Each week, the EGM Staff bring you The Fast Five—in which we choose a topic related in some way to the week’s news, and five editors pick their top answer to the question.
Earlier this week, a request for express abandonment of the Watch Dogs trademark was filed through the United States Patent and Trademark Office, leaving many briefly bewildered about the fate of Ubisoft’s newest IP. As the story developed, the request documentation was proven to be fraudulent, and by the next day Ubisoft managed to get the Watch Dogs trademark reinstated.
The potential premature cancelation of Watch Dogs got all of us here at EGM thinking—what games that have been really canceled are we most bummed about never getting to play?
Once you’ve read our responses, let us know what canceled projects have left you blue in the comments below.
True Fantasy Live Online
Phantasy Star Online taught me how much I loved the idea of a console-based MMO, but after the Dreamcast failed and Sega’s online world was hacked, I needed something new. Then it was revealed: True Fantasy Live Online. A truly massive online RPG that was not only stylish and cel-shaded, but would let me be a cute witch flying around on a broom as my mount! I was so hyped that the game became one of the main reasons I bought an Xbox. Then the project was killed—along with my heart.
Two games came to mind when I heard this topic: the unreleased NES EarthBound and Mother 3 for the Game Boy Advance. In both cases, though, the games released in Japan. EarthBound 64, however, was scrapped pretty much entirely—and, in my mind, this cancellation ultimately kept the third entry in Shigesato Itoi’s seminal RPG series away from Western shores. Itoi had worked on Mother 3 for what seemed like forever, starting with the Super NES, but the game finally seemed to be shaping up as reality on the N64, with Nintendo Power even referencing the game in one of its issues—usually a clear sign of an impending localization. While a reworked version of Mother 3 did eventually hit Japan on the Game Boy Advance late in that system’s life cycle in 2006, that protracted delay meant that its localization simply wasn’t a priority for Nintendo at that point. I still hold out hope that, someday, it’ll get the official English-language release it rightly deserves.
Star Wars 1313
OK, so maybe Star Wars 1313 was just going to be a next-gen Uncharted ripoff with Boba Fett playing the role of Nathan Drake and the seedy underbelly of Couruscant filling in for the jungle, but I would totally have been fine with that. Derivative Star Wars games (Battlefront, Episode I: Racer) have always fared better than innovative efforts (The Force Unleashed). I’m not sure if there’s a heaven for cancelled videogames—in fact, everything I know about theology, science, and metaphysics tells me there isn’t—but if there is, I bet the digital Mr. Fett is sitting on a cloud and looking down on us all, wondering why the prequels made him so stupid.
Project Copernicus/Kingdoms of Amalur MMO
Okay, I know I’m in the minority here, but I really loved Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning. It was my favorite RPG of 2012, and I was excited to see what 38 Studios would do with the MMORPG followup. From what I understand, it was a hot mess when it was canceled and 38 went bust (even owner Curt Schilling said it “wasn’t fun”), but it wasn’t finished yet.
If they could have somehow gotten everything sorted out, Project Copernicus could’ve been a worthy successor to the original. Of course, I’m likely deluding myself, but as it exists solely in my mind, I can imagine a fully realized world that satisfied on every level.
Mega Man fans are desperate for the Blue Bomber in any from they can get. So, when it was revealed that Armature Studio–a game developer founded by former Retro Studios staff who helped re-imagine Samus in the Metroid: Prime trilogy–had been working on a FPS take on Mega Man X, I experienced heartache the likes of which I never imagined. While some of the ideas, like the X-Buster being replaced by a machine gun that could shoot missiles when charged up, make me thankful this project was canned, a larger part of me continues to long for Mega Man in new and exciting adventures that I fear will never come at this rate.