Jason Bischoff, former director of Saban and currently in charge of global licensing at Funko, recently shared some fascinating information about a Power rangers concept of video game that never took off known as Nomad Project.
“I had hoped [develop] an ambitious open-world cooperative [game] who captured the energy, teamwork and history of the franchise through a new lens, ”explained Bischoff in a detailed Twitter thread. “Basically, ‘Arkham‘Rangers, or Knights of Gotham five years ago Knights of Gotham‘ announcement.”
the Power rangers franchise came to the United States in 1993 with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, who adapted the 16th season of the Japanese television series Super Sentai. The Rangers have been a staple of children’s television ever since, regularly borrowing costume and kaiju fight footage from Super Sentai while filming new Power rangers stages for an English-speaking audience, first at Saban Entertainment and currently at Hasbro after the toy maker acquired the property in 2018.
Due to its popularity, Power rangers has been used as the basis of several video games over the years, most recently the legitimate fantasy Marvel vs. Capcom– fighting game style Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid. It would make sense for Saban, who still owned the rights in 2016, to explore the possibility of turning the series into an open-world adventure at a time when the genre was only growing in popularity. Alas, the project never went beyond these preliminary discussions.
“Unfortunately, with so much going around the studio at the time, there was no bandwidth or budget to support,” Bishoff explained. “What I got, however, was an invaluable ‘blessing’ to explore independently. While the first discussions with [developers and publishers] were favorable, eventually the weather and the big changes in our business saw conversations around Nomad Project dry up. “
Nomad Project reportedly followed “a myriad of Rangers” as they sought to free the planet Eltar from an unnamed occupying force. While a similar plot unfolded at the end of the Power Rangers Turbo series, the Nomad Project Concept art appears to represent an alliance between the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers team, their Alien Ranger counterparts and the Zeo Rangers introduced in the eponymous fourth season. There’s no word on how the game intended to handle a lot of these Rangers being the same person under the costume (trust me, Power rangers becomes complicated), but I guess these are alternate dimensions, because why not.
“These things totally happen! Added Bischoff. “The industry is built on ‘what could have been’. For now, let’s just savor this amazing art.