Jason Bischoff, former Saban director and the guy currently in charge of global licensing at Funko, recently shared some fascinating information about a cool-sounding Power Rangers video game concept that never got off the ground known as Project Nomad.
“I had hoped to [develop] an ambitious, open-world co-op [game] that captured the energy, teamwork, and history of the franchise through a fresh lens,” Bischoff explained in a detailed Twitter thread. “Basically, ‘Arkham’ Rangers, or Gotham Knights five years before Gotham Knights’ announcement.”
The Power Rangers franchise first arrived in the United States in 1993 with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which adapted the 16th season of the Japanese TV series Super Sentai. The Rangers have been a staple of children’s television ever since, regularly borrowing in-suit and kaiju battle footage from Super Sentai while filming new Power Rangers scenes for an English-speaking audience, first at Saban Entertainment and currently at Hasbro following the toymaker’s 2018 acquisition of the property.
Due to its popularity, Power Rangers has been used as the basis of several video games over the years, most recently the legit fantastic Marvel vs. Capcom-style fighting game Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid. It would only make sense for Saban, which still held the rights in 2016, to explore the possibility of turning the series into an open-world adventure at a time when that genre was only growing in popularity. Alas, the project never got past those preliminary discussions.
“Sadly, with so much circulating through the studio at the time, there was no bandwidth or budget to support,” Bishoff explained. “What I did have, however, was an invaluable ‘blessing’ to independently explore. While early talks with [developers and publishers] were favorable, ultimately time and big shifts in our business saw conversations around Project Nomad peter out.”
Project Nomad would have followed “a myriad of Rangers” as they sought to free the planet Eltar from an unnamed occupying force. While a similar plotline played out at the end of the Power Rangers Turbo series, the Project Nomad concept art appears to depict an alliance between the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers team, their Alien Ranger counterparts, and the Zeo Rangers introduced in the eponymous fourth season. There’s no word on how the game intended to handle many of these Rangers being the same person under the suit (believe me, Power Rangers gets complicated), but my guess is alternate dimensions, because why not.
“These things totally happen!” Bischoff added. “The industry is built on ‘what could have beens.’ For now, let’s simply relish in this amazing art.”