Anticipation can turn into disappointment so often in the video game world. Canceled video game sequels can feel devastating, especially those that promise to contribute to fantastic franchises. Whether the cancellation feels justified or not, it's always worth taking note of these failed projects. No game gets canceled without a reason.
1. Saints Row: Money Shot
Saints Row: The Third plays, looks, and sounds great today. As such, the game got some notable post-launch support and even a remaster for modern platforms years later. The game took at least one loss behind the scenes, though.
Saints Row: Money Shot seemed poised to provide a prequel story to the main game and even offer new gameplay concepts with controlling the trajectory and speed of bullets as they pursue their targets. Developer Volition suffered setbacks, though. Details on how it all went down remain scarce, but Volition canceled the game and repackaged some of the content into free DLC bonuses for Saints Row: The Third.
2. Silent Hills
Silent Hills—a title legendary among canceled video game sequels—will continue to ring through gaming conversations for many years to come.
Hideo Kojima’s upcoming Silent Hill sequel looked promising, even from the rather brief hands-on demo, P.T. The playable teaser that Konami released said it all, though there was never any confirmation if P.T. was indicative of what the finished product would be. This game would spur on the exact sort of revival that Silent Hill needed. Konami’s highly publicized falling out with Kojima led to its untimely cancellation.
All’s well that ends well, though, as gamers will get new Silent Hill games from Konami and great new experiences from Kojima in the coming years.
3. Thief 3
Thief 2 built on the original Thief game quite well and made an excellent sequel. Despite this, and sales looking decent for the game, the financial woes of the developer became too much for them.
Developer Looking Glass shut down just as they started making Thief 3, thus the game wound up on the cutting room floor. Now that Embracer Group owns the IP, maybe a new game could emerge one day. Never say never!
4. Castlevania: Resurrection
Castlevania had a knack for appearing on every console it could for a long time, and Castlevania: Resurrection would have been Konami’s first Dreamcast effort in the series. Slumping sales for Sega’s final system and the enticing extra power afforded to developers on other platforms became irresistible, though.
This remains a sad cancellation for Dreamcast owners, but on the bright side, Resurrection’s demise gave the upcoming Lament of Innocence more resources, which worked out well for that game.
5. Zone of the Enders 3
The Zone of the Enders games have always enjoyed a small but dedicated fanbase. Konami’s attempts at growing that fanbase fell short, though.
While Zone of the Enders 3 development started, Konami released an HD collection for PS3 and the Xbox 360. Sales wound up far lower than what Konami anticipated, though, and Zone of the Enders 3 met its abrupt end.
As with Metal Gear Solid, another Kojima-led franchise, it’ll stay tough to know what the future holds for this series now that the creator has moved on from Konami.
6. Fable Legends
Fable Legends seemed to make a lot of sense on paper. The first three games garnered great success, but to do more of the same for a fourth time would prove risky. So Lionhead Studios and Microsoft decided to switch gears for the next game.
Fable Legends would attempt a more multiplayer-focused experience to fit in with the gaming trends of the time. This idea lost value as development chugged along and gaming trends continued to shift. Fable Legends also became more expensive than Microsoft had anticipated. Given the style of the game falling out of vogue and the ballooning budgetary concerns, Fable Legends joined the dubious list of canceled video game sequels.
7. Timesplitters 4
Timesplitters games have aged well. Many first-person shooter fans cite any of the first three Timesplitters as their favorites, or at least among them.
Still, for reasons undisclosed, Timesplitters 4 never came about. First announced as an exclusive for the PlayStation 3, Timesplitters 4 generated hype that still simmers among gamers today. More recently, Deep Silver said they intend to bring the series back to life. Maybe they will, but with more than a decade between now and the last game, perhaps gamers should keep expectations in check.
8. Prey 2
Like the original, Prey 2 seemed well on its way to becoming a strange combination of science fiction, the supernatural, and great first-person shooting action. Gamers never saw much of it, but with the official announcement came plenty of excitement.
Reports about Prey 2’s multiple internal delays, reboots, and quality concerns trickled in over the years. Eventually, Prey 2 would get the ax, though the public would never know why. The Prey reboot would eventually surface from Bethesda to above-average reviews but wouldn’t do well enough to warrant a sequel of its own.
