In the late '90s, Crystal Dynamics and publisher Eidos Interactive found a significant amount of success with the Gex franchise. The character starred in three major releases between 1995 and 1999, which appeared on a number of different platforms. Altogether, the series sold more than 15 million copies, but it completely disappeared after the release of Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko; however, it now seems Crystal Dynamics had plans to continue the series shortly after! YouTube user justz00t has uploaded a never-before-seen demo for Gex Jr., an original PlayStation game that would have featured a younger take on the gecko mascot.
The demo is fairly short, but there are some interesting things that can be seen (and heard) in the video. The first Gex game was a 2D platformer, while later installments shifted to 3D. Gex Jr. clearly would have continued that trend. The series also leaned heavily on pop culture parodies. In just 30 seconds, Gex Jr. makes references to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and The Empire Strikes Back, so clearly that also would have been a major focus, once again. Readers can check out the video embedded below. The actual demo has been uploaded to Archive.org, and can be found right here.
Unfortunately, there's no real way of knowing why Gex Jr. was cancelled, or how far along the game was. The demo is apparently dated January 25th, 2001. At that point, the PS2 had already been available in North America for a few months. It's possible waning interest in the original PlayStation played a part in the game's cancellation, but Crystal Dynamics has not addressed this discovery, as of this writing.
Square Enix took ownership of the Gex franchise when it purchased Eidos Interactive. While the series remains dormant, the publisher did file a new trademark for the series at the end of 2021. It's unlikely Gex Jr. will ever see the light of day as an official release, but perhaps Square Enix will revisit the series in some capacity. For now, Gex fans will just have to wait and see!
Were you a fan of the Gex games? Are you disappointed Gex Jr. wasn't released? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!
[H/T: Video Games Chronicle]