Supergiant Games' brilliant roguelike Hades wasn't given a full-fat release until September 2020, but almost two years before that it was shadow-dropped in early access form after being unexpectedly revealed at The Game Awards.
Not even 18 months after Supergiant released their game Pyre, they had Hades in a playable enough state for an early access launch, and despite that speedy turnaround, reviews were extremely positive right out of the gate.
Many praised Hades for its addictive central gameplay loop, gorgeous graphics, and overall technical polish, especially given the tendency for early access titles to feel rather rough around the edges.
Before its full launch, the game had already sold 700,000 copies, and within three days of its full release it sold an additional 300,000 units.
Furthermore, Hades went on to receive near-universal critical acclaim, won several gongs at The Game Awards 2020, and was deemed Game of the Year by numerous publications.
Somewhat fittingly, Hades 2 was given a surprise announcement at last year's Game Awards, though unlike its predecessor wasn't shadow-dropped out of nowhere.