Although it may seem bleak thanks to crushing non-announcements and the lingering threat of cancellation looming overhead, video games damned to a lifetime of development hell actually do see a release more often than not. Because really, unless a game is outright officially canned, something stuck in development limbo will always find its way onto the market somehow - even if it rarely ever lives up to the mythical reputation amassed over the years. For example, until 2015's E3, The Last Guardian was considered nothing but a joke among players, its many rumours of a production restart writing themselves into gaming folklore. Alongside Shenmue 3 and the fan-requested Final Fantasy VII remake however, it proved even the most notoriously troubled games can turn their reputations around and plot a course for a long-overdue comeback. Unfortunately this isn't always the case, and it's the awful byproducts of development hell that usually catch the most attention. Case in point being Duke Nukem Forever, a title that has essentially become the poster boy for just how bad the consequences of an over-long development cycle can be. Still, many fan-favourite, now-iconic games were actually born out of similarly troublesome productions. While all of the titles in this list went on to become defining games in their own right, you won't believe just how close each and every one came to becoming another Duke Nukem Forever. And that, is a truly hellish thought indeed.
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