Watch out for FLUDD.
As we look ahead to a new year, we all know every game won’t get released. Games get delayed, cancelled, or just mysteriously drop off the calendar, and don’t come back until months later. Here are my best guesses for those games none of us will see this year.
I don’t care what hardcore Sega fans preach, Shenmue is terrible. Even with the improvements made in Shenmue 2, a third entry was long seen as a pipe dream. Then Sony sort of, kind of “resurrected” the franchise with a Kickstarter, and now we’re all awaiting the dreaded return of forklift kung fu. However, games don’t spring up overnight, and even with Shenmue 3’s probable smaller size, I don’t think it’ll be done by the end of 2017. No matter how long it takes, all we’re doing is waiting for a bag of trash to be delivered to our door, and I can certainly wait.
If you can count on one game above all others to get delayed, it’s Persona. Sure, it’s already out in Japan, and we’ve already written that release, but I have taught myself to just expect Persona will never actually be in my hands. Even when Persona 5 slipped out of 2016, we all assumed the early February release date would be the real, final, release date. Yet it got delayed…again. It may be the least likely on this list, but don’t doubt the power of Persona to always be delayed.
Where is Crackdown 3? Announced way back in 2014, it has since disappeared from Microsoft’s Xbox lineup. Crackdown doesn’t seem like a game that would be too complicated to produce, but developer Reagent Games has touted how Crackdown 3 will use the “power of the cloud” to make the game even more impressive. We know Crackdown 3 is still being worked on, but after this long of a wait, no solid release date, and no indication one way or another everyone is hoping it’ll make it out this year. Now with Xbox Scorpio on the way, Crackdown’s “cloud” just gets darker. I want to see this game, and I want to play this game, but I don’t think 2017 is the year I’ll get to.
Sea of Thieves
Rare has been drifting around the video game industry for decades now, and Rare Replay was a wonderful reminder of what they used to be capable of. Then Sea of Thieves was announced, a game which continues to show up at trade events with long lines and lots of love. However, Rare has been spending a lot of time on Kinect games and avatar clothes, and it’s even harder to make a multiplayer game feel and run right. I trust Rare to make a fun and colorful game, but I doubt we’ll be raiding pirate coves any time this year.
You can often hear industry veterans ruminate about how one game or another should have a book written about its development. At this point Destiny must be on the top of that list. With delays, massive last minute changes, and publisher strong-arming, Destiny’s destiny writes itself. Destiny 2 was supposed to either be sooner, or much later, depending on who you ask. Now though, Bungie seems ready to move on from their strange first entry. After so much trouble, so many problems, and lots of drama, I doubt Destiny 2 will somehow be smoother. We may get Destiny 2, or we may get some more expensive DLC and another on-disc re-release.
Gran Turismo Sport
If there’s a series you can always count on never coming out, it’s Gran Turismo. Once the PS3 era began, Gran Turismo suddenly took longer and longer to reach consumers. Developer talk about microphones under engines and photos of luxurious car interiors all presented a picture of a complex development cycle. These types of intense additions led to multiple delays, letting Forza take over. Sport is a stopgap between 2017 and whenever the next numbered sequel for Gran Turismo is due, but I never believe a Gran Turismo game will actually come out. While Sport’s release date approaches, I can’t help but imagine the development team is still taking high resolution photos of race tracks, instead of getting the game out on time.