In a just world, all games we look forward to with hope and excitement would sail through the development process and come out to great fanfare. As we all know, unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in. We live in an imperfect world, with a video game industry that doesn’t always deliver on its promises. Some games that look fantastic in early teasers and trailers don’t deliver on the hype when they come out. Others don’t come out at all. There are a variety of reasons for video game cancellations, but hearing the explanations doesn’t take away the sting of dashed hopes for what could have been.
Here are some of the most promising games that were announced to the world, only to be cancelled before anyone had a chance to play them. So read on, and let’s pour one out for these heartbreaking cancelled video games.
1. Silent Hills
The Silent Hill franchise has had its ups and downs over the years, but its high points were some of the most surreal, terrifying survival horror games ever made. When Konami announced Metal Gear Solid’s Hideo Kojima would be teaming up with director Guillermo del Toro to make a reboot for modern consoles, horror fans swooned with anticipation. Adding fuel to the fire was the creepy and mysterious P.T., a “playable teaser” for the game Konami released on PlayStation 4.
As it turned out, Silent Hills was not to be. Konami cancelled the project and even pulled P.T. from the PlayStation Store, sending fans worldwide into a pitch-black pit of disappointment.
2. Star Wars 1313
While the Star Wars movies have always been fairly family-friendly, developer LucasArts was going in a more mature direction with Star Wars 1313. The game centered around a young galactic bounty hunter named Boba Fett (you might’ve heard of him) as he honed his skills in the underworld of Coruscant. Before long, though, Disney closed LucasArts and scrapped the game.
If you’re disappointed, don’t despair. Fans have a few promising Star Wars games to look forward to, including one from Dead Space developer Visceral Games and another from Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment.
Rockstar Games may be known for making Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, but it had another title in the works that was completely different. Announced in 2009, Agent was a PlayStation 3 exclusive set during the Cold War. The only thing we know about it is that it focused on spying and assassinating political targets.
Rockstar is usually good with its messaging, so it’s unclear why the company would announce a game and then fail to deliver it. Even so, it seems unlikely that Agent will resurface now that we’re well into the PlayStation 4 generation, and the company is hard at work on Red Dead Redemption 2, as well as additional content for Grand Theft Auto Online.
Blizzard has a reputation of being brutal with its cancellations. Anytime a game isn’t living up to its potential, Blizzard either goes back to the drawing board or scraps it entirely. With Titan, it did a little of both.
The game was intended to be an MMO like World of Warcraft, but set in a sci-fi universe. Unfortunately, the developers never managed to make it fun to play. As one team member commented to GameSpot, “You had a really amazing group that was working on Titan. They were really talented individuals, but we failed horrifically in every way … In every way that a project can fail. It was devastating.”
A few of Titan’s assets wound up in Overwatch, but the rest landed in the dustbin.
5. Super Mario Spikers
Nintendo has had great success with many of its sports games, ranging from Wii Sports to Mario Kart. Super Mario Spikers was going to be a Wii game that combined wrestling and volleyball. How it would have combined those two unlikely sports is an open question, and one that’s likely to remain open now that the Wii is long gone. Still, it’s disappointing, because many of Mario’s other sports games are so fantastic.
6. Fallout Online
If you’ve played the Fallout series, then you know it’s all about living life, killing super-mutants, and playing any way you want in a post-apocalyptic world. Now picture doing all of that with other players in an MMO. Sounds pretty cool, right? It might have been, if only the game had come out.
Instead, the makers of the game, which included several creators of the original Fallout, couldn’t manage to get the rights to make it. That’s because Bethesda owned the Fallout brand and (rather understandably) didn’t want anyone else to make Fallout games. Cue the legal action, which resulted in Bethesda and the Fallout Online folks settling out of court and the game being scrapped.
Then again, seeing as The Elder Scrolls Online exists, there’s still hope Fallout Online could happen if Bethesda decides to make it.
7. StarCraft: Ghost
Remember that thing about Blizzard being ruthless in its cancellations? Chalk StarCraft: Ghost up as another example. Announced in 2002, this game was set up as a console counterpart to the PC strategy game StarCraft. Unlike the original, which has players command an army from a top-down perspective, Ghost would’ve been a third-person shooter that brought the camera down into the action.
It could have been an exciting new way to experience the universe of StarCraft, but fate had other plans. Ghost suffered numerous delays and even changed developers well into the game’s development. When the delays kept piling up as the next generation of consoles came out, Blizzard decided to cancel the whole thing.