10 Video Games That Were Cancelled Despite Being Almost Finished

Seriously, give us Scalebound.

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For every excellent video game that gets made, there’s another that never sees the light of day. Whether it's due to clashes between studios and publishers, failing to acquire rights, or studios going bust, there are any number of reasons why a project can become cancelled.

Like any other creative endeavour, tonnes of work and passion is put into working on these games. A cancellation would understandably come as a disappointment to those who dedicated themselves to putting it together.

Likewise, when a project is cancelled after its officially announced it can leave those eagerly anticipating its release just as, if not more, deflated by the unwelcomed news, with high profile cancellations such as Silent Hills, Star Wars 1313, and Gotham By Gaslight still leaving us wondering about what could have been had things turned out different.

While many games are killed off during the early stages of their production, other games were pulled from release after they were completed. In some instances, this was due to a case of poor timing whereas others were fuelled by controversy, or the unfortunate victims of business decisions. Whatever the reason, though, these games were never released.

10. Fable Legends

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A bright and colourful RPG with a vibrant sense of humour to match, the Fable series was a fantasy juggernaut of the Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles. Despite creator Peter Molyneux’s infamous list of false promises, the series nevertheless had its legions of dedicated fans who couldn’t get enough of the imaginative world.

Following the release of Fable III in 2010 and Molyneux’s eventual departure from developers Lionhead in 2012, the team would begin work on what was to become Fable Legends. Designed to be a free-to-play asymmetrical multiplayer game, this Fable would be vastly different from what fans were used to. Likewise, the title was supposed to integrate Xbox’s cloud technology and be integrated with SmartGlass (remember that?).

After a very expensive development period, with Microsoft reportedly spending a whopping $75million, Fable Legends was abruptly axed, and Lionhead Studios was shut down only weeks after the open beta was launched.

While the exact reason for the cancellation remains unknown, sources involved in the production have claimed a lengthy list of bad decisions had resulted in a messy game that nobody really wanted to work on.

Here's hoping Playground Games's upcoming Fable reboot can make it across the finish line.


Glasgow-based cinephile who earned a Master's degree in film studies to spend their time writing about cinema, video games, and horror.