16 Biggest Video Game Flops of All Time
By Kris Kucza
The video game industry is typically one that is supposed to help developers break through and create fun and enjoyable games. While we hope every game that created is successful, some games just fall short to those expectations.
We are talking about the games that just outright were bad from the start and probably were better off not even being released to the public. Here is a list of the 16 biggest video game flops of all time:
16. Assassin's Creed Unity
To sum it up nice and simple, the game ran poorly on every platform when it first released. Textures not loading up and game-breaking glitches made Assassin’s Creed Unity unplayable.
These major issues hurt the sales of the game, but after a series of patches to fix the problems came out, the game actually became playable.
15. Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness
If you know anything about gaming, you know that the Tomb Raider series is one of the best when it comes to action-adventure video games. But with every great gaming experience, there is always going to be times where your expectations fall short.
Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness was that disappointing exception when the game was released in 2003. The list of problems, including poor controls/glitches and a camera angle that was an eye sore, far outweighed the good. The game sold a mere 2.5 million copies, solidifying its status as one of the worst Tomb Raider games of all time.
Holding the Guiness World Record for "least commercially successful winner of a game of the year award," Ōkamihas had gorgeous gaming design, but Clover Studio clearly did not make the right marketing moves to get the game sold.
With only 600,000 copies of the game sold worldwide, Ōkami flopped so hard that the key designers left just months after its launch.
Stemming from a popular YouTube channel called Yogscast, Yogventures was created with a Kickstarter project to bring an open-world sandbox game to subscribers. Supporters of the channel came to the aid to try to help the creation of the game, pledging a total of $567,665.
It is important to note that Yogscast aren't gaming developers themselves, so an outsourced studio was called in, and it didn't go so well. After numerous delays, the game was ultimately canceled and backers learned that they weren't receiving refunds. Instead, they were given codes for another game called TUG.
12. Star Wars Battlefront II
The biggest problem with this title was the controversy surrounding micro-transactions. Just like any other multiplayer game to release in the last couple of years, players were given an option to purchase in-game currency to get new cosmetics or unlocks. Star Wars Battlefront II took it to another level and fans were furious.
Players quickly realized the most popular characters in the game, such as Darth Vader, required a massive grind just to unlock. This game grind can be easily done by just purchasing the coins. It was like the developers of Battlefront II made unlocking the most famous characters expensive in order to push players to just buy their way to earn them.
11. Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
Die-hard Sonic the Hedgehog fans were left highly disappointed when playing the game released in 2006.
The game was said to be released in an older build, meaning that the final product that was available for sale wasn't even the newest version of the game. This was because SEGA's poor reputation for getting games out on time, which this didn't help this instance, either.
10. Mighty No. 9
Yet another Kickstarter game to make this list, Mighty No. 9 never hit the ground running and Mega Man 11 is a big reason why.
Doomed the successor to the Mega Man franchise, Mighty No. 9 failed to even compete with it. Boring level design and gameplay left fans hopeless. It didn't help that Mega Man 11 was announced right after the release of the game, which killed off all of the hype.
9. Tony Hawk: Shred
Whenever you hear of a skateboard video game, your immediate thought is typically Tony Hawk. The pro skater brought his brand and sport to the video game scene and pretty much crushed it with releases such as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Underground.
The franchise wanted to take the next step and bring a game that was more realistic, which included an wireless fake skateboard. This board was supposed to bring the game to life, but instead generated wonky gameplay that just didn't keep right at all. The game sold a measly 3,000 copies in the first week of sale in 2010.
When the six axis controls were announced by Playstation for Lair, most thought it was an awesome way to integrate these new controls. Sony pushed for these controls rather than analog stick, and it ultimately hurt the game a ton.
Players quickly got frustrated and just put the game down all together. Sony later changed the controls to support analog stick gameplay, but it was all too late for Lair.
7. APB: All Points Bulletin
There is no question that APB: All Points Bulletin got a ton of hype around its release, as the creator of GTA was on it. A multiplayer third-person shooter that revolved around Enforcers and Criminals: what isn't there to like?
Well, when the publisher of the game decided it was a good move to bar sites from reviewing the game during the first week, it killed the hype. Cancelled pre-orders and low first-week sales affected the game, which after all had some unfinished gameplay.
Fans were psyched when Studio Wildcard showed a sneak peek of their newest game ATLAS during The Game Awards 2018. A vast world for players to role play as pirates was something that players never experienced (outside of Sea of Thieves).
The problems with the actual game just started compiling, though, as its release was delayed multiple times (sometimes just moments before release). When the game was finally playable, people quickly realized that the game was just a re-skin of an earlier flop, Ark.
Considered a copy of Overwatch when first released, Lawbreakers tried to be its own type of game but fell face first in an oversaturated market. Coming from the same developers as Gears of War, the first mistake might have been that the game was never even considered for Xbox.
4. Duke Nukem Forever
It is understandable that games can sometimes get hit with a unfortunate delay. Short delays are most often fine with fans as they would rather wait a little more than receive an unfinished product on release day. A release delay of 13 years, though? Yeah that won't sit well with players.
Duke Nukem first launched with three games in the 1990s, with the fourth, Duke Nukem Forever, set to come out in 1997. Only problem is that the game got delayed for a whopping 13 years. This stemmed from the the game moving between four different publishers until it finally came out in 2011. Fans were so disappointed that the game ended up losing as much as $30 million.
3. Too Human
Despite being named one of Xbox 360's most tragic flops, Too Human seemed destined for greatness. A demo release that saw more playtimes clocked than Grand Theft Auto IV in one week, the game had so much hype and it was all thanks to their developer, Silicon Knights.
Rumors started the the development of the game wasn't going as planned, though, after the demo, and delays piled on. When the game finally came out, reviews were not kind at all. Missing features and broken promises deflated scores across reviewers.
The biggest fail of them all came when they got hit with a lawsuit from Epic Games (yes, the creators of Fortnite). Silicon Knights ended up losing the suit which put an end to Too Human's existence as a game.
2. No Man’s Sky
When developer Hello Games announced No Man's Sky, fans were excited about the prospect of an open world game with endless possibilities. With so much hype around the game, it's not surprising how badly this game flopped when it finally released.
After a bunch of promised features failed to make it to the launch of the game, No Man's Sky became more of a laughing stock than a success.
1. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
The hype around E.T. was massive in the 80s due to the release of the hit movie, so it was a surprise that Atari went out and spent over $20 million acquire the licensing rights to create the game.
The game sold 1.5 million units and is one of the top selling Atari 2600 games of all time, but things went sour quick as more than 3 million cartridges went unsold. Atari literally buried millions of copies of the game in a landfill in New Mexico where it was later dug out in 2014. The game ended up losing the company $536 million.