Have You Seen These Missing Video Games?

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Mirado

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Edited By Mirado
Just slap an image of Crackdown 3 on here and you get the idea.
Just slap an image of Crackdown 3 on here and you get the idea.

Are you old enough to remember seeing pictures of missing kids on milk cartons? It was a program in the US designed to spread awareness and hopefully find someone with information leading to their return. (It was also fairly scary; nothing says "you're next!" to a child like seeing someone your age on one of those cartons every morning.) Looking back, I wonder how many of those kids they actually found, and how effective that program was. But what the hell does this have to do with video games?

Well, I started to think about all the interesting announcements that have come out in years past, and whether or not those trailers ever turned into actual games. Seems like every FIFA game is accompanied by a Below or a Deep Down; something to get hyped up about, followed by years of nothing. I've decided to stick to games announced in E3 2014 or earlier; that means no Final Fantasy VII remake even if we won't be seeing that thing until late 2017 at the earliest. I'm also going with games that have had official announcements and trailers to go with them, which rules out games like Beyond Good and Evil 2 (which had a teaser trailer, but no title or release date announcement), and ones that were never games at all like (dare I say it?) Half Life 3.

So, this is my milk carton equivalent rallying cry: have YOU seen these video games?

Below

  • Announced: E3 2013
  • Current Release Date: 201420152016None.
  • Website: Alive and active.
  • Current Status: Alive, if missing.

Supposedly in development "for years" before being announced at E3 2013, Below has recently been delayed yet again, this time with no targeted release window of any kind, after expecting to be out this summer. There's been a steady stream of trailers and some convention demos to indicate it's still alive, if unreleased, but with an already nebulous release date shifting to none at all, Below isn't inspiring much confidence that we'll see it any time soon.

Crackdown 3

  • Announced: E3 2014
  • Current Release Date: 2017
  • Website: Active
  • Current Status: Alive

Perhaps the poster child for slapping the words "cloud computing" onto things, Crackdown 3 was announced during E3 2014 to the delight of orb collecting fans everywhere. A handful of videos and a few years later, we still have no Crackdown 3, with the last post on the website promising "While we won’t be at E3 [2016], we cannot wait to show you the future of Crackdown 3 soon," although that was three months ago. Current scuttlebutt is that the the delay has more to do with Microsoft's packed holiday release schedule than anything else, although no firm 2017 date has been given.

Cuphead

  • Announced: E3 2014
  • Current Release Date: 2016
  • Website: Very stylish.
  • Current Status: Alive, but hurry the fuck up!

God damn do I want Cuphead. I guess beautiful hand-drawn animation takes a long time, as Cuphead is past the two year mark with nothing to show for it beyond a few trailers and the rare convention demo. I'm not optimistic about a blanket 2016 release date this late into the year, but my hope is that we'll be giving the Devil the ol' finger guns before too long.

Cyberpunk 2077

  • Announced: 5-30-2012 (although the trailer is from 1-10-2013)
  • Current Release Date: Never had one.
  • Website: Very cyber-80s.
  • Current Status: Punching deck and trying not to slip on the ICE, err, in active development.

If I can only have one game on this list, I want this one. Period, full stop. CD Projekt Red has been pretty cagey about Cyberpunk's development, but a few things have slipped out, most notably that it'll handily outdo The Witcher 3 in terms of scope and quality (as TW3 was awesome, that's some big talk), that they upgraded their dev tools to be even better (and how that doesn't mean the game's been on hold), and that we won't hear a damn thing about it until they're ready to show it off.

I'd pull a Cuphead and place dice with the Devil if I could get my hands on this one, but the prospect of a cyberpunk RPG that is bigger and better than TW3 is so appealing that I'm happy to wait.

Dead Island 2 (or SteamDB Unknown App 268150 if you are nasty)

  • Announced: E3 2014
  • Current Release Date: 2016, 2017, or none, depending on your level of optimism.
  • Website: None that I could find.
  • Current Status: Undead! Get it? Because they changed developers? No? Never mind.

