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The Most Devastating Game Cancelations Of 2024 So Far

In the world of gaming, cancelations are one of the bitterest disappointments that a gamer can face. During the lead-up to a game's launch, projects can build massive amounts of hype and excitement. This period of time can make for a wonderful community experience, bringing fanbases closer together as they anticipate a new entry in their favorite series or a new IP that has the chance to be the next big thing. However, the gaming industry can be extremely volatile, and projects have the potential to be canceled at any time, shattering that sense of excitement.

2024 has been a rough year for the gaming industry in this regard. Massive companies like EA and Sony have implemented huge layoffs, leading to the closure of some beloved studios. Other companies are facing large-scale restructures. At this point in time, it seems like no game is safe from cancelation. So far, several exciting new games have already gotten the axe. 

Untitled Star Wars FPS

For a while now, fans were aware of an unnamed "Star Wars" first-person shooter in development from Respawn EA, with EA handling publishing. While many had suspected this game would be a new "Star Wars Battlefront" game, many were surprised to learn that this project would follow a Mandalorian, with gameplay akin to "Doom." While this wouldn't directly deal with the continuity of "The Mandalorian" TV series, the popularity of the show may have contributed to the company's interest in the concept. However, after layoffs hit the company hard in early 2024, the project was canceled. EA decided to instead prioritize its live service games, including properties like "Apex Legends" and the successful "Star Wars Jedi" series.

While it's understandable in the current climate to focus on what works and not take unnecessary risks, fans were understandably upset. Users on Reddit were quick to point out that it has been a long time since a new Star Wars FPS was released, with one commenter asking, "Will we ever get a good single-player Star Wars FPS again?" Hopefully, once the gaming industry starts to stabilize, companies like EA will once again be able to take its IP in some fresh directions. Until then, sadly, we will just have to mourn the loss of the "Star Wars" and "Doom" crossover game that could have been.

Odyssey

Survival games have become a massive sub-genre in the gaming industry. Following the success of "Minecraft," it seemed like every company wanted to make its own title in an attempt to capture what made it so popular. Blizzard, the company behind "Overwatch" and "World of Warcraft," was no different. Not long after the release of "Overwatch," Blizzard began development on a project that would later be revealed as "Odyssey." However, earlier this year — around six years into the game's development – Bloomberg learned that the game was canceled due to restructuring in Blizzard and problems with the game's engine.

Not much was known about the project, but based on Blizzard's other properties, "Odyssey" most likely would have been an extremely polished and strong survival game experience — eventually. Bloomberg reported that developers on the game found themselves making assets for things like a 100-person multiplayer mode, despite knowing that they would need to be cut down the line when the game changed engines. Despite positive responses from play-testers, the game would have taken far too long to finish at its rate of development.

One Redditor had an interesting take on the cancelation: "an unreleased game is always simultaneously the best and worst game ever made, because it only exists in people's imagination. Six years of Dev with nothing to show."

A Deus Ex sequel

The "Deus Ex" series has captured the hearts of sci-fi RPG fans with its strong storytelling and varied gameplay possibilities, and fans have been hungry for a new entry for quite some time. The latest entry in the series, "Deus Ex: Mankind Divided" was released back in 2016. In January 2024, it was revealed that a new "Deus Ex" project was being developed at one point by Eidos-Montreal. Sadly, this news was only revealed alongside the announcement of the game's cancelation at the hands of parent company Embracer Group. After two years of development, the title was canceled following a round of heavy layoffs. While no specific information about the title was released, many fans hoped that this newest entry could have evolved the series to the next level, allowing for even more creativity with cybernetic enhancements and character role-playing choices.

Fans were understandably upset with Embracer Group's decision to cancel the newest "Deus Ex" entry, especially since the company had only just acquired the license. This cancelation further soured many gamers towards the company. "Embracer has been a disaster for the studios they bought," one Redditor wrote. While some hold out hope that the project could be revived elsewhere, others are afraid that "Deus Ex" is done for. While it's still up in the air whether this will be the end of the series or not, frustration towards Embracer Group is at an all time high.

