Seriously though, Development Hell is a terrible and unforgiving plane of existence. It sits right in between the 5th layer of Hell and New Jersey. There are plenty of occupants in Developer Hell but some outrank the others. If you had to make some sort of tiered list of titles found in this horrifying place, the follow five are the ones found in what the fighting cycles call, the God Tier.
What started as just a mild case of Trademark Registry turned into actual demand by the Chrono fanbase. If you haven’t played the classic SNES (DS or PS1) game Chrono Trigger and you consider yourself a fan of the RPG genre, just please donate all your games to charity. You don’t deserve to play anymore. Chrono Trigger is one of the top rated RPG games ever and its sequel Chrono Cross is highly regarded. It’s no overstatement to say that this series is one of the top billed franchises in gaming history. It’s just that respected.
Let’s get this out of the way now, though. Chrono Break is NOT a real game. At least as far as we all know. Square-Enix has denied its existence and called the trademark registry just a formality and a business opportunity. Fans on the other hand don’t believe that bull hokey. I don’t, either. I believe that Square has some sort of playable concept for a third Chrono game. I won’t go out on a limb and say it’s definitely Break but it’s something. There has to be some sort of third game in this series, even if they abandoned the concept mid-development.
Back in 2008 the company expressed a wanting to retain the original Chrono Trigger team to make a sequel and that the project is way too big to think about when they have other projects on the table. With the way Final Fantasy Versus XIII is coming along, I think we can safely say that Chrono Break will forever remain a gamer’s fantasy.
But for nostalgia’s sake…
Officially, this game has not been cancelled. Realistically, though? You’ll never play it. Ghost was set to follow Nova, a recurring character in StarCraft but it has went through major delays and a development cycle that started in 2002 and was indefinitely put on hold in 2006. Blizzard refuses to officially put the cancelled stamp on this game, however. Does that mean hope survives for this side game? Yeaaaaaahhh, I don’t think so.
Ghost was actually coming along pretty nice and looked to bring the StarCraft universe into a whole new genre. The lauded RTS genre has a lot going on for itself in terms of story, enemies, locations, and lore. There is definitely room to expand into different genres here. Blizzard apparently just doesn’t have the time.
For a company that has seldom releases, that excuse is just too unbelievable. Back in 2002, World of Warcraft must have been in full development mode which makes Ghost a back fiddle. Blizzard was pining most of their resources and future business success on the MMO. Ghost just had no room on the dev floor then. However, after 2005 there must have been enough free hands and minds to throw some work into Ghost. StarCraft at that time was seven years old and fans were really hoping to see another title release, RTS or not.
I blame Blizzard’s focus on WoW and who couldn’t? The game was put “on hold” in 2006. What was Blizz working on? The Burning Crusade. What about after that, though? There’s a few years gap between Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King. In that time Blizzard could have focused on Ghost and finally pushed it out the door. Instead, it basically cancels the game and refuses to admit that it will never see the light of day.
Poor shame, too. At least the novel was pretty good.
Star Wars Battlefront 3
I swear you can’t go one month without a mention of this game. Go on reddit’s r/gaming once every 20 days and I promise you’ll see something like this:
However, I’ll admit that I was hoping to see it come out one day. It’s been through so many rumors, disclaimers, cancellations, set backs, and petitions. It was originally talked about back in 2006 when a website said that Free Radical was finally working on it. Free Radical said in 2008 that they lost the rights to make the game. The co-founder for Free Radical even admitted this year that they worked on the game and had it basically finished since 2008.
So what happened? LucasArts was apparently not up to marketing the game and it was pushed to the infinite backburner. Are you for real, LucasArts? Battlefront and its sequel were some of the best selling Star Wars games and even the PSP disasters did well enough. What could have been so important that you just couldn’t market it? It already had an audience and plenty of people petitioning for its release. What a joke.
In April of this year pre-alpha footage of Free Radical’s Battlefront 3 surfaced on YouTube and while there was so much missing from it, it was satisfying to finally see proof that the game existed and was… somewhat… playable. It is sad to think that Battlefront 3 will never make it out on store shelves but you have to believe, with everything fans have tried, that it won’t.
Too Human 2
Dennis Dyack and the Silicon Knights (which sounds like a terrible band name) have been a hell of their own making with the legal battle against Epic Games. Dyack has expressed that he wants to finish the trilogy of Too Human and to be quite honest, I’d like him to do that. I had a ton of fun with Too Human. Was it what everything hoped it would be after a 10-year wait? No, probably not. However, it did scratch a fancy that I had: 3D Diablo with Norse mythology. Yes, I had that itch.
Too Human got a lot of grief from gamers and review sites but really, it was mindless fun with an interesting control scheme and a really, really cool story. The co-op was crazy with enemies flying around, swords swinging around, guns a-blazing, and some sick skills to boost that experience. It wasn’t a perfect game by any stretch of the imagination but it was definitely unique.
Silicon Knights is an injured company both financially and mentally but I sincerely hope this series continues, especially after that cliffhanger of an ending. However, as it stands right now, I can’t see this company or Dyack’s ego surviving a development cycle like this. The machine-fueled, Norse-driven action RPG will most likely never see the light of day. Barring, unless, Canada giving more truckloads of money to Silicon Knights.
NBA Live — err, I mean Elite — no wait, Live… for now, maybe
Yeah, that’s exactly what EA Sports is doing right now with its basketball game franchise. They have no clue how to topple the mighty 2K machine. NBA 2K has dominated sales for years now and it became so embarrassing that EA cancelled NBA Live 11 to give it a “retooling”. It needed it. Badly.
So what did they come up with? NBA Elite 11. This was supposed to be a reboot of the franchise and really did 2K a what-for. How did it do? … Oh. That’s even more embarrassing. Elite never released. In fact, they delayed development to once again “retool” the series. This turned out to be a recurring theme with EA Sports and basketball. EA missed 2011, 2012, and now 2013′s annual basketball release. Just recently we saw the cancellation of Live 13. They just can’t figure this out.
So why is this on the list if it is cancelled? Because the series will continue. One day. What was NBA Live 11, Elite 11, Live 12, Live 13 and so forth is an on-going experiment to see what the company can do to make it back to the limelight. The problem is that every year NBA 2K seems to outdo itself and make basketball fans happier than ever. That’s when development over at EA Sports halts to a crashing stop just to realize their still in-development game is not as good as last year’s or the current year’s 2K offering.
I have a feeling this will continue to go on and EA will stupidly continue to spend money on the NBA licence. Listen guys, 2K owns digital basketball. If you haven’t found a way to take back the throne, you never will. NBA Live will sit in limbo and be known as the little engine that couldn’t.
Besides, Jay-Z disapproves of your constant tomfoolery.
What other rumored or once confirmed sequels do you believe are dead in the water? Let us know below in the comments.