Not all games make it to release. Some projects are closed at the concept stage, and some are canceled just a couple of months before release.
As a player, I am always offended for such projects. Many of them look amazing, but for objective (or not so) reasons, the development is canceled, and we cannot see the final result. Sometimes these are problems with funding, sometimes a misunderstanding on the part of the publisher, and sometimes the most real quarrels.
Today I want to tell you about a dozen games that catch on with their concept or even demonstration of gameplay, but which failed to get to release.
1. Gotham by Gaslight (2012)
Let there be enough Batman games now, but one project could bring a little fresh and gloomy look to this universe. This is Gotham by Gaslight, or “Gotham in Gaslight”, based on the cartoon of the same name. Developed Day 1 Studios for THQ .
Unfortunately, apart from the concept, we have nothing special to see, and it is difficult to draw any conclusions from it. The footage shows Batman strolling through the foggy streets of Victorian London, which may already bribe some players.
The plot was built around Jack the Ripper – it was after him that Batman was chasing in this game.
THQ was unable to acquire the rights to the franchise, so development was completed. After that, a video with a demo of the game was already leaked to the network, which some people liked. Undoubtedly, it would be an extremely atmospheric project that we did not see.
But the Gotham by Gaslight Batman skin is available in Injustice: Gods Among Us for mobile and in Batman: Arkham Origins.
2. Silent Hills (2015)
The biggest disappointment for all fans of Hideo Kojima’s creativity is the cancellation of Silent Hills . After all, restarting this series could be incredible. And it could well overshadow Resident Evil 7.
But everything happened differently. Kojima Productions parted ways with Konami, which influenced the Metal Gear series as well as a new Silent Hills that threatened to become legendary. Under the direction of director Guillermo del Toro and in company with Norman Reedus (who will continue to collaborate with Kojima on another project), a demo PT was created
After the severance of relations with Konami, PT was also under attack – the demo was removed from the PS Store, but remained with those who managed to download it. A PS4 with PT on a hard drive has been an incredibly expensive commodity for a while. Even now, a demo console is selling for a lot of money on eBay.
The demo is distinguished by its simplicity and atmosphere. We just walked down a corridor with branch rooms. At the end, you could start over. All of this influenced the horror industry, including Layers of Fear and Allison Road.
Kojima himself created Death Stranding, in which he was no longer associated with Konami.
3.Star Wars 1313 (2013)
Many fans of the Star Wars universe would love to play as young Bobba Fet on Coruscant. This is what the third-person action adventure game Star Wars 1313 offered.
Alas, the development of the game fell on a difficult period – the purchase of Lucasfilm by Disney. Disney immediately announced the freeze of SW 1313, which LucasArts denied. The result is predictable – Disney closed the LucasArts studio. It became known about the layoff of 150 employees and the cancellation of the development of Star Wars 1313
Quite a sad event, because at that time we did not see anything like it in this universe. The game looked like a big budget mix of Uncharted and Mass Effect. Later, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will be released, in which some see the spiritual heir of 1313. For some, he is, but seeing the original project from LucasArts would be cool.
4. Fez II (2013)
Indie game lovers may remember the original Fez. This is a very interesting puzzle game that was a small hit in 2012. After a stunning success for such a small game, the developer announced a sequel.
It was only in 2013 that the development was canceled. The reason is rather strange – Phil Fish, the creator of the game, did not cope with the consequences of his acquired popularity. So, one of the western journalists criticized him and Jonathan Blow (creator of Braid and Witness). More precisely, even just insulted. In the Invisible Walls podcast, Marcus Beer (the same journalist) called indie developers fools and “self-styled kings of the indie scene.”
Fish did not cope with the hat and decided to leave the industry. Fez 2 has been canceled. Phil has appeared in the industry a couple of times, but these are trifles: he participated in the creation of the SUPERHYPERCUBE VR game and made the loading animation for the Super Nt niche console (analogue of Super Nintendo).
5. The Flash (2008)
Before the Batman Arkham series began, it was planned to create another game about another famous DC character. This is the Flash that planned its run on the Xbox 360 and PS3.
The gameplay is similar to Batman games: it is a third-person action game in an open world. The game should have featured many of the characters that players may know from the comics. For example, a criminal organization with the original name “Rascals”. For the voice acting, it was planned to involve the well-known Ryan Reynolds.
