January 11, 2016 | by Michael
Top 10 Games You Probably Won’t See in 2016

When a new year dawns, we all like to look ahead and dream of what a wonderful year it could be. It wasn’t until the back half of 2015 when we suddenly realized we were going to have some major releases on our hands. For 2016 it already looks to be a contender year, with titles like Street Fighter V, Uncharted 4, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided all slated for release. However, 2016 could also bum us out. If we’re being realistic, here are the top ten games that we probably won’t see in 2016.

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10. Dead Island 2

When Techland decided to make Dying Light instead of a sequel to the complicated yet beloved Dead Island, Spec Ops: The Line developer Yager Development stepped up to the plate. Yager got far enough to being showing demos of the game way back at Gamescom in 2014 and the game was originally slated to launch in early 2015. Then everything fell apart. The game missed its release date and in July of last year the game’s publisher, Deep Silver, dropped Yager from the project. According to Yager managing director, Timo Ullmann, the publisher and developer couldn’t come to an agreement with how the game should be made.

Fast forward six more months and here we are. The game still has no official developer attached to it and Deep Silver had stayed tight lipped about Dead Island 2. The game still has an official website up, with its original E3 trailer, and a 2016 date slapped on it but don’t hold your breath. If the game was nearing completion and Deep Silver wasn’t happy with Yager’s result the entire project could be in deep restructuring. No telling how much of the game can be reused or recycled but I suspect this is an early 2017 game if at all.

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9. Homefront: The Revolution

Much like Dead Island 2, Homefront: The Revolution was a promising sequel to a middling game. Originally THQ was slated to publish this sequel, but then they entered bankruptcy. In the auction of THQ’s assets Crytek bought the game’s IP and was preparing to release it in 2015, but soon they too began to run into financial trouble. With stories of employees missing paychecks and bonuses, workers began to refuse to show up to work and left the company in droves, including those working on Homefront.

Homefront was sold off to Deep Silver, who was originally just the game’s co-publisher at the time. Despite delaying the game from 2015 to 2016, it started to seem like The Revolution would really come to our televisions. Deep Silver began to show gameplay to the press and at Gamescom 2015 announced a multiplayer beta on the Xbox One. Then it never happened, or if it did I can find no stories, forum posts, or really any word about the game beyond a theater demo at PAX Prime last year.

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8. Crackdown 3

Remember back when the Xbox One was always online and hated used games? Inside their deep dark plan for world domination was a silver lining. The idea that cloud computing, using computers and servers to increase the power of your Xbox One, would make their games better. Crackdown 3 claims to revive that dream in some impressive ways.

When Crackdown 3 was officially shown off for the first time at Gamescom 2015, developer Reagent Games revealed the power of cloud computing. The city destruction would be rendered in real time and according to them provides “20x the power of a single Xbox One”. As enticing as that sounds it comes with a lot of questions. What about consoles not connected to the internet? Or those with subpar internet connections? What happens if I lose connection mid-game? For a game only shown off last August it will have to really show off at E3 this year for me to be a believer.

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7. Destiny 2

Oh Destiny, you so crazy. The Taken King took Destiny by storm and even those who were badmouthing Destiny before have suddenly bought back in. Just as the game was hitting its promised stride Bungie, the game’s developer, announced that they didn’t plan on releasing anymore paid expansions to Destiny. Instead the game would focus on and “event-based model”, not dissimilar to how many MMO’s are set up.

Meanwhile a Kotaku report claims that two expansions to Destiny had been delayed and were now being reworked into a full on sequel to the original game. This may mean 2016 will see the end of Destiny and the rise of Destiny 2. Or if the sequel truly follows the same path its development will be beleaguered and delayed. Destiny fans don’t be shocked if specials events are all you have to live off of for awhile. A long while.

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6. Persona 5

Atlus claims Persona 5 will come this summer, possibly sometime around June in Japan. And really, that makes the most sense. Persona may be a beloved franchise but if Atlus really wants it to sell, the parched summer release schedule would be perfect for it. While every other developer is busy wrapping up for fall and winter Atlus could be raking in the money.

That summer release date is for Japan though, just Japan. North America is still stuck in 2016 limbo. Atlus has said they are translating the game as they go along and that would hopefully be enough time for a quick release here in the states. However, Atlus really loves to take their time and get everything right. It was the wonderful translation in Persona 4 that won over so many new fans to the once daunting JRPG series. I’d rather wait until 2017 for Atlus to get it right than see them do Persona 5 dirty.

