The production process of making video games is a long and tedious journey. Sometimes, it is better to cut things short before diving even further into this process. If you know a game is not going to sell, it can be better to cancel it before spending the time and effort into releasing a game that will fail. Some cancelled games had a chance to be great before being cut because of an overwhelming budget and some games were cancelled because they never had a chance to be good. The production of video games can also take a turn due to fan reactions from early screen captures of game play in pre-release builds.
Did you know there was another Batman game that was being made? Or that there was another Fable in the future? How about a Streets of Rage remake? Remaking video games or attempting to build off popular brands is one way to rush a game and have it cancelled. Remakes like a new Streets of Rage game never saw the light of day because the developers tried too hard to change what made the original games good in the first place. Sure, it is fun to look back at cancelled video games and think they could have been good if given enough time to develop, but it's probably better they were cancelled. There have been some awful games developed in the past that never made it to store shelves. Interested in what horrible games were never released? This is the 15 Games So Bad They Were Never Released.
15 Streets Of Rage Prototype
This attempted Streets of Rage remake wanted to bring in new fans of the game with a 3D graphic style. Unfortunately, this game was doomed to be a failure because it was too different from the original games. Fans wanted the original 2D style fighting back instead of a new 3D system. The canceled remake by Ruffian Games looked nothing like actual Streets of Rage and, if released, would have been destroyed by both the media and fans alike. There was a specific charm to the old games. Beating up bad guys on the streets with a friend could never get old. Sadly, the failed remake didn’t have this charm and looked too different to ever be released today. Maybe one day Streets of Rage fans will get a remake they deserve.
Scalebound was going to be a massive Microsoft exclusive RPG developed by Platinum Games. These people made the critically acclaimed Bayonetta, so this means Scalebound should be amazing, right? Wrong. The game’s first demo was shown at 2015’s E3 and blew some people away, but the game’s overall gameplay looked dull while the development team never really got the game going. Scalebound didn’t look original enough and it didn’t look like it could compete in today’s competitive video game market. The concept of Scalebound was there, but it didn’t do anything right after that. Microsoft looked at other games to release in 2016 instead and turned Scalebound into a cancelled game. Few fans were hurt by this decision, as the game looked like it would have failed even if released.
13 DOOM 4
Before 2016’s DOOM was released, Bethesda tried developing DOOM 4. The game was going to be released around 2010, but there were several problems. The game was too cinematic and nothing like the original DOOM. The old games’ charm was to run around killing insane monsters. Who cared about the story as much as the killing? DOOM 4 looked too scripted for its own good and that was one of the reasons it stayed unreleased. Instead, we got last year’s terrific DOOM, so it is a good thing this game never saw the shelves. Fans would have been upset because the series would have taken a step in the wrong direction. Luckily, it will stay unreleased and no one will ever have to play it.
12 Transformers Universe
Transformers Universe was a Transformers MMO set to be released in 2014. The game was a battle arena type game with four versus four gameplay between the Autobots and Decepticons. The game tried to take some elements from popular games such as DOTA 2 and League of Legends, but the Transformers game never picked up momentum after it's open Beta in 2014. The gameplay was shallow, with little to do besides fight with each other. Unlike games like League of Legends, Transformers Universe had no minions to be killed or other objectives during PVP. On top of that, the optimization was awful, as people couldn’t run the game with decent computers. FPS lag and bugs ran the game into the ground. No Transformer fan should be sad to see this one go.
11 Maverick Hunter
Maverick Hunter was a Mega Man game that was set to launch around 2012-13. It was going to be a first-person shooter, which was bad idea according to fans. To them, Maverick Hunter strayed too far away from the original games. The alpha builds of Maverick Hunter looked like a generic first-person shooter with the name Mega Man tacked onto the end of it. Fans of the series did not want a reimagining of the games, let alone a first-person shooter. They wanted a remake or a new game that was similar to the original series. The game looked so bad that the developers did not release any new information and cancelled it after six months. Maverick Hunter luckily didn’t stick around long enough to give Mega Man a bad name.
10 Gotham By Gaslight
Gotham by Gaslight was a cancelled Batman game by THQ. This game was based on the popular comic, “Gotham by Gaslight,” and had some promise. Unfortunately, the game never got developed. The game did not fit in the time frame of Batman and it did not fit in the setting Batman needed.
The game was going to be set in a steampunk setting, which did not work with the upcoming Arkham Asylum game. The game was just too different and that ultimately was the reason it was axed. The timing for Gotham by Gaslight was not there, but it could potentially be molded into a decent game in the future.
9 Fable Legends
Fable Legends was a game hyped up by everyone in the gaming community. Fans of the first games wanted a new Fable game more than anything. After years of disappointment, fass hopes that Lionhead studios would finally step up and produce an amazing product.
