As we’ve seen previously, despite being selected specifically by Nintendo in order to provide exclusive content for their then upcoming new home console, not every member of the Ultra 64 Dream Team was able to deliver. Much like Sierra On-Line, however, they would wind up not releasing even a single game for the platform — only announcing a single title that would ultimately be canceled (though if you wish, you can still play it in some forms today).
Founded by the trio of Jeff Sauter, Mike Franklin, and Phil Adam in the city of Boulder, Colorado during the year of 1983, Spectrum HoloByte, Inc. originally focused primarily on the Personal Computer (PC) market, their greatest claim to fame being that they were the first company to release a version of Tetris outside of what was then known as the Soviet Union in 1987 for DOS, followed by other platforms such as the Amiga, Atari ST, and a number of Apple platforms. Among their other releases, they would capitalize on the success of the beloved block-dropping puzzle game with variations such as Welltris, Wordtris, and Super Tetris.
Prior to joining the Dream Team, Spectrum HoloByte’s console output was very sparse, with Falcon 3.0 coming to the TurboGrafx-16 and Wordtris hitting the Game Boy and Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992 (there seems to be some debate over whether the SEGA CD release of Iron Helix arrived in ’92 or ’93). Star Trek fans, The Next Generation in particular, might recall their name being on the release of 1994’s Star Trek: The Next Generation – Futures Past for the Super NES and Genesis.
The company would merge with chairman Gilman Louie’s Nexa Corporation and move to California, later merging again with MicroProse to form MicroProse Inc., which continued to publish titles under both brand names. It was during this period that Spectrum HoloByte would sign on with the Dream Team, before everything was consolidated under the MicroProse brand in 1996 — the same year the Nintendo 64 would be released.
Unfortunately, the company would announce only one title for the Nintendo 64, which was fated to be cancelled: Top Gun 64. This was a port of the 1996 PC and PlayStation title Top Gun: Fire at Will, which was the first game based on the popular movie series since Konami’s 1987 and 1989 releases, Top Gun and Top Gun: The Second Mission for the NES (the former reportedly being a 2 million seller). As such, while the game never made it to the Nintendo 64, you can still play its other versions if you so desire:
The reason given to Unseen64 for the cancellation is that Tim Christian, European Md of Microprose (as told to EDGE magazine) is that the company had no faith in the late-coming (March 1997 in Europe) Nintendo 64, which — arriving after the SEGA Saturn and Sony PlayStation, whose average price for software was expected to drop by then — would be seen as “the [third] [n]ext generation platform in every sense,” and so chose not to back it.
That said, Top Gun: Fire at Will would prove to be one of the last titles to come from the developer anyway, as the company was acquired by Hasbro Interactive in 1998, with the now Alameda, California-based studio being shut down the following year. The rest of MicroProse would go on to be sold alongside the Atari brand to Infogrames, Inc. in 2001, who are now known as Atari, SA.