The video game industry can be a harsh mistress. In recent years, developers have been increasingly inclined towards remasters and remakes, banking on gamers’ nostalgia with heavy-hitters like Final Fantasy VII Remake. Why are they doing this? Well, the allure of sweet, sweet cash aside, it’s rather less risky than taking a shot with a new IP.
As games become more and more cinematic and technically ambitious, development costs tend to skyrocket. Playing it safe, as a result, tends to be the preferred strategy. Even with that in mind, though, the surest-sounding bet can still turn out terribly at times. In that situation, the best response is for developers and/or publishers to have a darn good reason for their failure. Or, alternatively, one of these awful ones.
Not all of these games were abject failures, but they all had some major shortcomings (at least at first) that the creators tried to explain away in feeble fashion.
10. No Man's Sky: It Wasn't Supposed To Be As Popular As It Was
We all know what a disappointment No Man’s Sky proved to be on launch. This 2016 title from Hello Games was talked up to the hilt prior to its release. It had gamers salivating at the idea of a freely explorable universe of almost infinite scope; an open world consisting of more than 18 quintillion planets. What’s a quintillion? Well, a whole lot, that’s what. 18 times.
The trouble was, Hello Games talked the talked, but No Man’s Sky wasn’t ready to walk the walk when it arrived. The game had been hyped to the nth degree but was lacking in a lot of features that had been promised right out of the gate. To their credit, Hello Games have implemented a lot of these since, but the game never quite got over its bad launch press.
What did Sean Murray and the Hello Games team have to say for themselves? Well, according to Murray, the game had proven to be too popular for its own good.
“When we released No Man's Sky -- and, in fact, when we first started talking about it -- I thought we were making a pretty niche game, and I continued to think that for a long time,” he told gamesindustry.biz. “A lot of the design decisions we made were for a niche game. It turned out to be a really large niche."