Depending on how you feel about the Silent Hill games, the series hasn’t been living up to its potential in quite some time. That all changed with PT, a free downloadable game that ended up being the lead-in for the series’ next entry, Silent Hills. With Hideo Kojima and famed horror director Guillermo del Toro at the helm, and Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus set to star, excitement was high and people were excited for the franchise again. How could it all go wrong?
As it turns out, it could go wrong in a massive way. With Hideo Kojima now leaving Konami later this year, the publisher is now basically setting fire to everything Kojima’s touched in the past year or so. While the Metal Gear franchise will continue past The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions is now Konami Los Angeles and their title is removed from all promotional material. Silent Hills is now canceled, and no one is happy about it. You’d think that you’d still have PT to play as a reminder of what could’ve been, right? You’d be all wrong and a bag of chips, because it’s been taken off the PlayStation Store completely. Even to people who already own it and want to re-download it can’t anymore. Still, there’s gonna be more Silent Hill games at some point in the future. That’s something….right?
In the meantime, let’s take a look at cancellations that were equally as devastating. Go on, get the tissues, and get ready to feel sad!
Mega Man Legends 3
As the fourth game in the Legends sub-series of the Mega Man franchise, Mega Man Legends 3 (don’t ask) had a lot of hype built around it. Mega Man games were nothing if not consistent, and certainly building up to that hype was the fact that the last Legends game came out 15 years ago. Creator Keiji Inafune said that he’d like to make a game and wasn’t able to at the time, but that didn’t stop Capcom from announcing Legends 3 and getting people all revved up for a 3DS adventure with the blue Digger. Throw in a pair of new characters and getting fans involved, and everything was set for success.
Until July 2011, when Capcom announced that the game had been canceled. Sure, Inafune had left Capcom, but there were people still working on it. No one really knows what happened; Capcom Europe’s Twitter account tried to shift the blame on the fans, and that went about as well as could be expected when over 20,000 fans signed a petition. There was also going to be a Prototype Version released on the 3DS shop to serve as a prologue to actual game, but that got axed along with the full game and will never see release. The cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3 is something that still stings fans to this day, and eventually talk of Capcom leads to bitter rage over what could’ve been. But hey, at least there’s Mighty No. 9!
Chances of coming back: Sit at its grave and cry about how much you miss it.
Man, we gotta go back pretty far in time for this one. Back in the PS2 and original Xbox era, there was a series of games from Free Radical called Timesplitters. The first person shooter series had you play as Sergeant Cortez, the most badass time traveling space marine of all time. You’d go to different eras fighting the evil Timesplitter aliens, from the far future of the 24th century all the way back to the Wild West and China. It was goofy as all hell, but had the fun gameplay and surreal humor to back it up. Also, they were really into monkeys for some reason. You could even play as a zombie monkey in the third one, so you know this series was awesome.
Free Radical shelved the Timesplitter franchise to work on Haze for the PS3 in 2008. But that game didn’t do so well in terms of reception and sales. This failure, combined with the development of another game on this list, had the studio go into administration later that year. In February 2009, the studio had been picked up by Crytek and as Crytek UK, they worked on the multiplayer for Crysis 2 and co-developed Crysis 3 alongside Crytek Frankfurt. While Crytek does currently own the rights to the franchise and had even talked about the possibility of a fourth entry in the Timesplitters franchise for a while, they later said that it wasn’t in development in 2012. Crytek’s Cevat Yerli said the reason they didn’t move forward with Timesplitters 4 was because to them, “nobody would accept this apart from some fans, and we don’t know how big that fan community is unfortunately“. There was talk of a fan group developing a Timesplitters mod with CryEngine 3, and the team does regularly provide updates on development. There doesn’t look to be a finalized date out for a demo or to show off footage, but who knows? Maybe this’ll be the year we get to travel back in time and play as a monkey slicing up people in feudal Japan.
Chances of returning: Moderate.
Darth Maul is probably the hugest fan favorite character in the Star Wars franchise. Despite his relative short appearance in The Phantom Menace from nearly 16 years ago–and I mean short, like 4-7 minutes of screentime tops, and maybe only two lines–his double bladed lightsaber and appearance stuck with viewers who’d written off the prequels by right around the time Jar-Jar showed up. Hell, the guy’s so loved by the fandom that he survived getting sliced in half and falling down a reactor pit and made it to a completely different planet where he got robot spider legs somehow, and that’s just in the continuity that’s actually canon.
Imagine being able to play as Darth Maul himself. You could play as him in some previous Star Wars games–Battlefront II, a skin in Force Unleashed, for instance–but never him in a title specifically for him. In May of last year, Game Informer ran a piece on the Darth Maul game that was in development over at Red Fly Studio. The game was meant to tie into a season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, where Maul made frequent appearances in the fourth and third seasons. The game was said to be like Batman Arkham Asylum, with combos, dodges, and the occasional limb slicing, which is a given when your primary weapon is a doubled ended red glow stick. Red Fly’s goals were ambitious–they wanted to introduce new Sith lords Darths Talon and Krayt, allow the player to build Maul’s own lightsaber and eventually erode the relationship between him and Palpatine to where they’d face off at the end–but their vision was redone twice, with the second vision coming from George Lucas himself. The meeting went about as expected, given that it’s George Lucas, but ultimately went to hell once Lucas sold the company to Disney. There’s prototype footage, but that’s as far as Red Fly had gotten.
