By all accounts, E3 2015 was an amazing show. Announcements delivered hype, surprises were plentiful, VR was proven to be a real thing and broken promises were kept. Yes, it will be a long time before followers of games will forget Sony’s big showing, with The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and Shenmue 3 each surprising everyone. These were games that no one thought would ever be on stage at E3 going forward. As we are quick to forget, game announcements at E3 aren’t guarantees, and there are plenty of promising titles that were axed after making a splash at the big show. Here are just a few of the games that could shock the world by materializing after a long absence.
Blizzard hasn’t had many failures in its long existence. Even possible entry on this list Titan eventually evolved into the much anticipated Overwatch. The one that got away from them and us is Starcraft: Ghost. Originally planned for release on PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube, Ghost was to be Blizzard’s first foray into publishing a more traditional shooter. Two different companies worked on the game before it went into “indefinite hold” in 2006 around the release of the Xbox 360 and PS3. Also around that time, a book was released about the game’s protagonist, so if you’re desperate to know more, there might be hints of what the game was to be in there.
Before the game vanished, Starcraft: Ghost was one of the biggest games of E3 2005, showing off an upgraded campaign and team based multiplayer with vehicles straight out of the RTS games. If you ask someone at Blizzard, the game is still a candidate for release, although at this point the game wouldn’t look anything like the version from two generations ago. You never know with Blizzard, they have enough money to take a gamble on just about anything. Just don’t hold your breath.
The City of Metronome
Here’s a game that not many remember. A 3D adventure game that made a big splash ten years ago at E3, City of Metronome features an interesting gameplay mechanic that helped it stand out. You play as a young boy with a music box that can capture and playback sounds. Because this is a video game, you can use these specific sounds to solve puzzles and defeat opponents rather than just annoy your parents. The game’s concept and style was unique, but this was unfortunately the age before indie games had distribution options other than partnering with a publisher, and everyone that looked at the game didn’t see something that they could market to the masses.
Tarsier Studios have moved beyond their prototype to working on LittleBigPlanet for Sony and are currently working on Hunger as their first unique statement as a developer. However, they haven’t given up hope on City of Metronome, leaving a spot for it on their website and promising that one day the game will be made. Gimmicky puzzle games aren’t exactly the most sought after titles, but something with enough style can overcome a crowded genre to achieve success.
Presented above is the entire world’s collective knowledge of Agent, a Rockstar Games stealth action title that was announced as a Playstation 3 exclusive at 2009’s conference, then never mentioned again outside of trademark filings and rumor reports. The game’s mystique continues due both to Rockstar’s track record as a developer and to the precious lack of information about what exactly the game was and why it was never completed. Who knows if there was anything to the game outside of a fancy logo, but with rumors of a new Red Dead currently surrounding the studio, fans of 1970s espionage shouldn’t hold their breath for this one.
Premiering at 2011’s showcase as a spinoff of the Brothers In Arms franchise, Furious 4 is an unlicensed Inglorious Bastards game which also takes cues from Team Fortress 2 and more recent Hero-centric shooters. Developed by Gearbox and with publishing planned by Ubisoft, it’s curious why this project has faded into the background. Of course, game’s going dark for long stretches is nothing new for Gearbox, and that doesn’t always lead to the best results. It’s possible that both the crazy success of Borderlands titles and the unmitigated disaster of Colonial Marines put a damper on some of their future projects.
Still, Gearbox is a prolific studio and either this game or a new and more serious Brothers In Arms game could pop up at any time. I’m definitely a fan of what was in the original trailer, and Wolfenstein: The New Order has shown that living Nazis aren’t the poison to games that they were for a while after Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare shook things up. I guess we’ll eventually see what’s next after Battleborn.
Beyond Good and Evil 2
Many in the industry (even us) yearn for a return to Beyond Good and Evil, a unique action-adventure game with a down to earth female protagonist that also happens to be a journalist, which might be the reason the game became a cult hit despite its low sales. It’s relatable in a way that we just can’t put our finger on. It also has a big man with a scar in it. Which is more interesting to me.
In any case, Ubisoft has only officially acknowledged work on the sequel once, a teaser trailer shown seven years ago at E3 2008. Since then, Michel Ancel has revived the Rayman franchise and opened up Wild Sheep Studios, and Ubisoft released an HD version of the original game that sold about as well as you’d expect from this property. Still, everyone behind the scenes insist that the game is still coming along, and we don’t know exactly what Wild Sheep is working on at the moment. Crazier things have happened recently.
What unreleased games from past E3s do you remember? Are you curious about more titles that never were? Why didn’t Nintendo announce another F-Zero game? Seriously! It’s getting ridiculous!
*Clears throat* Excuse me.
Answer these questions and more in the comments below!