10 Video Game Franchises That ALWAYS Get It Wrong

How does it always go so wrong?

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Making a video game is no small feat. From the expectations that come from publishers to the difficulties in managing development teams often spread across different timezones.

Actually having something hit shelves - physical or otherwise - is an achievement in itself.

Couple that with all the creative and technical requirements that come with actually making a game good. But, nail all of those things, and the rewards are huge. Unlike something like the film industry, franchises become so beloved so quickly and command such loyal fanbases that they can continue on even with a flop in their back pocket.

And yet for some video game franchises it feels as though the development team live permanently under the shadow of a literal curse.

Even if the enduring popularity of main characters and past glories are enough to see sequels continue to get the green light, they never seem to grasp where anything has been going wrong, and what fans actually want from one of their titles.

10. Duke Nukem

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Despite some solid sales and an infamous reputation amongst gamers, Duke Nukem has always felt like a franchise decades behind everyone else. The two 2D side-scrollers that kicked off the series were hardly revolutionary in their day, and even the franchise's high point in Duke Nukem 3D came with just as much controversy as success.

Having been accused of promoting everything from pornography to murder, Gearbox were forced to release censored versions of the game and were even banned in certain countries.

And this unapologetically brash tone would plague the franchise for well over a decade as Gearbox struggled to release a new entry.

For fifteen years the Duke Nukem series would be stuck in development hell, during which time its already polarising themes became even more repugnant with gamers. When Duke Nukem Forever finally dropped in 2011, it quickly became clear the developers hadn't taken the time to realise this.

It's quite an achievement to have overly-simplistic gameplay that still feels unpolished, but that's what Forever managed to nail following its release. Couple this with an abundance of dated references and toilet humour, and it's a recipe for a franchise-killer.


Horror fan, gamer, all round subpar content creator. Strongly believes that Toad is the real hero of the Mario universe, and that we've probably had enough Batman origin stories.