Unlike other canceled projects, here fate was only because of money. The publisher of the game, Brash Entertainment, simply lost money. Prior to that, they published games under license: The Adventures of Despereaux, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Monkeys in Space and other little-known games.
Flash was developed by BottleRocket Entertainment studio, which is known only for Rise of the Kasai for PS2.
6. Deep Down (2013)
Capcom is now reaping the rewards of its successful projects: Resident Evil remakes, Monster Hunter World, Resident Evil 7.
But in 2013, things were not so smooth. The action RPG Deep Down has been announced exclusively for PS4. The project looked very interesting: cooperative passage of up to 4 players, gameplay in the style of Dragon’s Dogma. The trailer almost sold me the game.
But over time, everything changed. The game was supposed to be distributed free-to-play and came out in 2014. In 2015, Capcom said that the vision for the game had changed, and it was waiting for a redesign.
The company still holds the Deep Down trademark. Although the original development team has long been disbanded. We may still see something with that name, but it will clearly be different from the game shown in 2013. Perhaps even for the better.
7. Prey 2 (2014)
Many fans are probably happy with the restart of Prey. But there are those who were expecting something different. For example, the sequel to the original 2006 Prey.
The sequel was in development for almost a decade, but was eventually canceled in 2014. Human Head Studios, the creators of Prey 2006, almost immediately began creating a sequel under the supervision of 3D Realms with publisher 2K Games.
Already in 2009, everything turned upside down: the rights to Prey were bought by Bethesda Softworks. They also announced the game again in 2011, the release was supposed to take place in 2012.
Then the problems already began: the game did not meet the expectations of the publisher, and the release was delayed. And then, in 2014, it was completely canceled. Arkane Studios will later bring the series back to life, but it will be a slightly different game. Perhaps this is for the best. After all, Human Head Studios will further delight players with games such as The Quiet Man and Rune II. Who knows, maybe it started with Prey 2.
8. Battle Of The Sith Lords (2011)
Another canceled game in the Star Wars universe is Battle of the Sith Lords. Also known as Damage, or simply Star Wars: Maul.
The initial design idea was simple. LucasArts signs a contract with Red Fly Studio to create a Darth Maul game. The beginning was impressive: George Lucas himself talked to the developers, and they shared ideas for creating the game. The plot should have featured Darth Maul, Darth Talon, Darth Krayt and other eminent and not very Sith.
But the project did not go very far – LucasArts quickly stopped communicating with the developers, and they were informed about the cancellation of the development via e-mail. It happened in 2011. The developers of Battle Of The Sith Lords attribute this to Disney and the purchase of the Lucasfilm studio.
They kept their work on the game and hope very much that Electronic Arts or Disney will show interest in such a game.
9.Prince of Persia Redemption (2012)
In 2020, a video of the unannounced Prince of Persia with the subtitle Redemption was suddenly found. Fans of the series are still hoping for a new part, although many sources claim that Ubisoft will never return to games about the Prince, because the rights to the series belong to Jordan Meckner, the creator of the original Prince of Persia. And Ubisoft won’t pay him for a license.
The trailer is impressive. Apart from the short-haired Prince, little confuses. The graphics for 2012 look nice, the gameplay is quite in the spirit of the series, albeit closer to the cinematic action that I associate with Uncharted.
Significantly, this year For Honor hosted the Blades of Persia story event, in which players fought the Prince. Apparently this does not require a license fee.
10. Scalebound (2017)
The story with this game is pretty sad. After all, there was nothing left before the release. The excitement around the game was huge, because these are Platinum Games, which are already known to players from Nier, Bayonetta and other games. And Scalebound seemed like their biggest project. Unsurprisingly, the studio had a concept for the game back in 2006.
Here you have a co-op, riding a dragon, and huge bosses. Judging by the trailers, most of the game was already done. But, alas, the development was canceled in 2017, and a full release was expected in the same year. At the same time, the rights to Scalebound are held by Microsoft, which was the publisher of the game.
Together with Platinum Games, they decided that the game did not fit their overall vision. The Platinum chief said that “both sides have failed.” That said, if Microsoft allows, the developers would like to return to the game. Perhaps something will work out for the new console generation.
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