Although gamers assume that gaming journalists spend most of our time sitting around playing free games in our undies and cashing big cheques from publishers for favourable reviews, the biggest part of the job is actually writing about games that haven’t even come out yet. Or, in some cases, never turn up at all, despite all that time and effort we’ve put into telling everybody about them.
Citizen Siege (Oddworld Inhabitants)
After finishing up Stranger’s Wrath in 2005, Lorne Lanning announced ambitious plans for a series of games and a CG movie set in a corporate-controlled future dystopia, and featuring a protagonist who has been repossessed by the state. Seven years later, the whole project appears to have been repossessed by budget cuts or something.
The Ripper (Visceral Games)
You’d think there would be loads of games about Jack the Ripper, but there’s only one – Visceral’s The Ripper, originally announced more than three years ago before vanishing into the gloomy, twisted alleys of game development hell never to be heard of again. Which does seem oddly appropriate, when you think about it.
Dungeon Hero (Firefly Studios)
Most RPGs tell the same story – it’s the one about the brave heroes who ventured into the dank, dark places of the world, and emerged with bags of gold and tales of the monsters they took them from. But that’s only half the story, of course – what about the monsters whose bags of gold were taken? Dungeon Hero threatened to subvert all our traditional, imperialist narratives and champion the cause of those wretchedly misrepresented denizens of the underworld who suffer at the hands of self-important, murderous kleptomanics who hear voices telling them they’re “Chosen” for some higher purpose.
StarCraft: Ghost (Blizzard)
Guys, it’s been ten years. Let’s move on, okay?
Agent (Rockstar North)
Agent is a stealth game set in a Cold War-era “world of counter-intelligence, espionage and political assassinations”. That’s pretty much all anybody knows about it; but I suppose that’s the point. According to Sony reps, the game was going to be the PS3 exclusive that “set the bar for the rest of the industry”, but after five years in development and over two years since it was scheduled to launch, I’m guessing it’s passed out under the bar instead.
Half-Life 2: Episode 3 (Valve Corporation)
Or is it just Half-Life 3? Whatever it is, it’s almost definitely still in development, but the nebulous and unpredictable nature of “Valve Time” means it might be another ten years before it’s released. Or maybe it was released five years ago already, and we’ve not yet reached that point in the future where that alternate reality crosses over into this one. I mean, nobody really understands “Valve Time”.
Do you know of any announced games that failed to come to life? Let us know in the comments below and on the MyGaming forum.