Those of you who actually played 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, my heart goes out to you and the world thanks you for your sacrifice. Those of you who didn't, well, you may have heard stories about its ludicrousness, but I promise nothing will top being a game developer at the mercy of the titular rapper's 7-year old son.
In the latest issue of Edge magazine, multiple developers who worked on the 2009 game shared their memories of the project. But it was production director Ian Flatt who had the best story: "There was one milestone where our guys had to fly over to present the build to 50 Cent and his management team. He wanted his son, who was about six or seven at the time, to be the person who would review the build and decide if it was any good." Yeah, you can see where this is going.
"So he played it and was saying, 'I love this, I love this, it’s great! But I want a level with helicopters in!' Our guy explained it was a third-person shooter and didn’t have helicopters in. But 50 Cent’s son said, 'No, I want helicopters,' and 50 Cent turned around and said, 'You heard him. Make a level with helicopters in.'" And that's where baby helicopters come from, boys and girls: the insistence of a rapper's child.
Implementing the helicopters (and, also at the behest of Fiddy, car chases) was apparently a giant pain in the ass, as Flatt said the designers "stitched" those segments together with bits and pieces of code that was never intended to support vehicles. "We had to get cars working and bumping into each other; make AI that would fight you while driving; create audio for engines and collision sounds. [It required] a huge amount of mechanics and work just for small sections of gameplay that were completely useless for the core shooter part," Flatt said.
50 Cent: Blood on the Sand is one of gaming's greatest oddities - a historical treasure just for its sheer ridiculousness. And all these years later, we finally know why: it had to meet the whims of a third-grader.
Read the full retrospective in the latest issue of Edge magazine, on sale now. Buy future issues here.