There is a special place in the world for games that take forever to make – it is called Development Hell.
It’s a place where developers linger for eternity, taking their time making their games, or just delaying the release due to “unforeseen circumstances”. Development Hell is an unfortunate place, and these games resided in there for a while.
Final Fantasy 13
Believe it or not, but the game that has seen two sequels in the space of a year took forever to be released. The thirteenth instalment in the series started development in 2004 with the first trailer of the game shown at E3 in 2006. There was a lot of silence surrounding the game’s development a few years with no word from the director or producer as to how it was going.
Apparently the move to the Crystal Tools engine took some time to perform, and they believed that developing the game on a new engine would actually speed up the development. The game was released in March 2010 on PS3 and Xbox 360 and was criticised for its downgraded visuals compared to the initial reveal trailer.
Final Fantasy 15 a.k.a Final Fantasy Versus 13
Yes, this is one confusing development cycle. Versus 13 was initially revealed along with Final Fantasy 13 in 2006, at E3. The game was set in the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology, the same era as Final Fantasy 13. The game went silent for a while with a trailer being released every year or so, and it wasn’t until E3 2013 that Square Enix finally unveiled their plans for the Versus 13 saga.
Final Fantasy Versus 13 was re-titled as Final Fantasy 15, the next chapter in the series. Final Fantasy 15 does not have a set release date as of yet, but I am sure we will see it on our shelves come next year December. Tesutya Nomura has said that the move to the PS4 and Xbox One has allowed for quicker development. The game has now been in development for ten years, let’s hope it gets tied up soon.
The Last Guardian
I remember when Team Ico revealed The Last Guardian at E3 2009 – the trailer gave me chills, along with the rest of the world. This PS3 exclusive had the perfect blend of soothing music and emotional gameplay, even though we didn’t know exactly what was going on. The game won multiple awards during E3 and went on to be the anticipated title of the year.
The Last Guardian has been missing in action for a while now and there has been no word on the development of the game. The last news we heard was in 2012 when the game lost its trademark due to the 3 year trademark period expiring. In June 2013 Shuhei Yoshida stated that committing to a 2013 release would disappoint a lot of people due to the game’s bugs and technical hiccups. There has been no word since.
In March 2011 we were introduced to Prey 2, a sequel to the 2006 smash hit Prey. The game was in development by Human Head Studios and was being built using the Id Tech 4 engine, in collaboration with Bethesda. The game was planned for a PS3, PC and Xbox 360 release, but no release window was revealed. In March 2012 the game was reportedly cancelled, but Bethesda refused to comment on this statement.
In March 2013 Kotaku reported that the development of Prey 2 was moved to Arkane Studios with the scrapping of all Human Head Studio’s work. Arkane Studios were said to be targeting a 2016 release window, but when asked, they denied all reports. Where is Prey 2 now after 7 years? No one knows.
What games have let you down by entering development Hell? Let us know in the comments and forum.