10 Obvious Video Game Home Runs That Somehow FAILED

Publishers are exceptionally talented at sabotaging their own IP, it turns out.

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection

Easy isn't a word that exists in the Game Development Handbook. The most watertight pitch can sound like a money-printing idea on paper. Still, colorful words don't magically become working code without hundreds, sometimes thousands, of talented hands working in unison. Even the likes of Ubisoft and Blizzard, masters of their craft, sometimes struggle to deliver on promises. Often, that's down to unfair expectations from an overzealous fan base demanding an unrealistic product, but the customer is, remarkably, sometimes right to criticize laughably poor decisions.

There's no shortage of them. Some of the most disappointing games of the last few generations were originally viewed under an altogether different lens. Believe it or not, Final Fantasy XIII was considered a surefire triple-A winner when Square Enix unveiled the next-gen sequel for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Fast-forward four years to release, and public sentiment flipped from awe to scorn over the nonsensical decision to meddle with a core component of the series formula.

It's not just established franchises that suffer, either. By nature, new intellectual property is going to be a tougher sell. The upside is that no preconceptions exist; a boon for Anthem, which looked sublime when it first debuted at E3. BioWare wasn't given the time it needed to cook the so-called Destiny-killer and fell victim to its arrogance based on previous successes.

Nobody succeeds at self-sabotage quite like EA, though. You'd think it would have learned its lesson by now...

10. Titanfall Series

Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection
Respawn Entertainment

Granted, it's cheating a little to lump both entries in Respawn's cult series together, but in this instance, it's worth looking at the bigger picture. 

Why? Because, incidentally, both instalments suffered commercial failure for wildly different reasons. Titanfall snapped up over 60 awards for its debut showing at E3 2013. When it rolled around less than a year later, release scores mimicked that initial success. Considering the FPS pedigree employed by Respawn, sublime gameplay was a given; everything else fell below par. Poor net code, the near-total lack of a single-player campaign, and the eternal struggle of establishing a new IP all contributed to Titanfall's, well, fall.

So Respawn went back to the drawing board with Titanfall 2. The sequel rectified every criticism of the original — the campaign is one of the best you'll find in an FPS — and then some, but fell far short of sales projections, nonetheless. EA, in its infinite wisdom as an industry-leading publisher, decided to engage in self-sabotage and dropped Titanfall 2 between the launch of its own Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Two massive IPs compared to Respawn's.

To this day, nobody knows what the suits at EA were smoking to think competing with itself was smart business acumen.

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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.