Long years of waiting. Tempting trailers. Loud promises. The long-awaited release and … At best – a dummy game or such a bunch of bugs that it’s scary to click on a shortcut, at worst – the death of a developer studio, a string of layoffs and legal proceedings.
No, this article is not about Cyberpunk 2077, although it would fit nicely into the company that has gathered here. These are the top 5 games that could not bring pleasure not only to the players, but also to those who worked on them.
And everything started so well …
Rune II: Court and Deed
The first part of the Rune action game came out in 2000 year and quickly gathered an army of fans. Therefore, when in 2012 rumors spread about a sequel, and in 2017 it was officially announced – fans cheered.
The joy lasted exactly until the first gameplay videos were shown. Continuation, then still subtitled Ragnarok, looked a little awkward, and the noticeable hints that the emphasis will be on multiplayer did not please everyone. Then the project “escaped” from Steam and became exclusive to EGS… And when the game came out … It just didn’t really have what the first part was loved for. Poor optimization – the game managed to slow down almost everyone, an empty plot and no less empty multiplayer servers. But if it were all just limited to a bad game …
Only a day has passed since the release of the action, and the developers, Human Head StudiosOn November 13, 2019, they waved their pen to the publisher and went to Bethesda Softworks. Ragnarok Game, quite expectedly, were shocked by such news. They learned about the studio’s plans less than a week before the release of Rune II. The authors simply did not give a damn about the existing agreements on the support of the game, on the agreements on its coverage in the media, and, moreover, they did not immediately provide the publisher with its source code, calling into question the revision. One of the directors of Ragnarok, Sam Goldberg, not unreasonably, in one of the interviews he called this act “a knife in the back.”
It is quite understandable that further legal proceedings followed, which hooked not only the fugitive developers, but also Bethesda, which adopted them. And for the further development of Rune, a new team was formed, which formed Studio 369…
And although Human Head did not initially name the sequel Rune as the reason for their disbandment, it was difficult not to link the death of the studio and the controversial project.
Dead Space 3: Death of a Legend
The Dead Space series has become one of the standards of horror. And a great example of how to ditch a series and a development studio. The killer cocktail consisted of rework and rework, stress, scandals, and bureaucracy.
In the end 2011 the first rumors about the third part appeared. Worried about the poor sales of Dead Space 2, fans were happy. If they only knew what they are happy about …
The rumors were not confirmed for a long time. Officially, the development of the third part was announced only in the summer of 2012, and in February 2013 year the game came out. The fans, who followed the news, already felt that something was wrong. Desires EA too much at odds with the style of work Visceral Games… The publisher, as expected, needed sales. And the words began to sound about expanding the audience, not such a frightening atmosphere as in the first parts, that the game needs more action …
The new Dead Space didn’t give a damn about its predecessors, no. The interface was still perfectly blended into the game world. But not new elements. They didn’t bother with them. More precisely – steel. But they abandoned it, for the sake of “convenience”. The gameplay seemed to remain the same, but its accelerated pace was annoying, instead of making the process more invigorating. In Dead Space, stealth and even more puzzles appeared, the action became more varied, but this was so small in comparison with the battle scenes that the players did not have time to exhale. The side quests that appeared did not help either.… Added gunpowder to the fire, dissatisfaction of the PC audience with the technical side and, horror, the micro-transaction system. It seems to be unnecessary to say that the publisher’s hopes for high sales were not justified.
Already in March, they started talking about closing the series, although the studio continued to repeat about freezing. However, not for long. IN October 2017 of the year EA announced that Visceral no longer exists… After Dead Space, the studio managed to work on Jamaica, which didn’t happen, and a couple of other projects. This is how the studio, which existed for almost 10 years, died.
More recently, at the end of the 8-year-long tunnel, the light has dawned in the face of two projects at once. IN 2022 a new game from the “father” of the series comes Glen Scofield, Callisto Protocol… And Electronic Arts is in no hurry to dispel rumors hanging in the air either about a remake of the original Dead Space, or about restarting the series.
Anthem: Download Game
Anthem’s relaunch was canceled in February of this year. In March, BioWare left the project director, Jonathan Warner… It seems that at this moment the game lost its last chance to get out of the abyss in which it found itself.
It all started with promises of something new in the industry, as it often happens. In fact, out of the five years that the game was in development, the team’s vigorous activity was rumored to have taken just over a year. The rest of the time, according to journalists, was spent on discussions and attempts by developers to come to an agreement among themselves. The root cause of Anthem’s problems is increasingly being blamed on poor performance. Whether it is true or not, the game’s demo worked hard, even though the project seemed peppy and potentially successful.