Chances of returning: Verrrrrrrrrrry slim.
Alan Wake 2
After working on the first two installments of the crime noir Max Payne games, Remedy Entertainment switched their focus to a more survival horror bent with Alan Wake in 2010. You played as the titular author Alan Wake, going on vacation with your wife, Alice, because you have writer’s block and anyone who’s tried writing knows just how infuriating that can be. But as is the case for a psychological horror novel writer, psychological horror shit starts happening around the town, and Alan has to figure it all out. The game was lauded for its writing, atmosphere, episodic format, and pacing.
The release of the original game in 2010 was followed up by two DLC packs–The Signal and The Writer–expanding on the game’s ending. The Writer even ended with Alan writing one word on his type writer: “Return.” You’d think that this would be setting up a sequel to be released some time after the standalone game Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, right? Unfortunately, you would be wrong. Earlier this year, Polygon published an article detailing how Alan Wake 2 never came to fruition. Remedy had been working on a prototype and was prepared to pitch it to Microsoft, but that fell through. Currently, the studio is currently hard at work on the Xbox One exclusive title Quantum Break, due out in 2016. With the way games have expanded their release formats from big scale to smaller episodic adventures, the format change would work well for Alan’s adventures. When asked about the odds of the sequel being published, with or without Microsoft, Remedy’s Sam Lake said: “Only time will tell.”
Chances of returning: Slim.
Star Wars Battlefront 3
The Star Wars Battlefront games were some of the most online multiplayer fun you could have back in the PS2 and Xbox days. The large scale conflict made you feel like you were actually in the big hallmark battles of the Star Wars franchise, and Battlefront II let you feel this in single and multiplayer. Combine that with the ability to play as the heroes and villains fans came to know and love, and you’ve got arguably one of the best things to come out of Star Wars since Knights of the Old Republic and the Clone Wars cartoon. Besides, where else were you going to see Darth Maul slice up Han Solo before getting gunned down by Leia?
Before LucasArts got gutted, the third installment in the Battlefront series was being worked on by Free Radical as opposed to Pandemic from the previous two games. Like we mentioned in the first page, the studio was working on Battlefront 3 from 2006 to 2008, right as the failure of Haze caused the studio to be shut down later that year. As it turned out, Battlefront 3 was basically 99% done when they were going under. Also not helping was that LucasArts (allegedly) “wanted them to fail“, undergoing management changes and not paying the studio for six months. The project was later passed on to Rebellion Developments, but that fell through as well. The leaked footage of Battlefront 3 showed how they wanted to up the scale of the previous two games by letting you transition seamlessly from ground combat to space battles just by getting into a ship and taking off. EA and DICE are now working on a reboot of the series due out in November. You won’t be able to transition from ground to space combat seamlessly, and the game lacks a single player component, but it’s possible those will come back for the inevitable sequel.
Chances of returning: Very slim.
Star Wars 1313
You ever have that one game you don’t know much about, but you still want anyway? Sure, you can say that the footage isn’t representative of the final game and that when finished, it could be total crap. But man, you just look at what could’ve been, and it hits all of your sweet spots. And when it gets canned, you realize that the universe will give you something before swiping it away and laughing at your tear-stained face. That’s basically what happened with Star Wars 1313.
Man, more than Battlefront 3, this one hurts. Announced at E3 2012, Star Wars 1313 was meant to be a darker entry in the Star Wars universe. You’d be playing as young Boba Fett, the second most fan-loved character after Darth Maul, as he uncovers a criminal conspiracy in level 1313 the city-planet of Coruscant. The footage for the game showed off a third person action adventure title in the vein of Uncharted, but the darker aesthetic and action set pieces had people frothing at the mouth for it. Sadly, when Disney acquired the Star Wars franchise, 1313 was one of the casualties of the acquisition. Like with Battlefront, EA now technically has control over the project and could theoretically bring the game back. Come to think of it, Amy Hennig of Uncharted fame left Naughty Dog and ended up at Visceral to write for a Star Wars game…
Chances of returning: Moderate.
In 2006, Human Head Studios put out the FPS Prey. Players took the role of Cherokee Domasi “Tommy” Towadi as he and his family are abducted and sent to an alien spaceship known as the Sphere. Being Cherokee allowed Tommy to use his spirit roam freely around the Sphere (no idea how that works, but whatever), and had a unique mix of weapons. Prey ended up receiving positive reviews and selling a million copies, and usually that’s right around the time that someone would be muttering the words “sequel” in a creepy, Gollum voice. It even ended with Tommy stepping into a portal and the words “Prey will continue…” appearing.
Flash forward five years to March 2011, and a teaser trailer shows up, looking very much different from the Prey we knew. Instead of seeing Tommy in the Sphere, we see a plane taking off only to get sucked into the Sphere, which was shown in the original Prey. This time around, players would take the role of US Marshal turned alien bounty hunter Killian Samuels on the planet Exodus. Samuels and Tommy have met before, but Samuels remembers none of this, so players are tasked with recovering his memory. The game was in a bit of a weird spot for a while–Human Head was said to be working on it, then development allegedly shifted over to Arkane Studios of Dishonored fame in 2013, before Bethesda officially announced the game’s end last October at PAX Australia. Looks like Prey won’t be continuing after all.
Chances of returning: Give up hope.
Are there any canceled games you wish had seen the light of day? Let us know in the comments below.