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  1. So, everyone and their grandmother knows the story of Duke Nukem Forever by now. The game spent 12 years locked in development hell, where it became a legend whispered in hushed tones and broken promises. Delay after delay after delay, it was thought that The King would never take his throne, but then Gearbox stepped in to usher him to his seat of honor...which turned out to be more of an ugly metal folding chair than a seat fit for a king. Hell, they probably spent a year alone on that intricately animated jump. But I'm not here to talk about DNF. I mean, other than that first paragraph. I'm here to talk about the games that are starting to look like they'll take the same road as Duke and enter a protracted development cycle full of turmoil, missed release dates, and topped off with a nice "when it's done" when asked about the game's release. These are the candidates to become the next Duke Nukem Forever. FINAL FANTASY VERSUS XIII Announced: 2006 Status: As of October, it's "still in development." FFVXIII as it shall henceforth be known because I am not typing that out every time, has good reason to get RPG fans excited - it's basically the gritty reboot of the FF series. It's dark, angsty, and moody, and it doesn't care what you think. The setting is also worlds different from what we've come to expect of the series, being set in a futuristic environment, but, like, Earth futuristic. Then there's the gameplay, which looks like a more fast-paced, action-packed version of the Kingdom Hearts battle system. All this combined might be the kick in the pants the FF series needs to draw in a new crowd and get back some of those who were less than impressed with plain ol' FFXIII. But Squenix has been relatively quiet about the game, only mentioning it in little blurbs because they're annoyed that everyone's asking about it. Still, the fact that they've confirmed it's still in development as recently as last year is better than when they were saying nothing and everyone assumed it had been cancelled. It's also been rumored that this game has been turned into FF 15, which, knowing Square, would just add a few more years onto the development cycle while they redo the logo or something. We be rollin'. Slowly. Likelihood of being released: It's not looking good due to the sporadic updates. They say they're working on it, but not how hard, or how often, or how far along they already are, or anything, you know, indicative of the game ever coming out. Don't hold your breath. THE LAST GUARDIAN Announced: 2007 or so Status: Fumito Ueda says he's still working on it...that's something, I guess. Hoo boy, where to start with this one. Team Ico's next game has a lot of people feverishly anticipating its arrival, and for good reason - Team Ico has made a couple of fantastic games, and gamers are ready for more. Not only that, but The Last Guardian hearkens back to Ico with its theme of bonding and friendship, only instead of it being between a little beast boy and a...whatever Yorda is, it's the friendship of a little boy (not beastly this time) and a gigantic...furry thing. The furry thing in question has a lot of appeal with those big sad eyes that tug at your heartstrings, so gamers are ready to find out just how darn lovable he really is. Sadly, all we're getting is little teases here and there that the game is still coming out, with no concrete evidence that it even exists in any form at this point. Sit, Trico! Good...fluffy...birdy...thingy. Likelihood of being released: Well, Sony would be foolish to let this one slip away, but it's still going to take a while. You might have to buy a PS4 for this one. Or, who knows, maybe, along with The Last of Us, it'll be part of Sony's "The Last" games to send off the PS3 after the PS4's release. Or something. BEYOND GOOD & EVIL 2 Announced: 2008 Status: Coming to next-gen systems. Probably. There's really very little to say about BG&E2, because there really hasn't been much said about it. It was announced to much fanfare back in 2008, and fans of the original game have been wringing their hands in anticipation of getting to finally play the follow-up to such a stellar adventure. Since then though, the game hasn't been heard from very much. There's been a few mentions of it here and there, but nothing really concrete until last year when it was announced that the game was actively being developed for next-gen consoles. Unfortunately, unless they never started on a current-gen version of the game, that probably means they have to redo a whole bunch