14 of the best games that never came out
Making video games is hard, folks. The amount of time, money and energy it takes to make even simple games is so astounding that it's a miracle any of them come out at all.
In fact, plenty of them don't come out. Unforeseen changes, including everything from game developers running out of cash to new management teams killing projects, have spelled the end for many a promising title. I want to pay tribute to the coolest looking games that nobody will ever get to play, so here are some of the biggest video games that ultimately never saw the light of day:
"Star Wars 1313"
"Star Wars 1313" would've put players in the shoes of a young Boba Fett as he navigated the previously unseen seedy underworld of Coruscant.
The third-person action game resembled the "Uncharted" games in its cover-based combat and spectacle. It also had amazing visuals for the time.
Sadly, the project was shut down when developer LucasArts closed its doors in April 2013. It's theoretically possible for Disney to resurrect the project, but that becomes less likely with each passing day.
"Prey 2" was unveiled with an incredible looking demo back in 2011, as it abandoned the Native American mysticism of the original game in favor of a space bounty hunter adventure in a "Blade Runner"-esque city.
Five years and not a peep about that game since means we can assume it's dead. Actually, we know definitively that it's dead, since a reboot of the series simply titled "Prey" was announced earlier this year.
This new game is a psychological sci-fi adventure that looks cool, but it will never heal the pain of "Prey 2" never coming out.
"B.C." was an incredibly ambitious third-person action game for the original Xbox helmed by Peter Molyneux, the creator of "Black & White," "Fable" and many other well-known games.
Players would control a tribe of cavemen who would have to defend themselves against other tribes and even dinosaurs in the quest for evolutionary glory. The project was scrapped in 2004.
Molyneux has a bit of a reputation of overpromising and underdelivering with his games. "B.C." is the best example of this because it sounded lofty and promising, but never even came out.
Oh boy. This one is a doozy.
Back in 2014, a free demo was released on PlayStation 4 called "P.T." (short for "Playable Teaser"). It's a horror experience where you navigate the same ultra-realistic hallway over and over, seeing different, unnerving things as time goes on.
Players eventually solved the ludicrous puzzles required to see the ending, and what they got was stunning: a trailer for an all-new game in the "Silent Hill" horror series, starring Norman Reedus from "The Walking Dead" and directed by the duo of "Metal Gear Solid" creator Hideo Kojima and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.
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This was all very exciting, as you can imagine. Tragically, just mere months after "P.T." rocked the gaming world, "Silent Hills" was cancelled and "P.T." was pulled from the PlayStation Store.
There's a happy ending to this story, though. Kojima eventually left that company and formed his own studio to make "Death Stranding," an all-new (and fairly disturbing) game starring Norman Reedus. The dream lives on!
"StarCraft: Ghost" was Blizzard Entertainment's big attempt to bring one of its core franchises to consoles. The idea was to make a third-person stealth-based action game set in the world of "StarCraft," Blizzard's enormously popular PC strategy series.
The game looked genuinely cool, and was playable at a number of different press events. Conflicting creative visions led to the project being rebooted and given to a different development studio after years of work.
The game was "indefinitely postponed" in 2006, but its cancellation wasn't technically made official until 2014. You can read an extensive history of its rise and fall on Polygon.
"Mega Man Universe" and "Mega Man Legends 3"
"Mega Man Universe" was going to beat "Super Mario Mario" to the punch by five years, as the game promised a robust level creation tool for the classic "Mega Man" gameplay back in 2011. With an ugly art style and tepid response from people who played it at press events, the project was shut down in March of that year.
"Mega Man Legends 3" was going to continue the cult classic spin-off series that began on the original PlayStation by bringing it to the Nintendo 3DS. Through a series of developer-run online discussions, fans would be able to provide input on new features and ideas during the game's development, which sounded really ambitious.
That, too, was cancelled in 2011. Both projects seemingly met their fates because "Mega Man" creator Keiji Inafune left the company the year before, and the franchise has pretty much been swept under the rug ever since.
