10 Video Games That Languished In Development For Years

Games aren't easy to make, but sometimes, they take years and years and years...

LA Noire Development Time

If you've ever played a video game, odds are you know they are complex systems of entertainment requiring hundreds of people working thousands of hours to complete.

These days, most games are put together from start to finish in about 12-18 months. If they are a sequel building off of a preexisting game engine, it can take less time, but you can average at least a year for most titles with AAA-titles taking up to 24-36 months to put together.

Even so, there is the occasional title that takes even longer to develop, and these often lead to games that are either extremely well received by fans, or absolutely loathed by them.

A long development time is rarely the result of actual extensive development, nor does it indicate the finished product will be better than a game developed over a shorter period of time. More often than not, it's a matter of funding, digital rights management, or any of a hundred other issues that come up sometime during the development process that causes a delayed release. Whatever the reason, these ten games took way too long to develop and release.

10. Heart Of Darkness (1998)

LA Noire Development Time
Amazing Studio

Development Time: 6 Years (1992 to 1998)

Heart of Darkness is a cinematic platformer from Amazing Studio, which was released in 1998 for the PlayStation. The game features a young boy who tracks his missing dog after it was kidnapped by ghosts. The story plays out over the course of 90 minutes of interactive storytelling cinematics.

The game was relatively advanced for its time, but that wasn't the main reason it languished in development for more than six years. When development began in 1992, Heart of Darkness was targeted for release on the PC market, but the platform became an issue soon after development began.

Work was done on the game for a few years before it was finally announced to the public for the first time in 1995 at the European Computer Trade Show. At the time, it was revealed to be coming out on the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, but thanks to taking so long for development, that wasn't a possibility.

By the time development neared completion, the 3DO was no longer commercially viable. This pushed development for release on the Amiga CD32, but that version was never released. Eventually, it was developed for the Atari Jaguar CD, but further delays in development made that an impossibility. By the time development was completed, it was finally made available on the PlayStation.

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Jonathan is a graphic artist, illustrator, writer, and game designer. Jonathan retired from the U.S. Army in 2017 and enjoys researching and writing about history, science, theology, and many other subjects. He writes for ScreenRant, CBR, NerdBastards, Listverse, Ranker, WhatCulture, and many other sites online. You can check out his latest on Twitter: @TalkingBull or on his blog: jonathanhkantor.com