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General: Top 5 MMOs That Never Were

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

MMORPG.com Managing Editor Jon Wood counts down the top five games to be cancelled in mid development, never to see the light of day.

Everyone that follows MMORPGs can probably list a handful of games that have died an ignoble post-launch death, but what about the games that just didn’t make it? We followed these games that, for whatever reason, never made it to release. Some had their licenses moved on to other companies, some are pipe dreams of franchise fans and some just faded into obscurity, never to be heard from again.

Today, trapped in a sadistic bout of nostalgia, we take a look at what we consider to be the Top 5 of these games. Highly anticipated by their fans and yet left squarely on the design room floors:

Read the Top 5 MMOs That Never Were

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • LynxJSALynxJSA Sarasota, FLPosts: 2,601Member

    A great list. A disenchanting list. :( 

     

     

    "Live Content... What a great concept; have a bunch of developers live, in the world, giving players individual attention and providing interactive stories 24 / 7. Great in concept, difficult to actually implement. In fact, a lot of this game's core concepts would have played well with today's MMO audience that wants sandbox skill based games."

    Some posters have a current discussion going on regarding a similar thing:

    http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/232219/So-youre-tired-of-kill-quests.html

     

    Ultima X... I liked the direction they were headed. I liked the art style. I liked... everything I saw and heard about it. Of the various "Ultima 2" attempts I think this one got the furthest before getting the axe. It's almost as if some EA exec said "Hmmm... it's been a while since we completely oblitereated all traces of an MMO or game studio, hasn't it? You and you, get on that. I want something dismantled by close of business Friday!"

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  • KasimirKasimir HagerstenPosts: 197Member

    Maybe not a game as far in development as this group, but I remember Mythica with a fond heart. You do not play the son of a god, you play a God. Sounded really fun, the demo videos were amazing, then when Mythic came with their lawyers and told them to change the name or be sued for trying to take advantage of "Mythics sterling reputation" they deciced to cancel the game. Or something like that, I remember the dev posts but not the whole story.

    Mythics sterling reputation.... Something tells me, it would be ok to make a game called Mythica today.

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  • popinjaypopinjay Northeast, PAPosts: 6,539Member

    /cry Gods and Heroes


    I was really watching that one and the screen and vids were absolutely gorgeous. The fatalities were something like AoC's in that you have awesome finishing moves that gave you a nice ending.

    The minion system was something like Atlantic Online (those of you playing that know how that can be) and the lore was already set. Watching the boss mobs do fatalities on the toons was really impressive.

    This is definitely one game I missed not making it out of the birth canal because it was SOOOOO close.

    and LOL at "Romans in Space". snore.

  • HerithiusHerithius Calgary, ABPosts: 163Member Uncommon

    It's beyond belief that UO2 was never created. A sandbox, skill based mmorpg with the UO lore would attract a very large crowd and will undoubtedly recoup any and all investments.  It won't be a WoW killer but it will be leaps and bounds ahead of WAR or AoC.  When making a sequel you never want to alienate your existing base like EQ1/AC but after 12+ years I am sure they would be understanding!

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,453Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by popinjay


    /cry Gods and Heroes
     


    I was really watching that one and the screen and vids were absolutely gorgeous. The fatalities were something like AoC's in that you have awesome finishing moves that gave you a nice ending.
     
    The minion system was something like Atlantic Online (those of you playing that know how that can be) and the lore was already set. Watching the boss mobs do fatalities on the toons was really impressive.
     
    This is definitely one game I missed not making it out of the birth canal because it was SOOOOO close.
     
    and LOL at "Romans in Space". snore.



     

    There was a lot that I liked in that game. I was in the beta (briefly) and I have to say that there were some neat things. Unfortuanatley, when I journeyed a bit further into the starting area and saw a small field with medusa like (if memory serves) mobs just standing around waiting to be slaughtered I gave a sigh if dissapointment.

    In some ways very much like Turbine's LOTRO with mobs standing around waiting to be slaughtered. So essentially, "powerups".

  • lokideshadowlokideshadow Odenton, MDPosts: 9Member

     Two words for you.

    Dragon Empires. 

    It was a Codemasters game canceled in beta due to server/network issues when hitting X number of players online. Oh, what could have been had it been completed? It had a huge following through forums and roleplaying in the forums was beyond anything I've seen pre-release as clans formed. It definately had a hype like I havn't seen before or since with the fanbase, including myself.

