Every now and again, video games get cancelled. This can be a bitter pill to swallow when we've already seen a trailer or gameplay and were excited for it. That being said, and this is important to keep in mind, games are often cancelled for a good reason.
Games are usually only cancelled when they aren't turning out the way the studio expected - any developer will tell you that the game doesn't actually come together until very late in production. It's kind of like assembling furniture, it's all a fragile disaster until you put in the final screw. However, there are many other reasons games get cancelled, some very unjustly as you will see, and some are just mysteries.
Coming up is 11 of the most disappointing games ever to be cancelled. Oddly enough, most of them are from the PS3/360 generation, with a few from the PS2/Xbox era. Most of the games looked like they could have been special, some however paved the way for even better things! So read on and discover what could have been.
Eight Days was shown on stage at the Sony 2005 E3 Press Conference. This game was used to showcase the graphics and physics possible on the PS3. As you can see in the trailer above, Eight Days looked amazing, a little too much so for 2005. This was clearly either a very polished vertical slice, or a CGI trailer pretending to be gameplay, but it still blew everyone away.
SCE London Studio was working on the game, a Sony first-party studio with over 60 development members, therefore the game had a great pedigree and a lot of people working on it. The idea was to finish Eight Days and move on to a new The Getaway.
When the game was cancelled, Sony President Shuhei Yoshida said that Sony's first-party games were reviewed and Eight Days was cancelled so that resources could be placed elsewhere. He also said that lack of an online component was another factor. In 2009 the game was said to be "on-hold," rather than cancelled But, given that it's been 6 years and we haven't heard anything, you are permitted to mourn Eight Days.
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate was a companion game released Batman: Arkham Origins, and it was released on PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS. The game was better than the reviews suggested but it didn't exactly meet the high expectations set by the Arkham series, and the hopes everyone had for a 2D Batman game. Regardless the game was eventually released on PS3, 360, and PC.
Concept art for a sequel was revealed in 2014. The art was the same as the cutscene art from the original game and featured Bane fighting The Dark Knight. This is a disappointing game to be cancelled because the original was so fun and a sequel could have fulfilled the potential greatness we had hoped for. Sadly, mediocre reviews and poor sales means this is a game we will probably never see.
Here's one that you can't even really be mad about. Star Wars Battlefront was a very popular and successful series on PS2, Xbox, and PC, so a third entry seemed inevitable. The game was rumoured and leaked for a while before LucasArts finally confirmed its existence, even stating in October 2008 that it was "pretty much done." The game was being developed by Free Radical Design, who became Crytek UK, who, in the same month announced they had lost the rights to the game.
There are a few theories as to why it was cancelled. Steve Ellis, co-founder of Free Radical Design, said the game was canned because LucasArts refused to splash money on the game's marketing. A LucasArts employee then said that Free Radical Design had failed to meet deadlines, and couldn't complete development.
Whatever the reason, Star Wars Battlefront III looked like quite a good threequel; but hey, at least we're getting a reboot.
Ahh Rage, our love was short but passionate. Developed by id Software, the studio that brought you Doom, came Rage, an amalgamation of Fallout and Doom, with a dash of Mad Max. The game takes place after a massive asteroid wipes out the majority of humans on Earth. You emerge from an underground shelter, known as an Ark, into a world attempting to rebuild, filled with strange characters, monsters and a frenetic car culture. It was awesome.
A sequel to the game was planned and even started before id Software made the decision to halt all development of Rage 2 and put those resources to work on Doom 4. That was a few years ago and Doom is still being worked on. The good news is that the team is supposed to start again with Rage once Doom ships. id has reiterated on several occasions that the series is not dead. Yay!
Funnily enough, there was a Rage 2 easter egg in the original, as seen above. The egg hinted that Rage 2 would release the same year as Doom 5, little did they know Doom 4 wouldn't even be out by then!
B.C. gets us back to new IP that looked pretty exciting (going way back to slide 1 with Eight Days). B.C. was a very ambitious Xbox game about a tribe that is forced to fight and evolve in order to survive in the prehistoric era. The tribe are simians. Basically you control cavemen and fight dinosaurs....why the hell was this cancelled?!
Well, the best answer we have for that is simply that the game was just too ambitious. Indeed, it sounded massive and full of ground-breaking ideas that would even be impressive today. B.C. was a project that was a little ahead of its time but Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, recently stated his regret over B.C., so maybe someday it will return.
The original Prey was a very well received game from Human Head Studios and published by 2K. 3 years after the games release the series rights were purchased by ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks and id Software. After years of silence, Pete Hines of Bethesda just last year confirmed that Prey 2 had been cancelled.
Prey 2 was to carry on from the original and was even shown off at E3 2012, with the very impressive trailer seen above. When announcing the games cancellation, Hines said it was simply not meeting Bethesda's quality standard, therefore I guess it was the best decision to make. He also stated that there is potential for them to return to Prey someday, should they have a good idea.
