The Best Games Never Published: A Visit to the Video Game Development Hell

It's rare today that a major motion picture or even music album suddenly stops production and shuts down for good. Yet in the world of video games, we've become all too accustomed to seeing some intriguing and highly anticipated titles fall of the map during their development stage. In some cases, a game will appear to be in the home stretch with beta testing and demo versions, only to collapse just short of the finish line.

In recent years, there have been a number of high-profile MMORPGs, for example, that have drowned mid-stream because of development issues, budget over-runs and adverse economic conditions. Even the worst movies are released (the ill-advised fourth instalment of "The Exorcist" was filmed twice by two different directors, and both were dreadful). Hey, even the Beach Boys' "Smile" eventually came out after 37 years, and Guns & Roses' "Chinese Democracy" may one day see the light of day.

Yet, some of the more promising sounding PC and video games are never finished and are collecting dust somewhere in a server closet. Sometimes, bits and pieces of early versions or beta copies will trickle out over time, but frankly, it's just not the same. Perhaps as the video game business reduces its reliance on retail sales, we'll see fewer cancelled titles that were oh-so-close to being published. Hollywood, for example, would probably scuttle a lot more movies if studios had nothing to rely on other than box office receipts. But movies enjoy secondary markets such as rentals, DVD sales and cable television. Will the move toward digital distribution help save future titles from the chopping block? We'll see. But in the meantime, here's a look at a few notable titles over the years that were cancelled or sentenced to development hell.

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tomshardware.co.uk
Lucidmantra6552d ago

Dunno why Mother 0 is on here I got gfor my NES emmulator and you can download it all over the place. It is a fun game. ALot like the one that eventually came out on the SNES (EarthBound)

SimMars was done it was Called Outpost and released by Sierra Games. Same thing basically.

90°

Two Decades Later, the Original Splinter Cell is Still a Masterpiece

They don't make games like this anymore.

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gamingbolt.com
vgvill6d ago

Too dated in my book. The AI is way too unpredictable to be acceptable today. It's definitely a game of its time.

Jingsing6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

Agreed with those sentiments. The quality of the CPU controlled characters make or break a stealth game and they are pretty poor in all the Splinter Cell games by today's standard. This is what led me to playing Spies vs Mercs all the time in later games just to get a better stealth experience from a real person. Arguably Sony are making better stealth games albeit not Tom Clancy stuff.

TheProfessional6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

You should stick with fortnite or one of the countless bloodborne style games then. What a joke.

rlow16d ago

I had a good time with the game. It is a product of its time. But when it came out it was a must have game for a lot of people. I wish Ubisoft would make another game in the series or at least a reboot.

vgvill6d ago

They are making a remake, I think. I loved the original game when it was released, but I tried to play it again in recent years and just couldn't get on with it. The same with the older Hitman games.

PrecursorOrb6d ago

Yeah chaos theory still holds up though I gotta say. If you’re a fan of the series I highly suggest you go back to that one. Ubi has said they are remaking sc for “modern audiences”. I don’t have a lot of faith for the future of that company

Chocoburger6d ago (Edited 6d ago )

Due to the lack of modern stealth games, and me constantly playing the MGS series, I've been looking for alternative stealth games to play, and went back and re-played the SC series recently. I wouldn't call SC1 or SC:PT masterpieces, there are AI issues, they're very much trial-and-error games, and that can lead to a lot of frustration. I also found the stories in this series to be boring, uninteresting, and just sloppily told. Cinematics are also of poor quality for both in-game scenes and CG cut-scenes, the soundtrack didn't leave any impression on me either.

Chaos Theory is better, but there was still a lot of room for improvement, and Double Agent (old gen ver.) was a sloppy mess that ended up a regression from CT. But still, at least they tried back then, these days Ubi-junk doesn't even try to make good games!

70°

A Matter Of Trust: What The Game Industry Should Do To Win Gamers Back

Skewed and Reviewed have written an Opinion Piece covering issues in the gaming industry, how current issues were issues years ago, and what can be done to help restore consumer trust.

anast12d ago

Nothing. It's up to the gamers to stop consuming content from companies that they don't agree with.

Garethvk11d ago

How do you know if you agree with it or not unless you play it? Which without conventions forces gamers to rely on trailers. Perhaps Demos should be made more frequently. But companies need to do better as well.

anast11d ago

Wait until release. Watch Gameplay. Exercise patience.

Garethvk11d ago

But is that not what they have now? Tons of gameplay or are you talking about watching actual gamers play it versus the trailers and streams? The big issue is that some companies pay streamers and influencers and they create content but for me; that is hardly a fair, unbiased, and factual look at a game.

1nsomniac11d ago

Get rid of the suits in the industry and job done!!

Garethvk11d ago

They usually are attached to the money sadly. It would be nice to have gamers in charge but you have so much money invested that business people are needed. Hence the issue; you need people who know business but are also gamers who know have an eye to the community. It sounds simple in theory that if you give gamers quality games that they want to play; money will be made. But that is not always so.

60°

From The Last of Us to Baldur's Gate 3: The success of the Game Music Festival

Marie Dealessandri speaks to Borislav Slavov and Gustavo Santaolalla about “the new golden age of games music”.

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