A new Twisted Metal

Continuing the trend, yet another beloved franchise was set to receive a new entry in 2024. In this case, it was the car combat classic "Twisted Metal." After the release of the "Twisted Metal" TV series, nostalgic love for the series rose higher than it's been in many years. Similar to the sales boost that "The Last of Us" games received after the HBO adaptation debuted, Sony was seemingly willing to take a similar gamble on one of its franchises. This led to a Firesprite developing a new "Twisted Metal" project since 2012. Sadly, the project was also canceled amidst heavy layoffs at Sony. 

For many, canceling a "Twisted Metal" seemed like an odd move for Sony to make, especially given the success of the TV series and the presence of a dedicated fanbase. One fan on Reddit lamented, "Twisted Metal gets to stay dead on PS2 with all of the other greatest PlayStation series of all time," blaming the series' dormancy on Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan. Until we see another entry, "Twisted Metal" will have to join the ranks of "Sly Cooper" and "Jak and Daxter" as a fondly remembered series that simply can't seem to make a comeback.

Five unnamed Bandai Namco projects

While it's always disappointing when fans learn of a highly anticipated being canceled, many projects are cut short well before they're even announced. That was the case in February 2024, when Bandai Namco announced the cancelation of five unnamed projects that were in the works at the company. According to an earnings report from Bandai Namco (translation via IGN), these games didn't make the cut due to the fact that a number of recent Bandai Namco games underperformed. While most may see the success of "Tekken 8" and assume the company is doing fine, Bandai Namco argued that a serious streamlining of its business was in order.

Unlike previous entries on this list, nothing is known about these projects other than the fact that they existed. Naturally, this has led to fans speculating wildly about what these games could have been. Some guesses regarding these projects include a new "Digimon" game, "Soulcalibur 7," "Code Vein 2," a new "Gundam" game, and many more. With so many franchises under the massive umbrella that is Bandai Namco, it's almost impossible to guess what could have been. Still, it's hard not to be sad about what could have been, especially considering Bandai Namco's track record of quality. Thankfully, the company has reported that other anticipated releases, including new "Elden Ring" content and "Little Nightmares 3," are still in development.

Disco Elysium's follow-up, X7

Following even more layoffs in 2024, "Disco Elysium" developer ZA/UM announced the cancelation a planned project codenamed "X7." For those who aren't familiar, "Disco Elysium" is a non-traditional RPG in which players control a detective solving a murder case. Thanks to its beautiful art style, engrossing mechanics, and amazing storytelling, "Disco Elysium" quickly became regarded as one of the best RPGs of all time. "X7" would have followed "Disco Elysium" as a standalone expansion, but it may have taken a significant amount of time to complete. 

The cancelation of the "Disco Elysium" follow-up has been a solemn reminder that not even indie games are safe from the current status of the video game industry. In a solemn letter to the ZA/UM staff (via GLHF), developer CEO Ilmar Kompus explained, "I have taken the difficult decision to cancel X7. This decision ... will unfortunately most likely lead to redundancies within our studio." In other words, on top of the game being canceled, most of the team working on the game faced potential layoffs. A tragic turn for the "Disco Elysium" series to take, no doubt. Hopefully, sometime in the future when the industry stabilizes, a new iteration of the "X7" project will reach fruition.

Warhaven console ports

New projects aren't the only things being impacted by the current state of the gaming industry, as some live-service games are also coming to an early end. "Warhaven," a fantasy PVP game from Nexon, is officially shutting down later in 2024 after the game failed to catch on in the same way as other live-service juggernauts. The game itself failed to escape the Early Access stage and will never see a full release. In an announcement regarding the end of live service, Nexon told gamers, "Despite all the shortcomings, we will deeply cherish the warm affection and support you have sent towards 'Warhaven' in our hearts."

In "Warhaven," players choose a class and compete in large-scale medieval-style combat scenarios. In many ways, this game is comparable to a game like "For Honor," just with more players per lobby. New character classes were planned for future updates, but the promise of these changes didn't save this game from its fate. Planned ports for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X were canceled as well.

While many players thought the game had a strong core, a laundry list of issues kept "Warhaven" from taking off. One key problem that many players had with "Warhaven" was an abysmal lack of balancing, which made some classes extremely overpowered and others nearly unplayable. Still, a large number of players had expressed their hopes that Nexon would right these issues if given enough time. Now, "Warhaven" will never become the game it might have been.

