In the world of science fiction, Stargate is a titan. After the 1994 movie release, fans had 17 seasons of TV across three different series and two additional feature films to enjoy the characters, worlds, and mythology of the Stargate Universe. With the exception of the third-person shooter, Stargate: Resistance, and a cancelled MMO by the name of Stargate: Worlds, gamers haven’t had much opportunity to explore the rich Stargate universe within the medium of gaming. For the fans across the world, we’ve been left wondering: Will we get a modern Stargate game?
With such a rich cast of characters, worlds, and an incredible twist on Egyptian, Norse, and Arthurian mythology, there’s still so many possibilities for great Stargate games.
Sadly, while there have been many efforts in the past to bring this universe to gamers, each one ultimately fell apart. Let’s run through that history, shall we?
History Of Stargate Games Over The Years
Stargate (1981 Arcade Game, 1987 Atari 2600 Game)
While not related at all to the sci-fi series or movie, these two games were the first games to bear the “Stargate” name in arcades and home consoles.
Stargate (1995 Pinball)
Obviously this wasn’t a video game, but we’re talking about Stargate games, so it’s worth mentioning. This classic pinball table was the first game based on the 1994 film that starred Kurt Russell and James Spader.
Stargate (Game Boy & Game Gear, 1994)
Stargate on Game Boy and Game Gear was the first video game that bore the franchise name, as a 3D strategy puzzle game by Acclaim. The game boasted “massive levels and a perfect blend of strategy and action” as well as cutscenes that featured characters from the movie.
In the game, players must solve puzzles to defeat Ra. In both versions of the game, players could play head-to-head utilizing the system’s cable.
Stargate (SNES & Sega Genesis, 1995)
Acclaim released another Stargate game (developed by Probe Entertainment) the year after the handheld version, which was more action focused rather than purely a puzzle game. An official movie tie-in game, players would take on the role of Colonel Jack O’Neil (“One L”) as he fights Ra’s forces on Abydos.
The game was a sidescroller common to the generation of consoles and boasted over 30 missions for players to take on. Outside the U.S., the game was also released on the Sega Mega Drive.
Stargate SG-1 (Mobile devices, 2004)
In 2004, SkyZone Entertainment released Stargate SG-1 on mobile devices, which gave players four missions to play on their mobile devices, long before smartphones and apps became a titan in the gaming world. This game is no longer able to be played, unfortunately.
This was the first SG-1-focused game, and shares an art direction with the 1995 SNES/Sega Genesis Stargate game. Once again, you played as Colonel Jack O’Neil, fighting off soldiers and interacting with characters from the TV series such as Teal’c, Sam, Daniel, and more.
Stargate SG-1: The Alliance (Cancelled, 2005)
SG-1: Alliance was to be an ambitious console project for PC, Xbox, and PlayStation 2, and planned to feature voice acting from all of the SG-1 members. The game was in development by Perception Pty, with publishing to be handled by Austrian publisher JoWooD, who is now defunct but handled other titles in the EU like Torchlight, Gothic 3, and more.
SG-1: The Alliance was to be a first-person shooter based on season 8 of the SG-1 TV show, with the main difference being that Jack O’Neill still being a part of SG-1. Players would be able to select an SG-1 team member for individual missions (16 in total), taking on the role of the character as they would in the show. Perception Pty even created a new enemy, The Haaken, who joined Anubis in an alliance, hence the name of the game.
Sadly, the game was cancelled in late 2005 by MGM, and due to the state of the game at the time, there are no reference videos or images for us to see what this game could have been.
Stargate: Resistance (released 2010, shut down 2011)
I’ll admit, I missed the boat on Stargate: Resistance, having not heard about it until after its shutdown just a year after launch in 2011. Set after the events of the SG-1 TV show, the game pitted the SGC (Stargate Command) against the System Lords faction, with each side having three different classes for players to utilize. Unfortunately, not long after launch, Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment went into receivership, leading to the ultimate shutdown of Stargate Resistance and the cancellation of Stargate Worlds.
Huge bummer, but Stargate: Resistance IS still alive and kicking thanks to fan servers and a free download of the game. There’s even a Discord server where players coordinate matches!
Stargate Worlds (Cancelled, no release date)
Personally, I was stupidly excited for Stargate Worlds when it was announced. Combining my love of MMO games with my favorite science-fiction series? Sign me up!
There wasn’t a ton of detail on Stargate Worlds beyond a basic premise of exploring the Milky Way galaxy, as well as the seven different “archetypes” (classes) that players could play as across two factions. Players would be able to choose either the SGC or System Lords faction, form squads with either friends or bots (solo play), and explore the far reaches of the Stargate universe. According to the developer, “Stargate Worlds provides players with a form of ranged combat unique to MMORPG that will take full advantage of modern and science fiction weaponry, cover, and terrain.”