"Titan" was going to be the next massive online game from Blizzard after "World of Warcraft." It was going to have first-person shooter combat in a futuristic version of Earth after an alien invasion, where players would perform mundane day jobs when there wasn't fighting to take care of.
The game was developed internally at Blizzard for seven years, but it was never discussed or shown publicly before its cancellation in 2013. Blizzard shared the only concrete info we have on the game with Kotaku after the news came out in 2014.
Fortunately, that work wasn't entirely in vain. The excellent and massively popular multiplayer shooter "Overwatch," released earlier this year, is said to have been built from the remains of "Titan."
Getty Images / Stefania D'Alessandro
"Silent Hills" wasn't the first time Guillermo del Toro had his game development dreams dashed by the cold, hard realities of business.
"inSANE" was announced all the way back in 2010, as a horror trilogy developed by Volition, the studio behind "Saints Row" and "Red Faction." The renowned horror mastermind del Toro would have helmed the project, but almost nothing is known of what it was actually going to be before it was cancelled in 2012.
"The Dark Knight" and "Gotham By Gaslight"
Back in 2007, "Destroy All Humans!" developer Pandemic started work on an open-world action game based on the then-upcoming movie "The Dark Knight." Gary Oldman was set to provide voice work as Jim Gordon, but the game never saw the light of day.
"Gotham by Gaslight," on the other hand, was in development between 2009 and 2010 as an adaptation of the one-off comic of the same name. Players would assume the role of a 19th century London version of Batman who had to hunt down Jack the Ripper, but aside from some prototype footage that leaked online, there isn't much information about it.
It's tough to feel too bad about either of these games being cancelled because the excellent "Arkham Asylum" and its sequels have filled the void since then, but alternative takes on Batman would have been cool to see, as well.
"Disney Infinity 4.0"
"Disney Infinity" has the unique distinction of having been cancelled after it came out. The "toys-to-life" game unlocked new content in the vast Disney universe through physical toys that players had to buy separately.
It all seemed like it was going well for three years after its 2013 launch, with a steady stream of new figure releases and content updates allowing players to fulfill all their Disney-related fantasies.
The project was somewhat shockingly cancelled earlier this year due to lower-than-expected profits. The "Disney Infinity 4.0" content update that was in the works was said to include levels from "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," but it will never be released.
"Star Wars Battlefront III"
The long-awaited third game in the beloved "Star Wars: Battlefront" series was going to feature large-scale online battles featuring infantry, iconic "Star Wars" vehicles and the occasional Jedi. You could even get in a ship on the ground and seamlessly fly into space!
Alas, it was never meant to be. The game was never even officially announced before LucasArts closed its doors in 2013. We only know about it because prototype footage leaked online.
The brand name was resurrected in 2015's "Star Wars: Battlefront," but that game is fairly different from the original series from which it got its name.
"Sonic X-treme" was going to be the first truly 3D "Sonic the Hedgehog" adventure, making it the Sega Saturn's version of "Super Mario 64." The project never came to fruition, though, as it was plagued by development troubles and the Saturn console failed to gain much of a foothold against the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation.
Sonic, of course, eventually made his 3D debut in "Sonic Adventure," which launched alongside the Sega Dreamcast in 1998.
"Agent" was announced in 2009 as a partnership between Rockstar (of "Grand Theft Auto" fame) and PlayStation, but aside from that sweet logo and some environmental screenshots, the game has never been seen publicly.
It's said to have been an espionage tale set in the 1970s amid the Cold War, but precious little is known about "Agent." It hasn't even officially been cancelled — the game's publisher renewed its trademarks as recently as January 2016.
Still, after seven years, it doesn't seem like "Agent" is going to make its debut anytime soon. I hope I'm wrong!
Before Arkane Studios developed the excellent stealth game "Dishonored," the company was working on a creative first-person shooter called "The Crossing" in 2009.
"The Crossing" had a simple, yet engaging concept: It would merge single player and multiplayer shooting, as random enemies you encountered throughout the story mode could be controlled by other players.
It never came to pass, though, even as another game with a similar idea called "Mindjack" actually came out a few years later.