Some of the reasons for game cancellation are realistic, such as budget limitations, changes in the company, or time constraints. Although cancellation can be frustrating for both gamers and game developers, these reasons are quite understandable.
However, sometimes game cancellations can occur for the crazier reasons possible. Imagine spending all your time making a video game; then it gets canceled because it can’t be played on a certain game console or a vengeful wife destroys all the work. Yes! It can happen.
Game development is no simple task; lots of hours and effort goes into it. So, it’s wise to know the things to avoid, so your game doesn’t get canceled. Here you’ll find tips on how to avoid video game cancellation from game developers.
2021 is coming soon and as every year we’d like to review what we did in the last 12 months for Unseen64 and make some plans for the new year. 2020 was a difficult year for the whole world: we hope you and your family could be safe, while we look forward to a better 2021. Unseen64 is just a small website about video games: there are much more important things to care about in our real lives (health, friends, family, happiness), and it’s vital to remember it during these hard times.
Keeping this in mind, we still try to archive some memories of cancelled video games. As most of you know we work on Unseen64 in our own free time, after long hours of our day-jobs. We take away this extra time from our lives just to search info on lost games, write articles, read Unseen64 related emails, reply to messages on social networks, resolve technical issues on the website, save media and try to contact developers.
Here are some of the lost games we archived on Unseen64 in 2020:
There are now more than 3.200 unseen games archived on Unseen64!
You see just a few articles published on the site every week, but to keep Unseen64 online and updated we invest dozens of hours of work every month. As in the last few years 95% of the needed work is done by monokoma, as it has become harder and harder to find more people who can help the site steadily.
In 2020 we had the same issues as in the last few years, so the following points are just a reminder of our fragile situation. People are not much interested in a website like Unseen64, especially when popular cancelled games were already unveiled in the past, with lots of great videos talking about them on Youtube:
We still have hundreds of lost games for console and PC to write about, but most of them are obscure projects by small studios. There are no more popular projects like “Resident Evil 1.5” or “Sonic Xtreme” to uncover or it’s quite rare to gather information about them.
Even for those obscure and little cancelled games, it became harder to receive more details and write good articles. Some years ago we could contact 5 developers who worked on a lost game and we would get at least 2 or 3 answers. Now we contact 10 or 20 developers and 99% of the time we never get any answer. The Internet has become a fearsome place, where news could deform and spread uncontrollably on social networks. Many developers seem scared to talk about their old jobs, because they don’t want to get in trouble for talking to a small website.
Today most of our research time is spent checking old magazines, going deep into hundreds of useless Google results, finding developers portfolios, trying to load vanished websites on the Web Archive, checking abandoned forums and communities to find a few mentions about obscure games no one remembers.
Without being able to get in contact with developers, we cannot save more screenshots or footage for many lost games we are researching. With no exclusive images or videos, we cannot keep up with Patreon higher tier bonuses. As we wrote on Patreon, please just donate what you can really afford, just how much you think it’s worth keeping U64 alive. We cannot ensure anything more than our love for lost video games (even the most obscure, boring ones) and our mission to remember them.
Most people are not interested in supporting an old website in the age of Youtube.
Since 2019 we just dropped our plans to create new videos, because we can’t get new information from developers. With the few details, screens and videos available it’s best if we focus on preserving them on our website.
Even with all these limitations, we survived 2020 thanks toyour kind help and support.
We still work every week to keep Unseen64 online and updated:
We keep remembering those obscure lost games on Unseen64, even if most people don’t care about them.
We keep sending emails to developers, even if 99% of the time we never get a reply.
We write as much as we can about a lost game, by doing deep-research online, in old magazines, closed websites, developers’ resumes and online portfolios.
Unseen64 support on Patreon remained stable in 2020 (it did not grow, but it did not decrease much compared to 2019).
We keep working on other methods to raise funds (as with StoryBundle ebooks and publishing short physical books using the same content we have on the site).
Patreon is essential for the survival of a niche project like Unseen64, a 20-year old website managed with love and sleep-deprivation mostly by just one italian guy.
We are grateful for your kind words and your help: without our PatronsUnseen64 would already have been closed many years ago. You prompt us to keep doing this, even during the hardest times.