9. Fez 2
Fez captured a large audience and remains a well-known indie gem. Despite this, the sequel never made it to the finish line.
Between drama among the development team and other growing pains in the chaotic indie dev space, Fez 2 had no chance. The game’s creator left the industry and doomed the excellent gameplay to never resurface in a real sequel. Fez still holds up as a great time, though, and still surfaces in many conversations about great indie classics.
10. Doom 4
Doom 4 spent a long time in development before its scrapping. Reports of multiple issues, including lukewarm reception in focus groups, seem to point to a game that tried too many things and just didn’t feel like a proper Doom game.
Some rumors have surfaced that Doom 4 felt more like a standard Call of Duty-style shooter than anything that resembled previous Doom titles. If true, this might have been a recipe for disaster. Given that, Doom 4 becomes a rare case of a sequel that we’re glad never materialized, especially considering how fantastic Doom (2016) would be. Sometimes, the best thing a developer can do is return to the drawing board.
11. Star Wars: Battlefront III
The ever-evolving nature of the gaming landscape has given rise to an incalculable amount of video game cancellations. Star Wars: Battlefront III seems like yet another game that didn’t fit what gamers wanted at the time.
Despite Battlefront II (2005) garnering a healthy amount of success, developer Free Radical Design decided against finishing it. This led to a massive wave of disappointment among fans of the original two games, which seems to question the developer’s reasoning for the cancellation. Nevertheless, Battlefront would re-emerge years later in a rebooted duology from DICE.
12. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Patriots
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Patriots faced several difficulties after its announcement in 2011.
Patriots seemed poised as a modern follow-up to the excellent Rainbow 6 series. Excitement grew among tactical shooter fans as a result. The public never learned much about its development issues – at least in an official capacity. Unconfirmed reports would trickle in and mention everything from quality control to conceptual conflicts until development would officially end in 2014.
The good news? The outstanding Rainbow Six: Siege would rise from the ashes and deliver a great experience just a year later.
13. Conker: Gettin' Medieval
As a multiplayer-focused title, Conker: Gettin' Medieval did not generate much excitement from Conker fans. The released footage looked fine all-in-all, but it also reeked of just using a beloved IP to chase trends.
Using Death as a main character and relegating Conker himself as a side character might have made the game stand out but also may have made it feel weird. The now-infamous reveal video released by Rare garners a mix of opinions today, but at the time, the cancellation seemed understandable.
14. Clay Fighter: Call of Putty
The Clay Fighter series never quite broke through into the mainstream. Nevertheless, Nintendo announced another entry in the niche series for its DSi and Wii platforms in 2009.
Since then, the developer mentioned next to nothing about the game until abandoning it in early 2011. Reasons for the cancellation still elude the public, but given that the series never seemed super popular and Nintendo began gearing up for the WiiU around the same time, it seems they just had other priorities.
The strange and mild humor of the Clay Fighter games can still bring some momentary enjoyment on the NES, SNES, Genesis, and N64, though.
15. The Thing II
In 2002, horror gamers were sent to the deepest reaches of Antarctica to uncover the mysterious events that unfolded at Outpost 31. The Thing for PC, PS2, and Xbox was a surprisingly well-made third-person shooter based on John Carpenter's iconic IP. That it was a good movie game that logically expanded on the story was surprising enough to begin with, but the fact that it was pegged to get a sequel seems almost underheard of for games based on movies.
Unfortunately, the developer, Computer Artworks, entered into receivership. While development hadn’t officially started by the time The Thing II was canceled, Computer Artworks had put together concept art, laid out locations, created several enemy designs, and even had ideas for a dynamic infection system and elaborate Thing reveals.
16. Among Us 2
Because of the booming success of the original, Among Us 2 simply isn't in the cards for Innersloth. Yes, you read that properly. You may never see an Among Us 2 because the original garnered a ton of attention, which sounds like the opposite should be true.
At the time of the sequel's announcement, the original was enjoying moderate success. Then, the pandemic hit, and suddenly, everyone was looking for a way to engage one another. By August 2020, we were itching for human interaction, and Among Us proved the perfect outlet. The game's popularity soared, and Innersloth eventually decided it was best to focus on the original rather than dive into a follow-up.