The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth

In a similar case to "Warhaven," another live service game is meeting an untimely end in 2024. Unlike the previous entry, "The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth" received a full release back in May 2023. Less than a year later, the "Lord of the Rings" mobile game is shutting down following cutbacks at publisher Electronic Arts. "Heroes of Middle-earth" has seen some ups and downs since its release, but it has ultimately been deemed too costly to continue. After the recent failure of "The Lord of the Rings: Gollum," it really feels like "LOTR" fans need a win in terms of video games. This wasn't even one of the worst "Lord of the Rings" games!

Overall, during its short run, fan reception of "The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth" has been quite mixed. Many called it a generic mobile game, feeling there's little that separates it from other character-collecting games on the market. One Redditor summed these feelings up by saying, "You have probably already played this game, just with a different UI, it's the same as 99% of the games out there." 

With so much source material to pull from and a massive company like EA backing it, "LOTR" fans had higher expectations for this game, which ultimately led to the lukewarm reception. However, despite this reaction from hardcore fans, it was still a game that many could enjoy despite its simplicity. This cancelation isn't just devastating for fans of the game, but part of a growing trend with "LOTR" games.

Halo Battle Royale

Joining the ranks of canceled games in 2024 is a game that attempted to take a time-honored franchise in a new direction. Apparently, a battle royale spinoff to the "Halo" series was said to be in the works by developer Certain Affinity. Specific details about the game have eluded fans, other than some indications that it might build off of the "Halo Infinite" engine. Fans have argued that a battle royale would be a perfect fit for the franchise, perhaps even fitting in with the lore of Spartan Training. However, multiple sources have said that Microsoft has decided to drop the project in its current form.

While it was hard for some fans to get excited with such little information to go on, others were severely disappointed by the news of this project's cancelation. Some fans on social media have argued that this battle royale might have offered the change of pace that the "Halo" franchise needed to help it better situate in the modern era of gaming. It may just be that the the battle royale market is too competitive at this point, with massive games like "Fortnite" and "Apex Legends" boxing out any competition that may want to join the genre. Sadly, even hype surrounding the "Halo" TV show couldn't save this project.

Dreams PC and PS5 Port

For one of the oddest cancelations on this list so far, we have the PC and PS5 port of "Dreams." A game that focused on creating games and experiences, then sharing them with other players, "Dreams" became a small phenomenon when it launched on PS4 in 2020. Similar to "Roblox," players can vote on games they like, helping them become more popular and thus more visible to other players. Overall, "Dreams" has a fun engine that allows for some incredible creations. After its success on PS4, plans were set in motion to bring the game to the PS5 and PC as well. Apparently, these ports of "Dream" were functional, but were eventually dropped due to layoffs at Media Molecule. The news broke in early February, devastating a potential new generation of "Dreams" fans.

Fans of the game were quick to point out how bizarre it seems to cancel the project when the ports were so far along in development, especially since "Dreams" may have a chance to reach a wider audience on PC. With a bit more variety and some upgraded building tools, "Dreams" on PC could have been a strong competitor to "Roblox." 

Overwatch 2 PvE Is Officially Canceled

From the moment it was released, "Overwatch 2" had a rocky relationship with fans of the game. For many, the game felt more like an update, and not a proper new game, to the point where some argued "Overwatch 2" didn't really deserve the "2" in its name. However, Blizzard promised something that would set "Overwatch" and "Overwatch 2" apart: PvE missions. In this new mode, players could play through various story missions, fighting bosses and leveling up skill trees in a fun alternate game mode. Sadly, the PvE mode was canceled after constant delays, leaving fans distraught. Although Blizzard did release some of the story missions in Season 6, the company announced plans to completely squash the idea after these missions underperformed in sales.

The PvE content that players received in Season 6 of "Overwatch 2" was quite different from the planned content that was advertised back during the build-up to the game's release. Many fans thought that it was shallow and lacked the depth that they hoped for. In a Reddit thread about the failure of PvE, one disappointed player commented that the missions were "five minute scenarios that devolve into the same gameplay loop as booting up the PVP, just with set skins and less hero variety on a smaller map." In the end, fans weren't terribly surprised to see Blizzard canning "Overwatch 2" PvE — but they were bummed.

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