Back in october 1998, Nintendo of America reserved a domain called Riqa.com and a few months later Nintendo Power was able to reveal the domain was indeed
registered because of a game being in development. Nintendo also announced that the game, being developed by Bits Studios in the UK, would be unveiled at the
E3 show 1999. The game was expected to hit the shelves early 2000.
Riqa was a sci-fi adventure featuring a female agent called Riqa, ehhh Lara Croft anyone?.
(IGN) January 13, 2000 - At last year's Electronics Entertainment Expo is Los Angeles, Nintendo previewed brief snippets of a previously unknown Nintendo 64
action-adventure called RIQA. The 3D title, which looked like a cross between Tomb Raider and Mission: Impossible, was not playable and extremely early in
development, but it showed promise all the same. Since that time, Nintendo has not uttered a single word on the game, which has led many in the industry to
question its status.
The good news is that it's still very alive. We spoke with UK based developer Bits Studios about the project today and were reassured that while Nintendo is
reluctant to release any new information on the game, everything is going smoothly behind the scenes. Unfortunately, we were unable to obtain any information
regarding gameplay specifics at this time as Bits is under strict NDA by the boys up stairs.
Look for more to surface on the relatively unknown game during the upcoming E3 show in May.
The game was indeed showed in somewhat playable form at E3 1999, but shortly after Nintendo quietly cancelled the release. According to various sources it's
said that the game never really left the Alpha stage, however a running demo that has appeared online shows a very plable game that looks near complete.
Riqa was in development for approximately 2½ years before it was scrapped and some websites on the internet have indicated that a Bits Studios game released for
the GameCube and Xbox later on, RogueOps, included several ideas from Rogueops. However sources close to Bits Studios have declined that possibility, but it sure
does look very sililar to Riqa. The reason why Riqa was scrapped was, according to IGN, that the development was simply progressing too slowly and that the game
couldn't make its planned 2000 release.
Bits Corp, the mother company of Bits Studios, is today known as Playwise. The development team was founded in 1990 by Foo Katan.