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10 video games in development for a decade or more

By October 1, 2021Video games

It’s common knowledge that video game development can take years, but for one reason or another, some games can take over a decade to even reach testing stages.

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Sometimes the games are worth the wait for almost 10 years, but most of the time they are not. In fact, some of these games are recognized more for their messy development times than for the quality of the final product (or lack thereof).


ten Final Fantasy XV continued to remake itself throughout its 10-year cycle

Noctis and his friends in Final Fantasy XV

Originally advertised as Final Fantasy Versus XIII for the PlayStation 3 in 2006, Final Fantasy XV (which ended up on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2016) was supposed to be part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy spin-offs (which may or may not be part of a multiverse). Unfortunately, Square Enix was too stretched out to give it the attention it deserved.

Final Fantasy XV was plagued by a number of production issues, such as a sudden change of director, heavy rewrites, and numerous false starts to accommodate the change of consoles. Even though it sold well, Final Fantasy XV has been criticized for being unfinished, as seen in its uneven history. One of the four planned DLCs was released before the initiative was completely scrapped.

9 Prey (2006) remained in development for 11 years due to technical issues

Tommy Enters the Raging Mothership (2006)

When it was announced, PreyLevels and gravity-defying mechanics have been brought to the fore. Unsurprisingly, this revolutionary physics engine took years to complete, which led to its lengthy development. Prey was first announced by 3D Realms in 1995, but was released in 2006, although a working version was completed in 1997.

The constant problems of the creative teams didn’t help, as original director Tom Hall left the project to found Ion Storm and the developers struggling to perfect the game’s physics and the portal engine. The sci-fi shooter has met with mostly positive reviews, but those weren’t enough to give the green light for the planned sequel and avoid a Bethesda reboot.

8 Diablo III was delayed for 11 years due to internal conflicts

The reaper of souls in Diablo 3

The influential cooperative dungeon crawler Diablo perhaps one of Blizzard’s most successful series, but even it has fallen victim to a restructuring. Diablo III began production in 2001, a year after its predecessor, but its developers at Blizzard North then clashed with Blizzard’s parent company Vivendi. Blizzard North has been shut down and its developers have left, leaving the sequel in limbo.

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Diablo III was finally removed from its purgatory state in 2008, but it will be another four years before it is completed. Unlike previous games, however, Diablo III elicited mixed reactions. While the gameplay has been praised and sold incredibly well, many have taken issue with the inclusion of the controversial still-live DRM system.

7 Mother 3 took 12 years to release because of Nintendo concerns

Klaus leads the way for Mother 3

Also known as EarthBound 2 internationally, Mother 3 It took almost a decade to release due to Nintendo concerns. In short, Mother 3the story of had content and themes explicitly reserved for adults that Nintendo believed would anger Western censors. Considering some of the company’s older announcements, this is not surprising. Furthermore, Mother 3The production cycle of the has been problematic since its start in 1994.

Originally, the sequel was envisioned as a 3D game for the N64, before being reworked into a top-to-bottom 2D game for the Game Boy Advance. Although released in Japan in 2006, Mother 3 has not yet obtained an official English localization. To this day, the only way for Western gamers to play it is through fan-translated ports.

6 Fallout: Van Buren languished for 13 years before turning into Fallout: New Vegas

NCR Ranger patrols the Mojave in Fallout New Vegas

Shortly after the years 1998 Fallout 2, Black Isle Studios started work on a follow-up, codename Van Buren. Its publisher, Interplay Entertainment, had other plans and gave priority to developers. Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel instead of. Brotherhood of Steel bombed on release, and Interplay canned Van Buren in response before sinking.

When Bethesda acquired Publication date, the remains of Van Buren have been redeveloped into NPCs, Stories, or Easter Eggs in New Vegas. Many of the elements of the highly acclaimed spin-off came from Van Buren, including Caesar’s Legion and the Hoover Dam. What didn’t fit into the main game returned in the 2011 DLC, like Old world blues Big MT which was originally the domed “Big Top” Tibbets Prison.

5 Half-Life: Alyx has been kept secret for 13 years to perfect its VR interface

Alyx solves a puzzle in Half Life Alyx

After leaving the always good Half-life franchise on a huge cliffhanger with Half-Life 2: Episode 2 in 2007, Valve has gone silent on the radio when it comes to news about its flagship title. Fans speculated that the follow-up would be Half-Life 3, only for it to be the exclusive VR interquel Half-life: Alyx, which apparently came out of nowhere.

Allyx started production in 2016, and it was the only Half-life concept to escape the conceptual stage within 13 years Episode 2. Valve’s well-known high standards have helped that of Alyx long development cycle, as they wanted the game’s story and VR controls (plus Valve’s own VR console, the Index) to be as perfect as possible.

4 Duke Nukem Forever released after 15 years of false starts and following trends

Duke Nukem enjoys his win in Duke Nukem Forever

After the inauguration Duke Nukem 3D changed the genre of first-person shooter in 1996, the sequel Duke Nukem forever seemed a sure thing. Instead, the highly anticipated sequel released in 2011 after years of unrealistic expectations and hype. Sadly, Duke’s return not only disappointed, it killed his franchise outright.

Duke Nukem forever took forever because George Broussard, its director at 3D Realms, constantly restarted production to keep it up to date. This continuation of trends was so intrusive that not only were entire versions scrapped, it partly led to the disbandment of 3D Realms. Gearbox Software then acquired the license from Duke and quickly launched the game.

3 Psychonauts 2 was suspended for 16 years because the first game was a flop

Raz returns in Psychonauts 2

Despite his rave reviews and his relationship with fans, Psychonauts“Sales have plummeted. Double Fine’s plans for a franchise for Raz and Friends were scrapped because it required more money than the studio had. Psychonauts 2 (which had a successful crowdfunding campaign) and Microsoft’s acquisition of Double Fine secured more resources.

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Psychonauts 2 was finally released in 2021, though the widely acclaimed sequel was criticized for its dated story and gameplay, both of which appeared straight out of 2005. As a bonus, Double Fine’s original take on a Psychonauts franchise took shape with the VR game of 2018, Psychonauts in the ruin diamond.

2 Star Fox 2 was completed 23 years after Nintendo canceled it

Star Fox and his team return in Star Fox 2

Following the success of the original Star fox on SNES, production for Star Fox 2 started immediately, and it was to be one of console’s most ambitious titles. But when the game was 95% finished in 1996, Nintendo abandoned it. Apparently, Nintendo got cold feet when it saw the graphic innovations of its competitors.

As state-of-the-art as the sega’s graphics and gameplay are, Nintendo felt they were pale compared to what has been seen on Sega Saturn and PlayStation. Nintendo canceled the game’s planned release in the 90s, but continued development and QA testing. In 2019, Star Fox 2 eventually made the jump from SNES to Nintendo Switch and SNES Classic Edition.

1 UnReal World took 26 years to achieve its lofty goals

UnReal World gameplay in action

The roguelike RPG genre that consists of games like Underworld is often seen as a 2010s video game cliché, but it could have become a massive trend as early as the 90s if Unreal world were completed on time. Produced by the development team made up of two men Erkka Lehmus and Sami Maaranen, Unreal world was first advertised in 1990 as an open-world roguelike survival sandbox.

Since then, this adaptation of Finnish folklore has seen several beta and free versions. Besides the lack of manpower, it took decades to complete due to things like open narratives and real-time combat being ahead of their time. Unreal world was finally finished in 2016, and it received positive reviews, although some have said it was little more than a relic from the ’90s.

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