Dead Island 2 has the dubious distinction of having more news than a lot of the games in this list, and none of it good. Deep Silver canned one developer, leading to talks of cancellation, put another developer on it in early 2016, leading to talks of (obviously) major delays, the Steam page was removed (more cancellation talk)...you get the idea. I'm still hopeful; the first Dead Island was a bit of a clunky mess, but the combat and crafting was pretty fun, so I'm interested in a new game with more color and less female zombie torso statue things.

Deep Down (working title)

  • Announced: February 2013 (PlayStation 4 reveal conference)
  • Current Release Date: Not a clue!
  • Website: Here, last updated 12-25-2014
  • Current Status: Well, they keep updating the trademark, so that's something I guess?

Deep Down's a real mystery. We had two trailers in 2013, and then a whole lot of nothing. Hell, I'm not even sure if they are sticking with that name, or if they have plans to do a Western release, or...anything about it beyond the trailer, really. Chances are, if we ever see Deep Down, it won't resemble what was at that presentation nearly four years ago.

Dreams

  • Announced: February 2013 (PlayStation 4 reveal conference)
  • Current Release Date: We are supposed to get a demo in 2016, but, uhh...
  • Website: Not super informative.
  • Current Status: It's probably something!

Dreams is a weird thing, even from Media Molecule. It's also not exactly a real thing yet, and wasn't a real thing at E3 this year, or a real beta yet, or...well, anything real at all beyond a few trailers and weird stage demos. 2016 hasn't quite past us yet, so there's still hope for that promised beta, but with no information about it at all, I don't have high hopes for this one making its way to you anytime soon.

The Last Guardian

No missing games list is complete without The Last Guardian, even if this may be the last time it qualifies. Easily the oldest announcement (if not the longest in development), "Will we see The Last Guardian this E3?" had become a well-known joke/podcast topic for more than few years. Well, you might finally get to see what (at least) seven years of development looks like this October, and hopefully it comes through better than Duke did.

Let It Die/Lily Bergamo

  • Announced: April 2013 (as Lilly Bergamo)/E3 2014 (as Let It Die)
  • Current Release Date: 2016
  • Website: Yep.
  • Current Status: "You'll hear more soon!' -Suda 51

Butt-rock live action trailers are always worth a smile, and Grasshopper Manufacture is always worth paying attention to, if just for the insanity of it all. Billed as a Free-to-Play PS4 game, this one has had a weird dev cycle, including a name change (even after revealing a now-discarded logo). For what it's worth, I think the second trailer has a bit more style and substance to it, even if it's also way more confusing. (Fighting monster people in a big mega city? Giant needles from nowhere? Wha?) They are still talking like this thing is on track for 2016, but as you'd usually have a day and month associated with that number by now, this one looks like it's going to slip to next year.

Phantom Dust

This is a weird one, as it's hard to say if the actual game that was promised will materialize in any form. Let me explain; during E3 2014, they announced a Phantom Dust reboot, without really saying what that entails. Then, they killed it, or rather they parted ways with the developer while not canceling the game (whatever the hell that means) and hinted that we'd see Phantom Dust released in some form. Now, we see what that looks like; a re-release of the old game that's being updated, including to work with the modern Xbox Live. Does that count? Well, you're supposedly going to get something titled "Phantom Dust" on the Xbox One, so...sorta? Maybe? You decide.

Rime

Anyone else remember Rime? It kind of looks like Ico and The Witness had a baby. It also looks like we won't be seeing this one for a bit, as developer Tequila Works has decided to go it alone, possibly meaning a platform change (or at least the opportunity to appear on something other than a PS4). I'm no game developer, but I can't imagine a radical change in the developer/publisher relationship would act as an accelerant. Either way, it seems like the game isn't dead, which is nice.

Do you have an old announcement that you're still hanging on to? Still believe you'll get to play Tekken x Street Fighter one day? (I'm going with no.) What games would you put on missing posters all over the country?