Here we have another cancelled Batman game but a very unique one. Gotham by Gaslight was a game pitched by the studio that made F.E.A.R., based on the comic of the same name. It took Batman to an atmospheric Victorian London and pitted him against Jack the Ripper...sounds amazing!
Well, as mentioned, Gotham by Gaslight was merely a pitch. The studio created the prototype, as seen above, in an attempt to gain the rights to the Batman character and universe. This was back around 2006/07, when DC was looking for a new partner to make a Batman game. Well, the bad news is Day 1 Studios didn't get those rights; the good news is Rocksteady did and thus we got the amazing Arkham trilogy.
We obviously have no idea what the partnership is between DC and Rocksteady, but the developer has since stated that Arkham Knight is the end of its Batman games. Therefore, DC may be looking for a new partner. Again, the bad news is that Day 1 Studios is working on an unannounced game with World of Tanks developer, Wargaming. So don't expect to be cape stunning Jack the Ripper anytime soon.
Over the years Capcom has cancelled many Mega Man games, much to the dismay of the fans out there. Mega Man Anniversary Collection, Maverick Hunter, Mega Man Universe, Mega Man Legends 3 and Rockman Online, are a few of the cancelled games since 2006.
Mega Man is a beloved series but the frequent cancellations have led to much frustration. It's a series that has always experimented, as you can see in the cancelled FPS above, it's just unfortunate many of those never come to fruition. Such frustration ultimately led to creator Keiji Inafune Kickstarting a new game, known as Mighty No. 9. If you haven't seen or heard of Mighty No. 9, it's a spiritual successor to the Mega Man series and looks set to scratch that itch.
I think this is right up there with the most disappointing games ever to be cancelled. Star Wars 1313 was the Star Wars game many had been waiting years for; a gritty third-person action game in the vein of Uncharted.
The game was revealed at E3 2012 and developed by LucasArts. It was sadly cancelled in 2013 when Disney purchased the Star Wars licences from LucasArts. If you watched the trailer above you can see why that is so very disappointing. The good news is, Nolan North recently revealed that EA Visceral's upcoming Star Wars game is reminiscent of Uncharted, which makes it sound like a rebooted 1313. Fingers crossed.
A game many have been clamoring for for years, and yet it would have been nothing like what they expected. Jak & Daxter is one of PlayStation's most popular series' and two of the brands most iconic figures. With that in mind it's a surprise there have only been 3 games in the main series. However, Naughty Dog was developing a fourth.
When Naughty Dog left the PS1 it also left behind the systems mascot, Crash Bandicoot. It moved to PS2 and developed a more mature 3D platformer in Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, this again proved Naughty Dog's quality and spawned a new franchise. 4 games later the company was ready to move to the PS3 and stretch it's proverbial wings. The team wanted to do something more realistic, graphically and in tone. They started work on Jak 4, as seen in the artwork above, you can check out more of the art here, they toyed with the idea of a much more realistic Jak & Daxter.
Naughty Dog scrapped the plans pretty swiftly, after feeling like the team had simply outgrew the series, and more importantly, 3D platformers. From here they moved on to the mega-popular, and mega-awesome, Uncharted series. The team has been asked on numerous occasions if they would ever attempt Jak 4 again, to which they say the series doesn't reflect their current strengths, but they never rule it out. While Jak 4 is an exciting prospect, one can't help but agree that Naughty Dog has excelled since leaving the series behind. Going back to Jak would be exactly that, a step backwards.
Ooooohhh, this wound is still fresh. Silent Hills is the horror baby of Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro that never will see the light of day. The game was announced at E3 2014 and cancelled less than a year later. Silent Hills was revealed through an ingenious demo, called P.T., which was labelled as a demo for a random new horror game, it wasn't until people finished the demo that it was revealed to be a Silent Hill reboot.
The infamous demo sent the internet into a frenzy, due to its truly unique puzzles and being incredibly terrifying. The demo ended with the shot above, which revealed Kojima and Del Toro were behind the game, and Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead) was starring in it. Needless to say, the Silent Hill series had never been more popular. Then it all came crashing down.
Hideo Kojima had a rather public falling out with Konami, publisher of Silent Hills, and the game was subsequently cancelled. Konami has went into a bit of tailspin since then and the companies dedication to console gaming is understandably in question. The gamers suffered most from the falling out, as we lost one of the most intriguing and exciting horror games in years. Rumors were rampant before E3 that Microsoft had purchased the IP and intended to keep the game alive but they proved to be false.
The only good thing to be taken away from all of this, is that a new game, titled Allison Road, is being made and is very clearly inspired by Silent Hills. If we never get the game we were teased, hopefully Allison Road can fill the void.
So those are the most disappointing games to be cancelled. As you can probably tell, most of them were cancelled with good reason, or at least led to better things. But that doesn't mean we can't pine after what could have been. We never know what games will be unveiled and then cancelled but hopefully the industry is learning not to unveil games until they are close to being released.
Anyway, which game do you pine for most? Are there any we missed that particularly disappointed you? Let us know in the comments!