10 Incredible Video Games That Were Awful At Launch

Late bloomers.

Hello Games

Should the digital age be celebrated, revered even, or reviled, lambasted and ostracized?

Deciding which side of the fence to settle on isn't so black and white, but despite some notable examples making the latter camp look incredibly appealing (the laughable conclusion to Aliens: Colonial Marines troubles, for example), the blasé 'We'll fix it later!' attitude frequently attributed to games development is a misnomer.

After all, were it not for the freedom to patch, update, fix and improve upon a vanilla product in accordance with consumer feedback and desires, some of the most wholesome game experiences of the last decade could never be deemed as such. Take No Man's Sky, for example. Hello Games' ambitious space exploration sim became a victim of its own hype parade on launch in 2016, falling foul of not just false promises, but unreal expectations.

There's always the argument that Hello Games and, indeed, others in a similar situation, should have continued to delay their product until a satisfactory final build had been achieved, but money doesn't grow on trees. Only by pushing out an underwhelming but fully working product to recoup some cash was the Guildford-based indie studio able to realise its true vision for the game two years later.

A satisfying conclusion to a seemingly unsalvageable start, then, but Hello Games' turnaround of No Man's Sky isn't the exception. Far from it.

Everyone's allowed to make mistakes - just as long as they're learned from.


Joe is a freelance games journalist who, while not spending every waking minute selling himself to websites around the world, spends his free time writing. Most of it makes no sense, but when it does, he treats each article as if it were his Magnum Opus - with varying results.