Feature

The Expanding Database Of This Generation's Canceled Games

by Kyle Hilliard on Jan 04, 2013 at 09:33 AM

Update: We've added a few games and corresponding entries to our list of cancelled games. The new items on the list below have an orange star next to them (*), or you can click here to read all the new entries at once. Enjoy! Or don't, because these games will likely never release, so we will probably never get to enjoy them.

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Sometimes games don't make it to the finish line. Sometimes a game's cancellation is a huge disappointment. Sometimes, we don't even know a game exists until it gets canceled. Other times a game gets canceled so early in development that we never even hear about it (these obviously won't be included on the list). This is our evolving database of all the known games that have been canceled for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, ans Wii. Many of the games on this list haven't received official cancellations, but the evidence points to their disappearance. If they suddenly surface we will be more than happy to remove them from this list. If a game is suddenly canceled, however, you can bet it will show up here.

We want to keep adding to this list as much as possible, so check back time to time. Maybe the the sequel you are most excited about will make the list soon!

2 Days to Vegas (Xbox 360, PS3) – This game began development in 2003 by a studio called Steel Monkeys, whose highest profile games include SpyHunter: Nowhere to Run, and Rocky. The M.I.A. 2 Days to Vegas was one of the company's few completely original titles, and featured a storyline in which a pair of brothers must make their way through a number of iconic cities on their way to Vegas over the course of two days. Steel Monkeys’ still lists the game as being in development on its website, but we haven't heard anything about the game in a long time.

Bonk: Brink of Extinction (PS3, Xbox 360) – Bonk was an 8- and 16-bit staple. It was a prehistoric platformer where you played as what I can only assume was a baby caveman who somehow learned to run and jump well before he learned to crawl. There was a new Bonk in the works planned for WiiWare, Xbox Live Arcade, and the PlayStation Network. In the game, Bonk tries to get to the center of the Earth so that he can steer the planet away from an impending asteroid collision. The game made a few playable appearances, but was eventually canceled.

The Dark Knight (PS3, Xbox 360) – Pandemic Studios started strong with games like Full Spectrum Warrior, Star Wars Battlefront, and Mercenaries, but recently fell apart after releasing its final game, The Saboteur, in the end of 2009. One of the projects it was working on was an open-world Batman game to release alongside The Dark Knight. Along with the struggles the company was going through, rumors were circulating that the game was simply not very good. The game was canceled and Pandemic was absorbed by EA, and two years later we got Arkham City from a completely different developer, so our open-word Batman itch was scratched.


*The image above is from Dead or Alive 4.

Dead or Alive: Code Chronos (Xbox 360) – Chronos was not going to be a fighting game, according to former series director Tomonobu Itagaki. It was meant to be a story-focused game that would serve as prequel to the rest of the Dead or Alive games. Because if there is one thing that Dead or Alive needed more of, it was storyline clarity. Also, when fighting games decide to use its characters in non-fighting games, it always ends well.

Dirty Harry (PS3, Xbox 360) – Dirty Harry was in development by The Collective, Inc. The developer mostly specialized in licensed games like Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and The Da Vinvi Code. The company has since merged with Shiny Entertainment to form Double Helix Games. Before that merger, it was working on Dirty Harry. Clint Eastwood was on board the project offering his likeness, his voice, and creative input. After The Collective’s assorted mergers, however, the project was canceled. The Collective, Inc. made it as far as a trailer to accompany the announcement of the game.

Duke Nukem Forever (PS3, Xbox 360) – I’m being told that Duke Nukem Forever did in fact release, but that can’t be right. It’s the running joke of the industry. That game is never coming out.

Elveon (PS3, Xbox 360) – The strangely named 10tacle Studios from Slovakia was working on this high fantasy RPG, and but then it encountered financial problems the studio was closed. Production was handed off to an English developer, but it must have gotten lost in the mail because we haven’t heard anything since then.

Ender’s Game: Battle Room (PS3, Xbox 360) – Development company Chair has a working relationship with Ender’s Game author Orson Scott Card, so it’s not surprising to see that it had a game based on the book in the works. The game was going to be based in the game contained in the novel, Battle Room. When Chair signed on to be part of Epic, the game was put on indefinite hold because Epic has a strategic objective of creating new and unique franchise, and Ender’s Game would have been a licensed game.

Eyedentify – Announced in 2005, Eyedentify was a game meant to be played with the PlayStation Eye accessory. That was the last we heard anything about it, and Sony doesn’t seem too interested in what the PlayStation Eye can do outside of its ability to track glowing orbs attached to Move controllers.

Faith and .45 (PS3, Xbox 360) – Deadline games’ biggest claims to fame are Total Overdose, Chili Con Carnage, and the two downloadable Watchmen games that released alongside the movie. Nothing particularly groundbreaking or exciting. It did however have Faith and a .45 in the works, which along with a sweet title, sounded pretty awesome. It was basically Bonny and Clyde the game. It was to take place during the depression and you play as a couple trying to outrun an evil oilman while going on a bank-robbing spree. Unfortunately before the game could release, Deadline Games filed for bankruptcy and never found a publisher for Faith and a .45.

