Canceled Video Games That Deserve a Second Chance

Agent, cancelled video game logo canceled video games

It never feels good when our favorite games are canceled. While some projects run over budget or fall behind schedule and thus earn the axe, gamers lament any video game getting scrapped. Often, some of these canceled projects looked rather promising before being put to pasture. That said, sometimes, these projects get retooled and resurrected.

With a grain of hope in mind, find here canceled video games that could still become a smash if someone would just give them a second chance. 

1. Agent

Cancelled Agent video game
Image Credit: Rockstar North.

Early in the Playstation 3’s life Rockstar’s upcoming game Agent moved far into development. Lots of big talk from Sony and Rockstar built sizable excitement for the game, and yet, it would never materialize. As soon as it became a well-known project, it went dark.

Years went by without any official word on the status of Agent other than a few high-profile renewals of the trademark, and it was abandoned. From what Rockstar said all those years ago, Agent poised itself as a stealth game with a focus on espionage and precise shooting, and that would make an excellent addition to libraries and Rockstar’s diverse roster of games. 

2. Fable Legends

Fable Legends
Image Credit: Microsoft Studios.

The Fable series has lay dormant for several years, and missed a lot of opportunities in that time. Supposedly, a new game was on the way in the form of some sort of reboot, but Fable Legends was something else entirely.

With a focus on multiplayer, cross-play, and a massive budget, we can’t help but wonder what this could have been. The game missed its 2016 release window and got canceled shortly afterward. There’s room for online spin-offs provided they don’t take away from the main series. Nowadays, the gaming masses love online games, so maybe there could be a place for this one day.

3. Prey 2

Prey 2
Image Credit: Bethesda Softworks.

The original Prey became a sleeper hit with its strange mix of mystical magic, science fiction, and a dash of horror for good measure. While it didn’t blow the lid off the industry at release, it grew in popularity among shooter fans until the appetite for a sequel became undeniable. A sequel was planned, but alas, Prey 2 would never quite make it. According to Bethesda, the game failed to meet their “expectations.” Whatever that means.

Despite being in development for several years, and reportedly reaching a very playable state, Bethesda canceled Prey 2 in 2014, with a full-on reboot of the franchise releasing just a few years later that. While great, it felt so divorced from the original Prey in almost every conceivable way. A true sequel to the original Prey still sounds like a good idea.

4. Star Wars 1313

Star Wars 1313
Image Credit: LucasArts.

Hot off the heels of three excellent Dead Space games, Visceral Entertainment dove into a promising Star Wars game with a unique setting and darker tone than most would expect from that IP. The reveal trailer for Star Wars 1313 generated an abundance of interest in the project, and fans of Visceral’s previous work had understandable hype for their next outing.

Sadly, it was not meant to be, as Disney’s acquisition of the IP would prove 1313’s downfall. Disney would become the grim reaper for several canceled video games around this time, but 1313’s dismissal perhaps hurts the most. Maybe as Disney continues to run out of ideas for the franchise today, this game will look more appealing to them, as it always has to the rest of us.

5. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Patriots

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Patriots
Image Credit: Ubisoft.

The Rainbow Six series has enjoyed several great games, and Patriots seemed positioned to become yet another one. Sadly, Ubisoft would cancel the game in 2014, with Rainbow Six: Siege emerging shortly after.

While we love Siege and can’t imagine a world without it, we also would like to know more about what Patriots could have been. The story involved some sort of radicalized militia group taking over sections of New York City, and that remains a rather interesting concept. Maybe one day this concept can reemerge, but with Ubisoft’s renewed focus on Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Prince of Persia, it’s hard to say where this game would fit in.

6. Scalebound

Scalebound
Image Credit: Microsoft Studios.

Platinum Games still enjoys a decent reputation despite axing multiple projects in recent years, some of which wound up canceled. Scalebound, in particular, looked like a promising effort with massive dragons and a Devil May Cry vibe that felt maybe a tad too similar to its inspiration.

Behind the scenes, though, things deteriorated between Microsoft and Platinum as deadlines passed and the budget was misused to some extent. This led to Microsoft canning the project and cutting ties with Platinum Games. This concept could recapture the hype it earned with its announcement if Microsoft ever decided to revive it.

7. Gotham by Gaslight

Gotham by Gaslight prototype footage
Image Credit: THQ.

