Sure, they're just "delayed"
Game cancellations are a sad reality of the video game industry. There are so many moving parts - hardware, software, marketing, promotion, publishing - that some titles fall through the cracks, no matter how gargantuan and obligatory they might seem. Sometimes it happens abruptly, while other times the cancellation of a game is never truly revealed until, well, the game just doesn't come out.
That's not to say that there are no signs. Usually it's fairly obvious when a game is getting cut, and there have been a number of major games this generation that appear to be precariously hanging over a bottomless pit, despite the assurance from the developers that everything is fine. We've rounded up the games we have the worst feelings about, and we hope we're wrong about literally all of them.
7. Prey 2
Why we're excited for it: The original Prey was a unique space shooter with awesome mechanics (including portals before Portal) and an absurdly detailed, interesting world that simply demanded a sequel. Once we saw Prey 2 in action (and wrote a Prey 2 preview), we had high hopes that the game would be one of the more original shooters of the generation.
Why do we think it might be cancelled: It's been almost a year since we've seen Prey 2 in any form which, considering it was supposed to come out last year, isn't good. Since then, it has been delayed and delayed, with the publisher claiming it doesn't meet their "quality standards." That's... not a good sign. Though Bethesda claims the game is still, indeed, in development, we're skeptical - we'd be getting some new info if it was still a thing, right?
6. Brothers in Arms: Furious 4
Why we're excited for it: Don't get us wrong, we love traditional World War II shooters as much as anyone, but we appreciated what Gearbox was attempting in Brothers in Arms: Furious 4. The pulpy, Inglorious Basterds style was super slick, and we loved what we saw at E3 2011 when the game was revealed. The sad, realistic tone of the past Brothers in Arms games suited those titles well, but the fun, over-the-top, four-player co-op action made Furious 4 a World War II shooter worth paying attention to.
Why do we think it might be cancelled: Aaaaaand that was literally the last thing we saw of Furious 4. Since E3 Gearbox went into a media blackout surrounding the title, and there have been rumors that the game was cancelled, reworked, remade, or reconfigured in some way. We have no idea what that might mean. We're hoping that whatever form it is in, it's still the same charming game we saw at E3, even if it randomly landed in Nintendo's lap as a Wii U exclusive... but that's sort of a pipe dream at this point.
5. Beyond Good & Evil 2
Why we're excited for it: The original Beyond Good & Evil is one of the most beloved games of the last generation, and talks of a sequel began almost immediately after Jade's adventure hit. Earlier this generation Ubisoft released a teaser trailer showing the HD main characters, and after that a video leaked, showing off what Beyond Good & Evil 2 might look like. Needless to say, we were absolutely ready to play the future of the BG&E franchise. So, so ready.
Why do we think it might be cancelled: Note the key word up there: leaked. Besides the initial trailer, most of the information on BG&E2 has been based in rumors, speculation, or... yeah, leaks. No solid information has come besides occasional excuses for the delays by Ubisoft, and each year comes and goes without any new information on Jade. At this point we've conceded that the chances of getting a current-gen Beyond Good & Evil are slim to none, and anything that might be happening has likely been pushed to the next-gen (or to portables).
4. Kingdom Hearts III
Why we're excited for it: Alright, fine, this one bends the rules because we don't know it looks awesome, but we can dream! We've sung our praises of Kingdom Hearts II from the rooftops on several occasions, even claiming that it's one of the greatest games ever made. Once the second game came out it was generally assumed that Square-Enix would immediately begin work on a next-gen sequel to the popular franchise. While they worked on sequels, everything has landed on handhelds so far. While they've been good and all, our hunger for a true next-gen KH has not been satiated. Not one bit.
Why do we think it might be cancelled: It's getting pretty late in the generation, guys, and we're starting to think this thing just isn't happening. We imagine that it was, at one point, and that it was likely heading to the Wii (because seriously, Mushroom Kingdom Hearts), but the system's issues with third-party sales likely led to its cancellation, or at least indefinite delay. We might get a Kingdom Hearts III next-gen, but the odds of us getting it on PlayStation 3 are lower every day Square doesn't announce it.
3. Final Fantasy Versus XIII
Why we're excited for it: This was, apparently, the reason we weren't getting Kingdom Hearts. The team responsible for the awesome series was developing an action RPG set in the Final Fantasy XIII universe. The producer said that the gameplay was inspired by the high-octane battles of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Square's CGI FF film, and that players would be able to engage in more realistic group battles than they have in Final Fantasy's past. Also, there's an airship, and everyone loves airships.
Why do we think it might be cancelled: Though it has been in development for years, very little gameplay has been shown for Final Fantasy Versus XIII, either via trailer or to the press. Constant delays have pushed the release so far that many have simply forgotten it existed, and rumors are constantly swirling that it's teetering over the edge at all times, about to be cancelled. Square-Enix is constantly denying these claims, but at this point we have to wonder... what the heck is going on? Is this studio cursed? Is it haunted? We think it might be haunted.
2. Half-Life 2: Episode 3
Why we're excited for it: Do we really need to explain why we're totally psyched for Half-Life 2: Episode 3? The core game is one of the greatest ever made, and both of its episodic follow-ups were stellar, with the second reaching new heights for the series and ending on a tremendous cliffhanger. We remember being shocked when the conclusion arrived, and we were totally ready to jump into the next episode, which we were sure would be out fairly soon. Or... at least eventually.
Why do we think it might be cancelled: At this point, eventually has come and past. "Eventually" would have been a year, or two years after the release - maybe three years? And now we sit here, nearly five years later, with nary a whimper being muttered out of Valve's camp. They'll occasionally joke about the title, but at this point we have to wonder if Valve thinks its worth its time to release an episodic expansion five years after the last one. Maybe we'll get a full sequel?
1. The Last Guardian
Why we're excited for it: The Last Guardian has been in the works for several years, with trailers and details appearing in the years following its announcement, showing off an interesting, unorthodox adventure starring a boy and his griffin. While we don't know too much about it (besides the aforementioned little boy and adorable griffin), we're still stupidly psyched because of the pedigree from which it comes from. It's being designed by Fumito Ueda, director of both ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, a fact that immediately propels the game to the top of our attention.
Why do we think it might be cancelled: Except for the fact that it missed its 2010 release date... and its 2011 release date... and it's... 2012... release... date. Oh, and then Fumito Ueda left. Ueda's departure was, for all intents and purposes, the final nail in the coffin as far as most fans were concerned, as he doesn't seem like the kind of person that would leave a job unfinished unless it wasn't going to be finished at all. Sony claims he's still helping out on the project, but we've yet to hear exactly what that entails - for all we know, "helping out" means "not telling people how totally cancelled it is." Please, please let us be wrong.
Here's hoping we're totally wrong
Here's the silver lining: just about everything on this list is confirmed to still be in development. Sony says that The Last Guardian is still in the works, Bethesda swears up and down that Prey 2 is being made, and no one admits that the games are cancelled. And honestly, there's a good chance that a majority of these games are actually in the works!
So, which of these do you have faith in? Which do you think have been secretly scrapped? Let us know in the comments!