s your only million dollars right now, would you bet everything you have that ECW will be here in 18 to 36 months when this game comes out?’ I was like ‘it breaks my heart to say it, but you know what I mean? I can’t, if literally like in this context, I couldn’t take that bet, you know what I mean? He’s like ‘I really appreciate that, that takes a real man to do that’. Then he had me rip up the contracts, not in a bad way, but in a symbolic way.
Had the game come out, it would’ve arrived right alongside Grand Theft Auto III on PlayStation 2 – and possibly made a new name for the company in video games. Alas, not to be. Gill concluded, “I sometimes wonder if I would have just done that, maybe ECW still would of went the same way, maybe the game would have been whatever, but I might have made a career changing relationships and moves that would have changed everything, I don’t know.”
What could’ve been, kids.
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