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The Reason We Never Got A Sequel To Black

If you're a life-long gamer, there's a good chance one of your favorite games never got the follow-up it deserved. Throughout the history of modern-day gaming, a long list of hit games and cult classics never got sequel titles. This includes games like "Sleeping Dogs," "Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requim," and "Fez," among many others. Another hit title among those ranks is Criterion Games' 2006 first-person shooter "Black." 


At the time of its release, the game received many positive reviews and was praised for being ahead of its time. For example, Game Informer applauded "Black" for its destructible environments, stunning audio effects, dynamic gameplay, and impressive graphics for the time of its release. Developed by Criterion and published by Electronic Arts, the game's influence can be seen in later EA titles, like 2008's "Battlefield: Bad Company," which took destructible environments to a whole new level

But how could a game with such solid reviews not earn itself a follow-up? Well, it almost did. In an interview with thatHITBOX, some of the project's developers revealed exactly what went wrong. 

Why Black 2 never happened

According to the game's level designer, Michael Othen, there were some plans in place for "Black 2." In fact, at one point the studio even began development on the game. "With game development, there's so many factors that determine whether a project lives or dies," Othen told thatHITBOX. "There can be all the intention in the world, with a lot of people backing it and an audience waiting for it, but sometimes other factors can slow things down."


So, what eventually halted the production of "Black 2?" Simply put, Criterion had other franchises that were doing much better. The studio was better known for its entries into the racing genre and eventually determined a sequel to "Burnout" was much more of a sure thing, eventually resulting in "Burnout Paradise." At the time, the first-person shooter market was looking saturated and EA already had plans for the aforementioned "Battlefield: Bad Company," so it didn't really feel like "Black 2" could stand apart from the competition. So, eventually, the sequel was scrapped. 

"Black 2" would have boasted many exciting game mechanics that its dev team hadn't tried before, like blind fire from behind cover, unique enemy AI, and assassin-like gameplay à la "Hitman," the Criterion developers told thatHITBOX.  Sadly, however, this game never made it out of the early phases of development. These days, all that exists of the canceled sequel are some screenshots and concept art (via Unseen64).