Every year at E3 the biggest publishers have press conferences where they show off the various games they’re working on. Most of the time we’ll have those games in our hands in a year or two. Sometimes this is all we’ll ever see of them. Games are announced and promptly forgotten about, never to see the light of day again. While this isn’t always a sign of death, most of the time that game isn’t going to be seen again. So here’s some games that showed up at E3, vanished, and who knows if they’re coming back.
Dead Island 2
Dead Island 2 was announced with a vibrant and fun trailer at Sony’s E3 2014 press conference that featured a super catchy song, California, and lots of zombies. Originally being made by Spec Ops: The Line developer Yager Development, things seemed up for the Dead Island series. Some gameplay was shown off at Gamescon 2014 and the game was set for a Spring 2015 release date. That didn’t happen.
In July 2015 Yager Development was kicked off of the project and a year later development was handed to LittleBigPlanet 3 and Snake Pass developer Sumo Digital. After that? Well we’ve heard absolutely nothing about Dead Island 2 since. Recently publisher Deep Silver did indeed confirm that Dead Island 2 is still being worked on, but that’s all we’ve heard since the game was handed to Sumo Digital. Of all the games on this list, besides Crackdown 3, Dead Island 2 is the one I most expect to show up again. It may just be one more year before we see it.
Technically not an E3 game, but Deep Down is one of those games we haven’t heard from in a while. Originally announced during Sony’s PlayStation 4 reveal event, Deep Down was a being developed by Capcom and was meant to be a showcase for their new Panta Rhei engine. During the Tokyo Game Show 2013 it was announced that Deep Down will be a free to play game and would launch some time in 2014 after an open beta.
As apparent by the fact that it’s in this article, Deep Down never released. The last official acknowledgement we got on it came in 2015 when the game’s director said, in a Japanese interview, that the vision for the game has expanded and the game was being reworked to better appeal in the long term to players as a result. Early this year Capcom filed for a second trademark on the game, but that’s about all we’ve heard about it. I’d give Deep Down about a 50/50 chance of reappearing, but if it’s going to do, so then E3 2017 is going to be its big chance.
Star Wars 1313
This one hurts to write about. Star Wars 1313 was first shown off at E3 2012 and featured something sort of different for Star Wars. An attempt at a more mature and gritty look at the Star Wars universe, players would follow Boba Fett as he carried out various contracts. Sadly, the dream didn’t even make it a full year.
The fate of the game was originally in question when Disney acquired LucasArts, originally stating it was on hold before officially declaring it canceled about a month later. So the chances of us actually seeing Star Wars 1313 itself is extremely slim. That said, we may not quite be done with it yet. In a December 2015 interview with Slashfilm, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said that the concept for 1313 was golden and that they didn’t want to throw it away. So ideas and story moments originally meant for Star Wars 1313 may still be showing up in future Star Wars games to come. Maybe Visceral Games’ still unannounced Star Wars game will see some elements reused?
Crackdown 3 was one of the games shown off during Microsoft’s 2014 press conference. The trailer there had no gameplay but did at least set the general mood of the game while being interesting to look at. This was followed by an appearance at Gamescom 2015, which featured extreme destructible environments in a multiplayer setting. That said, outside of that, we haven’t seen much else of Crackdown 3, something that is slightly worrying when considering other Microsoft games like Fable Legends and Scalebound have recently been canceled.
However, unlike the other games on this list, this one we at least know will be showing up. The official Crackdown Twitter account has confirmed last month that new info for the game is on the horizon, meaning most likely at E3. Maybe the extra power that the Scorpio will grant is going to benefit Crackdown 3‘s destructive environments more? While we’re not sure on specifics yet, we’ll be finding out.
Remember the days of 2006 when Sony had one of the most hilariously inept conferences? One of the few highlights of that conference was Eight Days, a third person shooter in development by SCE London Studio. At the time the graphics it showed off were extremely impressive, leading some to believe (perhaps fairly considering 2005’s Killzone 2 trailer) that the trailer was pre-rendered rather than actual gameplay. Regardless, after this trailer, we haven’t seen anything else of Eight Days.
So what happened? Well Eight Days was being developed at the same time as The Getaway 3 by the same developers. Yet neither game really had much news up until 2008 when both of them were suddenly canceled. At the time the reason given was that both were single player focused games at a time when Sony wanted to move to more multiplayer ones. However, a year later Nicolas Doucet, SCE London Studio’s creative art director, stated in an interview that both games were actually just on hold and would come back eventually. Since then we’ve heard nothing on either Eight Days or The Getaway 3, but maybe this will be the year? Probably not, but one can hope.
Originally announced at Gamescom 2014, WiLD was a new open world AAA game being developed by new studio Wild Sheep Studio and published by Sony. The original trailer was followed up by gameplay at Paris Games Week 2015. The gameplay showed the ability to transfer your body into animals, use their abilities to get around as you need, and either fight or sneak your way to completing various objectives.
Unfortunately, after that gameplay showing, we have seen WiLD exactly two more times: in a pair of Instragram photos (one posted in January and one in February) where the developers confirmed the game is still in development and that it was using an internal engine. This means the game is still being actively worked on at least, and chances seem good that we’ll have WiLD in our hands. E3 2017 may just be when it makes its grand return.
In 2015 TechRaptor’s Alex Santa Maria wrote an article about five games announced at E3 that never saw the light of day. I decided it was also worth catching up on those games as well. Has the situation changed with any of them? For most of those games the short answer is either “No” or “Not really”. Starcraft Ghost and Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 both fall under that hard no. Blizzard is currently working on Starcraft Remastered and keeping Overwatch running, while Gearbox has its hands full with Borderlands 3 and … is Battleborn sill running? They’re probably busy with that.
City of Metronome has also no changes, but developer Tarsier Studios has just released both PSVR puzzle game Statik and 3D puzzle platformer Little Nightmares this year to critical success, so maybe there’s going to be more interest in picking City of Metronome back up. Finally we haven’t seen much of Agent either, but at the end of 2016, publisher Take-Two did refile for the trademark. Does that mean anything? Not likely, but it is notable.
The one game that doesn’t get a flat no? Beyond Good & Evil 2. Well, it sort of gets one because Michael Ancel (who is also working on WiLD, strangely enough) did confirm on Instagram that it will not be appearing at E3 2017, but that we will be seeing it this year. Maybe it’ll make a surprise appearance at the Nintendo Treehouse because technically it’s not E3 but that’s a crazy pipe-dream at best. It is, however, back in active development and that’s the most exciting part.
What other never heard from again games do you think may reappear at this year’s E3? What do you want to see again? Let us know in the comments below!