Hyping up video games has been a successful marketing technique for developers and publishers regardless of the game’s quality. Often these overhyped video games fail to deliver on their promise and leave gamers feeling stupid for getting aboard the hype train.
These games fail either due to not being what developers what promising or the hype had raised fan expectation so high that the game couldn’t fulfill those expectations in any way possible.
Come to think of it, the latter might be the reason why Valve is reluctant to develop Half-Life 3 considering it’s hyped-up to the point that no matter what, the company won’t be able to deliver on it.
So here we are listing “Overhyped Games” that failed to deliver and discussing why it happened in the first place. The rules of selection are simple, I will be discussing games that were overhyped and failed to deliver.
Also, you’ll be seeing a lot of games from current-gen consoles as there are a lot of games from this generation that failed to live up to the hype. Furthermore, the games discussed aren’t in any particular order.
Anthem is a recent example of a video game that failed to deliver on its promises spectacularly. Anthem was being marketed as a signature Bioware style game with a twist of live-service. But, the game was far from it.
Not only the game’s narrative paper is thin but a lot features revealed in gameplay trailers were missing from Anthem. At first, everyone blamed EA for the mess, and who could blame the fans as EA has developed a reputation for being deceptive.
Anthem was in development for six years. Bioware started the development in 2013 and developers didn’t even know what game they were developing until E3 2017 demo showcase. Not to mention the mental pressure the developers had to endure to due constant crunch hours.
Even to this day, following a number of updates, Anthem is nowhere near what Bioware wants it to be. I hope Bioware and EA learn from this and not repeat their mistakes with Dragon Age 4.
Alien Colonial Marine
Gearbox Software marketed the Alien Colonial Marines as the next big thing in video games. The demos for the game before its release were promising. However, just like Anthem, those demos turned out to be fake and the game was nothing at all as advertised.
The gameplay was weak the alien AI was a disaster, nothing in the game worked properly. Publisher Sega and developer Gearbox Software even faced lawsuits following the game’s release. Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford denied that the company false advertised the Alien Colonial Marines.
I am happy that Creative Assembly gave us the best Alien game in the form of Alien Isolation. But Alien Colonial Marines will forever remain a dark spot in the Alien franchise.
Star Wars Battlefield 2
Fans were very excited when EA announced Star Wars Battlefield 2, that it will feature a single-player campaign and all DLC for the game will be free. Naturally, there was a lot of hype following up to the game’s launch.
However, the truth about the game came to light when fans got to play the game’s beta. Turns out the entire Battlefield 2 gameplay was designed around loot boxes with seemingly pay-to-win mechanics for a $60 game.
The gameplay was unrewarding as the DICE designed the game to be a grind-fest so that players would buy loot boxes with real-world money. The single-player campaign was dull and boring and offered nothing despite being canon to current Star Wars lore. Fans were put off by all this so much that Star Wars Battlefront 2 failed to meet its sales expectations.
Ubisoft unveiled Watch Dogs at E3 2012 and gamers were instantly in love with the game. Ubisoft marketed the game where players can hack anything, features sophisticated A.I and an incredibly detailed world.
Not only that, Ubisoft even started to market the game as a competitor to GTA V. However, the game saw multiple delays and almost 6 months before its launch a new trailer dropped for the game.
It was nothing like the game Ubisoft showcased at E3 2012. The world and the protagonist were devoid on any personality and the story was bare bones. However, Ubisoft did make a lot of revenue just on the game’s hype.
Fortunately, Ubisoft has learned from its mistakes, unlike EA, with Watch Dogs 2 being a huge improvement over the first one. Not only that, Ubisoft is taking things up a notch with Watch Dogs Legion which allows you to play as any NPC in the game’s world.
Battlefield V is another example of a game franchise being milked by EA. The game was the follow-up to the excellent Battlefield 1 and Battlefield V didn’t live up to the expectations BF1 set.
Battlefield franchise is known for its relatively realistic gunplay, gorgeous graphics, thanks to the Frostbite Engine, and a serious tone. While Battlefield V was beautiful, the main problem with the game was how DICE handled the gameplay and tone.
Not only that, but the game also faced backlash over the inclusion of the Women. Given that the game is set is World War 2, many argued that women didn’t participate in the war.
