There are two versions of 2019: the one where Tokyo has been destroyed and some guy turns into a hideous flesh monster, and the one where a lost Akira video game finally turns up. Publisher THQ and developer Black Pearl Software announced a game based on the landmark anime movie at the Summer 1994 Consumer Electronics Show….and that was all anybody heard of it.
By 1995 the game had vanished from magazine release schedules, with no explanation. The only people who had ever witnessed the Genesis Akira game were attendees of CES, who got to try a show floor demo. It’s this demo that has been discovered and dumped online by Hidden Palace, and not only that, they have the full story behind its existence.
In 1993 the CEO of Black Pearl Software, Lawrence Siegel, was introduced to Akira by his friend Steve Harris, founder of EGM Magazine. Siegel feel in love with the movie and felt it would make for an even better video game — and since he ran a game studio, why not make it? He took a trip to Japan and met with Akira’s author, Katsuhiro Otomo, to acquire the rights.
Not only was a Genesis version of the Akira video game in development in 1994, but so was a Super Nintendo and even a Game Boy version. The Game Boy prototype is already out there, but the SNES version did not grow beyond some graphics art, which is shown at the above link. Game Gear and Sega CD versions were also talked about, as well as possible 3DO and Jaguar ports before those system tanked.
THQ eventually lost interest in publishing an Akira game and turned their attention to other, more well-known properties. Black Pearl could not complete the game on their own and Akira for Genesis was abandoned in mid-November.
Now you can experience what could have been with the CES Akira demo, downloadable on Hidden Palace’s page. Keep in mind that since it was a work in progress, it contains several bugs.