Six Awesome Games That Never Were

Footage recently landed online of a never-published South Park game from Buzz Monkey Software that would have been released around 2006, reminding the gaming world that for every title that does see widespread distribution, there's a game that landed in development hell and got canceled. These six games were all killed for differing reasons, but their loss has left an unmistakable scar on the gaming landscape, leading us to wonder what might have been if the business worked just a little bit differently.

Silent Hills
Has there ever been a more anticipated horror game than the ill-fated Silent Hills? Director Guillermo Del Toro was involved, The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus was going to be the main character, and the demo simply titled “Playable Teaser” had hundreds of videos hitting YouTube featuring people screaming their heads off while giving it a first try.

Unfortunately the personal and business side of game development got in the way of this one, as Hideo Kojima – the main director for the game – got into a spat with publisher Konami and the end result was a game that's never going to actually see the light of day.

Of course we sincerely hope one day we'll get to write a new article titled “Games That Never Were, And Then Miraculously Were Saved And Released Anyway” featuring Silent Hills prominently in the #1 spot, but that seems very unlikely.

Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans
For kids who grew up on point and click adventure games like the King's Quest series, this one was a major disappointment. Around '97, the back cases of certain Blizzard games briefly carried an ad for an upcoming animated adventure game called Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans. Keep in mind this was two years after Warcraft 2 and a full five years before Warcraft 3 would arrive, so fans were clamoring for more Azeroth.

Lord Of The Clans was slated to feature the main character Thrall, who of course made it into Warcraft 3, and was voiced by Clancy Brown of Carnivale fame. Working in conjunction with a Russian company, things got increasingly strained with Blizzard and the project kept getting pushed back. As development dragged on with frequent changes being implemented and other companies releasing fully 3D adventure games that were a step up visually, Blizzard made the decision to shutter the project despite it being nearly done.

While we'll never get to play it, years after the fact footage from the unfinished game leaked online and can be seen below. A novelization of the events was also released with the title “Lord of the Clans,” so much of the story did make it out into the world even if the game never will.

Starcraft: Ghost
Another truly disappointing Blizzard entry that would have been a spinoff from the main series (boy, in retrospect it's a miracle Heroes Of The Storm made it to release!), Ghost switched from real time strategy to third person stealth shooter. Who didn't want to step into the shoes of a psychic sniper and see the Starcraft universe from a whole new view? 

The game actually got so close to release that cardboard cutouts and posters were up in games stores and people were taking pre-order money. Unfortunately constant delays, changes in development studios, and the switch from the Gamecube/PS2 era into the next generation of consoles led Ghost to be pushed back every year from 2003 to 2007 until Blizzard just stopped talking about it altogether. It wasn't until 2014 that the company even officially recognized it as “canceled,” despite obviously having been scrapped several years prior.

Clive Barker's Demonik
Besides his extensive writing career, horror maestro Clive Barker has managed to be involved in video games on several occasions, penning the scripts for both Undying and the odd action/horror combo Jericho, which had you switching between various team members with a wide range of combat abilities.

One of those forays into video games didn't actually end up panning out though. Featured extensively in the movie Grandma's Boy, many people didn't realize Demonik was an actual game being developed where you would play as a demon summoned from hell to enact revenge on the world's many wrongs.

Development on Demonik came to an unexpected halt when Majesco, facing financial trouble, decided to cancel games currently in production and switch focus to handheld gaming for a boost in revenue. Too bad we can't actually summon any demons to get revenge for that poor decision...

Aliens: Crucible
A title that could have revitalized a failing franchise, Aliens: Crucible was an action RPG mix that was well into development by Obsidian, creator of Fallout: New Vegas, KOTOR 2, and Pillars of Eternity.

Inexplicably, Sega canceled the game and decided to go with Aliens: Colonial Marines instead – a colossal blunder, considering that title has been met with universally negative reactions. For a glimpse of what might have been, check out this demo trailer featuring a segment from the never-completed game:

Star Wars: 1313
There was a dark time when all Star Wars fans had were the abysmal prequels, and news hit that the franchise was being sold to Disney. Before any real information about the coming barrage of Star Wars movies was available, this seemed like a death knell for the classic franchise.

A lone beacon of hope shone through that darkness in the wasteland of the Star Wars series – a new game to totally shift focus and tell a story set in that universe but filtered through a much gritter, more mature lens. 

Moving away from the force and lightsabers, Star Wars: 1313 would instead focus on a bounty hunter in the underground slums of Coruscant. The deal with Disney sadly killed the game before it could see release, as the company restructured LucasArts to shift focus away from in-house game development. There's still the possibility the license may be given to another developer to resurrect the game, but for no Star Wars: 1313 will only be a dream.