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Infamous began as a cartoonish game inspired by Animal Crossing

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Sucker Punch Productions' open-world Infamous series began with the idea of mixing Nintendo's Animal Crossing simulation franchise with superheroes, co-founder Chris Zimmerman told GameSpot.

"The original idea for Infamous, believe it or not, was that it was kind of Animal Crossing, but you were a superhero," Zimmerman said. Instead of the series established gritty overtones, Infamous' early concepts were a more cartoonish undertaking from the studio behind the Sly Cooper series. An early pitch, for example, included balloon-stealing purple gorillas.

"We worked on that for about a year in that direction," he said. "So much more stylized, much more cartoony than what you end up seeing. We worked hard to see if we could make that work."

Sucker Punch took the series in a vastly different direction, beginning on PlayStation 3 with 2009's Infamous and continuing with 2011's Infamous 2. The third installment, Infamous: Second Son, is set for a March 21 release on PlayStation 4. For more on Second Son, be sure to read our in-depth interview with its developers and Polygon's recent hands-on impressions. You can also learn more about the latest Animal Crossing game in our Animal Crossing: New Leaf review.