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AdequatelyPrepared

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Nice write-up.

As to your final question, goddamn Routine.

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sku

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#2  Edited By sku

The one game this made me immediately think of was The Tomorrow Children, which showed up at E3 2015 and I think was supposed to come out that same year? For the life of me, I don't know what the deal with that is. BREAKING UPDATE: I guess there was a beta a couple months ago? So it's definitely still kicking.

If Tekken x Street Fighter ever comes out, I'm going to eat my hat raw.

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Mirado

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#3  Edited By Mirado

@sku said:

The one game this made me immediately think of was The Tomorrow Children, which showed up at E3 2015 and I think was supposed to come out that same year? For the life of me, I don't know what the deal with that is.

If Tekken x Street Fighter ever comes out, I'm going to eat my hat raw.

I remember really loving the look of The Tomorrow Children, and then they went dark for a bit, but the good news is they just had an open beta in June and are on track to release on September 6th if you buy into their "Founders Pack" early access, or a bit later if you just want to go free-to-play. Oh yeah, it's free-to-play. Weird, right?

Nice write-up.

As to your final question, goddamn Routine.

I never heard of Routine, but after looking it up, it looks rad as hell. People should check this trailer out if they're into atmospheric first person horror:

Loading Video...

Of course, that was 2013, so who knows what it looks like now.

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meteora3255

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A few that come to mind are

  • Agent: Has been talked about/hinted at being still in development and Take Two did register some trademarks for it in 2013. No trailer that I remember but definitely an official announcement.
  • Final Fantasy Versus XIII (FFXV): Announced in 2006 as Versus XIII, it was just delayed again.
  • Star Citizen: I feel like any list of missing games has to include this one.
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fatalbanana

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Deep Down is the big one for me here. I just want to see what that game actually is if it is actually anything at all at this point.

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Commisar123

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You got pretty much all of them. I guess Prey 2 would have been on here until a couple months ago.

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Colonel_Pockets

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Tekken X Street FIghter???

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Mirado

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@colonel_pockets: If by that you mean that I forgot it, it's considered "no longer in active development" which is as good as dead in my book, and dead games don't go on milk cartons. Or, if you mean you've never head of such a thing, well I don't blame you as they've never really put out anything beyond a few pieces of concept art.

You got pretty much all of them. I guess Prey 2 would have been on here until a couple months ago.

There's probably more that have slipped through the cracks, but I cut a hard line and limited it to games that actually showed up something beyond a logo, even if that's just some pre-rendered CG bullshit. I also cut out games that are confirmed dead or no longer in active development (No Criterion action sports game, for example). Oh shit, that made me realize that Phantom Dust isn't as dead as it seems, so here comes an edit!

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stinger061

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I've always been a little confused about why games get announced so early. Too often we see games like those you've listed which are announced to quite a bit of excitement but after many delays are often released to a very muted response. Seems to me like it would benefit everybody to change the way game announcements are made to ensure a game is much closer to release by the time we hear about it. I'm sure there are some business reasons behind announcing early but it seems to me more often than not excitement (and therefore potentials sales??) seems to drop off the longer the time between announcement and release.

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Mirado

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@stinger061: In some cases, I assume the publishers have the real say as to when you have to show at least something of whatever you are working on, or perhaps even the platform owner might push for it. (Sony: "Ok, we're having a conference to announce the PS4, and you have a five minute slot, if you want it.") In other cases, it may be that a game is on track when the announcement is made, only for the development to go belly-up from then onward. Game development can be rocky (there's some great stories like with Homefront where the publisher really had no idea just how fucked things were, loving a demo that was "eight months of hacked together code for a five minute demo"), and things don't always go as planned (hell, they usually don't go as planned). Also, the people being paid to market the game aren't (normally) idiots, and "when the hell do we show off this damn thing" is probably a topic they've covered far more often than any one of us. It's just the nature of the beast.

