This generation of consoles is nearing its end and game publishers have been trying to make the most out of it. Games that have been in development since the early days of this generation will be released in less than a year.
But more development time doesn’t necessarily translate into quality games. We have already made a list of 2019’s visual masterpieces, thus it is only fair that we catalog the failures as well. This year we have seen some truly spectacular failures.
10 Overhyped games that didn’t perform in 2019
In this list, we will mention the top 10 games that failed in 2019. When we say that they failed, we mean that despite high expectations, they failed to perform and live up. Every year we have many overhyped games that fail some of them recover and get a devoted fan base, like Sea of Thieves. While others just don’t try and are relegated to the dustbin of videogame history. We can only judge if any of these games will make a comeback like No Man’s Sky after at least a year. In the meanwhile, we will list 2019’s overhyped games and the reasons they failed.
There are some genres that remain forever popular, like sports gaming, and then there are genres that are just a fad. Real time strategy dominated the gaming scape for more than two decades, but with the start of 2010’s it struggled. Freemium games are partly to blame as RTS was replaced with agonizingly long base building games (think: Clash of clans). These games focus more on monetizing every item over one satisfying session.
So when the creators of Command & Conquer announced they would be releasing Conan Unconquered, everyone was excited. The RTS genre would be making a comeback! Sure, Turn based strategy games like Total war and Civilization are fun, but they don’t have the excitement of RTS (comparatively) short gaming sessions. But this game ultimately proved to be a disappointment, with only its Co-op mode being decent enough to be counted as an improvement.
Indie games have always been a defining feature of the Video game industries. Many of the AAA heavyweights started off as indie developers. Indie games are often released without fanfare and win over hearts with beautiful landscapes and tragic stories. Vane wasn’t like that, it was coming from Friend & Foe, creators of The Last Guardian. As such, it was overhyped and the trailer released at E3 2016 certainly helped.
When it was released, it turned out to be a severly underwhelming affar. Although Vane delivered many of the graphics in the 2016 demo, its glitchy mechanics, frustrating design, and tedious gameplay made the experience disappointing.
Anthem was supposed to be a mix of different online shooting games with a dash of Ironman and amazing visuals. It was being developed by Bioware, the developers behind the Dragon Age and Mass effect series among others. These series are known for their intricate plots and diverging choices. Mass Effect Andromeda had only proven to be a flop, so all the Bioware fans were putting there hopes behind Anthem. You couldn’t go through gaming news without finding an article that overhyped Anthem.
It proved to be overhyping on launch as the game was filled with bugs. Yes, it did have a beautiful world but the lack of optimization forced you to see it frame by frame. The story was a hollow mess, it had no soul. This was certainly not what Bioware was known for, but it points towards the worrying new direction. We hope Bioware avoids this direction, for it is filled with mediocre games.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
In the Summer of 2016, Pokemon Go by Niantic took over the world. In several cities, regional traffic policing bodies published advisories telling people not to play the game on roads. It almost looked like a zombie apocalypse, as thousands of people converged at different points, seemingly mindlessly walking. Since then, several knockoffs have utilized AR to make similar games.
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise is undoubtedly one of the most successful franchises ever. According to an estimation last year, it’s worth $25 Billion. A combination of these two ideas seemed the perfect business opportunity. We could finally make the proper movements for spells, instead of drawing them on a screen in Pottermore. But it too proved to be an overhyped disappointment, mainly because less a new game and more, just a skin for Pokemon Go.
God Eater 3
Things with giant monsters has always been popular. This has been true for thousands of years now, as evidenced by ancient mythologies and pop culture favourites like King Kong and Godzilla. Traditionally a series exclusive to PS portable devices, this installment was going to be on more mainstream platforms. This was Bandai’s twist on Monster Hunter, filled with anime tropes and aesthetic.
Ultimately, the game failed to become a success because the story was non existent and the controls too simplistic.
Shonen Jump has become synonymous with anime. There’s hardly a chance that anyone who frequently uses the internet has not seen at least one character from the many Shonen Jump Mangas. Then Bandai announced that they would be releasing a game on the 50th anniversary of Shonen Jump. They claimed it would have “over 50 characters” from the animes. Anime fans and video game players, a very mixed demographic, were overexcited.
But Bandai had just overhyped the game. Animes are known for their outrageous but complicated plots. Jump force had the players outraged, but that was that. In the end, it was just the false marketing that stopped it from being a success.
An open world Zombie survival game with stealth. What a concept. But after several delays in the launch, Days Gone proved that it could never truly be its own thing. The game didn’t know what it wanted to be, it had elements from different genres but none were perfect. The story was generic but the execution didn’t help either, as plot points failed to coalesce into something bigger. This game was a tribute to this generation’s most popular mechanics, like crafting but that was that. In the end, it just didn’t have a clear vision.
Yet another Xbox Exclusive that let people down. The campaign tried to recreate the first but though it succeeded superficially, the actual campaign was terrible. It was repetitive and the constant combat just got tiring after a while. The multiplayer is unoriginal and within thirty minutes, it stops even trying to surprise you. Coupled with the long matchmaking times, the game was just a failure.
This game was to be the introduction of a popular series to western audiences. There was extensive marketing. But though it had original ideas, the game just couldn’t perform. This was partly because of the clunky controls, the gunplay is sloppy, the story has no clear signposts. Overall it was a beautiful failure.
The Sinking City
The Sinking City tells the story of a World War I veteran turned private investigator. He is afflicted with disturbing visions and has the psychic ability to reconstruct the past by exploring crime scenes. Set in a creepy East Coast town whose inhabitants celebrate their history, are xenophobic and have too much love for cephalopods.
Your protagonist who journeys to Oakmont, Massachusetts looking for answers to the nightmares he otherwise tries to keep at bay by using laudanum. The city has become a beacon for similarly disturbed individuals and in order to get the help he needs, Reed is roped into investigating why the city has both flooded and been gripped by madness. Naturally, this game was overhyped and though it had a good understanding of Lovecraftian lore, the world felt too robotic. The game exploration was also too clunky and despite the good intentions, it failed to become a success.
This was our list of top 10 overhyped failures in 2019, let’s hope that the rest of 2019 has no such failures!