In an interview with NME, the developer who worked on 50 Cent: Blood in the Sand showed that the game was originally supposed to be Tom Clancy title. But since the publisher did not actually own the rights to Clancy’s name, the plan was canceled.
50 Cent: Blood in the Sand was released for the Xbox 360 and PS3 back in 2009. This is a fairly standard third-person shooter with a cover art that has been greatly improved with the addition of 50 Cent and his fellow G-Unit members. After a concert in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, 50 people and his team receive money in the form of a skull encrusted with diamonds. (Indeed.) But before the gang can leave and … I don’t know, stare at their new sweet bone reward, it’s stolen and 50 Cent has to fight to get it back. This includes many desert levels, shooting, swearing, and hiding from the waist up.
As part of a larger canceled games feature, Blood in the sand developer Darren Yeomans said NME that when the development of the shooter began, there was no famous rapper in it at all. Instead, for “more than a year”, employees Swordfish Studios, the company behind the game has been working on what they believe will ultimately be Tom Clancy the game.
Yeomans explained that the studio had completed several levels and really got the gameplay right when publisher, Vivendi, threw a “massive curve” to the team and asked them to rework the game around the famous celebrity she already owned. … A person? 50 cents. Vivendi previously published 2005 50 Cent: Bulletproof and according to another developer featured in NME History, this game brought the publisher a lot of money.
However, the strange story of the development of this unusual game does not end there. According to the developer, who worked on the game later, after the Clancy material, the game was briefly based on Covert-One books based on Bourne series created by Robert Ludlam after his death… However, a planned book-based TV show was canceled and never made, so the game was shelved and then reworked into a classic (?) 50 Cent: Blood in the sand.
Even after the game was completely transformed into the 50 Cent title, development still struggled. At some point – very late in development – kid 50 Cent played a game build and suggested that the developers add helicopters. The developer, who was presenting the build at the time, explained that the game is a third-person shooter and does not have helicopters. But after the kid persisted, 50 Cent stepped in and told the developers, “You heard him. Make a level with helicopters!”
When the game was submitted it included a helicopter section as well as boss fights against them.
After all this 50 Cent: Blood in the Sand the review is still better than you might expect… Despite decent reviews, it sold badly and the studio behind the game, Swordfish, was closed the following year. But judging by the many years of anecdotes about its development, working on this game sounds like a little nightmare. A flop like this will probably hurt more than I can imagine. Hopefully the developers could find a better job elsewhere, free from 50 Cent’s requirements.