Each and every week I take a look back at some games franchises that have completely disappeared off our radar. From Simpsons Games to MovieTie-In Games ,we’ve covered a variety of games that have released and then promptly disappeared. But what about games that never appeared at all? There are countless games announced at events like E3 that never seem to make the light of day so I figured lets take a slightly different look into the past and look into games we never actually managed to get our hands on despite being announced at a big event.
Let’s kick it off with the most obvious game in this article, referred to by many as the one that got away Rockstar’s Agent. Agent was first announced in 2007 described by them as an open world spy stealth game. Agent saw you playing as the titular spy as you work your way through various “espionage, counter intelligence and political assignations” in the late 1970’s cold war era. The game itself was Originally announced at E3 2009 and was cited as a PS3 exclusive, due to the fantastic relationship Sony had had with Rockstar in the past. But it wasn’t long after the game was announced that we never saw it again. The game became incredibly illustrious, games developers saying it’s “genre defining” and a “whole new way to experience videogames” but as we never really saw anything on the game it’s hard to see how it would shake up the industry. Rockstar have always been revolutionaries when it comes to the games they make but what they had up their sleeves with Agent we’ll never know. After its initial announcement we never heard anything about the game (besides some developers teasing and delaying release dates) until 2011 when we finally got a glimpse of the game. Unfortunately, it’s thought that that glimpse was just a throwback as no words on production still continuing were ever followed up. The only hopes of Agent reappearing now we’re the filed trademarks in 2013 but with nothing following that, GTA Online thriving and Red Dead Redemption 2 on the horizon the likelihood of us seeing Agent again anytime soon are slim to none.
If you were to associate Steven Spielberg with anything game related it’d be Ready Player One, right? Well you’re not thinking in the right head-space because back in 2006 Steven Spielberg released the Wii classic Boom Blox. Boom Blox is essentially Jenga X Angry Birds and was the first of 3 games made in collaboration between Spielberg and EA, but its second game in this deal that I’m interested in (The third was unfortunately just a sequel to Boom Blox). LMNO, a mysterious title with very little information surrounding it other than the constant rumor that this game was as revolutionary to the action genre as Agent was to be for the Sandbox genre. LMNO was developed by Arkane Studios (Dishonoured, Prey (2017)) and was a dark action game which saw you use parkour and other versatile movement characters in partnership with an alien looking character called Eve. But outside of a singular screenshot and announcement this game is very thin on the bones in terms of content. Its clear that the ideas are there as multiple developers have spoken out about the ambitious ideas Spielberg had for the project, but its ambition led to its demise and in 2010 the game got cancelled. It seems to me that Arkane took a lot of inspiration from this though as Arkane flagships title Dishonored takes a lot of cues from the concept of LMNO.
The Wii U Brought us a creation tool for one of history’s greatest platformers, Mario Maker. But what about everyone’s second favorite platformer? What do they do if they can’t make there own levels? Well, they wait until Sonic maker is out. But if you’re lucky (Or unlucky I suppose) enough to be in the converted third favorite platformer category of Mega Man then for a brief time you nearly had your wish granted. Mega Man universe was to be released after the success of Mega Man 9 and 10 and was attempting to cash in on the sudden popularity. The game’s campaign would have been based on Mega Man 2 but the crux of the game would be the players choice to construct their own levels or customize existing levels, using various tools to place platforms, obstacles, enemies and items. The game first came to fruition after a odd stop motion trailer showcasing Ryu (Street Fighter) and Arthur (Ghosts and Goblins) fighting mega man enemies in a kids bedroom (it’s a weird trailer I highly recommend you watch below). But after the lead developer left the project due to art direction problems, it was swiftly cancelled. As much as people would like to see a Mega Man level creator its disappointing to know we may never see out universe MEGAFIED.
Agent wasn’t the only open world game that disappeared entirely, in fact what is arguably an even bigger game than Rockstars Agent is the sequel to much anticipated sequel to Dead Island, Dead Island 2. After the release of Dead Islands half sequel, Riptide, production began on a sequel, announced at E3 2014 Dead Island 2 promised to be a more fun and colourful approach to the very dark survival franchise. But alas not long after the announcement the development problems occurred, Yager (The initial development team working with original creators Deep Silver) fell out of the project due to the age old “Creative differences”. Unfortunately, this also led to the disbandment of Yager studios as a whole and as they filed for insolvency in 2015. Dead island 2 has been very quiet since its first announcement, we saw a few of the cool weapons available, 2 of the 4 characters available to play and a small glimpse of the games San Fransico setting. According to Deep Silver production is still going on the game but the complete radio silence since 2014 leads me to believe the game we first saw in 2014 may never truly see the light of day.
So there’s just a few games that completely vanished after they first got announced, What game would you like to see make a surprise reappearance? Let us know in the comments below!