Marvel’s Avengers launches on the PlayStation 4 this week, marking a huge moment for an iconic franchise. Things were almost so different, however, as THQ Studios Australia once embarked on its own Avengers project for the PlayStation 3 – but it obviously never saw the light of day. The title was planned to accompany the 2012 movie, but was cancelled due to financing issues.

The gameplay footage embedded above reveals that the release utilised a first-person perspective, although earlier incarnations of the title were actually third-person and inspired by Batman: Arkham Asylum, which was a gigantic breakout success in 2009. It’s worth remembering that while the Avengers were popular prior to the first movie, the brand wasn’t the juggernaut that it is today.

The game was ultimately cancelled in 2011 due to the cost of the license, but it’s worth keeping in mind the context: there was a global economic crisis at the time. Ultimately, the publisher determined that the game would need to sell six million copies to break even, and with the movie yet to become a behemoth hit, it considered the gamble too big.

You can find out more about the history of the game in this awesome CNET article. One fascinating tidbit is that the team were considering giving Captain America a gun; again this was before the release of the Chris Evans movies. It’s probably for the best that this never made it to retail, but it’s surprising that it took almost a decade for another developer to take a shot at the property.