It takes a long time to develop video games, with most titles taking nearly 5 years to create for modern consoles. However, there are then some games that we thought would never see the light of day.
Ride to Hell: Retribution ( 5 Years)
Slated to release in 2008 Ride to Hell was actually canceled the same year, only to emerge from seemingly nowhere for a 2013 release. The biggest controversy around this game wasn’t just the lengthy time it took to make, but the sheer quality of the game when it released. After 5 years, developer Eutechnyx made, what many consider, as one of the worst games made in the modern era.
Alan Wake ( 6 Years)
While large open world games usually have lengthy development times, Alan Wake was a rather linear single player title when it released in 2010. Originally planned as an open-world game the idea was scrapped and reimagined as the horror title we know now.
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth (6 Years)
Early on Call of Cthulhu aimed to be an open world game, this title actually changed its concept through the development process. What finally emerged in 2005 was a first person survival horror game, even though making a third person title was originally planned.
L.A. Noire ( 7 Years)
This crime based adventure game spent over 7 years in development mainly due to the sheer scope of the game and its important focus on motion capture. There were no major setbacks with L.A. Noire and after its release it received rather positive reception from critics and fans alike.
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty (7 Years)
Blizzard’s follow-up to the legendary RTS StarCraft, developer Blizzard had a rather rocky road towards this titles released. While the game was announced back in 2007, it was actually revealed that they had begun development on this title in 2004. After some missed betas and the story relegated to two other expansion packs, this title was finally released in 2010 and is still hailed as a masterwork in the RTS genre.
Team Fortress 2 (11 Years)
The follow-up to the original mod back in 1998 was actually started by the original development team, only to be bought out by Valve who’d help them create a proper sequel. After numerous changes and alterations, the final product emerged 11 years later and changed FPS multiplayer history.
Final Fantasy XV (10 Years)
The most recent title to be released after a punishing long development cycle, Final Fantasy XV actually started as a different game in the series entirely. After numerous years, including the release of a prequel film, Final Fantasy XV released to the masses in 2016.
The Last Guardian (8 Years)
Originally planned to release on the PS3 in 2009, The Last Guardian went through of delays due to team members leaving during its creation. However, at E3 in 2015 it was revealed that this title will be hitting shelves in 2016 with an official release date scheduled for this upcoming December.
The Witness (7 Years)
Announced back in 2009, The Witness was stalled by a lengthy development process due to Thelka, Inc. wanting to create their own in-game engine that wouldn’t risk the visual quality they desired. Couple this with the artists spending a lot of time focusing on the scenic aspects and the reasons for The Witness releasing 7 years later becomes far clearer.
Diablo III (11 Years)
While this title was announced by Blizzard in 2008, its development actually began way back in 2001. One of the big factors were the development teams working both a PC and Mac version at the same time, along with working in the always online functionality. Even upon release in 2012 Diablo II had some stumbles, it has refined the mechanics and gameplay via the Reaper of Souls expansion in 2014.
Galleon ( 7 Years)
Back in 1997 developer Confounding Factor revealed their newest title Galleon however it took 7 years for this project to actually release for everyone. Attempting to move this title to Gamecube, Dreamcast, PlayStation, and Xbox caused Galleon to be delayed until its released in 2004.
Spore (8 Years)
Spore was a case of the development team’s ambitions being far greater than anticipated, as Spore took 8 years to put together. A demo was released in 2005, but it didn’t actually launch until 2008 to mixed reviews.
Too Human (9 Years)
Developer Silicon Knights planned for Too Human to release on the PlayStation and Gamecube, but 9 years later this RPG made its way onto the Xbox 360. Much of the problem was that during the development, Nintendo gained an exclusive partnership, meaning that the developers had to then cater specifically for the Gamecube. However, they were then regulated to working on other titles such as the new Eternal Darkness game. This sidelined Too Human until they began to work with Microsoft in 2005, which allowed the development to get back on track.
Prey (11 Years)
Oh Prey, there was a time where it felt like this game was never going to see the light of day. Even though it was started back in 1995, it actually took a new developer (Human Head Studios) in 2006 to save this title from being lost in space.
Duke Nukem Forever (15 Years)
Perhaps the most famous game to ever get delayed seemingly indefinitely, the follow up to the famed Duke Nukem series went through a number of changes during its production. However, after 15 years of changes, development, and alterations the game that emerged was, considered by many, to be an awful title. Even with the fixes, its archaic design and look didn’t age well and probably should have been left in development hell.