There are all sorts of reasons games have been canceled over the decades. There’s the end of a console era killing a port, studios running out of money to continue a project, and publishers redistributing funding away from certain games to name a few, but it’s left a long list of once-promising games on the cutting room floor.
With that in mind, the Shack Chat for this week takes a good look back at the games we wish could have seen the light of day. Check it out!
Question: What canceled game do you wish was released?
Star Wars 1313 - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Star Wars Editor
I went a long period between enjoying Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire and the Rogue Squadron games. It wasn't until Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order that my love for video games in this beloved franchise was rekindled. You know what I wanted to see, though? I would have loved to see whatever this Star Wars 1313 game from LucasArts was going to be. The rumors of a Boba Fett game made this idea even juicier. Hey, couldn't have been any worse than the show, am I right? (Alright, I kid. Believe it or not, I actually liked Book of Boba Fett. Whatever.)
Mega Man Legends 3 - TJ Denzer, Senior News Editor Volnutt
I love Mega Man, and I can’t rightly remember many more charming adventures in the series than Mega Man Legends. The first and second of the Legends games pulled Mega Man from his comfy side-scrolling, boss-hunting shenanigans and threw him into a vibrant and cool 3rd-person shooter adventure game. I loved those games, and I loved where they were going with the story.
I’m not sure what’s worse in this regard: that Mega Man Legends 2 left us on such a cliffhanger or that Mega Man Legends 3 ultimately never happened. Oh, but it was meant to! It was announced for Nintendo 3DS in 2010! And boy howdy would I have loved to play it. I still would. Too many questions were left unanswered and Capcom could do so much more with that spinoff series these days. I love Mega Man in any form, but there will always be a bittersweet longing for the adventure we could have had in Mega Man Legends 3.
Scalebound - Morgan Shaver, Fan of dragons
Perhaps not a super original pick here, but I really do wish Scalebound from the talented folks at PlatinumGames had been given a proper chance at success. I remember before the announcement that the game was being canceled, there was quite a bit of hype surrounding Scalebound, and for good reason as the game’s concept is an undeniably interesting one.
The game would’ve followed protagonist Drew and his dragon companion Thuban, with Drew being closely bonded to Thuban and thus able to do things like enter “Dragon Link” mode and take control of the dragon from its perspective. To not only be able to ride around on a dragon, but physically embody that dragon in-game as well, sounds really freakin’ rad and I can’t help but hope that in the future Platinum is somehow given the opportunity to revisit Scalebound again.
Thrill Kill - Blake Morse, Old enough to remember canceled PS1 games
What does a game full of dismembered, damned brawlers have in common with the Wu-Tang clan? Let me tell you the story of Thrill Kill. To say that this game was controversial at the time when it was announced would be an understatement. Thrill Kill was an arena fighting game where you and up to three other friends took on the role of various tortured souls in Hell as they fought for the amusement of a demon.
Even with what would be considered primitive polygonal graphics by today’s standards Thrill Kill was disturbing. Some characters were missing limbs and just had bloody stumps, and others looked like something straight out of a Hellraiser movie. It was one of the first games ever to get an Adults Only rating by the ESRB. The controversy was enough to get the game canceled after it switched hands from Virgin Game to EA, but that would not be the end of Thrill Kill as many of its assets ended up being used as the template for the Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style. ROMs of the unfinished press demo version of Thrill Kill can still be found online, but this controversial game never saw a full release.
B.C. - Sam Chandler, Caveman Editor
Before ARK: Survival Evolved, there was a little game called B.C. This game was originally supposed to release on the Xbox back in the early 2000s, and despite numerous trailers and press coverage, it never saw the light of day. The game was set to feature vast landscapes, a thriving food chain and ecosystem, and a tribe system. It was grand idea. And so, it should come as no surprise that it was a video game in production at Intrepid, a satellite of Lionhead Studio, the same studio as the one and only Peter Molyneux. I wonder what this game might have been like if released and what effect it would have on the industry now.
Silent Hills - Dennis White Jr., Community Manager
We are finally out of the dark ages when it comes to the Silent Hill franchise it seems, since the games are seemingly making a comeback with the Silent Hill 2 Remake on the way and several other projects announced to be in different stages of development. Even so, part of me still wishes we had the chance to see what could have been with Kojima’s scrapped revival of such a classic and beloved horror universe. While there’s been a pretty massive boom in games that were spawned or inspired by the P.T. (Playable Teaser), I was really curious to see how a new team would approach developing the combat and story for the actual game. Just the demo basically shifted horror games in a brand new direction so I can only imagine what this game could have done for the genre.
My biggest reason for wishing this game actually happened was the fact that Guillermo del Toro and Junji Ito were tied to the game as well. Those kinds of brilliant minds involved in the storytelling, creature design, and overall development would have been something truly special. Also given how many projects have been greenlit or are also in development for streaming services, if the game had successfully captured psychological horror in a fresh and creative way, folks like Norman Reedus could have ended up playing their character on film as well down the line.
Plants vs Zombies: Project Hot Tub - Donovan Erskine, News Editor
An ambitious Plants vs Zombies game given the working title of Project Hot Tub was in the works at PopCap Vancouver in 2016. Unfortunately, publisher EA pulled the plug on the project in favor of allocating more resources and developers towards a Star Wars game (that also ended up getting canceled). According to an investigative report from IGN, the game was planned to be a narrative-driven adventure game, inspired by the Uncharted and Arkham franchises. Players would control a human with a plant companion, using them to unleash powerful abilities and combos during combat. I’m not certain that the game would have been good, but it would have been a fascinating departure from the franchise formula.
Project H.A.M.M.E.R/Super Mario Spikers - Steve Tyminski, Wii Good time!
What canceled game do I wish was released? That is an interesting question as there are a few games that I would have loved to see get released. The first game that comes to mind is Project H.A.M.M.E.R. for the Nintendo Wii. This game was going to give the player the ability to control the main character’s hammer with the Wii-mote and Nunchuk controller. I recall seeing this game in a Nintendo Power magazine or on Nintendo’s E3 presentation on G4 Tech TV when they would show the E3 press presentations. It would have been interesting to see this game in the Wii era as it looked like a darker tone game and the Wii was not known for that.
Another Wii game that would have been fun to see was Super Mario Spikers, the Mario sports game that was part Volleyball, part wrestling. Mario has played Volleyball in the past but not one of these crazy, over-the-top sport game the Mario sports games are now known for. It would have been cool to see.
These are our picks, but what are yours? What canceled game would you have loved to see make to a release? Let us know in the Shacknews Chatty section below!
Shack Staff posted a new article, Shack Chat: What canceled game do you wish was released?
this butt ugly early 2000s MMORPG called Adellion
It was going to be a disaster: a permadeath MMO where it would automate your guy when you weren't playing and if you got killed during down time 'well you probably would have gotten killed even if you were online'. It wouldn't have lasted for more than a couple of years, but I was desperate to see it tried and witness the carnage.