We’d like to thank all of you who are currently helping U64 on Patreon:
The Supreme Commander of the Cyber-Chihuahua Ninja Army, chubigans, Malkavio, gamemast15r, ▓░▓▓▓▒▓▓▓▓▓▓))), Denhette, Nick Ostrem, Becki Bradsher, Nelson Parra, EasterRomantic, TS, Jerry Graham, Kyle Allen, Matthew Geoffino, Shane Gill, Faisal AlKubaisi, Strider Ryoken, cyborgpluviophile, Itay Brenner, Marty Thao, Alex Schaeffer, James P Branam-Lefkove, Jake Baldino, Riptide, Reoko, Kaleb Ratcliff, Tony, Nolan Snoap, Case Davis, Christopher Cornwell, Peter Lewis, Lachlan Pini, Pedro, Robert Dyson, Brandon, Goffredo, Lou, PtoPOnline, Alpha 3, Topottsel, Matthew Gyure, Joe Tangco, Brice Onken, James Jackson, Mauro Labate, Olivier Cahagne, Bransfield, tydaze, The Video Game History Foundation, Ben Salvidrim, Cameron Banga, MARTAZIA A BROWN, Daniel, Liam Robertson, joef0x, DidYouKnowGaming, Nick Robinson, Thibaut Renaux, sheq2, NuclearSaber, allan paxton, Ehren Minnich, Nathan Wittstock, Rylan Taylor, Gabe Canada and everyone else! (did we forget someone?)
A few old beta / pre-release versions of the following games were found by Steve in an old (original) Xbox Development Kit:
Rainbow Six (late 2004)
XIII (dec 2002)
Brothers in Arms (Nov 2004)
Ghost Recon 2 (aug 2004)
The full XDK dump was shared online ad it’s available to be saved. Please, upload it on mirrors if you can, to be sure to preserve all the files. If you find any interesting differences / unused models hidden in the code, feel free to share your finds with the video games preservation community at:
Colliderz is a cancelled sci-fi arcade sport game with hovercraft (think Rocket League but sci-fi hockey), planned to be released for Sega Saturn and Playstation. We had an old entry in our archive, posted in 2008. Recently a prototype of the Sega Saturn version was found and you can now download it from one of these mirrors. It should work with emulators such as Mednafen.
“just drag and drop the cue file into Mednafen and it works, loading the cue in other emulators might work too”
Please download it and share it with your friends: the more copies are around, the better we can preserve it!
Huge thanks to Hidden Palace for their help in making this playable on Emulators!
Even though it usually involves a large combination of skilled teams working together as fast as they can, developing a blockbuster-level videogame can take at least five years on average, according to a Quora response from a freelance video game programmer, Mike Prinke.
He states that creating the various textures and character interactions that you see during gameplay is an incredibly time-consuming process with a lot of trial and error. Debugging faulty code can also cause a giant domino effect, potentially stalling your eagerly anticipated game release, along with all the other complex factors involved.
Without further ado, here’s our list of games that have taken many years to develop:
Initially, it was in development for the PlayStation system when it was announced in 1999 but was eventually moved to the Nintendo GameCube system in 2000, then finally to the Xbox 360 in 2005. This lengthy release time is mostly attributed to changes in partnership agreements and the very controversial code theft from Epic Games by Silicon Knights. If you’re curious, it should still be available to download on the Xbox game store for free (as of July 2019), according to a Forbes article on ‘The Bizarre Story Behind ‘Too Human’ — The Game That Killed Silicon Knights’.
2. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty – 7 years
StarCraft II is one of the games credited by the community to contribute to the prolific rise of esports. Why did this game take so long to develop despite the success of its predecessor? For one, an article by Variety on StarCraft II and the esports industry recalls how a 2009 interview reported that the game would no longer include local area network (LAN) support and operate on a new platform. This was met with uproar from many fans, with a survey reporting 83 percent of respondents planned to spam Amazon with one-star ratings until it was reinstalled. Eventually, the game was released in 2010 after spending seven long years in development, also due to the temporary reassignment of Blizzard’s resources to the World of Warcraft franchise.
At the height of its popularity, players on a GameFaqs message board couldn’t help but compare StarCraft II to Age of Empires III, the latest iteration of a series of critically acclaimed real-time strategy (RTS) video games that focus on several historical events. Both games are still being played to this day, but it looks like Blizzard has put StarCraft on the backburner, with no news on a potential StarCraft III. Meanwhile, HP reports that Age of Empires IV is already in the works, 13 years after the last game was released. It’s been over two years since Age of Empires IV was announced, so we’ll see how long it takes the devs to finish that one.
3. Final Fantasy XV – 10 years
A highly successful franchise, Final Fantasy’s fifteenth iteration, unfortunately, spent a decade in development. It was initially introduced in 2006, but after many years of silence, the lack of updates, a title change, a director change, and the platform change, one of the Final Fantasy XV designers blamed its lengthy release on the development team, according to an article on Inquisitr on why it took 10 years. The designer Roberto Ferrari (who has since left the development team) referred to the team as highly disorganized, with a staff of “200 suffering souls.” The game’s story changed every three months or so requiring constant changes in terms of its animation. The good news is that its 2016 release has been received relatively well by fans, currently being rated at 81 percent on Metacritic and ranking 8.2 out of 10 on IGN.
Although they’ve spent almost a decade (or a whole decade) in development, many fans would say that these releases are worth the wait. Anticipation can make the heart grow fonder, and in the world of video games, there’s always something new to play in the meantime to keep the wait from becoming too painful.
And as we know well, being release late it’s always better than being cancelled and lost forever.
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