Five Games That Must Escape Vaporware Hell

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These are five games that must escape the hell that is vaporware status. They have been kicked around by developers and are yet to see the light of day.  Hopefully by telling readers about them we can grant them new life as published titles. It’s happened before. Just take a look at Duke Nukem Forever, that turned out well didn’t it?

5) Beyond Good and Evil 2 – Ubisoft Montpellier

This game was announced with style in 2008 at the Louvre and since then has had as tough a time getting developed as people trying to figure out what Mona Lisa is smiling at.  In 2010 rumors were about that Michel Ancel was leaving Ubisoft, which would basically cancel this game forever. Thankfully the rumors were wrong. Ancel was only leaving development on BG&E2 to work on Rayman: Origins. He stated that the reason development was taking so long was that he was trying to keep the team small so as to maintain their artistic spirit.  Ancel stated at a private Ubisoft dinner that BG&E2 is far into development and will be hitting next generation consoles. Us skeptics will believe it when we see it. Still, this may be the only game on this list to see the light of day, so smile at that for you will be frowning at the rest of the titles you will not be able to enjoy.

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4) The Last Guardian – Team Ico

Team Ico’s latest opus, The Last Guardian, has been in development since 2007.  It was officially announced in 2009 at that years E3, and at the following E3’s it was as if the game did not exist.  In 2010 the Guardian poked his head into the Tokyo Game Show and a tentative release date of 2011 was given.  Sadly that release date never came to fruition. Instead very little was heard about the game until Fumito Ueda announced that he would be leaving Sony in December of 2011 but that he would be involved in the game’s completion.  At 2013 E3 several Sony CEO’s  ran amuck about the game’s status. Shuhei Yoshida announced that the game was still in development and that they were waiting for the right time to re-introduce the game. Jack Tretton, however, stated that the game is on hiatus, which was then countered by Yoshida when he said that “is in active development”.  So if they are that confused at Sony, who knows what is really going with this game.

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3) AgentRockstar North

Sony announced in 2007 that Rockstar was developing a new franchise for the PS3, but it wasn’t until 2009 that real news surfaced at E3 of that year.  During that Sony Press Conference it was announced that the game would take place during the Cold War in the 1970’s and that players would enter “the world of counter-intelligence, espionage and political assassinations.” Since then Rockstar and Take -Two have stated that the game is still in active development. And finally in 2013, Take-Two Interactive has renewed the trademark for the Agent brand.  Does this mean that Agent will finally be sneaking it’s way onto the PS4? That information is unfortunately classified.

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2) Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned  – Propaganda Games

This game was announced on E3 in 2009 to rave reviews by gaming journalists. Set before The Curse of the Black Pearl players would take on the role of a pirate captain named James Sterling.  His mission was to sail the Caribbean and make a name for himself by plundering and stealing booty. Very little was said about the games actual story, but that it would be a completely separate story from the movies containing all new characters and locations. While Armada of the Damned was in production Propaganda was also working on Tron: Evolution which was released on December 2010, however in October of that same year Disney laid off the development team of Armada due to “restructuring.”  Tron: Evolution was then released to lukewarm reviews and sales which led to cancellation of any post DLC and the final nail in the coffin of Armada.  Propaganda Games’ doors were also shut and nothing has been heard of the game since.  It’s very rare to see a game so close to completion cancelled so suddenly like that. Hopefully Disney will realize the error of their ways and let the game set sail on the next generation.

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1) Dirty Harry – The Collective

The Dirty Harry game was announced on February 24, 2005 to the world by Warner Brothers entertainment. They touted the fact that the game would flesh out the iconic character more, and that Clint Eastwood was involved as creative consultant as well as voicing Dirty Harry. And so began the quest to find a developer, in May of the same year Warner Brothers set its sights on The Collective, who had just come off of two other licensed games: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.  All went silent for a little over a year, then in 2006 Dirty Harry made an appearance at E3. There, the Collective and Warner Brothers showcased a trailer which showed neither game-play nor cut scenes; it was just an animation of their characters models and engine schematics. However, people loved how the trailer captured the grit of the movies and that 70’s vibe.  They announced that Gene Hackman would play Police Supervisor Al Bressler and that Laurence Fishburn also signed on as Reverend Carlton Clay. Warner Brothers touted that San Fransisco would be a living city and that the game would take place between Dirty Harry and Magnum Force, the first two movies in the opus. They also told players that the game would not be a direct link between the two movies, and that you would have to walk a fine line between bad cop and psychopath, which would affect game-play.   If you stayed the bad cop criminals would fear you and cower before the most powerful handgun in the world, but if you jumped the line your superiors would be on you, just like in the movies.

Unfortunately in 2007 things began to look pretty bleak for Dirty Harry’s adventure on the Xbox 360 and PS3. On March 1st of that year, it was announced that The Collective was laying off 30 employees due to the fact that Warner Brothers had pulled their rights to develop the game.  No one has been very vocal about where the project landed at Warner Brothers, but they have stated that the game is still in production and that they hope to finish it and release it to all those gamers who want to “feel lucky, punk.”

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