The release version covered all the advantages of a good plot with long downloads, tedious grind, monotonous gameplay, strange animation and bugs that completely ruined the impressions of many players from the project.
It seemed that something could be fixed in the updates. In fact, their exit was late, as promised in May 2019 content addition “Caticlysm” reached the players in August, when a significant part of them were already tired of waiting and abandoned the game. This was followed by the abandonment of the system of acts and support for the game began to look like it was living out its last months.
The lights for those that Anthem hooked on came on in february 2020when BioWare confirmed an upcoming global redesign of the game. But the hope lived only for a year. Global overhaul was outstripped by the global epidemic and Anthem was not among the priority projects.
Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines – 2: Horror Without End
Announcement of the second part of the cult game in the world of darkness spring 2019 year was greeted with enthusiasm by almost everyone. And although some were confused by the appearance of the main characters, there was more reason to hope for a quality sequel. The scriptwriter and designer of the first part worked on the sequel, Brian Mitsoda, the consultants listed then not yet “canceled” Chris Avellone…
Originally, the game was supposed to be released in a year, in March 2020. But towards the end 2019 many already had doubts about the readiness of the project, so the postponement of the release that happened in October did not shock anyone and did not give rise to panic. The developers were confidently broadcasting about strengthening the team and working on the mistakes made during the development of the first part. Potential players enjoyed the faction cutscenes and the promise to release Bloodlines 2 also on a new generation of consoles.
Few were surprised when in June, after all the well-known scandals, Aveloon dropped out of the project. It became anxious in August 2020, when the game was first moved to 2021, and after about a week, they announced the resignation of not only Mitsoda, but also the creative head of the project – Ka’ai Cluney, which, however, was replaced by an experienced Alexandre Mandryka… Neither Hardsuit Labs nor Paradox Interactive voiced specific reasons for the reshuffle, but Mitsoda admitted that his dismissal was shocking. At the end of October, a second story designer left the ship that was starting to sink – Cara Ellison… Again, no one heard any special explanations.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and Mass Effect: Andromeda joined the team Jordan Lemos and Samantha Wallschlaeger did not return hopes to fans. And for good reason. Already in February 2021 it was announced that the “vampire masquerade” is moving indefinitely, pre-orders are not accepted and … the project changes the studio! Hardsuit Labs began cleaning its ranks a month later.
How this epic will continue is not yet clear, but it is clear that very few people already believe in a happy ending. Moreover, Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines – 2 has already ceased to be the only announced game in the worlds of darkness. IN May 2019 Big Bad Wolf admitted that she is preparing RPG Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong. Summer 2020 the community has already seen the first trailer and even a little gameplay. November of the same 2020 brought a slightly less intriguing, but still curious announcement of a vampire battle royale from Sharkmob Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt. And judging by what those who have touched the alpha version say, the game looks quite cheerful, although this is not what the fans were expecting. You can also recall the mediocre Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood, released in February, but to be honest – it is unlikely to be a competitor to The Masquerade Bloodlines – 2.
What the developers of the latter will do now is a big question. I would like to believe that the project will still come out and frankly will not turn out to be any. But there are fewer and fewer reasons for this belief.
Marvel: Avengers: You are so … no
4.9 from users on Metacritic … “Boring”, “none”, “meaningless”, “illogical” – such epithets were full of reviews of the game, which was initially expected and hoped for as the last “hello” from the completed phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Co-op with your favorite characters, cinematic, the largest project Cristal dynamics – there were enough loud headlines and promises. The Avengers Beta has become the most downloaded beta in PlayStation history.
As a result … The game came out colorful and bright, but devoid of logic. The authors either tried to isolate themselves from the film franchise, giving the characters new faces, or made noticeable curtsies in its direction. As well as in the direction of comic book fans. But it turned out strange. The usual heroes looked like anyone, but not themselves, and the gameplay added fuel to the fire, not allowing you to fully feel the difference when playing for the fragile but dexterous Natasha and the huge Hulk.
Despite negative reviews, low online and far from outstanding sales, the game continues to be supported. True, it seems that these updates are more likely to finish off the game. The complication of the pumping system, increasing the already tedious process and adding grinding is the most striking example of this. The Hawkeye update did not help – the archer failed to significantly raise the Square Enix online project. And I don’t want to comment on the possibility of forming a team of identical characters at all.
Added fuel to the fire by a patch that burned personal data of players during live broadcasts.
Time will tell whether the coming arrival of the Black Panther will change the situation. In the meantime, the project continues to slowly roll into the abyss.
Marvel: Avengers is a welcome disappointment. Why doesn’t the game have a future?