of stuff to get everything ready for it's big debut on the fancy new PS4, 720, and Wii U hardware (well, ok, maybe not so much on that last one.) Regardless of whether or not that's the case, the development of this game has been so quiet that it wouldn't be that surprising if it just went dark again for a few years. They seem content to wait it out, at least. Likelihood of being released: There's a good chance this will come out, sometime. It's just hard to say when, but fans of the series seem willing to wait. Either that or they've already forgotten about it. HALF-LIFE 3/HL2: EPISODE 3 Announced: Never Status: ??? This one is a bit tricky. Whether you want to call it Half-Life 3 or Half Life 2: Episode 3, the one thing everyone can call it is non-existent. Valve has never officially announced either game, but that hasn't stopped people from scouring the internet, Steam, and real life for any and all clues that point to the release of this most elusive of video games. Sure, there's this thing: Now with realistic crowbar action! But it's not a Half-Life 3 screenshot. It's not a Half-Life 3 anything, necessarily. It's just some fantastic concept art. Honestly, it's hard to find any concrete information on what, exactly, that is at this point (it was posted a few years ago), but if you ask the average PC gamer, it's a bona-fide Half-Life 3 screenshot and that's enough for them. And why wouldn't it be? The Half-Life games are some of the best story-driven FPS games ever made, and fans are itching for more. But, like a bad friend, Valve has no intentions of scratching that itch. So it looks like you'll be waiting a long while yet for a game that, according to that picture, looks better than anything Crytek has ever done. Better start upgrading your PC in the meantime. Likelihood of being released: Oh, it'll be released, eventually. It pretty much has to at this point, it's just a matter of when. It could be this year, or it could be 2025. Who knows? Only Valve does, and they're not telling. HONORABLE MENTIONS Agent - Announced (conceptually) in 2007, officially (with name) in 2009. Has been pretty much nothing said about the game since. Prey 2 - Announced in 2011, which isn't that bad, but the development seems to be stalled. It's being polished to Bethesda's standards. Wait, why are you laughing? So, sure, 6 years in development may not seem like much compared to DNF's 12, but they're halfway there - and if the developers continue to show the same amount of disinterest in releasing these games, they could go all the way, if not further. This is to say nothing of other HL3-esque games that haven't been confirmed but people think they're happening anyway - like Kingdom Hearts 3 or Shenmue 3 - which may not ever see the light of day, or even exist, but that hasn't stopped people from saying they're being made...ever so slowly. But let's just go ahead and agree on one thing - if any of these games end up taking 12 years to come out, they're probably not worth playing.
  2. Wondering why the oft-delayed but recently re-announced Final Fantasy XV made the name change switcheroo from Final Fantasy Versus XIII? The game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, recently shed some light on the situation in intervew with Edge. He mentioned how the three games that were originally set in the Fabula Nova Crystallis series were announced with Final Fantasy XIII monikers, but that the size and scope of Versus XIII was becoming big enough to where it made more sense to make the move to a mainline numbered game. "So we were warming up the idea of considering the move to XV – which is the mainstream Final Fantasy series – and between that time and now we had several chances to announce updates of the series and we debated if we should go with Versus XIII or announce the change to XV," he said. "About two years ago we confirmed, internally, that we would change the title to XV and then at the same time, around that time, the company started working on next-gen consoles, because hard disc was getting ready for the next-gen development. So that became a really good trigger to move on to the change of XV." Not coincidentally, Final Fantasy Agito XIII, the PSP game in development at the time, also had its name changed to something a bit more unique - Final Fantasy Type-0 (and unfortunately, the game still has yet to release outside of Japan). In the meantime, expect to hear more about Final Fantasy XV in the coming months and year ahead as Nomura has confirmed that there will no longer be a media blackout on new information from the title.