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stinger061

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@mirado: Fair points. I'd like to see a change across the board though, from devs to publishers and the hardware manufacturers. I think the big example of this succeeding recently is Fallout 4. The game was revealed less than 6 months before release and was all but done at that point and rode the hype wave into a highly successful release (in terms of sales at least).

Of course Fallout 4 was a sequel to a highly regarded game but I think the model can work for other games too. It also prevents the 'this game doesn't look as good/have the features they revealed it with' that have plagued a lot of big releases in recent years. I'm probably living in dream land but as someone who would rather play the games that are out now instead of pouring over trailers and interviews for games that are 12+ months away I don't see why the early announcement is so prevalent.

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deactivated-5b85a38d6c493

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Loading Video...

There was this teaser shown at the Game Awards in 2014 for a as of yet untitled game by Josef Fares (Swedish filmmaker) who was the writer and creative director of Brothers A Tale of Two Sons, and his new studio Hazelight which is made up of most of the people who worked on Brothers.

There has been no other info on the game since.

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Mirado

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@stinger061: I bet a lot of game devs feel the same way as you do. Hell, I'd rather hear about a game and have it come out within a few months of that initial announcement myself, but we're outliers. The majority of the public who make AAA games possible (in terms of sales) aren't really scoping out conferences and game sites for the latest and greatest, which means the marketing blast needs to happen over an extended period to get enough eyeballs on commercials, print ads, Youtube pre-rolls, that kind of thing. Fallout's an interesting case as it has a built in, ready to go fanbase, but if you have a Watch Dogs rolling out for the first time, you need to hammer that into the public a bit before it takes, or so they think.

@magmamud said:

There was this teaser shown at the Game Awards in 2014 for a still untitled game by Josef Fares (Swedish filmmaker) who was the writer and creative director of Brothers A Tale of Two Sons, and his new studio Hazelight which is made up of most of the people who worked on Brothers.

There has been no other info on the game since.

Wow, that one is a real mystery, and one I hadn't seen before. No title, release date (or year), platforms, genre, anything; just two people in a box car at night. Huh. That sort of ties into the other conversation I'm replying to; with a game that early in development, why bother even mentioning it? Cool to see those dudes set up a new studio and get hooked into a big publisher, but they didn't really give us much to go on, huh?

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Jonny_Anonymous

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Frog Fractions 2

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Bollard

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Aw man, you had to remind me about Deep Down :( I want that game so bad!

@mirado said:

@adequatelyprepared said:

Nice write-up.

As to your final question, goddamn Routine.

I never heard of Routine, but after looking it up, it looks rad as hell. People should check this trailer out if they're into atmospheric first person horror:

Loading Video...

Of course, that was 2013, so who knows what it looks like now.

That looks awesome, but jeez that trailer made me motion sick. For some reason the player was incapable of keeping their hands still and had to have the camera swimming all over the place constantly. It might be exacerbated by the view bob but oof it was hard to watch.

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Shindig

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I wonder if Star Citizen will feel fresh when it actually comes out.

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Jonny_Anonymous

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@bollard said:

Aw man, you had to remind me about Deep Down :( I want that game so bad!

@mirado said:
@adequatelyprepared said:

Nice write-up.

As to your final question, goddamn Routine.

I never heard of Routine, but after looking it up, it looks rad as hell. People should check this trailer out if they're into atmospheric first person horror:

Loading Video...

Of course, that was 2013, so who knows what it looks like now.

That looks awesome, but jeez that trailer made me motion sick. For some reason the player was incapable of keeping their hands still and had to have the camera swimming all over the place constantly. It might be exacerbated by the view bob but oof it was hard to watch.

Fuck man, I forgot about Routine and it looked so cool. I do remember the devs saying they were going radio quiet till the thing was done tho.

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dudeglove

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Austin said a while back that the Cyberpunk promo vid of sorts was more of a recruitment video than anything else. They're probably still at the concept stage, and I wouldn't expect to see or hear anything for another two or three years (Witcher 3 took, what, five?)

