Failure to Launch: 10 Video Games That Didn’t Meat The Hype

Have you ever just gotten really excited for a game to be released, only to be disappointed? Sometimes, hyping games up too much leads to bigger downfalls as expectations are not met, and the end product gets review-bombed for not living up to expectations.

These games don’t even need to be riddled with glitches and poor gameplay, sometimes they’re just not what gaming enthusiasts were expecting.


Aliens: Colonial Marines
Photo Credits: Gearbox Software

The only downer in the entire Aliens franchise that was marketed as a sequel to the well-made film. The game seemingly felt unfinished and uninspiring, especially when compared to previous games of the Alien franchise.

The one issue that stood out was the enemy A.I., which didn’t acknowledge the protagonist at all or would remain stationary. The AI marines would also do some stupid things that would leave you frustrated and dead. All this was the fault of a typo in the game’s coding, and now the game will go down in history as the most embarrassing game in the Alien franchise.

Gearbox basically spent millions on the game just to be a mockery. It was supposed to be an RPG and tactical FPS tied together, and the released demos were pretty up to everyone’s standards. However, come release day, the game that was put out was very different than the demo and a lawsuit was launched against the company for misleading advertising.


Photo Credits: BioWare

A game that was way overhyped, being labeled as a ‘Destiny killer’ and a ‘game to rival Mass Effect.’ It was a dud from day one, which is a sad sight to see after being hyped up so much. Anthem was supposed to be the next looter shooter addiction that was unique with an intriguing storyline.

Sadly, what was delivered was a repetitive, boring, and tedious game instead. The game did not live up to expectations and is far below other looter shooters like Destiny. Anthem provided lackluster endgame content and close to no rewards for all its repetitive looting and gameplay.

On launch, it did better with online sales than physical sales, but in the end, its player base dwindled, and everyone moved on. For fans of looter shooters, the game offers nothing new, and for beginners to the genre, the game offers nothing great.


Duke Nukem Forever
Photo Credits: 3D Realms

After being stuck in a loop of development hell for years, Duke Nukem Forever was finally released as an underwhelming fail. Fans were filled with disappointment at its release as everyone had expected so much more after years of delays and hype.

The graphics were old, the gameplay was mediocre, and its attempt at humor was borderline offensive rather than funny. Everything that expecting fans thought the game was going to be, turned out to be quite the opposite. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. It just felt like a waste of time and effort.

It’s one thing to be a terrible game, but it’s another to be absolutely average when the expectations for you were through the roof. Developers and publishers should really stop hyping their games up too much and making promises they can’t keep, but it doesn’t seem like that culture is going to stop anytime soon.


Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Photo Credits: Niantic

Following hot on the heels of Pokemon Go’s success, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite attempts to replicate the whole AR adventure into a magical one. It was supposed to make you feel like a wizard casting spells and working for the Ministry of Magic, but it came out making you feel annoyed and bored instead.

The game itself was glitchy and crashed often, as it demanded pretty high requirements for a mobile app. At some point, the whole game just started to become boring and repetitive. You cast the same spells over and over again, catching the same creatures repeatedly. There was no excitement or fun as promised, and the game simply did not live up to its expectations and never rectified the issues that turned fans away from the game.

The game’s developers announced that they planned to officially shut the game down at the end of January 2022.


Photo Credits: Boss Key Productions

LawBreakers had a good marketing team pushing them forward, that’s for sure. The game was marketed as a team-based shooter that tries to set itself apart from other games by allowing its players to defy gravity. They even had an ongoing deal with Twitch streamers to promote the game, but it tanked nevertheless.

The reason for the incredibly poor day one performance? The game itself didn’t really catch any attention in the extensive world of first-person shooters. There are already so many games that can take their place, with so much more to offer than just low-to-zero gravity arenas. It didn’t get enough players to continue being kept alive, and it was starting to cost the developers a substantial amount of money to sustain.

