Just to add a note that while researching in old gaming magazines trying to find a UK release date for Donald Duck The Lucky Dime Caper on SMS (at this point my best estimate is either December 1991 or January 1992), it's become pretty clear to me the game was originally called DuckTales.
Both Sega Power #25 (cover date December 1991) on p11 and Sega Pro #1 (cover date November 1991) on p9 list "DuckTales" on SMS as due November 1991. Then in Sega Pro #2 (cover date December 1991) on p7 it says "Donald Duck" on SMS is due December 1991. Then in Sega Pro #3 (cover date Christmas 1991) p24 it says "Donald Duck" on SMS is due "before Christmas ". Then in Sega Pro #4 (cover date February 1992) on p30/31 they review "Donald Duck The Lucky Dime Caper" on SMS and say it's out now. Pretty clear evidence in these consecutive issues of it being the same game simply evolving. Plus several other gaming magazines review the Lucky Dime Caper around this time as well (many are listed on the SegaRetro page in the reviews box)
In my view it's very unlikely there would be two Disney games on SMS due for release so close together, plus The Lucky Dime Caper includes several DuckTales characters in the story/intro so it's not much of a leap at all. In my view this is more than enough evidence to show DuckTales on SMS is just the original title for The Lucky Dime Caper and it was never a separate game.
So yeah, it looks like The Lucky Dime Caper may have been intended to be a Duck Tales game at one point, probably before Capcom's license was renewed for the 1993 game. The whole "go rescue the nephews and get the lucky dime back" plot really sounds like a good fit for the series, and that game even has some sprites for Uncle Scrooge which may have been used for a playable character at one point.
What about Quackshot? Well, I'd say that this does make a bit more sense when you look at it with the possibility in mind:
Duck Tales movie (1990)
There's even a couple of details from the in-game logo that are based directly on Duck Tales' and don't appear in the box art, like the overlapping "K" and the distinct shape of the "T".
Then, there's the very possible reason why Donald is not wearing his usual overalls:
And that dive:
...But this is as far as facts get without entering speculation. Unless somebody has already found any further evidence?
Don't get me wrong, these could very well be references/shoutouts to the series/movie (certainly not to the comics) along the same lines as the references to other Disney properties that exist in these games, but those magazines listing a SMS Duck Tales game before the Donald game was announced make me more skeptical about that and more on board with it being started as a Duck Tales project and later rebranded for whatever reasons, which could even include marketing research on Donald's worldwide popularity.
Heck, they may have even planned ahead of time and chose this kind of adventure because they'd be able to easily swap franchise in case something went wrong with the license.
tl;dr: Too many coincidences, probably. Insider info sorely needed.
Last edited by ICEknight on Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
Just a wild guess (so there's no evidence this can be true). Maybe because the DuckTales brand was relatively less well known than Donald Duck in Japan some parts of the globe so the games were changed to Donald Duck ones for better recognition.
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