10 Video Games That REALLY Should've Been Cancelled

These developers should've got out whilst they still had the chance...

Microsoft Game Studios

Developing any video game is tough, no matter how many people are involved or how small the project is. Throughout development, the creators can become discouraged due to repeated changes in plan and massive delays.

And when things get really tough, the higher-ups may be tempted to can the whole operation, especially if all signs suggest the final product isn't going to be great or profitable. After all, what's the point of releasing a game that's guaranteed to be awful?

But more often than not, calling it quits isn't an option. If a ton of money has been sunk into a game and it's been hyped to high heaven, the team have to see it through, regardless of the quality.

However, there are certain situations where abandoning ship isn't just sensible, but necessary. When a game bankrupts the company and tarnishes the brand's reputation beyond repair, the developers will wonder why they didn't give up at the first sign of trouble.

Of course, pulling the plug can get messy, since it can lead to money problems, layoffs, and lawsuits. But considering how badly these ten debacles turned out, they should've been cancelled.

10. Haze

Free Radical

The first three TimeSplitters games received unanimous praise, which should've encouraged Free Radical Design to churn out another instalment. After all, if it's not broke, don't fix it.

Rather than striking while the iron was hot, focus was shifted towards a new brand called Haze. Much like Daikatana, this IP suffered from severe overhype from the get-go, with Ubisoft confidently calling it a Halo-Killer. When Haze suffered a year of delays, Free Radical reassured the masses that the extra time would allow them to tweak everything to perfection.

Sadly, Haze was such a disaster, it was baffling why the creators had such faith in it. Due to the incomprehensible plot, janky action, underwhelming gameplay, and insultingly brief campaign mode, Haze made a strong case for worst game of the year.

Trying to get back on the saddle, FRD prepped TimeSplitters 4, believing it was a safe bet. But after Haze's poor reception, publishers wanted nothing to do with them. Despite pushing for the TimeSplitters sequel for 15 years, nothing came of it before the company shut down in 2023. 

Annoyingly, Free Radical Design could've avoided this dire fate if they stuck with TimeSplitters in the beginning.

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James Egan has written 80 books including 1000 Facts about Superheroes Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Horror Movies Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about The Greatest Films Ever Made Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Video Games Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about TV Shows Vol. 1-3 Twitter - @jameswzegan85