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Mirado

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@dudeglove: Reports claim that they've been working on it in some form or another since 2013, so while I don't expect it any time soon, I'd hope for a trailer around E3 2017 and a possible 2018 release.

If they honestly take until 2019 to put out anything at all...well, I hope you enjoy it, as I'd have gone completely mad by then. It's amazing, really; my brain knows that giving them the time they need is the key to making the best game possible, but I can't bring myself to calm down about it. I really, really want that video game.

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@sku: The Tomorrow Children is releasing next week, September 6th. It's going to be a free to play game and the thing releasing next week is the "founders package".

@mirado: Media Molecule have been doing almost weekly live streams of Dreams for a few months now. But still no release date on it.

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ShaggE

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I'm still super excited about Dreams, even though I'm sure it's my personal No Man's Sky, hype-wise.

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Mirado

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#22  Edited By Mirado

@jesus_phish said:

@mirado: Media Molecule have been doing almost weekly live streams of Dreams for a few months now. But still no release date on it.

Oh, that's nice to hear. I had no idea, as that didn't seem to surface anywhere when I searched for it. Perhaps that makes it less "missing person" and more "held hostage?"

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JasonMasters

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What ever happened to Hellraid?

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Mirado

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#24  Edited By Mirado
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fisk0

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#25 fisk0  Moderator

I'm still patiently waiting for the sequel (or the expansions) to Bioware's best game to date. They announced it would be coming soon in 1996.

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Shindig

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I'm hoping Sony's september thing features The Last Guardian just to cement the release date. Its this year's Metal Gear Solid V, to me. I need to know.

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ArtisanBreads

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#27  Edited By ArtisanBreads

As far as Cyberpunk, they openly said when they made the trailer that part of the idea of it was to get people to want to go work on the game itself. So clearly it was basically not even started at that point. It's hard to wait given how much I love CDPR and the Cyberpunk brand but I'm just anticipating it being a while. Witcher 3 was so huge and basically based on the idea of making a big open game but not cutting corners on making the content to fill it with any random generation and very little of the collecting type filler in most open world games. If you consider just how dense a Cyberpunk open world city could be... it's daunting to think about.

@jasonmasters said:

What ever happened to Hellraid?

Great call with that one.

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frymillstrum

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This was announced over 5 years ago and they've barely trickled out any info in that time. Currently scheduled for next year but I'm doubtful.

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Mirado

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@artisanbreads:I've heard that they really kicked into full swing around the time of TW3's release:

As CDP has stated in the past, a large portion of the studio began working on the ambitious open-world game in earnest around the time of The Witcher 3's release. During an interview at a recent Witcher 3: Blood and Wine event in San Francisco, visual effects artist Jose Texiera—the guy who was quoted in the previous round of stories about Cyberpunk—reiterated that to me.

But I've also heard they've had a a core team knocking on it since 2013:

Cyberpunk won't be out before 2017 - something CDPR said in that same annual report - and perhaps it is even further away than that. That may seem surprising, given that it has been in development for a few years now - when I visited the studio in autumn 2013 there were 50 people upstairs already working on it (although I'm sure getting The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt out of the door had an impact) - but when you release a game celebrated like Witcher 3 was, perceptions also change.

So while I don't expect to see it in 2017, I would hope they'd have something to show us by E3, and hopefully a 2018 release of some description. That could be wishful thinking, of course, and I'd rather them take the time they need as, like you said, a Cyberpunk city would be massive. They also just started looking for a vehicle programmer, meaning that they have a whole aspect of the game to still work out. I've been infatuated since they announced it, and that won't change no matter how long they take...I'm just going a bit crazy thinking how long it might be before I get to play it.

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Slag

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Fun blog @mirado !

Let it Die I'm pretty sure is alive. They had an extensive demo at PAX East that I didn't end up making it through the line for. Lot of ppl did though

Deep Down though, makes me incredibly sad

I'll also add Whore of the Orient and Sacrilegium as some other MIA games besides what else has been mentioned.

