Video Games That Were Unfortunately Cancelled
Image: Concept art for Rainbow 6: Patriots
Written by: Elijah Moon Blackwell
Thousands of video games populate the shelves of my game room. I’ve played maybe a few hundred of said games.
So naturally I’m going to complain about games that I can’t even access and pretend I’d actually play them if they were indeed obtainable.
These products are the rejects. The video games that got cancelled before they could even reach the light of day.
The games listed are all pulled from a website called Unseen64. It’s an archive dedicated to preserving the video games that never got finished.
Here are five cancelled games I found while I was perusing the archive. Keep in mind I had to limit myself to five. There are an insane amount of cancelled games.
Also if you click each heading the Unseen64 page relating to the game will open in a new tab. Some pages have trailers, prototype gameplay footage and more! Check it out; it’s a really neat project!
In 2011 Terraria hit the digital marketplace. It kind of flew under my radar. One Steam sale dropped it to an insanely low price. My online friends at the time told me to check it out. They told me it was a 2D combat focused Minecraft type thing. That sounds amazing, right?
Terraria actually exceeded my expectations. It has an extreme amount of unique enemies and items. Also scripted and random events kept the game fresh. I swear I was still seeing new content at the hundred hour mark.
I remember when Terraria: Otherworld was first announced. I was exited and ready to go back to digging deep and fighting larger than life monsters. This wasn’t just Terraria 2, mind you. The game was considered a spin-off by the developers Re-Logic. I was excited when I saw the first reveal trailer.
Well…I still forgot about it. I told myself I’d buy it day one but in reality I totally forgot it was a thing.
This was the first game I saw on the Unseen64 and my heart immediately sank. It got cancelled?
After three years of development, Re-Logic pulled the plug. The company stated that they had a clear vision for the game but the implementation made the game not fun.
At least Re-Logic still releases updates for Terraria.
It’s just another zombie game. A Stephen King style fog covers a town, bringing the black death. Instead of killing humans, this black death disease turns everyone into stereotypical flesh eaters. You are some dude wearing a protective suit going into the town to eliminate or cure the infected.
Details are rather slim. The developers, Darkworks, only made a rough prototype. It served as a pitch to potential publishers or investors.
Look, I love zombie games and I kind of hate the craze died. Darkworks failed to keep it going though and the project was scrapped. Well, more like Darkworks got straight up liquidated after inactivity in 2011. They only released two games in their 15 year life span. TWO!
I went to college for journalism. I always had dreams of going to other countries and writing stories. I wanted to cover wars and other types of conflicts.
This never happened.
I always wished for a video game that sort of emulated the romanticized version of journalism that I always envisioned. The closest thing I got was the first Dead Rising where you play as a journalist stuck in a zombie infested mall. I love that game to death but I would still like a more simulated journalism experience.
Serengeti could have been the game of my dreams. It was about going to Tanzania (which is where the Serengeti ecosystem is located) to research animals.
Something similar released for the PlayStation 3 about seven years later called Afrika. However, the North American version is rare and I don’t even own a PlayStation anymore.
Serengeti was ahead of it’s time in 2001. The AI was pretty advanced. Animals carried out various tasks to fulfill seven desires. Thirst, hunger and things of the like. You would watch and snap photos of the animals.
Now obviously, we have no idea how well this all worked. We are taking Masa Group’s word for it.
Masa moved all their gaming developer to a company called Oiko Entertainment. Oiko searched for a publisher to fund Serengeti but it never happened. So Masa closed Oiko and the remains of Serengeti was sold to Atari (the publisher) and Infogrames (the developer).
It’s good that the game died there. Infogrames is a hit-or-miss developer. Some of their games are good and some are bad. In the end though, every game has a cheap feeling to it. Atari doesn’t have a huge budget which leads to lackluster quality and content.
Oh well, maybe one day I will get a good journalism focused video game.
Game of Death
You play as a dude who gets in a car wreck, hospitalized and dreams about a world where he has to kill infamous serial killers….sounds amazing!
Killing the serial killers isn’t as simple as pointing a gun and shooting. If said killer was known for killing people with shotguns, he has to be killed using a shotgun. This means exploring each level for the right ingredients of murder.
It sounds horrible and begs for controversy but…I want it! The screenshots are eerie. I can just imagine the tense ambiance of tracking down a terrifying killer.
Unfortunately the developers Burns Games sort of disappeared. The game was never finished and ultimately vanished.
Rainbow 6: Patriots
I love the Rainbow Six series. I saw Rainbow 6: Patriots on the cover of Gameinformer and was instantly in love.
It was weird that the title was 6 instead of Six like usual but whatever.
Patriots had a story that truly intrigued me. You were tasked with eliminating US domestic terrorists. Any time a game took place on US soil I was instantly excited. This is because in military shooters the US is usually a safe place. All the conflict is being had overseas with enemies from Russia or China. Your own countrymen being the enemy creates a more tense situation.
The real tragedy behind the cancellation is the replacement.
Patriots was going to be a singleplayer game with multiplayer tacked on. You could control your AI teammates by giving detailed breach instructions like the previous games. Once it was cancelled Ubisoft started over and made Rainbow Six: Siege.
What changed? Siege is multiplayer only. The first Rainbow Six game to go this route. It’s disappointing because Rainbow Six was always a singleplayer focused game. I talk about why I hate multiplayer games in a previous article. So I will save the soap box rant.
Cancellations are very common. It happens all the time for all sorts of reasons. This list only contains five of the thousands that Unforseen64 has. They not only list PC games but a wide range of consoles and handhelds.
It’s always nice to see a video game preservation website. Go visit the Unseen64 website and check out their hard work!
Was there a game you were hyped for that got cancelled? Let us know in the comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org!