2016 was a great year for video game releases. It was the year that games trapped in development hell would finally be set free from this longtime stasis (looking at you, The Last Guardian and Owlboy) and into the hands of excited players. A lot of memorable titles from small independent creators and bigger studios alike graced our consoles and PCs, but because this is 2016 we’re talking about, not every release was met with a good reception. Some failed to meet expectations, or were generally regarded as pretty bad. Whether it be the result of community outrage or sub-par marketing, here are seven of the craziest video game fails of the past year.
Cuphead is delayed
First introduced during the E3 2014 press conference, Cuphead is a two-player run-and-gun game that is currently in development for Xbox One and PC. Drawn and animated in the style of 1930s cartoons, the title stood out because of its interesting visuals and influences. Slated for release in 2016, it was announced earlier in the year that the game would not be published until 2017. Those excited for the title may be disappointed in having to hold off a while longer, but might be comforted in knowing that good things come to those who wait.
Battleborn is overshadowed
Unfortunately, Battleborn was a game released in 2016 that ended up being quickly forgotten due to the publishing of highly successful Overwatch just a few months later. The two are similar in genre: first person shooters that feature diverse characters and multiplayer features. It just happened to be bad timing that Battleborn was overshadowed.
Assassin’s Collection: The Ezio Collection‘s graphics issues
The remaster of a beloved franchise usually means the complete overhaul of outdated textures in favor of superior, higher-resolution images. It turns out that wasn’t the case for Ubisoft’s remaster of Assassins Creed 2. An NPC in the background of a cutscene was rendered bug-eyed and terrifying—a severe downgrade from his original look in the 2009 release.
Not so subtle product placement in Final Fantasy XV
It’s not unheard of for games to include a little product placement here and there. Uncharted 4 had character Elena Fisher answer a call using a phone manufactured by Sony, for instance. But the usual ordeal is much subtler than the product placement in Final Fantasy XV. Perhaps the most obvious of many examples in the game is when the four main characters Noctis, Gladiolus, Prompto, and Ignis stumble across an overt shoutout to Nissin Cup Noodles. At least they weren’t being shy about it!
Battlefield 1 and bad Twitter marketing
Writing interesting marketing copy can be tricky, especially on a platform like Twitter where there’s a character restriction. As such, creating promotional hashtags tends to be a good strategy. The minds behind Battlefield 1, though, kind of dropped the ball in this area, opting to push #JustWWIThings. The most infamous tweet put out by publisher EA’s official Battlefield 1 Twitter account captioned a soldier on fire with the words: “When you’re too hot for the club.” The tweets have since been deleted and EA has issued an apology, but the marketing fail is still remembered by players online.
The failed launch of Mighty No. 9
Mighty No. 9 launched a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2013 that was funded by excited fans of the Mega Man franchise. After all, Keiji Inafune (the character designer of Mega Man) would be spearheading the development campaign. Unfortunately, after several delays and issues during production, coupled by an awkward release trailer, the game was finally published in 2016 but was met with horrible fan reception. Perhaps upset that they were delivered a project that was far from what they were promised, Mighty No. 9 serves as a cautionary tale for games funded through a crowdfunding service.
The unmet expectations of No Man’s Sky
Much has been said about No Man’s Sky following its August release. The game promised space exploration and beautiful scenery to explore. The world (or several worlds) was your oyster. With so much hype built around the game due to the dedicated community (even before the game was published), the title failed to meet the great expectations harbored by players. After launch, the independent studio went quiet, causing users to feel abandoned and angry. However, it seems the studio is set on fixing a lot of concerns as an update patch was released last month.
What do you think were the craziest video game fails of 2016? Let us know in the comments, join the conversation on Facebook!
Images: Ubisoft, EA, Hello Games, 2K Games, Mighty No. 9, Studio MDHR, Square Enix
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