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Top 10 Video Games That Were Doomed To Fail

VO: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
Fate can be a cruel mistress. Today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 video games that were doomed to fail. For this list, not all the games we’re looking at are terrible – in fact, some will be the complete opposite – but they all will have failed in some regard. To have your ideas turned into a WatchMojo or MojoPlays video, head over to http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and get to it!

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Top 10 Video Games that were DOOMED to Fail

Fate can be a cruel mistress. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 video games that were doomed to fail.

For this list, not all the games we’re looking at are terrible – in fact, some will be the complete opposite – but they all will have failed in some regard.

#10: “The Legend of Zelda” CD-i Releases (1993-4)

It’s a grand feat to ruin an IP as synonymous with greatness as “The Legend of Zelda”, which has firmly been gaming royalty for the last thirty years. But when the Phillips CD-i was released, it was decided that it should get some “Zelda” games. If making “Zelda” for a no-good console wasn’t enough of a bad omen, outsourcing development to Russian studio “Animation Magic” was the last nail in the coffin. While the games are most memorable for their poorly-animated cutscenes, the gameplay wasn’t much to shout about, either, as they were clunky and limited side-scrollers.

#9: “Shaq Fu” (1994)

The 1990s were awash with poorly-made, licensed video games and “Shaq Fu” was destined to become one of them from its very conception. A fighting game based on pro basketball player Shaquille O’Neal is bizarre from the beginning, but throw in some atrocious 2D graphics and broken gameplay and you’ve got a real stinker on your hands. Unanimously considered one of the worst video games ever made, it’s hard to see why EA ever thought it would be a good idea.

#8: “Duke Nukem Forever” (2011)

It’s easy to believe that if “Duke Nukem Forever” had released two or three years after the last entry in the series, 1996’s “Duke Nukem 3D”, it wouldn’t have been branded with anywhere near as much infamy. Unfortunately, the game was trapped in development hell for some fourteen years, and when it finally released it was still using the archaic game mechanics of the 1990s. Shuffled from studio to studio, there’s no telling what it would have been like had it been released promptly by 3D Realms. At its core, it’s not actually a bad game, just pitifully underwhelming. Any game with this much hype was doomed from the start.

#7: “Resident Evil 6” (2012)

“Resident Evil” went from being one of the most lorded franchises in gaming to a verifiable laughing stock, as entries got more and more ridiculous over the years. While Capcom managed to take the series back to its terrifying roots with “Resident Evil 7”, the sixth numbered instalment was everything players didn’t want. It was so far away from “Resident Evil” it was unrecognizable, even featuring a jet plane segment where you’re tasked with destroying an aircraft carrier. It turns out that trying to make the most Resident Evil “Resident Evil” of all time was a disaster waiting to happen.

#6: “Radical Heights” (2018)

By now you’ve all heard the story by now how Radical Height’s failure also lead to it’s developer Boss Key Productions shutting down. But how could the company not see this coming? Not only was the game released in early access in a less stable condition than PUBG at the time, but its radical 80’s theme seemed to desperately screamed “Dude we’re in with the kidz” like someone trying way too hard to be the next Fortnite. So really; the game failed to understand both young and old battle royale fans alike, so its no wonder the game was doomed from the start, especially when it was playing catchup.

#5: “Shenmue” (1999)

If you were to say that “Shenmue” laid down the foundation every single open-world game since has been built on, few people would argue with you. It’s hailed as a masterpiece but failed at its original aim – which was rescuing the Dreamcast and Sega from financial decline. While it became the fourth best-selling game of all time on the Dreamcast, it was so ludicrously expensive to produce that it was impossible for it to actually turn a profit, and was an enormous commercial failure. GamesRadar even infamously said that in order for “Shenmue” to make any money at all, it would have to have been purchased by every Dreamcast-owner twice.

#4: “Battleborn” (2016)

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Blizzard’s “Overwatch” was the only action-packed, hero-based first-person-shooter to be released in May 2016. But three weeks before “Overwatch”, Gearbox Software came out with “Battleborn”, a game in a similar vein. While they were far from clones of each other as “Battleborn” incorporated a campaign and had MOBA elements, releasing a game of the same style as “Overwatch” in the exact same month decimated the player count; though in Gearbox’s defence, they decided on their release date months before Blizzard. Everybody switched to “Overwatch” and, unfortunately, never went back to “Battleborn.”

#3: “EverQuest Next” (Cancelled)

It’s the only game on our list whose failure was so inevitable it was actually cancelled mid-development, when the plug was pulled in 2016. While the original “EverQuest” games are MMOs as good as any other, “EverQuest Next” had to be put out of its misery because its own developers decided it “just wasn’t fun.” They wanted to set it in a parallel world, called Norrath, and take it back to an older-style of MMO gameplay. But stripping away all the positive changes that have been made to a long-running series, just for the sake of returning it to its roots, was never going to succeed.

#2: “Marvel Heroes” (2013)

A free-to-play MMO with everybody’s favorite Marvel superheroes ticks every box, but it wasn’t destined to last. “Marvel Heroes” was created by Gazillion Entertainment, in partnership with Disney, and things were shaky from the beginning. It took four years and $80 million to launch, but only operated for three years until Disney unceremoniously ended their relationship with the studio. Lead developers left, promised events for new MCU movies never appeared, and then all the employees were fired without pay, severance, or benefits the week of Thanksgiving 2017. Gazillion had amassed debts so huge that when Disney cut them loose the company had to be liquidated immediately.

#1: “Fallout 76” (2018)

Very few games have managed to invoke the fury of gamers like Bethesda’s latest cash-in. The idea of playing a “Fallout” game with friends isn’t necessarily a bad one, but when you build your game on an aging single player game engine that was never designed to handle multiplayer, it’s no wonder the game turned out as bad as it did. With no NPCs; no real story outside of optional text logs; game-breaking bugs encountered every ten minutes; frequent server drops; and PR disaster after PR disaster after PR disaster; Bethesda are going to have to work hard to restore gamers’ faith in them. West Virginia may be enormous, but it’s as empty as Todd Howard’s pre-release promises.

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