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Mirado

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@slag: Thanks Slag!

Whore of the Orient seems to have washed ashore recently, which is a damn shame; I'd love a L.A. Noir pseudo-sequel set in 30s/40s Shanghai. That conjures up a a lot of cool images in my head.

Sacrilegium is much more of a mystery; most news articles I can find are from 2012, and some reports have placed either all or part of the studio making it as a bit bankrupt, so that one is a real long shot.

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ArtisanBreads

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#32  Edited By ArtisanBreads

@mirado said:

@slag: Thanks Slag!

Whore of the Orient seems to have washed ashore recently, which is a damn shame; I'd love a L.A. Noir pseudo-sequel set in 30s/40s Shanghai. That conjures up a a lot of cool images in my head.

Great call on that game, forgot about it. Reading that the pitch on the setting sounds so interesting too.

I guess I'll just read a book on that instead.

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MeierTheRed

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This was announced over 5 years ago and they've barely trickled out any info in that time. Currently scheduled for next year but I'm doubtful.

I wonder how many times they have scrapped this project to start it over in the span of those 5 years.

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Slag

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#34  Edited By Slag

@mirado: That's a damn shame. Not terribly surprising given all the the justified drama around Team Bondi, but I would have loved to played that game.

As for Sacrilgeium, latest thing i could find was that the Sacrilegium team was shifted in 2014/5 onto Raven's Cry to help finish it up. But that game has been out for a good while now. Since there was no news at E3 about Sacrilegium I'm assuming it's probably kaput too.

Would be nice if the game industry would at least tell us when games were cancelled. Dunno if you read Alexa Ray Corriea's great piece on gamespot Grin's ill fated Final Fantasy Xii: Fortress game, but that was super cathartic for me after years of waiting as a fan to at least know definitively it wasn't happening and why.

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/the-story-behind-fortress-the-final-fantasy-game-t/1100-6431036/

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Mirado

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@slag: I haven't, and I'll have to check it out; I love video game postmortems, as since you rarely get a look behind the curtain as a consumer, they have a real feeling of mystery and secrecy about them, like you are getting a tour of the chocolate factory after years of munching on the candy bars. The Homefront piece I linked earlier is one of my favorite examples of really excellent video game journalism, even if it's focused on a game that actually came out rather than the (in my opinion) far more interesting topic of games that never quite made it.

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@meierthered: If Gearbox name their next Duke Nukem game 'Duke Nukem Fortnightly', I might just like them again.

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CreepingDeath0

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This whole thread just has me wishing more developers would be like Bethesda and Fallout 4. Despite the issues I have with that game it was really nice to have a game announced and then released within 6 months.

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BoOzak

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I was going to say Hellblade since info has been kind of scetchy but they've been doing developer diarys for awhile. I guess the buzz around that game is kind of low since I havent really seen the press covering it. I think it looks kind of cool. Even if Ninja Theory have yet to prove themselves, gameplay wise. (in my opinion)

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MeierTheRed

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@shindig said:

@meierthered: If Gearbox name their next Duke Nukem game 'Duke Nukem Fortnightly', I might just like them again.

That would make me curious about it.

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JohnyMyko

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Really nice write-up.

I would like to add Agent from Rockstar Games, Whore Of The Orient from Team Bondi and, of course, Beyond Good & Evil 2 from Ubisoft.

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Mirado

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#41  Edited By Mirado

@johnymyko: Thanks!

As I posted a bit further up, Whore of the Orient is dead and buried, or at least as dead and buried as you get in this industry. I disqualified both Agent and Beyond Good & Evil 2 for my own arbitrary reasons (Agent didn't have a trailer and BG&E2 never had an official announcement of a title or date, just that teaser), but if you can dig up any more info on them, post away. Both of those seem to be real holdouts for a lot of people.

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mixedupzombies

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Maybe one reason you haven't heard that much about Fortnite is the closed beta requires everyone to technically sign a NDA....