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X-COM's Julian Gollop almost worked on Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is likely to remain a Switch exclusive forever, but if it wasn’t for the Nintendo characters, it wouldn’t look all that out of place on PC, especially with its many similarities to X-COM/XCOM. And it turns out that this connection could have been stronger, as X-COM creator Julian Gollop almost worked on it. 

“The creative director Davide Soliani [the lovely crying man from E3] is a friend of mine from Ubisoft,” Gollop told PCGamesN. “When I was at Ubisoft Sofia he was, and still is, working for Ubisoft Milan and I visited him a couple of times. We had conversations about project ideas… he was a fan of my previous games, like Laser Squad [Nemesis] and stuff like that, and he was really into his strategy and turn-based ideas from the beginning.”

Their friendship lead to a phone call, three years ago, where Soliani asked Gollop if he’d like to join him on a new, secret project.  “I didn't know at the time that the project he was talking about was Mario + Rabbids, he couldn't say what it was,” said Gollop. Unfortunately, he had just left Ubisoft to work on Chaos Reborn. “Nevertheless, had I been at Ubisoft I may have worked on it.” 

Gollop is now working on another tactics game, Phoenix Point, which was successfully crowdfunded earlier this year and looks very promising.

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.