The video game industry is not only thriving but also taking over the entertainment world. According to the latest stats, video game business is now larger than both the movie and music industries combined. It’s forecasted to generate over $159 billion in 2020, and it’s set to retain its spot as the biggest entertainment medium in the world.
Although the gaming industry is very profitable and has a player base of over 2.5 billion, it has had no shortage of flops. In fact, even the best video game franchises yield bad crops once in a while. Some companies have excessively hyped up their games but fell disappointingly short, while others released games that were technically flawed.
The list below contains the worst gaming failures the world has ever seen. Their creators and publishers had all the resources they needed to deliver excellent results, but somehow still failed dramatically.
No Man’s Sky
Hello Games, which is the developers of No Man’s Sky came under scrutiny from all corners due to how they advertised their game. Gamers, the press, and the Advertising Standards Authority accused the developers of over-hyping their game.
Fans were already excited about the prospect of an open-world game with endless possibilities, but when it hit the shelves, the game didn’t live up to its expectations. Although it had many critics, it was a financial success, making a cool $43million.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
The E.T science fiction movie was a massive hit in the 80s. Sensing an opportunity, Atari spent around $21 million for the licensing rights alone and paid $200,000 to secure the right developer. The video game was highly anticipated, huge orders were made, but the game became a flop due to poor gameplay.
Although Atari sold 1.5 million units, making it one of the best-selling Atari 2600 games, more than 3 million cartridges didn’t find buyers. Things were so bad that the company suffered a loss of over $536 million and resulted in literally dumping millions of copies of the game in a landfill.
Developed by Silicon Knights, Too human was very promising at the start. Thanks to its demo release that smashed Grand Theft Auto IV playtime record in one week, everyone thought the game was destined for greatness. People were soon to realize that a demo clocking more playtime than one of the most expensive games of all time isn’t a ticket to success.
Shortly after the demo, rumors about difficulties in the game's development began to make rounds. Then, agonizing delays followed. When the game was finally made available, it wasn’t received kindly. The promised features were either mediocre or unavailable. Then the developers lost a lawsuit from Epic Games. This blow was catastrophic, ending the existence of Too Human.
Gamers expected an amazing game from Lawbreakers creator, Cliff Bleszinski. His previous game Gears of War was well-received. True, Lawbreakers was a great game, but it was released into a crowded market.
At the time, most gamers were occupied with Overwatch, not to mention Paladins soon launched a free-to-play hero shooter. The release of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, which took the gaming world by storm, was the final nail.
Fallout 76, developed by Bethesda, was meant to be an online action role-playing game. The developers seem to have bet that since the Fallout games are popular, this online game would take off instantly. Shortly after launch, people complained Fallout 76 had too many bugs, technical issues, and lacked gameplay purpose.
Gameplay was a disaster, boring and meaningless. Many other scandals followed the game, ranging from data breaches to pricing issues, yet the company was accused of handling each new scandal far worse than the last one.
Okami entered the Guinness book of record for the wrong reasons. It took home the ‘least commercially successful winner of a Game of the Year Award’. The game itself was fantastic and had awesome features, helping it receive critical acclaim from reviewers and fans alike.
During its first year (2006), it only sold 270,000 copies in the US, and by 2009, was yet to hit the 1 million copies mark. Reason? It was released just two months before the launch of the hotly anticipated Wii U and PlayStation 3. The flop was so bad that the key developers quit.
Although the gaming industry is growing and flourishing, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few letdowns along the way. Once in a while, a game that is highly anticipated performs dismally because of misleading advertisements, technical glitches, launching in an oversaturated market, or just poor features.