Stargate Worlds was meant to be an evolving universe, constantly shifting based upon player action. Players would be able to tip the balance of power on worlds by complete quests, combat, or trade in an effort to sway the local population to their side. On some worlds, PVP would be utilized to sway the balance of power and unlock hidden content, alongside the cooperative play that would see players forge temporary alliances. There were even plans to have the Ori, who were the “bad guy” in the later seasons of SG-1, come in as an outside threat that could shape changes on planets beyond the two-faction dynamic.
In short, it was everything I (and others) were looking for in a game based on Stargate. Check out the original trailer below:
Stargate Command - Released 2012, shut down 2013
Stargate Command was Arkalis Interactive’s first foray into the creation of Stargate-based games, focused on the mobile platform. It was the first interactive Stargate game to come to smartphones, allowing players to explore the SGC, play minigames, and allowed a purchasable game titled “Teal’c’s Revenge” for $0.99 during launch and $1.99 thereafter.
In Stargate Command: Teal’c’s Revenge, the SGC is under attack and as we’ve come to expect from our favorite Jaffa, only Teal’c can save it and Earth. Much of the game is similar to games like Infinity Blade; players would parry, block, and attack foes to earn experience in order to improve Teal’c’s abilities. Players would face off against Goa’uld, Jaffa, and Replicators that the original cast of the show fought through the 10 seasons it aired.
TouchArcade published a video of Stargate Command: Teal’c’s Revenge if you’re interested in what the game looked like in 2012 and 2013.
Stargate SG-1: Unleashed - Released 2013, cancelled 2014
This was the followup game to Arkalis Interactive’s Stargate Command app, and this was a game I reviewed at launch in 2013. Sadly, the game only made it through two “episodes” that gamers had a chance to play before Arkalis went under in 2014.
Essentially, SG-1: Unleashed was to be the exploration of a new story with our favorite characters facing off against a brand new Goa’uld. Players would “control” each member of SG-1 (voiced by the original actors) as they set out on new adventures and seek to solve new puzzles.
Arkalis Interactive launched the game promising “A variety of game play: target shooting, stealth mode, object collection, and race against the clock” across eight interactive chapters and an original soundtrack. Sadly, they only completed two episodes of those eight before the company shut its doors.
A video from Arkalis Interactive showed off a bit of the game:
While I reviewed it positively at the time, I’ll attest to my reviews missing the mark. While it was great exploring a new story with the original cast voice acting, the game was lackluster. Much of the action was done via QTEs, and the episodes were short for what you paid for them. For the most recent modern Stargate game, it's definitely a letdown.
Since 1994, we’ve seen just seven Stargate (video) games released for fans to enjoy, but as of today, players can still play just a single one through fan-maintained servers. While the TV series flourished for 17 years, no game has had the chance to really bring players into the rich world(s) the series created.
Will We Get More Stargate Games?
The question remains: Will we get more Stargate games in the modern era? Stargate Universe finished in 2011, and nine years later we’ve seen nothing new from this beloved IP. Maybe MGM no longer has any interest in the franchise, or maybe they just haven’t gotten the right pitch yet.
Having recently finished Stargate: Atlantis, and knowing the story and events of the show, one angle that a developer could approach is something of a management sim. Having freshly arrived on Atlantis, your job could be to send teams on reconnaissance and build diplomatic relations with the Athosians, Genii, and more. You could send your SG teams to different worlds as you seek to expand operations within Atlantis, acquiring ZPMs to power the city and unlock new skills, sciences, and technology to use against the Wraith and Replicators. I’d play the hell out of a game like that, even if it does sound a lot like XCOM?
If you wanted to turn to more of the strategy/RTS genre, you could pretty easily go the 4X route—controlling a (future or alternate timeline) armada for Humans against the Goa’uld, Replicators, or Wraith. There are plenty of unique factions to choose from as well that could influence the game.
Personally, though, I’d love a more adventure-focused game. Take on the role of an SG team leader, and go through the game to complete missions and battle various enemies. It could be interesting to go on missions as SG-2, SG-15, and more that were featured in the show(s), exploring stories from characters outside SG-1. Take a page from Star Wars Republic Commando, for example, and utilize commands to direct your team’s actions throughout each mission.
Stargate has such a wide range of stories, planets, and enemies to choose from after 17 years of movie and TV. Between the Goa’uld, Wraith, Ori, and Replicators, the number of timelines and stories that developers could choose from is immense and opens up a lot of possibilities for games across multiple genres.
For now, I’ll continue re-watching SG-1 and Atlantis every few years, hoping that I’ll one day get to experience a brand new story once again.
Header image credit: u/P3X-99