Gears of War: Exile (Xbox 360) – We don’t know anything about Exile, other than that it was a Gears of War game. Many assumed that it was the rumored Gears of War Kinect game, but that comes purely from the announcement that there would be a Gears of War Kinect game, and then Epic Games filed a trademark for the Exile name shortly after. The game was technically never officially announced, but it was officially canceled.

Gotham by Gaslight (PS3, Xbox 360) – Day One Studios, the developer behind F.E.A.R., began work on Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, but the game was canceled. It was to be based on the comic series of the same name published in 1989 that saw Bruce Wayne fight Jack the Ripper in a late 1800s Gotham City. Some art and a video tech demo with distracting cape physics made its way to the web, but that’s likely the most that will ever be seen of the game. It’s hard to imagine another Batman game out in the wild competing with the Arkham series, but it almost happened.

Halo: Chronicles (Xbox 360) – Lord of the Rings and Meet the Feebles film director Peter Jackson and his company Wingnut Interactive were working on a Halo game that was meant to be episodic. But, like everything Halo related that Jackson gets his hands on (he was producing the Halo film), it was canceled. It looks like Halo 4 may be picking up the episodic idea, however, with Spartan Ops.

Halo MMO (Xbox 360)  – Ensemble Studios, the developers that released Halo Wars, were working on a Halo MMO, but it seems like they weren't able to get very far. After the release of Halo Wars, Ensemble was disbanded buy Microsoft.

Heavenly Sword 2 (PS3) – Martin Binfield, the animation team lead for the cutscenes of the original Heavenly Sword, posted his resume online and apparently Heavenly Sword 2 began development, but was canceled, presumably in favor of focusing on Enslaved. Heavenly Sword had a pretty succinct ending, a rarity in the world of video game narrative, so it’s not too disappointing that the game was shelved. Plus, Enslaved was pretty sweet.

Ruffian Games, the developer behind Crackdown 2, was working on a remake of Streets of Rage. We're not sure what happened to the game, but some footage of the unfinished product leaked online.

You may recall Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects for the last generation of consoles, or you may not because it wasn't a huge success. In any case, it appears that there was a pseudo-sequel in the works for the current generation of consoles. There is a little bit of video from the game, which you can check out here, but it doesn't show any gameplay. It only shows the menus from the game.

Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings (PS3, Xbox 360) – The Staff of Kings did release on Wii, PlayStation 2, DS, and PSP, but the reason that this game earns a spot on this list is because the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions never saw the light of day. The game received a lot of coverage at assorted press events because its demo highlighted the impressive Euphoria physics engine that made 3D characters move and react without the need for animation. The system would later be used in Grand Theft Auto IV and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed among many others. Apparently the cancellation came about after numerous delays, and Lucas Arts shifted focus towards getting The Force Unleashed out the door.

Mega Man Universe (PS3, Xbox 360) – Mega Man Universe was announced into existence with an awesome stop-animated short film, that revealed very little about what exactly the game was. After a few gameplay trailers, some disappointing showings to the public, and the departure of Keiji Inafune - the man who created Mega Man - from Capcom, the project was officially canceled.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned (PS3, Xbox 360) – This entry into the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was looking very promising to everyone who saw it. The game had fun combat and took its conversation cues from Mass Effect. Disney Interactive lost a lot of money when its first few releases weren’t the runaway successes they were supposed to be, and Disney decided that they weren’t going to be able to continue dropping money into Armada of the Damned. It’s too bad, because it was sounding pretty good.

InSane – little was known about InSane. Guillermo del Toro, the film director behind Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy was working on it and it was supposed to be "...a very different type of horror game. It's not survival horror. It's truly a strange, geeky mix. It's a Lovecraftian thing," according to del Toro. Whatever it was going to be, it's done now.

Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3) – Furious 4 wasn't so much cancelled as much as it has been retooled into something different. We don't know what it will be just yet, but it won't be called Brothers in Arms.

Sadness (Wii) – Sadness was announced early in the Wii's life-cycle, and it had a a lot of promise. The game was about a woman protecting her blind, paranoid schizophrenic, narcoleptic son in pre-World War I Ukraine. The game was going to be entirely in black and white, but during its four years of troubled development, the game was never shown playable.

Theseis (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3) – Theseis was going to be God of War/Tomb Raider-esque action game following the exploits of two Greek treasure hunting journalists who dabble in paranormal research. Alas, the game was too ambitious for its own good, and never made it through development.

Gun Loco (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3) – Gun Loco was a Square Enix third-person shooter parkour title that placed characters in the shoes of an ex-convict fighting for survival on a prison planet. The game was canceled recently. You can read a larger preview of the game here, and read about its cancellation here.

Frame City Killer (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3) – Frame City Killer put you in the shoes of an undercover agent in a future Asian city, pulling off assorted assassinations and performing Heavy Rain-like detective sequences on your journey to eliminate a deadly drug called Visual Acid.