  3. In February, Square Enix shocked the world at the Playstation 4 presentation by announcing that they would soon be making an announcement about something Final Fantasy related at this year's E3. If your computer's sarcasm filter isn't working properly, I'd like to announce that the previous sentences were filled to the brim with sarcasm. I absolutely hate when companies come out during a big show to announce that they are going to announce something. But that isn't the point of this article. The point is, just what is Square Enix going to be announcing? Everyone, including myself seems to believe it is going to be a Final Fantasy Versus XIII announcement. But what if it wasn't? Just think about it. We know that they'll be making some sort of Final Fantasy announcement at E3 this year, that's absolutely certain. But just how many different Final Fantasy games is Square Enix even working on right now? We've got Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy Type-0 could always make an appearance, Final Fantasy X & X-2 HD, the Dissidia series is still floating out in the ether, and who could forget Final Fantasy XIV? How long do you think he's been sitting there waiting for a release date? That last one and Lightning Returns are the real dangerous ones in this scenario. The character Lightning is for some as of yet unknown reason Square Enix's baby recently. Over the last few years, Square Enix has been trying to make her the poster child for the Final Fantasy franchise, but it has been met with quite a bit of resistance. Resistance that Square Enix doesn't seem to notice. I could easily see their big announcement being that Lightning Returns will be ported to the Playstation 4, thus cementing the Lightning character in Playstation history as a mascot for Sony's newest console. Now onto the more likely scenario of Square Enix trying to hype people up for the reveal of Final Fantasy XIV being playable on both the PS3 and PS4. The original plan was to actually have Final Fantasy XIV on the PS3 years ago, but as I'm sure most of you are aware, things went south pretty quickly on those plans. The original version of XIV was torn to shreds, and Square Enix went to work on completely remaking the game. "Haha! I was a colossal waste of money!" A few months ago, they finished it. The new plan was to begin work on a PS3 version of the newer better version of the Final Fantasy MMORPG after work was finished on the PS3 version, but then Sony had to go and complicate things by announcing the PS4. Considering how much money went into making Final Fantasy XIV and then remaking it, Square Enix is going to want to get as many sales as it can. So odds are the PS3 version will stick around, but it could be followed by the "surprise" announcement of it also being on the Playstation 4. And then we have the problem of the Final Fantasy tech demo that has been making waves for the last few months. Square Enix is obviously going to want to get into using that as soon as possible and odds are they already are using it for their next big Final Fantasy title. This, of course, doesn't change the fact that they're still working on Final Fantasy Versus XIII, but I have to wonder, just which one are they going to want to hype up at E3 this year? Mums the word on Versus for the last seven years, so who's to say they won't shelf it for another year so they can start hyping up their next big thing? Its an incredibly stupid move on their part if they try it, but like I said before. They're almost certainly revealing Versus XIII this year, in my opinion. But I said that last year too. As always, thank you for reading.
  4. Think about some of the most highly anticipated games from the last few years. The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy Versus XIII, Half Life 3, and Duke Nukem Forever. What obvious thing do they all have in common? If you said 'long development times' then congratulations, because you were finally right about something! The games listed above are each going on their sixth and seventh years in development. Not nearly as long as Duke Nukem Forever's development time of twelve years, but enough to where it is starting to get ridiculous, and sadly, this is only the beginning. When the next generation of consoles come out and games become even more detailed, more and more AAA titles could end up taking just as long. --------------------- Obviously this won't be a problem for the average game being released, but when it comes to AAA games, nothing will end up being 'average' about their developments. High caliber games are already extremely expensive to produce, but with the future looking more and more likely to contain ballooning production times, those numbers could begin to soar way past what is necessary. Pictured: Apparently not enough What happens when a game becomes too expensive? It fails, no matter what. Dead space 3 is shaping up to be one of next year's bigger releases, but EA seems to think the only way the game can survive is if it pulls in over five million sales. A number the series has never even come close to. What happens when every high budget game requires millions of sales to keep the company