    GreenDragon, Order of the Bone Dragon 

     

     

  • Glacial_RainGlacial_Rain Chattanooga, TNPosts: 110Member

    funny thing about Wish was, everyone i knew never heard of it when it was cancelled.

    image

  • jiveturkey12jiveturkey12 You havent heard of it, FLPosts: 1,262Member

    Sorry but I think True Fantasy Live online should have been on that list, or at least do a second part and put that game on there.

     

    Also the original design of Tabula Rasa deserves to be up there in my opinion.

     

    -Jive

  • Xondar123Xondar123 None of Your Business, BCPosts: 2,543Member

    Quite frankly, Perpetual's Star Trek Online looked like crap on a stick... With extra crap sprinkles and crap sauce. I'm so glad that company folded and Cryptic got the STO licence.

    I thought Imperator looked really awesome, I don't think you can go wrong with space Romans. I was disappointed when that game was put on indefinite hold.

  • Jerid13Jerid13 columbus, OHPosts: 465Member
    Originally posted by Herithius


    It's beyond belief that UO2 was never created. A sandbox, skill based mmorpg with the UO lore would attract a very large crowd and will undoubtedly recoup any and all investments.  It won't be a WoW killer but it will be leaps and bounds ahead of WAR or AoC.  When making a sequel you never want to alienate your existing base like EQ1/AC but after 12+ years I am sure they would be understanding!

     

    ^  This

    I really do wish that they had made a 3d spiritual successor to the UO Throne, Garrot needs to make something thats Fantasy and stop messing with Sci-Fi.

    Perhaps someone else will create the next step in UO and make a 3dish version.  Clearly Darkfall is not it.

  • MrTRiotMrTRiot Urban Southwest Ontario, ONPosts: 76Member

     I personally beta tested Gods and Heroes for almost 2 months. I was shocked and horrified that they would just give up on a game that was a couple weeks away from going live for Star Trek. Largely uncoded and barely started when the announcement was made....

     

    Having your own little army of minons was great. They didn't interact like pets do in your typical MMO, they followed you around like an army and attacked as such...I still haven't seen anything remotely similar

     

    .....I was pretty sure I read somewhere that the rights to Gods and Heroes were sold off, along with Start Trek Online when Perpeptual went under

     

     

    Now I can only hope that who ever bought the rights brings back this game. It was great and would still fit nicely into today's market....

  • Kaynos1972Kaynos1972 Quebec, QCPosts: 2,316Member

    I really wished they made a sequel to UO but knowing that's EA was still behind it, it came no suprirse when they announce they were cancelling it.   No ones beats EA at cancelling, shutting games, especially mmo's.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon

    Unless the descriptions given simply don't do the games justice, if those are the best, most promising games that have been cancelled, we're not missing much.  If asked what the point of a game is and a company has to talk at length about the setting, that's a concession that there isn't a point to the game.  Most of the rest of the stuff ranged from routine to inconsequential.  Perhaps the minions from Gods and Heroes could have been a nice innovation, but I don't see anything else in the article worth anything more than a "Meh, so what?" 

  • ArunArun GravesendPosts: 52Member

     UO2 - It does need to happen at some point... before all of us that played the pre-trammel version die of old age and the young'uns out there won't buy it because they don't realise just how good it was (could be).

     

    Dragon Empires - good grief that was shaping up well.

     

    And then we get things like Darkfall, from a small company, making it all the way to release...

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    Grind is not one of the downfalls of DF it is just a feature.

  • AlienShirtAlienShirt Crashed Flying SaucerPosts: 613Member Uncommon

    Having played in the Alpha and Beta phases of Gods & Heroes we can all be happy this Roman-skinned WoW rip-off never saw the light of day.

    With regards to the other Roman-inspired game on the list it is a shame Imperator was cancelled. I was far more excited about that game than WAR. And after having tried out WAR for 2 months I think it safe to say Mythic would have been much better off going with Imperator.

  • LenceLence behind youPosts: 109Member

    nice

  • senadinsenadin Markham, ABPosts: 228Member

    One game that should have made that list i think? Hero's Journey.....