Hence, it stopped receiving updates and eventually went to where all forgotten video games go – a random shelf in a video game hoarder’s house. Even the game studio ended up shutting down after not getting much traction with their other games. Now let’s have a moment of silence for what could’ve been.


Cyberpunk 2077
Photo Credits: CD PROJEKT Red

One of the more recent fumbled release days, Cyberpunk 2077 was a sore disappointment when it was released. It caused so much uproar that people were demanding refunds and refusing to play the broken mess.

The expectations were high and with good reason too. The video game promised a neo-noir cyberpunk open world with crisp graphics, new features, and all sorts of action and crime. Plus, it was made by one of the best devs out there – CD PROJEKT Red, who brought us The Witcher!

The game is now growing and gaining traction once more after months of release as it received updates and patches to further fix all the glitches and other major issues. It’s literally one of the top-selling games on Steam at the time of writing. Just goes to show that if they had only given Cyberpunk more time and not rushed the process, it would have been a well-loved game right out of the box. The whole refund debacle and bad reviews could’ve been prevented.


Marvel's Avengers
Photo Credits: Crystal Dynamics

You would think that the Avengers video games would do well, considering that the Marvel franchise is a booming one that continues to expand its horizons. But, no. Marvel’s Avengers was a flop because the gameplay was stale and underwhelming, their mechanics are repetitive and you only get to play with six superheroes.

As a game that took so much money to develop and create, it is surprising that not much came out of the game. You just can’t help but wish for more than what was given to you. There were all sorts of technical issues that plagued its release, and its lack of content is what drew people away from the game.

Even its latest inclusion of Spider-Man as part of a DLC was terribly underwhelming. Spidey was brought in without any story missions, and his character is exclusively for PlayStation users only. This is one game and set of devs that somehow continue to disappoint.


Fallout 76
Photo Credits: Bethesda Softworks

Another case of overhyped false advertising and delirious fan expectations. Fallout 76 was bare-bones when it came out, far from the expectations that it had garnered in the hype leading up to its release. The amount of advertising this game received was crazy, there were ads everywhere.

All the interesting NPCs, creative quests, and the massive open world to explore were gone. It was supposed to be a fun online experience where you get to explore an apocalyptic world with your friends, and now you can’t help but feel like that whole experience was robbed from you.

As the game itself tanked, it was also rife with controversy which made nearly everyone decide that it was better to just stay away.


Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite
Photo Credits: Capcom

We’ve seen a lot of video game crossovers that seemed to have worked out pretty well, and there has been an influx of brawling crossovers recently. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite had the potential to be a success with its combination of two of the biggest gaming franchises out there.

Infinite was the sixth installment of the franchise, so they had successes in the past, but alas, that was not the case this time around. All the plans that Capcom had for the game’s future releases and DLCs went down the drain in a heartbeat.

Their downfall lies in the characters of the game, which is an important aspect of a brawler such as this. The character roster lacks playable characters, their character designs were off, and shortly enough the game died off. The X-Men characters just weren’t popular enough to hold up the game, and players moved on to other similar and better-planned-out games instead.


Overkill's The Walking Dead
Photo Credits: Overkill Software

This one was going to be big, and it looked as promising as Left 4 Dead and Payday combined when it premiered. So naturally, everyone was excited. But as gamers started playing it, they realized that they were better off playing the actual Left 4 Dead or Payday games instead.

The gameplay was repetitive, and it didn’t feel like anything new. It didn’t do The Walking Dead franchise justice; it’s honestly a pretty boring game with tons of technical problems. It fell off really quickly from its release, and it was shut down soon after.

Perhaps there was potential to somewhat save the game, but it would take a lot of overhauls and updates that were obviously not worth it to the game’s devs. Understandably, not all games are destined for greatness, even if they are tied in with popular franchises.


Image Credit: CD PROJEKT RED.

It would be for the collective good if video game developers and publishers would stop the false advertising and overpromising of their own games. It’s alright to set expectations if you can meet them, but it is another to know the end product and keep on lying to your fanbase right through release day.

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