Embarrassing game magazine covers

A horrifyingly preserved look back at gaming's most regrettable hype! This could get ugly...

Above: You can’t see our embarrassment, unless we let you. LOL, we’re too 1337 to be dated!

Fortunately for us, at least when the web gets embarrassingly excited over something on the horizon, our hyperbole only clings to the front page as long as our front page gumball or panorama does. Poor print has to wear its heart on its glossy 11x16 sleeve, and those regrettable covers have to hang around on shelves, coffee tables and closets long after pride has subsided. Hey, we understand a lot of work goes into picking what adorns the handful of magazine covers every year, and that’s why we love them. Yet statistically, they can’t all be winners. And that makes the losers infinitely more hilarious:


When the web blows its load all over a game that never comes out, no one bats an eye. Why would they? It’s been buried with another Halo article by the time the news breaks. Mags, however, they’ve got to share in that heartbreak for as long as the paper holds out.

Above: Such is the occasional price of the “World Exclusive.” Just as Game Players couldn’t wait to tell the world about Sonic Xtreme, Sega couldn’t wait to cancel one of the Saturn’s last shots at marketplace redemption

Above: Thanks to its deal with GameStop, Game Informer is home to some of the biggest reveals and exclusives in the industry. Unfortunately, that huge lead time can also occasionally dupe the mag into promoting games that’ll never exist. Greatness comes at a cost

Above: Sadly, John Singleton’s third-person, ghetto saga was not to be. Sadder still, the game was wrapped up in a coinciding film starring Mr. Dogg that also rode the FAIL bus into IP oblivion

Above: Another almighty rapper disgraced by cancelation! PSM landed the exclusive scoop of a game… already released on Xbox 360? Quite ludicrously, the PS3 version was shitcanned shortly thereafter to allow more development time on the sequel

Above: Just tragic. Even Blizzard had to be excited about its first console game since… Really, Justice League Task Force?! So, you can’t blame OXM for their cover choice, as the
StarCraft Ghost novel tie-in made it into publication after years of development, too

Above: Alas, the last time Penn & Teller would ever grace the cover of a game magazine. Their game “Smoke and Mirrors” would never make its intended debut on Sega CD, PC, and 3DO… but the Desert Bus “minigame” lives on!
LoadingReadyRunhas held an annual marathon since 2007 where willing participants endure the EIGHT HOUR, 45mph real-time drive from Tucson to Las Vegas multiple times. You know, for charity?

Above: True Fantasy Live Online was the first, greatest and last hope for MMOs on the Xbox. Despite being playable and previewed many times, over two years worth of fan anticipation was all for nada

Above: Gracing its cover just a few months after the game’s official announcement, there was no way PC Gamer could know of the tragic joke Duke Nukem Forever would eventually become…

Above: And they even poked light-hearted fun at his prolonged absence two years later. Putting Duke on their cover is not a mistake PC Gamer, nor any other magazine, would ever make again

Click to the next page to see the PC press redeem itself purely by omission!


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