Killer Instinct spin-off game may have been made for canceled 'McLaren' Windows phone

Microsoft's Creative Director for Xbox, Adam Isgreen, has hinted strongly that the company was working on a spinoff game for its Killer Instinct franchise that would have been made specifically for the features in "McLaren" the legendary canceled Windows Phone.

We have covered McLaren extensively in the past but here's a quick summary. The phone began development at Nokia, and it continued at Microsoft when it acquired Nokia's Devices and Services division in 2014. The phone would have included hardware sensors that would have allowed users to manipulate things on its display with gestures. Unfortunately, Microsoft decided to end development of McLaren in the summer of 2014, just a few months before its planned launch.

Review - Nokia McLaren with 3D gestures

A few months ago, a list of some unreleased games leaked on the Windows Store. One of the listed games was called TJ Combo Boxing Beta. TJ Combo is one of the fighters in the Killer Instinct fighting game franchise that's now owned by Microsoft after first being developed by Rare for Nintendo. A few days ago on the forums of (via TICGN and MSPU) Isgreen revealed some fascinating info on this TJ Combo Boxing game:

Let me end he (sic) speculation. It was a mobile game prototype we were working on to go hand in hand with some interesting tech being developed for our phones.The tech didn't end up being put into production, so the game wasn't finished. It was pretty cool - it told the rise of TJ and his whole dealings with ultra tech. His trainer was modeled after Ken Lobb too. =)It played like punch-out but with combo mechanics and KI flair.

While Isgreen did not flat out confirm the game was being developed for McLaren, his statements highly suggest that was indeed the case. In fact, we could see how such a boxing game would fit very well with McLaren's gesture technology.

In the end, neither the phone nor the game saw the light of day, although the main Killer Instinct franchise has continued for the Xbox One and, more recently, for Windows 10.

John Callaham