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5. The Last Guardian

Few games can be as infamous as The Last Guardian before ever being released. It’s pre-release drama could fill a novel or two, and yet we’re still waiting. Announced in 2009, disappearing in 2012, and suddenly reappearing at this past E3, it was every game fan’s dream coming true. E3 was a while ago, and Sony has said nothing more specific about the release date other than 2016. Shuhei Yoshida, president of SCE Worldwide, says that not much has been shown off or playable because of how story heavy the game is.

While that’s all well and good, I want to be realistic. I want The Last Guardian to break it’s own curse of delays and speculation and finally come out for all to enjoy. After seven years, however I just don’t expect this game to all fall together just because Sony would like it to. I want to be wrong but I expect to be right that it won’t be out in 2016.

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4. Zelda

Nintendo may be in third place in the console race, and the Wii U may be one of their biggest failures to date, but all they ever have to say is “new Zelda game” and fans revert back to their childhoods. The newest in the series is still a mystery to many of those eager fans. It still has no official title and even what little we’ve been shown has been subject to video-doctoring speculations. Earlier this year it was delayed from 2015 to 2016 and since then Nintendo has begun to deal with a somehow more exciting slate of news: A new console.

Only known as the NX, Nintendo has given very little information about this new console, choosing to wait until this year before releasing any new info. Rumors are already flying and right now the whisper in the wind seems to suggest we might see this new console the same year as this new Zelda. With so much still unknown it’s hard to pin down if a new Zelda will truly come out. Or maybe Nintendo will Twilight Princess us all over again.

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3. Titanfall 2

It has no official title, no official release date, no wikipedia page, and since way back in March when Respawn Entertainment co-founder Vince Zampella confirmed there would be a Titanfall sequel, there has very little word about a Titanfall 2. EA, the game’s publisher, is probably in no hurry to get the title out the door since Star Wars: Battlefront sold 12 million copies in only two months. Those sales figure should keep any angsty investor happy for at least a little while, so EA shouldn’t have to rush out another shooter.

Titanfall has even turned into a mobile app for iOS and Android. Place that alongside the rumored ten million copies sold and you’ve got yourself a cushion to take your time. An entire year’s delay seems like too long of a time for what should be a slam dunk for Respawn but if all we saw was a demo at E3 and an open beta announcement I wouldn’t drop dead from shock.

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2. Final Fantasy XV

Hajime Tabata, the game’s director, has been adamant that the long awaited Final Fantasy XV won’t slip to 2017. After a lame showing at Gamescom just a few months back, he responded to fans direction in a Q&A denouncing any chance of a 2017 release date. Even in his happy New Year blog post on Square Enix’s site he says “we will finally release FFXV this year, in 2016!”.

It’s hard to be so cynical in the face of such conviction. FFXV has had no short trip in development. It originally began development a decade ago in 2006 as Final Fantasy Versus XIII. That game was about 25% completed before it would be restructured and refocused, eventually, into the game we’re seeing today. Even with that lengthy development history, we’re seeing the FFXV demo get updates, Tabata claiming he wants fan feedback to the changes, before we hear about release dates. It’s been a long road getting from there to here. Tabata better be right, or there will be hell to pay from fans.

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1. Mass Effect: Andromeda

Mass Effect: Andromeda has been in development since 2012, when design work began and in 2013 full development was underway. EA and Bioware are aiming for a holiday 2016 release, perfect timing for what should be one of the biggest releases of the year. It’ll be Bioware’s second major release on new consoles and their second release on the Frostbite 3 engine. If there was one game they shouldn’t get wrong, it’s Andromeda.

For some reason there is metadata in Google that suggests the real release date for Andromeda is December 2016. Almost no AAA games come out in December and that’s because November gives you a better chance at selling more copies. You need to be on shelves for Black Friday. Only the original Mass Effect saw a November release date with ME2 coming out in January and ME3 released in March. I suspect as 2016 passes, as E3 happens, and EA takes a self assessment you’ll see Andromeda slip into early 2017. It’ll give it more time to be tweaked, it’ll give it a release window more to itself, and it’ll save EA from having to look their investors in the eye. Also the fiscal calendar doesn’t end until March. Three whole months extra to wait.

Michael

Managing Editor around here, moderator over at Giant Bomb, writer at prowrestling.cool

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