For better or worse (let's face it, mostly worse), video games live or die by their marketing. You can have the best piece of art ever created, construct oscar-worthy cinematics, fabricate new worlds full of rich characters or craft the finest, most satisfying mechanics ever put to code but if you can't convince anybody to check the game out, all that work goes to waste.
At the same time though, it's perhaps worse if you do have that gem of a game and the marketing department fails to sell players on it, creating cringeworthy trailers and boring gameplay videos that wrongly send people away from the title, rather than to it.
Conversely, sometimes a publisher knows they've got a stinker on their hands and will try to quietly release it without anyone realising.
With all this in mind, over the past year there have been a whole bunch of releases that have been sent out to certain doom.
Some were so terrible anyway that they probably didn't deserve better, but others were genuinely overlooked gems worthy of your time that, for one reason or another, weren't given a fighting chance at the market.
11. Honorable Mentions
Okay, so before we get into the already-released games that we can say, in hindsight, were definitely sent out to die, it's worth talking about the upcoming titles that inspired this list.
There weren't enough to justify their own article (despite my best efforts), but the most obvious upcoming game being sent out to the (killer) sharks is Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League. Skepticism has lingered over this superhero spin-off since its initial announcement as a four-player co-op shooter, and that turned into outright hostility following more extensive looks at gameplay via trailers that only highlighted uninspired missions and repetitive gameplay.
This backlash resulted in the title getting hit with a last-minute delay that pushed it back by nearly a whole year. Unfortunately, recent early impressions and previews haven't done much to win players back either. It's too soon to say whether Suicide Squad deserves to be rejected off the bat (its cinematics and story do look tantalising), but it feels obvious that it's gearing up for a thorny reception.
Other 2024 releases seemingly set to suffer the same fate at the time of writing also include the just-released Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown which has enjoyed exceptional reviews but has been let down by Ubisoft's lack of marketing, as well as Skull and Bones which, according to Kotaku (via The Gamer), only remains alive after a decade in development hell due to a deal that was made with the Singapore government.
Who said you can't balance art and commerce, eh?