StarCraft: Ghost is one massively hyped game that never made it into players’ hands.
So, the unthinkable has happened: once-dead tongue-in-cheek shooter sequel Duke Nukem Forever has been uncancelled, and should be heading to stores sometime in 2011. But what games weren’t so lucky? Which high-profile projects were cancelled and won’t ever rise from their graves? Read on for some of our favorites.
Starcraft II is ruling the charts this year — but this console-based spin-off probably never will. A stealthy, third-person adventure set in the popular Starcraft universe, it was abandoned in 2006. It’s technically “suspended” and not cancelled as such, and some fans still cling to the faint hope that it might see the light of day at some point.
Super Mario 128
First named in the late ’90s as a follow-up to the seminal Super Mario 64, Mario 128 originally saw the light in 2000 as a tech demo for the then-new Gamecube. Rumors around its development persisted for years but to no avail; bits and pieces of the Mario 128 concept have shown up in other Mario titles, including Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy, however.
This World of Warcraft-style Halo spin-off was never formally announced, and details only emerged after it had been canned by Microsoft around 2007. With a budget said to have been as much as $90 million, it could be the most expensive cancelled game around.
Warcraft fans were devastated when this point-and-click adventure was dramatically canned in 1998. It was to have been a light-hearted, hand-drawn 2D affair in the vein of the early Monkey Island games, but developer Blizzard decided it had been outpaced by its competitors and pulled the plug.
The mid-00s didn’t exactly go well for publisher Take Two. Reeling from the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas “Hot Coffee” debacle, it took steps to clean up its image — and one of them was to quietly cancel Snow, which was to have been a drug-dealing sim that let players advance from small-time marijuana pusher to cocaine kingpin.
This Is Vegas
Open-world gambling and womanizing sim This Is Vegas always sounded like a bit of a risky bet. Publisher Midway poured as much as $50 million into development of the project, but came up snake-eyes, filing for bankruptcy last year. Warner Bros. picked up the company’s assets — including Vegas — but word is the game is no more.