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Four High Profile Games In Danger Of Becoming Vaporware


There are a lot of awesome games coming out in the near future, not to mention plenty of promising games coming out in the far off future as well. But then there are the games that don't have any release dates; the games that just might never see a release despite all of the updates from developers and press releases.

The common name for these sorts of games is vaporware. A product that never releases, but also never really gets canceled. A popular example of a vaporware game used to be Duke Nukem Forever, until it finally released to less than stellar reviews over twelve years after it was originally announced. Join me as I list off games that just might become vaporware... Hopefully not though.



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The Last Guardian


When Team ICO first started in the game design business they were a pretty niche studio. There was no way they were going to pull in Call of Duty types of sales numbers with a game like ICO. But apparently that wasn't that big of a deal for the small up and coming designers, as their release of Shadow of the Colossus cemented them in the world of top notch game design.

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I've had this preordered for over two years now. I want more information!


Now, seven years after the release of SotC, they still don't have The Last Guardian ready for retailers. Other than a single trailer and a bit of behind the scenes videos that could be found on the Team ICO HD Collection disc, there hasn't been any new information.

The game was announced to be in production six years ago and they have nothing to show for it. While games can take years to produce, they at least need to give the fans something. One trailer in six years isn't enough. We need to know where The Last Guardian is if it has any hopes of not becoming vaporware.


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Final Fantasy Versus XIII


Things have gotten rather silly with the Final Fantasy franchise. After the release of Final Fantasy XIII, the series became more fractured than it ever has before. There was Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2, a rumored Final Fantasy XIII-3, Agito for the PSP (which dropped the XIII name when it released), and of course, the one game missing in action, Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Originally announced in 2006, the game has been in development for six long years.

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You just wait. Final Fantasy 15 will be announced before this comes out


To give you an idea of why that is such a long wait in between games, Final Fantasy XIII was announced at around the same time, and then released three years later. That's about average for a Final Fantasy game. Throughout those three years, there was plenty of information coming out to the public.

Trailers, images, character bios, even a demo was released. In the six years since Versus, we've gotten a few grainy images and the press have gotten some extended video previews. There is information coming out at times, but nothing substantial. We need more proof that the game is nearing completion or it too will just be another game lost in development.


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Half Life 3


Ah, Gabe Newell and his "Valve Time." A Valve game will get finished when it gets finished. That's all we ever get to know about a release date. To give you an idea about how ridiculous development times can be for Valve games, you need not look any further than their Wikipedia page. Team Fortress 2, the popular free to play shooter available to anyone with a Steam account was announced in 1999. Eight years in development before it saw a release. Eight whole years!

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That guy is wearing a Half Life 3 shirt! That must mean its going to release soon...right?


Half Life 2 saw a five year development before finally releasing to the public. Of course it would have released sooner, but after the Valve servers were hacked and a large part of the game was leaked to the public, it was back to the drawing board to change what information about the game had leaked out.

Now with Half Life 2: Episode 2 being released five years ago, we've passed the original development time of the second game in the series. With no information about Half Life 3 except for one or two random files being found in different Valve games suggesting that it is in development, you have to wonder just how long will we be waiting? Could HL3 take longer than Team Fortress 2? Will it ever come out? I hope so...


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Banjo Kazooie Threeie


Not exactly as high profile as the other games in the list, but come on. Its Banjo Kazooie. I know its a series that might have released before some of the people reading this got into gaming with the Playstation 3 or Xbox 360. But back in the Nintendo 64 days this was one of the bigger series released on the system.

Full of weird secrets and codes that didn't make sense, it was a game that fans went back to year after year, trying to uncover all of the secrets hidden in the code. Then after Banjo Tooie, there was nothing for years...until Nut & Bolts was announced.

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A mockup cover for a game that will likely never release. Also, he isn't square enough!


Released exclusively for the Xbox 360, it wasn't exactly a real Banjo Kazooie game. It was fun, but something wasn't right about it. Of course, the ending gave hope to the original fans of the series by giving Banjo and Kazooie all of their original powers all while hinting at a real sequel to the series...four years ago.

Not exactly as long a development time as the other games in this list, but there's the problem of Rare (the studio that makes the Banjo Kazooie games) having put their focus entirely on Kinect games. This unfortunately points towards the series being dead in the water. It was never officially announced, but it also never got canceled. It is officially vaporware.

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Of course, these games are probably going to be released. The real question is just when are they going to be released? We're pushing the latter part of a decade with some of these titles. Duke Nukem Forever took so long it actually became a running joke to only be panned by critics when it was finally released. We can only hope I get proven wrong when E3 rolls around later this Summer and we hopefully get more information on these games.

As always, thanks for reading everybody! Do you feel these games are just taking way too long to come out, or do you follow the whole "Its finished when its finished"? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


7 Comments

The Last Guardian is something I've been looking forward to for years, but they are really keeping us too far in the dark with the game. Some people still think it's coming out at the end of 2012, but I have serious doubts. We would have had more information by now if that's the case. I have a feeling we will not see the game until 2013 and even then we might not see it.
I don't really view Half Life 3 or Half-Life 2: Episode 3 or whatever it ends up being as vaporware, largely because we don't even know if it's even been in development.
The Last Guardian will definitely come out. Sony has added their Santa Monica studio to help with the project so you know their serious.

Final Fantasy vs XIII looks like it could go either way. I don't even know how much I want it anymore. SE has left me extremely disappointed in FF and I doubt they are willing to revert the new mechanics enough to draw me back in.

I haven't played anything in the Half Life series so I'm not anticipating HL3 all that much. I do own the Orange Box though so eventually I will.

I played Banjo Kazooie and I enjoyed it back then. I doubt I would be into in now though.
This just reminds me of companies like Blizzard - when will it be out? "Soon™" Having a game take longer in production isn't always a bad thing, unless it's something like DNF where it just flops around and finally they get around to it but do a half-assed job. If the games are simply taking that long just because they are attempting to work out everything as best as they can - as well as providing the best experience they think possible, then I'd much prefer that. I really hate when games are cranked out and they appear to be rushed.

I remember hearing about Dead Island and seeing what it originally was compared to what they actually released 6 years later and I am glad that they waited longer. They had good concepts at the beginning but I think waiting and spending more time on the development, ultimately made for a more fine tuned product. The game wasn't perfect and had quite a few bugs (some game breaking) but overall it was a very fun experience - especially for the first playthrough.
I guarantee everything on that list besides Banjo will come out. No way Valve will ditch their number one franchise. I bet we will hear about The Last Guardian at E3 this year. Probably FFvsXIII too.
I HIGHLY doubt Half Life 3 will become Vaporware. While the other three might lose money / cost more than they're worth, Valve has plenty of money and when they finally decide to release HL3, it'll make plenty of money.

Last Guardian and Banjo have reason to be worried about however Final Fantasy is, well, Final Fantasy, they might just rush it out and cut their losses.
I didn't even know there was a third Kazooie game under construction. I heard the second one wasn't as good as the first (and confirmed in the article).

 

 

 

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