For every blockbuster videogame that's released, there are five that
never see the light of day. Whether it's due to financial woes, creative
differences among the development teams, publisher problems or just
plain bad luck, some games are announced to great fanfare, only to
disappear with a whimper months or even years later.
So to help you keep up with the ever-growing list of games with
uncertain futures, we created Life Support to track them all. Below
you'll find a list of games whose fates are in question, along with an
icon denoting their status. When we get new info about a Life Support
game, we'll update this page forthwith.
Recovering: Out of the woods and heading toward eventual release. There is concrete evidence that these titles are more than vaporware.
Stable: Don't scare us like that! Once thought to be
goners, these titles might just make it after all. All they need is some
Comatose: Time to call friends and family. Games in this
category don't even know us anymore. Drooling vegetables, they linger
between life and death.
Critical: So much blood. Things are not looking good for these games. If something doesn't happen soon, we'll lose them.
Flatlined: It's the circle of life. Some games have to
die in order for others to be born. The only thing that will bring them
back is the zombocalypse.
Updated March 31, 2011: Here's a handy list of the games we've
added or updated in Life Support this time around. Clicking on a title
will take you directly to that game's listing on the page. You can also
jump directly to a section of the alphabet by clicking the appropriate
sections of the image below. Better yet, just read the whole thing. What
else do you have to do?
In 2005, a smallish developer called Steel Monkeys announced a game called 2 Days to Vegas,
a third-person action game full of car chases, shootouts and
unrealistic release dates. It was announced as… wait for it… a
"next-gen" game at the tail end of the Xbox era. At the time of the
announcement, we at IGN wondered it might be a tantalizing glimpse at
what the upcoming Xbox 360 might hold in store for graphics whores. Four
years later the game still hadn't materialized, but Steel Monkeys
insisted 2 Days to Vegas had a 2009 release date.
Oops! The game is still listed as being in development on Steel
Monkey's web site, but I created a Wikipedia entry for a made-up fruit,
and it's still there, so that doesn't prove anything. Gotta call this
one Flatlined. Triva alert: 2 Days to Vegas is one of two games on Life Support that are based on Las Vegas. Coincidence?
During the 2010 holiday season, SEGA America VP Alan Pritchard told Game Informer that an Aliens: Colonial Marines reveal
was imminent. This holiday season, I plan to send him a picture of me
cosplaying as Ellen Ripley, crying in the fetal position. Developer
Gearbox is currently hard at work whipping Duke Nukem Forever into shape instead, and no one's talking officially about the status of Aliens. It's likely still in the works, but c'mon Randy. At least throw us a trailer. Aliens: Colonial Marines is Stable, but just barely.
Ubisoft showed unmistakable footage of Beyond Good & Evil 2
at its 2008 Ubidays event in Paris, but the publisher has been
squirrely about its future ever since. Ubi's PR team came to the rescue
in January 2010, telling IGN's Jim Reilly that a Beyond Good & Evil
project is "still in development."
But then E3 2010 came and went with no mention of the title. Ubisoft
released an HD remake of the original in the meantime, but the company
didn't bother to even tease a sequel alongside it. That, my friends, is
how games slip into comas...
Once upon a time, Criterion and Electronic Arts
released Black, a first-person shooter lovingly referred to in the
gaming press as "gun porn" by people who have clearly never seen real
porn. Despite its drawbacks, Black became a fan favorite. EA mentioned Black 2 in its 2007 financial statement but has been mum ever since. Black creator Stuart Black left EA for Codemasters to make its "spiritual successor," a game called Bodycount, but he's since left there,
too. Without Black's creative vision, and with a full roster of other
big shooters, I'm betting EA has shelved the Black sequel.
I'm only including DogTag: Urban Warfare
on Life Support because so many of you asked about it in the comments
section the last time I updated the list. I have some bad news. This
game is deader than the global economy. The web site for Digital Jesters,
the UK-based publisher formerly attached to the project, has been
turned into what appears to be a medieval Russian chess porn website
that I have done you the favor of not linking to. And the developer,
Diezel Power, has a barely functional site with zombies on it. This is what we call vaporware. Hear that beeping? That's what death sounds like.
Duke Nukem Forever has the dubious honor of being the only game on this
list announced during the Clinton Administration. It's also the only
game that was declared dead, resurrected and then put back on again.
Awesome! So, by now everyone knows developer 3D Realms got into some
financial trouble and handed the DNF reins over to Gearbox, who's now
working with publisher 2K on getting it out the door before the Mayan
calendar kills us all. When a May 3 Duke Nukem Release Date
was finally revealed, we all rejoiced. But then it was delayed again,
to June 14. Really? I'm putting it back on Life Support (barely) just to
be a jerk.
Radar Group is one of those all-star game companies. Scott Miller,
co-founder of 3D Realms is involved. So are some former Relic and Remedy
bigwigs. Their first release, via partner Recoil Games, is a downloadable title called Rochard, and it's alive and well. But the status of Radar's big action game, Earth No More,
is less certain. It's apparently set in a "sudden environmental
apocalypse," which sounds very, very dangerous. Radar and Recoil aren't
talking about ENM, and no publisher's been attached yet. Since we
haven't heard anything for three years, I have to call this one Comatose
Once upon a time, Silicon Knights
made a game called Eternal Darkness. Apparently the Canada-based
developer has made some other games, too, but their names escape me. Too
Vampire-y? Legacy of Snakes? I can't remember. But none of that
matters anyway, because all anyone ever asks company founder Denis Dyack
about is Eternal Darkness 2. People want a sequel to the Nintendo GameCube survival horror game, and they want it yesterday. We ask Denis Dyack about Eternal Darkness 2
whenever we see him, but the answer is always the same. It would be
cool, but it's probably not going to happen. I'm kicking ED2 down one
notch, from Comatose to Critical. Call me, Denis. Prove me wrong.