Early shots of the game were not amazing and were a letdown for all Fable fans. The gameplay looked off, unlike other Fable games, and the game was a multiplayer game. This is what made Fable fans upset: the multiplayer aspect. Where was the RPG mechanics we all know and love? The game could have been great, but the company ruined it with its multiplayer focus and shallow gameplay mechanics. It looks like the world will never see another great Fable game again, but at least we didn’t have to play Fable Legends.
Dawngate was a MOBA being developed by EA. It was EA’s attempt to compete with League of Legends and DOTA 2, but it failed miserably and was cancelled soon after their open beta. The game did nothing new and just looked like a worse version of the more popular games. The characters were slow, the gameplay was even more boring, and the games lasted too long. EA tried and didn’t succeed.
Today, gamers do not need another MOBA. No one is upset the game is cancelled outside of the few fans it had. Maybe EA will try again one day and if they do, they would not follow the same formula. These types of games need to be new and refreshing, not just rehashes of other popular games.
7 Jurassic Park: Survival
Jurassic Park: Survival was a cancelled dinosaur survival game that was supposed to be released in 2001. The game looked boring and had a fixed camera that couldn’t be moved, making the gameplay too hard. The game’s levels were deemed too small and there was not enough in the game to justify releasing it to the public.
The developers eventually had problems with the original movies and its publishers. The negotiations eventually led the game to being cancelled, along with the mush of gameplay inside of the game. With the release of newer Jurassic Park movies, there's the potential for better games. Hopefully we don’t get a survival running game like Jurassic Park: Survival.
6 EverQuest Next
EverQuest Next tried to become the next big MMO. They had a big publisher backing them and some pretty big ideas. Sadly, the game did not pan out how they wanted to, and the game eventually was cancelled a few years after they started development. EverQuest Next was trying to be huge, with a gigantic open world allowing the player to do anything they want. Daybreak wanted the game to let the players be creative, while also sharing new experiences.
The developers eventually said the game just wasn’t fun and that they would be pulling the plug on the game. At least EverQuest 1 and 2 are still up and running today. Fans would have more fun in those old games than the cancelled EverQuest game anyway.
5 Dungeon Keeper 3
Dungeon Keeper 3 was a sequel to the popular Dungeon Keeper games. The previous games used humor and strategy well, and this game could have been perfect for the series. Sadly, it was cancelled for many reasons. The game was too different and the time of release was not right. EA decided against releasing it over other big projects such as Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings. Dungeon Keeper 3 just couldn’t keep the sales up and the audience engaged enough to be worthy of a third installment. The previous trailers for the game looked okay, but they did not build enough on what the second game did. No one should be upset about this cancelation, as the second game looked like it would have been better anyway.
4 Thrill Kill
Thrill Kill was a crazy killing game developed almost to completion in 1998 where your character tries to kill others for a chance at another life in horrid ways. This game looked like it could have been okay apart from the killing mechanics, as the game could not be released because it was so appalling to consumers. Some killing games focus on the mechanics of how the killing happens, but Thrill Kill focused on just how the killing would work. We saw someone in the game eat someone’s leg and then use that for a separate kill. Because of all that, the game was never released. The gameplay also looked tedious, with little to do outside of these crazy kills. The game will be remembered as a cancelled game that tried a little too hard to be outrageous.
3 Six Days In Fallujah
Six Days in Fallujah was a game in 2009 centered around the Iraq War. The game was set to be a military based shooter with realistic mechanics. It was also going to be third person, allowing the player to use tactical movements to overwhelm their opponents. The game was eventually cancelled in spur of its controversy in relation to the real-life events that happened in Fallujah. Veterans were upset over how realistic the game was. The game was offensive to people and, due to that, the developers decided to cancel the game. We have no idea if the game could have been good or if it had fun gameplay. Fans of war games must look elsewhere for their entertainment and, luckily for them, there are about 1,000 war games released per year.
2 NBA Live 13
NBA Live 13 was EA's attempt to make a comeback and combat the NBA 2k series. Well, it didn't really go well. The NBA Live series has always been clunkier and less appealing than the 2k series. The commentary was boring and the graphics were just worse in every way. The game gave fans almost no reason to buy it over the 2k series. This led the cancellation of NBA Live while EA Sports eventually regrouped to find a way to bring the basketball series back to life. They decided to take a year off, but it really didn't make much of a difference. Right now, no one really cares if NBA Live becomes a thing again because the 2k series has been providing terrific games every single year.
1 StarCraft: Ghost
StarCraft: Ghost was a good concept, but Blizzard Entertainment just couldn’t make it work. The game was trying to be a third person shooter/stealth game, but it couldn’t identify itself. It was a generic shooter and Blizzard had other projects to focus on. Blizzard help onto StarCraft: Ghost for a long time, not stating it was dead until 2014, despite announcing it back in 2022. The character’s gameplay needed to be game changing and not so boring. Some want the game to be released still, but not as it was in 2002. StarCraft later released another game in a different genre and built its popularity that way. Blizzard made the right move cancelling the game and moving towards different projects like StarCraft 2.