Sometimes, video games live up to the hype and everybody is happy. However, sometimes, things can turn ugly. Today, we're looking at the top 5 most disastrous game launches ever!
If haven't been living under a rock, you knew this was coming. In fact, the disastrous launch of Cyberpunk 2077 was the inspiration behind this post.
After the huge success of Witcher 3, CD Projekt Red status' was raised to a godly level and all eyes were set on Cyberpunk 2077, a game that has been in development for almost a decade. The game was supposed to come out in early 2020, but owing to the delays, it came out on 10th December 2020 and oh boy, it was disappointing! T
he game was so poorly optimized on PS4 and Xbox One, its development consoles, that it was literally unplayable. Even with the beefiest PCs, with RTX 30 series GPUs and Ryzen 9 CPUs, you couldn't outrun the bugs, crashes and glitches that the game was riddled with.
CD Projekt Red shouldn't be blamed entirely though. A part of the problem is us, the fans, who urged CD Projekt Red to stop delaying the game and release it already. But then again, CD Projekt Red aimed to deliver something far more ambitious than anything that the gaming industry had ever witnessed.
Although Cyberpunk 2077 had a disastrous launch, a polished version of the game is still within CD Projekt Red's grasp. Cyberpunk 2077 is a phenomenal game at its core, and given how hard the developer has been working to roll out constant patches since release, Cyberpunk 2077 is bound to be a good game in a year's time or so.
Anthem was EA's answer to Activision’s Destiny. Coming from the legendary team behind the Mass Effect trilogy, Anthem was supposed to be a big hit, but instead it was an ever descending roller coaster of chaos. The development phase for Anthem was a traumatic hell for the developers. One former BioWare developer said that they would frequently find a private room in the office, shut the door, and just cry, saying, "People were so angry and sad all the time". Said another: "Depression and anxiety are an epidemic within Bioware."
Everyone hoped that things would get better after the initial marketing blitz and hype. But once the game dropped, it was riddled with bugs and that wasn't even the worst part. The world was shallow and there was no lore, which was quite unlike Bioware's style. The multiplayer element lacked a sense of progression , with there being no story element. Bioware swore to fix the game with a complete revamp in the future, but considering how its initial content updates have been abandoned, it's hard to take those promises at face value now!
Just like CD Projekt Red, Bethesda had a reputation of delivering phenomenal titles and all it took was Fallout 76 to ruin their entire goodwill. When Fallout 76 was first announced, fans had a mixed reaction to a multiplayer Fallout game. But when the game released, boy oh boy did things turn nasty.
It wasn't the idea of a multiplayer Fallout that was so bad, but rather the execution. The game was riddled with bugs and glitches. Every update and patch that fixed a bug introduced two new ones in its stead. Then there were microtransactions that made the game pay-to-win. Modding is aso an integral part of Bethesda games. In fact, before Fallout 76, every Bethesda game encouraged modding. But all that changed with Fallout 76 as Bethesda put a stop to it, amidst fears of cheating.
Fallout 76 also had bold marketing and promotional facets that failed spectacularly. The promotional alcoholic beverage bottle was found to not match the original product description and the included "canvas" bag was actually made out of cheap nylon. Thousands of Fallout-themed helmets were recalled due to them containing dangerous levels of mould.
Bethesda promised to fix the game in the coming years, but none of those promises bore fruit.
No Man’s Sky
No Man's Sky is an oddball among all the other games mentioned here. There weren't serious technical issues at launch, but the game was just a victim of its own hype. Fortunately, the developers fixed the game in the consecutive years, but it doesn't change the fact that No Man's Sky was a total disaster at launch.
The central feature of the game was procedurally generated planets in an infinite universe, which meant an infinite map. But when the game finally dropped, the planets were bare, indistinct and there wasn't much to do. On top of that, many promised features such as multiplayer were missing from the game upon launch.
After the initial launch, the developers went underground and silent for months on end. To me, that sounds like the perfect recipe of a scam. But it turned out the devs were working hard to improve, patch and fix the game. Today, four after year its initial launch, No Man's Sky is a phenomenal game. Multiplayer and other promised features, along with new stuff and truly unique planets, are finally present in the game.
Assassin’s Creed Unity
Assassin's Creed games have enjoyed a fair rating for their accurate representation of historic locations, smooth parkour and fun combat. After the huge success of Assassin's Creed IV: Blackflag, all eyes were set on Unity.
On the surface, Unity was a pretty promising game. Based in the beautiful and bustling city of Paris, with a narrative woven into the events of the French revolution and co-op gameplay, there wasn't anything that could go terribly south, but it did! NPCs were missing their faces, which fueled nightmares of the players. Frame rates were terrible. Collision issues meant players were falling through the ground. Co-op play was broken. Worst of all, the review embargo for the game was lifted 12 hours after the initial launch, so everyone who pre-ordered the game or bought it on launch was stuck with a half-baked turkey.
Ubisoft acknowledged their shortcomings and subsequently cancelled the season pass, then giving away the Dead King DLC along with another game for free. But the beans had been spilt, the reviews had been read and the memes had been shared. There was no coming back for Assassin's Creed Unity. If that wasn't enough, the terrible launch of Unity was also a blotch on Rouge, another fairly decent Assassin's Creed game that came out in the same year.