Day 1 Studios reportedly went to work with Gotham By Gaslight, an action-adventure Batman game that would focus more on the noir and dark detective story elements that made the comic so endearing. A Gotham City version of Jack the Ripper and a dedicated slow-motion button would have sealed the deal for this game as one of the more unique Batman games.

Sadly, due to THQ’s inability to secure the rights to the IP in time, the project was abandoned before it could really get off the ground. This one deserves a second look for obvious reasons. With the Arkham games having reached their conclusions and the Batman IP feeling a bit aimless, something like Gotham By Gaslight could be just the shot in the arm it needs.

8. Silent Hills

Silent Hills
Image Credit: Konami.

This one hurts. Sometime around 2014, Hideo Kojima, Guillermo del Toro, and Norman Redus set out to deliver what would be one of the greatest horror games of all time and would have done so if not for a massive falling out between Kojima and his long-time employer Konami that messed everything up.

Sadly the canceled video game seems dead as a doornail, as Kojima has long since moved on to other projects, and Konami has decided to go the reboot route with Silent Hill for now. Maybe one day, after enough time has passed, could these folks could reunite for the sake of art? Probably not, but Silent Hills deserves it.

9. Half-Life 3

Half-Life video game logo
Image Credit: Sierra Studios.

Valve’s unflinching dedication to avoid third installments of their greatest franchises remains steadfast, but nowhere does this generate more discontent than in the absence of a real Half-Life 3. To make it sting even more, the third installment of the series existed at one point.

Conflicting reports exist about whether this was intended as a third expansion of Half-life 2 or a full-on sequel, but whatever it was, it got canceled. As Valve's interest shifted towards their Steam platform and supporting live service games like Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead 2, it makes sense that a new single-player game would fall out of favor. 

10. Shadow Realms

Shadow Realms, cancelled video game
Image Credit: Electronic Arts.

At one time, being developed by Bioware felt like enough of a signal that a game should be good. As such, fans of Mass Effect and Dragon Age felt excited in 2014 when Shadow Realms seemed like a rather interesting departure from their previous works. The dark fantasy setting and class-based action would have worked out well, but sadly Bioware dropped the project early in development. Given how some of their recent projects have fared, it might be time to give Shadow Realms another shot.

11. Pathogen-X

Pathogen-X demo
Image Credit: Sodaraptor.

Classic horror fans don’t feel exactly hard up for retro-inspired survival horror games these days, but Pathogen-X shaped up well, nevertheless. With authentic PS1-style graphics, fixed camera angles, and an emphasis on disturbing imagery and extreme violence, Pathogen-X garnered some attention. Sadly, for undisclosed reasons, the game’s website has it’s status listed as “canceled” with no updates in over two years. 

12. Tekken X Street Fighter

Street Fighter X Tekken
Image Credit: Capcom.

Street Fighter X Tekken wasn’t Capcom's most profitable fighter, nor was it received super well by critics, but it was an interesting diversion that put a huge roster from Tekken and Street Fighter together in Street Fighter’s universe. The idea was to follow this up with the opposite; a similar roster but in a Tekken game.

Maybe it was because of the lukewarm reception to the first game, or maybe it was Tekken 7’s success, but somewhere along the way Capcom decided to abandon the follow-up. Fighting game enthusiasts still bring it up from time to time, so whenever Capcom feels ready to revisit the idea, maybe they can rescue it from the purgatory of canceled video games.

13. Mega Man Universe

Preview of cancelled Mega Man Universe
Image Credit: Capcom.

A Mega Man game with a huge emphasis on customization might sound odd, and perhaps that contributed to its cancellation. Creating custom Mega Man levels to share online still sounds as enticing as it did back in 2010 when Capcom announced the game. Not long after that however, Mega Man Universe would suffer major setbacks with departures from the development team and Capcom taking some negative criticism of its early build to heart.

Capcom canceled the game sometime the following year. Regardless of what went wrong here, Mega Man Universe has tons of potential as a concept. Perhaps with a fresh team and new direction the game could build on that potential one day.

Author: John W

Title: Gaming writer

Expertise: Modern/retro gaming, film, and tech

Bio:

John is a writer and video producer with deep knowledge of retro and modern gaming that is matched only by his affinity for the same. Coming from the world of radio and journalism, John brings an educational and informative tone to his work in an effort to make sure his readers and listeners always learn something.