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7 Games Canceled in 2018 and 2019

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut
With Telltale shutting down and EA continuing to be EA, there were a lot of really cool games cancelled in 2018 and 2019.
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Shattered promises and heartbreak, gaming edition. Welcome to MojoPlays and today we are re-opening fresh wounds by taking a look at games that – for one reason or another – were discontinued.

“Game of Thrones” Season 2

Towards the end of 2018, news broke out of Telltale Games’ closure, leaving hundreds of employees without jobs and bringing an end to a slew of in-development projects. Responsible for redefining the episodic story-driven adventure genre, Telltale had been on a noticeable decline for quite a while, but a number of announced sequels brought back interest in the studio’s work. Based on George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire,” Season 1 of “Game of Thrones” is generally not considered to be among Telltale’s greatest work; nevertheless, Westeros’ rich universe offers near infinite potential for expansion. Putting aside the glitches, "Game of Thrones'" opening season had a strong narrative and the Forrester family still have stories to tell.

“Stranger Things”

Other than its cancellation, little is known about Telltale’s take on Netflix’s horror series. Announced just a couple of months prior to the studio’s shut down, “Stranger Things” embodies Telltale’s unlimited but destined to remain untapped potential. “Stranger Things'” adventurous tone is tailor-made for Telltale’s formula and “Tales from the Borderlands” proved the studio was more than capable of blending comedy, drama, and character development. While hope remains that Netflix may still pursue a spin-off game based on the streaming service’s series, the project will sadly not be titled “Stranger Things: A Telltale Game Series.”

“The Wolf Among Us” Season 2

Lastly, Telltale’s conclusion put to bed any lingering hope for a long-awaited successor to “The Wolf Among Us.” Based on a thrilling comic set in an alternate reality inhabited by mythological and literary creatures, “The Wolf Among Us’” Season 1 only scratched the surface of this universe’s potential. Despite the original game ending in 2014, many held out hope of Bigby Wolf eventually staging a comeback, and the studio rewarded this patience by announcing a follow-up in 2017. Considering what ultimately happened, the disappointment may have been easier to swallow if Season 2 had never been announced.

“Paragon”

Epic Games hit the jackpot with “Fortnite’s” free-to-play battle royale mode. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about “Paragon.” Tempting as it may be to blame the MOBA’s cancellation on the success of “Fortnite,” Epic did “Paragon’ no favors by periodically altering the core gameplay in a desperate attempt to attract a wider audience. Released into early access in 2016, “Paragon’s” player base fluctuated often and widely throughout its two-year run, as the MOBA struggled in vain to carve out a niche for itself in an oversaturated genre. In 2018, Epic shut down “Paragon’s” servers without giving the MOBA an official release, leaving a small but dedicated fan base without somewhere to call home.

“Breakaway”

Combine a healthy helping of "Rocket League," a pinch of "Dota 2," and a dash of "Defense Grid 2" to create "Breakaway," Amazon's promising multiplayer hybrid devised specifically for live streaming. Developed by "Killer Instinct's" Double Helix Games, "Breakaway's" alpha mashed together football, tower defense, and brawler elements to produce a surprisingly accessible albeit understandably rough whole. Announced in 2016, "Breakaway" was supposed to come out in 2019; unfortunately, Amazon dropped the project after admitting the game's development had failed to score a breakthrough. A successful multiplayer game is the holy grail for publishers, sadly, some are destined to be lost in the shuffle.

“Overkill’s The Walking Dead” (PlayStation 4 & Xbox One)

Towards the end of 2018, the studio behind the "Payday" franchise released the PC version of its FPS based on the "The Walking Dead" franchise, with the console ports anticipated to follow suit in 2019. At least that’s what was supposed to happen. "Overkill's The Walking Dead" garnered such a negative reception from critics and failed so spectacularly to return anything resembling a profit, the base game was actually removed from Steam by the publisher. While the story could pass for some of the show's later seasons, "Overkill's The Walking Dead's" shallow gameplay and myriad of technical issues overshadow any small positives held by the narrative.

EA’s Untitled “Star Wars” Game (Project Ragtag)

George Lucas’ franchise is no stranger to discontinued games - even after all these years, “Star Wars: 1313’s” cancellation still stings – but “Project Ragtag’s” development was marred by setbacks. Taking place somewhere between “A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back,” Visceral Studios and “Uncharted’s” Amy Hennig sought to create an ambitious linear adventure with multiple playable characters, although EA also pushed for a multiplayer component. In 2017, EA shut down Visceral Studios and temporarily handed over development to EA Vancouver. Unfortunately, this only delayed the inevitable and, in 2019, “Project Ragtag” was officially canceled. Along with the death of a beloved studio, “Project Ragtag” is another case of a potentially intriguing project killed before it could take flight.
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