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Previously expected: Late 2009
Delayed until: January 5, 2010
Why was it pushed? We actually posed this very question to Keith Dwyer, producer of Bayonetta, during Comic-Con – the official line is that 2009’s holiday lineup was just too damn crowded (a popular reason, for sure). He said there were other action games this year that “beat them to the punch” and spacing Bayonetta into early 2010 gives it a much better chance at standing out. Most companies tend to avoid January, but Dwyer thinks gamers will have gift cards burning a hole in their pocket, or perhaps could be done with their late December gifts, and looking for a flashy new fighter that out-cries Devil May Cry.
Why are we disappointed? Sega catches a lot of heat for the deluge of crappy Sonic software, so anytime we see it producing new, interesting content, we genuinely want it to succeed. We’ve played bits of Bayonetta and absolutely love how intentionally cheesy and over-the-top the action gets; what other game stars a demon-haired, shape-shifting witch that poses and winks at the camera while she pulverizes a giant into the next dimension? We once joked that Heavenly Sword would become the female successor to God of War’s crown – now it looks like Bayonetta will be the true Goddess of War.
Aliens: Colonial Marines
Sega’s supposedly got three Alien games still in development. This one was a four-man squad shooter being handled by Gearbox Software, the studio responsible for Brothers in Arms and the upcoming Borderlands. Unfortunately, the publisher has decided to make a new Aliens vs Predator title the priority for early 2010. That’s right, Colonial Marines – originally slated for late 2008 – may not see store shelves until 2011. And if its calendar replacement doesn’t sell well, we may never see it at all.
Previously expected: Fall 2009
Delayed until: Q1 2010
Why was it pushed? An Activision spokesperson explained in early July that “the level of excitement for Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare 2 coming out of E3 well exceeded our expectations and therefore we have decided to move [developer] Raven’s upcoming sci-fi first person action title.”
Wow. The folks at Infinity Ward must be pretty damn pleased with themselves right now. Apparently, they’ve put together a game with so much commercial potential that almost every single one of their competitors is simply giving up and clearing the holiday field in advance. The only battle left now is between Modern Warfare 2 and Halo 3: ODST.
Why are we disappointed? Two reasons. First, it’d be nice to have some options for those who are fans of shooters, but not necessarily the hugest fans of Halo and CoD. Trust us, they do exist. Second, we suddenly feel as if we need to lower our expectations for Singularity and any other title that runs to 2010 for competition reasons alone. If the publisher doesn’t think its original property can stand toe to toe with an established name, why should we?
Previously expected: This summer
Delayed until: Early 2010
Why was it pushed? According to Namco, the remake’s publisher, extra time will enable the company “to polish and incorporate all the content to deliver a top notch game worthy of this classic video game franchise.”
A perfectly generic statement. The real story, though, is far more troubling. In February, just months before the game was rumored to be finished, the original developer – BottleRocket – was kicked off the project and Namco handed development duties over to the team behind Afro Samurai. After a brief war of words between the publisher and now former developer, Namco ended up hiring a few of the original BottleRocket staffers back on.
With so much drama and confusion behind the scenes, we’ll be relieved to see Splatterhouse release at all, regardless of year.
Why are we disappointed? Gore is gore, and we’re always excited to see a game attempt a new bloody benchmark. If done correctly, Splatterhouse could be more horrific and disturbing than Gears of War or Manhunt. Plus, the original was rumored to be included in some form… the politics and in-fighting can’t have ruined that, right?
Previously expected: September 2009
Delayed until: January-March 2010
Why was it pushed? According to Capcom, Dark Void has been delayed “in order to get the game out of the crowded fall game season…The move will be great for the game and for gamers: less competition in the market (curse you, Halo!), more time for polish."
Um. That would make sense, if Capcom wasn’t the umpteenth publisher to say the exact same thing this month. Sure, Halo 3: ODST is a heavy hitter, but otherwise, September is pretty sparse. The first half of 2010, on the other hand? If you’ve been paying the slightest attention to this article, well, you already know the answer.
Why are we disappointed? Although we’ve criticized the hero’s generic mask multiple times (here and here, if you’re in the mood for mockery), the actual gameplay should be entirely unique. A shooter built around jetpacks, with a vertical cover system and equal time devoted to fighting and flying? With music by the composer of Battlestar Galactica? Dark Void could have easily stood apart from Halo or any other competitor this fall.
This month has been difficult for gamers. Not only were the highly anticipated games listed in this article pushed until 2010 (or later), nearly every single one’s delay was announced in July. The metaphorical band-aid was yanked off quickly, we suppose, but damn if it still doesn’t sting.
So let’s be optimistic, shall we? Here’s a quick glance at what we still have left to look forward to in 2009. And if you’re unimpressed by the selection of games below, you can always catch up on everything you missed in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008!
Jul 31, 2009
Games doomed to 2010
We gaze into the future and predict this year's 10 likeliest no-shows
100 most anticipated games of 2009
We pick the hottest new titles we want most from the New Year
The Top 7… games of 2008 we can’t stop playing
Who needs a sequel when the last one was so damn good?