Speculation had once been rife that Factor 5 were hard at work collaborating with Nintendo on a new Pilotwings iteration for GameCube.
At the time, GameSpot and IGN had reported rumours that they had heard, which suggested that a playable version of the project may have been demonstrated at E3 2003. SPOnG added to this a month later, suggesting that the SNES version was being remade on Game Boy Advance.
While neither appeared at E3 that year, late president Satoru Iwata only added more fuel to the fire by announcing that Factor 5 – best known for their work on the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series – were working on an unannounced GameCube exclusive.
It has remained shrouded in mystery ever since, but step in researcher Liam Robertson to shed some light. In a comprehensive video for Unseen64 we learn about how director Julian Eggebrecht had proposed a Pilotwings reboot to Nintendo, taking place in the early years of the Cold War and inspired by 1983 movie The Right Stuff.
Earlier missions would see players begin in flight school, before being recruited as a test pilot in the military. That would see gameplay shift to military operations, with plans to incorporate stealth-flight gameplay.
With the small studio working hard on Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike, their attention was distracted and the project took a backseat. When the GameCube continuing to struggle worldwide, LucasArts pressured Factor 5 to shift their development resources to PlayStation 2 and Xbox.
That ultimately sparked a downward spiral for the project, with the video below sharing plenty of detail about the eventual situation.