Undeserved Rejection: Top 5 Canceled Video Games

These games could have been great. We'll never know.

James Kozanitisby James Kozanitis

Sometimes a game just doesn’t pan out. The publishers look at what the developers have to offer, and decide that the product is not up to par. This sort of quality control can be a sad, but necessary part of the gaming industry, ensuring only the best make it to the shelves. Other times, though, for no fault of the developer, a game folds, and the world goes on without what could have been a great success.

Related: BioWare’s Shadow Realms Has Been Canceled

Here’s a look at the top 5 games that didn’t deserve to be canceled.

5. City of the Dead

Announced in 2004 for a 2006 Q1 release date, City of the Dead was a zombie first-person-shooter based entirely off George A. Romero’s “Living Dead” film series. This had fan service written all over it, right down to Tom Savini-led cast. I’m sure gamers would have loved to see Savini, a regular star in Romero’s films, as a video game character they can use to blow away zombies in some of the most over-the-top ragdoll gore of that time. In the end, all we got was a trailer.

The game was never announced as canceled; it just sort of … died. It’s publisher was Hip Interactive, and if you just said “who?”, it’s because they folded mid production and have never made anything since. Oh well.

4. Six Days in Fallujah

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How developer Atomic Games didn’t see the amount of controversy they were inviting by making a game about a real-life brutal battle, practically while the guns were still smoking, I do not know. They went about it as sensitively as possible, for sure, by consulting with several members of the military who were involved with the titular battle. Even then they had to see this coming. Six Days in Fallujah fell victim to a different kind of cancellation.

The game isn’t even officially canceled; just unreleased. No publisher will touch it. Its publisher at the time of development, Konami, pulled out, which is especially questionable since they were simultaneously releasing the Saw video games that¬†featured graphic torture. That’s how you know.

This game had potential, too. Atomic Games wasn’t kidding about their military influence. Six Days in Fallujah was set to be the most realistic military shooter of the generation, featuring a heavy emphasis on surviving in an unpredictable, violent atmosphere, in addition to 100 percent destructible environments.

3. Shadow Realms

Man, it would have been really nice to see an asymmetric, 4v1 multiplayer game that isn’t just a cleverly disguised $60 cash cow (you know who you are). Yes, Shadow Realms, the game that inspired this top-list, deserves a spot on this list. The depth on display at Gamescom in terms of characters and playstyles will be missed by the modern market, especially since BioWare simply dropped this game to work on Dragon Age: Inquisition and the next Mass Effect.

This is the self-inflicted type of cancellation, not influenced by the publisher. BioWare chose to work on more sequels, rather than an original title. For the individuals who worked so hard on this game, and the fans who were anxious to play it, this was a crushing disappointment.

2. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Patriots

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Rainbow Six: Patriots was going to be a battle between a militant faction of self-proclaimed do-gooders that went around executing corrupt Wall Street execs and Team Rainbow, who stood in the way for justice and due process. Ubisoft basically asked the question “what if Occupy Wall Street was a first-person-shooter.”

The world may never know the answer to that question, as Ubisoft pulled out to work on Rainbow Six: Siege. Not to mention that the development for Patriots was shaky at best. The whole team was shook up by personnel changes, and were otherwise silent about the project for three years, after announcing the game in 2011.

Maybe it was for the best, since Siege looks like a boatload of fun, but what if?

1. Star Wars 1313

In any comment thread on gameplay videos of Star Wars 1313, you’ll see more condemnation of Disney than you would at a feminist convention’s seminar on Beauty and the Beast. This would have made The Order: 1886 look like a travesty (not that it will have much trouble doing that on its own), by showing off how you can make a story-driven, third-person cover shooter with a little pizazz and innovation.

Related: LucasArts Closed Down, Star Wars 1313 Canceled

But why the Disney hate? Simple. Star Wars 1313 was being developed by LucasArts, which Disney disbanded after buying. For your consideration: