MechWarrior 3 Trivia (Windows)
German versionThe German version of the game has been censored: Foot soldiers disappear as soon as one aims at them or one is in an position to smash them with the mechs' legs.
GraphicsThis game has its own unique style and is, in some places, technically superior to MechWarrior 4: Vengeance. For instance, MechWarrior 3 features landscape mesh transform when you hit the terrain with a weapon. This means that you don't just leave a char mark, the terrain actually changes when you strike. MW4 leaves a decal and that's it. The decal then fades or disappears suddenly after a period of time. In MechWarrior 3, if you leave a crater, it's there until you leave the map.
OEM releaseMechWarrior 3 was the bundled software that came with the second production run of the Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback Pro 1.0 joystick. The first release was bundled with Urban Assault.
Rights and developmentActivision was unable to develop a sequel to MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat after the FASA Corporation, the creators and then-owners of the BattleTech universe, refused to renew the licensing contract after the delays and troubled development of the game, despite its subsequent success. However, this did not prevent Activision from creating and patching the two expansion packs, Ghost Bear's Legacy and Mercenaries.
Initially, development on MechWarrior 3 was influenced by another 3D BattleTech game from the mid-1990s, created by the Virtual World Entertainment Group, which featured eight mutually connected cabinets called "Tesla pods" where players would fight in 'Mechs against each other. FASA acquired this technology to be used in a full-blown video game that was to become MechWarrior 3, under the publishing of MicroProse. For this reason, the FASA Interactive Technologies (FIT) division was formed to develop it. The process was delayed, however, due to struggles with the engine incompatibilities with concurrent hardware.
In 1996, Spectrum Holobyte, MicroProse's parent company since 1993, lays off much of the MicroProse staff and renames itself into MicroProse, and is purchased by Hasbro Interactive in 1998. FASA Interactive merged with Virtual World Entertainment Group, but their version of MechWarrior 3 is eventually put on hold, as Zipper Interactive was called to finish the game. They used a combination of the already developed assets and their own engine, most likely from the 1999 game Recoil.
Meanwhile, Microsoft bought the Virtual World Entertainment Group, but only kept FASA Interactive, and by transition, they now had the rights to the BattleTech license and MechWarrior games, hence the Microsoft logo's appearance in the MechWarrior 3 back cover art and intro.
The original MechWarrior 3 project would be the base of FASA Studio's MechWarrior 4: Vengeance, released a year and a half after Zipper Interactive's finished MechWarrior 3.
Information also contributed by Zaghadka.