However, changes to the core-gameplay were the main culprit why it put off many fans. Battlefield V ditched the franchise’s signature war-like simulation for moment-to-moment gameplay. This didn’t sit well with gamers and eventually the game failed to capture its audience.
I hope it’s a lesson for DICE that making a beautiful game isn’t enough, they have to manage player expectation and shouldn’t stray far from the franchise’s core gameplay mechanics.
Duke Nukem Forever
Duke Nukem Forever took over a decade to develop and boy did it disappoint. The game was is development for so long that it saw multiple game engine transitions and two console generations.
However, the developers kept hyping up the game and eventually the game launched in 2011. The game didn’t live up to its hype for a lot of reasons. One of the reasons was the gameplay was dull.
Since then, the franchise has gone into hiatus with Gearbox Software often saying that a new entry in the franchise will definitely come and it will be a true Duke Nukem sequel.
The Order 1886
The Order 1886 had quite the hype before its launch. The game was announced when the circumstances were lined up in favor of Sony’s PlayStation 4. Gamers were excited about its Victorian-era setting and steampunk style weaponry.
The game’s marketing also advertised that players will be taking on Werewolves. Then the game launched and surprisingly, the game was just another third-person shooter.
Also, the game left a lot of things unanswered and ended on a sort of a cliffhanger. However, a sequel is unlikely to happen.
Assassin’s Creed Unity
Assassin’s Creed Unity was the follow-up sequel to Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag. Naturally, fans expectations were high but, it was also time where the yearly Assassin’s Creed fatigue was settling in.
The game’s marketing hyped it up a lot and with the improved parkour system, the game looked promising. But the game’s launch was a mess as it was full of glitches, FPS drops on consoles and PC, severe texture popping and more.
For me personally, this was a tragedy as the story was amazing and visually the game was stunning. The parkour system, in particular, was fluid and is the last one in the franchise to feature such an elegant and elaborate parkour system.
Now, Assassin’s Creed is not longer a yearly franchise and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is considered one of the best games in the franchise. Maybe this Assassin’s Creed Unity debacle was ultimately a good thing but, the sacrifice of its elegant parkour system is a tragedy.
No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky might be a better game now but that wasn’t the case when it launched in 2016. Gamers were very excited for the game as developer Hello Games promised features that were previously unseen in any video game at the game.
The developers promised players a full procedurally generated universe with 18 Quintilian planets each having unique properties. On top of that, the game studio also marketed the game to have multiplayer but noted that the game is so big that chances of two players bumping into one another were slim.
The game was a husk of what was promised with repetitive gameplay and a univese devoid of any life and personality. The backlash was severe and Hello Games came under heavy fire.
However, props to the devs who worked silently and tirelessly and made good on their initial promises. The game is in a much better shape and worth playing. But, the game’s launch will forever remain a a dark spot on No Man’s Sky and the studio’s reputation.
Mass Effect Andromeda
Mass Effect Andromeda is one of the most popular video games franchises of all time. Mass Effect 2 in particular is considered the best Mass Effect game to date.
Following the mess of an ending for Mass Effect 3, hopes were high for Mass Effect Andromeda. The franchise was taking the series to another glaxy so that Bioware could start fresh.
In 2017, the game launched and it was nothing like the trailers made it to be. The game was unfinished and required months of polishing. It was a mess, full of bugs and glitches.
Sadly, it wasn’t enough to save the game from critics and gamer’s wrath. Following the game’s launch, a Kotaku report emerged revealing that the game was developed in just 1.5 years because the rest of the time the studio was busy customizing the Frostbite game engine to support RPG mechanics.
Eventually, DLC plans for the game were scrapped, because of EA. The studio which developed Mass Effect Andromeda was shut down and the franchise as a whole has been put on ice.
This was the beginning of Bioware’s downfall that continued with Anthem’s release. I am a huge fan of Mass Effect Franchise and I hope that EA actually learns from its mistakes and we see another game released in the Mass Effect franchise, especially, there are a lot of questions left unanswered by Mass Effect Andromeda.
There you have it folks, Overhyped games that failed to deliver. Obviously, these aren’t the only games that failed to deliver on their promises or hype but, we can hope such incidents won’t happen again.