Premature Cancellation: The Best Cancelled Video Games
Video game publishers and developers start building hype around their game as early as possible; the sooner that they can start building interest in a game, the better. And in the vast majority of cases, this ends up working out well; the game is finally released, and there’s a lot of fanfare.
However, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes, publishers and developers can jump the shark, and announce a game that doesn’t end up being released. There can be a lot of reasons why a game goes unreleased, but in a lot of cases, fans are left with nothing more than a lot of build-up with no pay off.
Whether it’s down to a studio going out of business, or an IP being bought by a rival studio, these are some of the best cancelled video games.
There hasn’t been a decent video game based on the Alien franchise in quite a few years. That isn’t for lack of trying, however. Aliens: Colonial Marines was originally set to be an amazing game, but we all know how that turned out.
That being said, however, it wasn’t the only Alien game in development at the time. Alien: Crucible was a Knights of the Old Republic style RPG set in the Alien universe. According to the developers, they were well into development, and almost complete when it was shut down in favour of Colonial Marines.
Several weeks after Colonial Marines’ release, footage from Crucible was leaked, showing off exactly what we all missed out on. But hey, it’s not like a publisher has ever been wrong about anything…
Gotham By Gaslight
Fans who only know Batman through films and TV shows wouldn’t be too familiar with the Gotham By Gaslight comic storyline. However, when it was first announced that it would become the basis if a game featured the Caped Crusader, comic book fans were ecstatic.
More and more fans of the superhero got behind it as trailers and screenshots were released. The game would have put Batman in a Steampunk version of Gotham City, giving players a fully immersive open world to explore.
However, Gotham By Gaslight was eventually canned in favour of the Arkham Knight trilogy, with a number of features being ripped from the former. Surely, I can’t be the only one who would have preferred Arkham Knight in a Steampunk setting?
Star Wars 1313
The Star Wars franchise is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to video games; for every amazing game, there’s one or two terrible ones. The same logic applies to all of the franchise’s cancelled games.
One of the cancelled games in the franchise was Star Wars 1313 – an RPG that focused on bounty hunters and criminals. What surprised many was the fact that 1313 was cancelled so far into development. Gameplay and screenshots had shown off the title spectacularly; Star Wars 1313 was something that had gotten almost every Star Wars fan excited.
Way back in 2004, gaming didn’t have as much mainstream appeal as it does today; while it had celebrity fans, it wasn’t in the spotlight as much. However, one of the biggest mainstream stars in film jumped on the video game bandwagon early; Steven Spielberg.
The acclaimed director partnered with EA in order to create an action adventure, RPG hybrid. According to EA, the game would focus on a relationship between the player and an alien. Nicknamed LMNO, the game was set to tug at players’ heartstrings.
According to reports, Mr. Spielberg wanted LMNO to have an emotional depth to it, similar to a movie or music. Unfortunately, the team who worked on the game couldn’t quite get the mechanics to coalesce into a cohesive game, so the project was abandoned.
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Heavenly Sword 2
This action adventure game was a pretty big hit, and it was a commercial success pretty quickly. Because of that, talk quickly turned to Heavenly Sword 2. Development began, and artwork was released, showing off how the game world was going to look.
However, not much else was shown off from the game, aside from artwork presented at its announcement in 2008. That is, until the studio was folded and pretty much all of its titles shelved.
Video games are cancelled constantly, but many of these aren’t noticed because they were never announced, or just didn’t receive much fanfare. However, like the titles above show, sometimes our expectations are sky high, only for the carpet to be pulled out from under us.