The 6 Most Disappointing Failures in Video Games
Video games are older than probably everyone reading this, which is crazy, because I remember when it was a young industry filling a niche need. Now it has its own box office flops, weird spin-offs, and quasi-celebrities. But since video games have been around for so long, they've also had enough time to develop a bunch of massive failures, and being the incredibly malicious person I am, let’s check some of them out!
Sega as Console Maker
Oh Sega, there were some true highs; the Game Gear came as close as anything to seriously challenging the mighty Game Boy in the portable console market. And the Genesis? Man, the Genesis was an absolute monster, at one point the 1b console to the mighty Super Nintendo’s 1a status. But as Nintendo started developing consoles that emphasized a smaller roster of high quality exclusive games, Sega found itself getting crushed by the upstart Sony Playstation, which actually may have peaked with its first two consoles. By the time the Dreamcast sputtered onto North American markets, the writing was on the wall. And since then, Sega hasn’t really been much of a developer or producer, either. It's simply a shadow of its former self.
The enormously popular Nintendo Wii, which brought tons of people who wouldn’t consider themselves “gamers” into the video game market lead to both Microsoft and Sony to develop their own hardware designed to get up people off the couch and onto their feet to play games. What they didn’t succeed in doing, however, was finding a way to capitalize on that hardware, which is why Nintendo remains the sole hardware maker that can pull off using more unorthodox controls.
Lest you think this is going to just be about how Nintendo always comes out on top, let me call you attention to the Wii U, the console meant to bring more hardcore gamers into Nintendo’s fold. It is probably the mainstream console with the fewest must-have games (the number of which I would put at… zero?). It was discontinued last January, and I honestly don’t think anyone misses it.
Grim Fandango is one of the best adventure games ever made, but that couldn’t save it from a crowded marketplace. Its sales remain insanely low. It was such a flop that it really helped kill the adventure game market. Very sad.
No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky is a perfectly fun and interesting game, but it's also one of the most brazen examples of developers over-promising in an attempt to move units/get funding. It shipped lacking a staggering number of promised features, and also has one of the most annoying endings ever (why is it so annoying? It essentially has no ending). How can you consider a game that made so many people angry anything but a failure?
This is a sad one, because Molyneux’s early career has some incredible games in it; Populous, Black & White, and Dungeon Keeper are all varying levels of incredible to this day. But the Fable series is another example of a developer over-promising and under-delivering, and then Godus and his follow up company 22Cans have largely been embarrassing failures. So while it would be nice to consider his entire body of work, it’s hard to remember Peter Molyneux used to be when he's largely been making crap and putting his foot in his mouth for almost two decades.
Very audacious of me to call anyone a failure.