     

     

    image

  • SpiritraiserSpiritraiser AthensPosts: 162Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by lokideshadow


     Two words for you.
    Dragon Empires. 
    It was a Codemasters game canceled in beta due to server/network issues when hitting X number of players online. Oh, what could have been had it been completed? It had a huge following through forums and roleplaying in the forums was beyond anything I've seen pre-release as clans formed. It definately had a hype like I havn't seen before or since with the fanbase, including myself.
    GreenDragon, Order of the Bone Dragon 
     
     

     

    Yeah, was waiting for that too. Hope someone goes back to it someday!

     

    Also, Gods and Heroes didn't seem all that bad in the little days of beta I was in. And it was silly of them to stop a game that was so much closer to finish and try do the one that was just on start. Sure it wouldn't get big numbers but it could still be pretty decent especially if the minion system worked out.

  • brostynbrostyn Louisville, KYPosts: 3,092Member

    WISH would've been awesome. A big shame. I was also excited about Ultima X.

     

    I can't remember the exact name, but I think it was from MS. Titled Mythica, or something like that. This was long before WoW. It sounded very awesome. I can't say I was too geeked about Imperator, but I do know some who were.

  • beauturkeybeauturkey Mabinogi Correspondent dallas, TXPosts: 288Member

     I was actually in the beta for Gods and Heroes, for like 2 nights. It was unplayable! lol

     Great list/article!

     

     Beau

     

     

    image

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  • dougmysticeydougmysticey Pflugerville, TXPosts: 1,176Member
    Originally posted by senadin


    One game that should have made that list i think? Hero's Journey.....
     
     



     

    I am not sure this game is counted as dead but I may be wrong. I still see some talk about it and the company is touting the engine it is developed in.

    Wish- Sounds too ambitous. Even a large company with deep pockets would have a hard time pulling of the R&D on the single server piece without major lag issues.

    Gods and Heroes- Sigh, this was not a WOW rip off though it did follow some of the MMORPG traditions. My take on it is that it would have launched, gone through a half a year of bug fixes, then had a resurrgence and stable base. It was a decent game in my opinion but then again I like AOC too, which I know is against the grain of many here. The minion system was good and I liked the mythology and story line. it may have ended up in a niche space but probably would not have failed. We will never know now though.

    image

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,183Member Uncommon

    Funny, I never heard of Wish until your article today, seems none of my friends had either.  Yet Dragon Empires was far more visible to my friends and I.  

    As to Gods and Heroes, it would have been the first MMO without any crafting.  After I found out it had no crafting I had no interest in it whatsoever.  Even if it had been published it would never have had much of a following.

    Never understood why EA canceled UO II.  Seemed like a braindead move on their part, of course, EA was never known for doing anything smart in this industry.

  • AdminAdmin Santa Fe, NMPosts: 5,037Administrator Common

    I was actually fortunate enough to attend an event in San Francisco for Ultima X way back in the days when this website was just a small startup.  I got the opportunity to play the game with press members from GameSpot, IGN, PC Gamer and many more.  We played for hours on huge projection screens and I thought the game was amazingly fun.

    It really shocked me when just months later they cancelled the title - it seemed so polished and far ahead of its time (this was like 2003 if my memory is working today).

    - MMORPG.COM Staff -

  • StraddenStradden Managing Editor Halifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member
    Originally posted by senadin


    One game that should have made that list i think? Hero's Journey.....
     
     

     

    Not cancelled. Got official comment on it at GDC.

     

    Cheers,
    Jon Wood
    Managing Editor
    MMORPG.com

  • Calandryll_Calandryll_ Developer Austin, TXPosts: 43Member
    Originally posted by Admin


    I was actually fortunate enough to attend an event in San Francisco for Ultima X way back in the days when this website was just a small startup.  I got the opportunity to play them game with press members from GameSpot, IGN, PC Gamer and many more.  We played for hours on huge projection screens and I thought the game was amazingly fun.
    It really shocked me when just months later they cancelled the title - it seemed so polished and far ahead of its time (this was like 2003 if my memory is working today).



    The event was August 2003 if I recall. It was early 2004 when Origin was shut down and summer 2004 when the game was canceled. The studio closing was a bit of a surprise to us as well. :)

    It's nice to see people still remember UXO. Now you've got me all nostalgic too!

    (also, I noticed in my profile that my title still says UXO dev - since that's not the case, could I get it changed to just "Developer" for now, thanks!)

     

     

    -Jonathan "Calandryll" Hanna

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