alive? I'll give you a hint - the company dies in almost every case. Look at Radical Entertainment, the company behind Prototype 2. The game had plenty of steam behind it when it released, and it did sell the most copies out of any game in April, but the company was still closed down due to a lack of sales. --------------------- And then there's Duke Nukem Forever. After twelve years of development, the game nearly killed 3D Realms due to the cost. But the hype for DNF was through the roof. Nearly every gamer knew about the legendary game, and everyone wanted to try it. When it finally did release, it was critically panned by everyone. Even people that didn't play it. How could that be? Is he cracking his knuckles or praying? The reason is simple. The game had been hyped up for so long, that there was absolutely no way it could have lived up to everyone's expectations. When something takes twelve years to make, people expect it to absolutely change the face of gaming. Of course, Duke Nukem Forever didn't do that, and it never could have. For that fact alone it was considered one of the worst games of the year. Sure it was bad, but the sting of twelve years made it so much worse. However, it doesn't always end badly. --------------------- You may not be aware of this, but Team Fortress 2 was in development for nearly a decade before it released. And when it finally did hit store shelves, it became one of Valve's most popular games. Even today the game is bringing in huge profits for the company despite becoming free to play forever. A fact that totally contradicts what I've been talking about this whole time. But! Team Fortress 2 was just an online shooter. There wasn't any worries about dealing with the stories or fleshing out the characters because there weren't any. They got the gameplay down right and made the game look great, that was all they needed. The Meet The videos on the other hand show just how crazy wait-times can make people. Another fun fact: Team Fortress 2 went through about a million graphical changes After all these years, Valve just recently released the highly anticipated 'Meet The Pyro' video (the last class video to be revealed). Every TF2 player was waiting for this video to release and they were expecting all of the Pyro's secrets to be revealed. Instead we got two minutes of the Pyro hopping around a field blowing bubbles. Not everyone was happy about that. They waited all this time for answers and they didn't get any. Arguments erupted over the video. People loved it, hated it, felt depressed, or were just happy it was out. It was just a video that caused all of this! Imagine what will happen if Half Life 3 doesn't answer all of the fan's questions! It'll be a day that will go down in infamy, that's for sure. ------------------------ What do you think about all of these inflated development times? Could it really become as destructive to the gaming industry as I seem to think? Why not share your thoughts and opinions below? As always, thanks for reading.
  5. Apparently someone thought it would be funny to spread a rumor about Final Fantasy Versus XIII, which was first unveiled in 2006, getting the ax. Said rumor went viral throughout gaming communities on the internet, and until now, we haven't gotten a word whether it was true or not. CEO of Square Enix, Yoichi Wada, told us himself through Twitter that Final Fantasy Versus XIII is indeed still kicking. Here is the translation provided by Siliconera: "Someone has been spreading a false rumor that Versus has been canceled, it seems. [Laughs.] Just now, we finished our regular Versus meeting. If you could see the city in today“s presentation it would sweep you off your feet." Hopefully after all this hubbub, Square Enix will provide us with some new screenshots or even footage from the long-awaited Final Fantasy game! Do you still care about Final Fantasy Versus XIII? Do you expect it COULD still get canceled or changed?
  6. Marshall Henderson

    Final Fantasy Versus XIII May Be Dead

    Get ready to put on your "I Told you So" hats, because if rumors are to believed, it looks like Final Fantasy Versus XIII will be going nowhere. After six years since announcement, and subsequent accusations of being vaporware, the Final Fantasy XIII spin-off is rumored to be losing its resources to the upcoming Final Fantasy XV. Square Enix, when contacted by Eurogamer, gave the often damning "could not comment on rumours or speculation" line. Square-Enix is supposedly avoiding public acknowledgement as to avoid getting hit in their stocks. Plausible enough, but it tastes better with a grain of salt. Of course, even were the rumors true, this isn't the curtain call for Final Fantasy XIII. Square Enix has already made it clear that additional Final Fantasy XIII content would be coming out, especially with the "Final Fantasy 13 Lightning Saga: New Developments Presentation" presentation ready for the first of September. This presentation comes in honor of the 25th Anniversary for the series... the Final Fantasy series, that is, not the Final Fantasy XIII series. Without confirmation from Square Enix, this is a big pile of maybe, but really, would anyone be surprised?