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Most Epic Trailers For Games That Don't Exist

While console experts, PC pros, and handheld device players certainly wish things could always be always perfect, the gaming world is filled with ups and downs, akin to the ricketiest roller coaster at a small-town carnival. True, there have been a ton of breathtaking titles in the past, but things aren't always so sunny. In fact, on several occasions, players have been left empty-handed, with many games biting the bullet before reaching their release dates. From older titles that could've spawned long-running franchises to ones that just recently got the "cancelled" stamp, let's take a look at the most epic trailers for the games that never broke out of beta.

Silent Hills

Yep, we're kicking things off with a pretty painful "could've been." Silent Hills, the proposed ninth installment in the popular psychological horror series, began development with publisher Konami and developer Kojima Production in 2012. It also had one of the industry's most well-loved and well-respected game director's behind it: Hideo Kojima. Not only that, Silent Hills was also set to include The Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus as the title's main protagonist, and renowned filmmaker Guillermo del Toro was supposed to assist with direction and overall production.


Two years after development started, the Konami-Kojima super team released a playable teaser for Silent Hills at Gamescom 2014. Known by the acronym P.T., the trailer was marketed without mention of the official title, and it was said P.T. was in development with a non-existent company called 7780s Studio. Anyone interested in taking P.T. for a spin could download it and experience a slice of what Silent Hills was intending to offer. As a result, the hype surrounding the game was unreal and almost unanimously positive. Critics applauded the teaser for its immersive horror elements, and many journalists put it on the top of their "game of the year" lists. One writer, Lucy O'Brien at IGN, even called it "one h**l of a marketing gimmick" and "a brilliantly eccentric and terrifying exercise."


So what happened? Well, things started getting interesting in 2015, following reports that Hideo Kojima intended to leave Konami once his work with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was complete. Suddenly, the fate of Silent Hills was up in the air. For a moment, things seemed okay when the company initially denied Kojima's departure, but on April 26, 2015, Norman Reedus confirmed the game's cancellation. "Super bummed about this, was really looking forward to it," the actor said on Twitter. "Hopefully it'll come back around." Tragically, the final nail in the coffin came when Konami announced that Silent Hills "would not be continued."

However, it looks like Reedus sort of got his wish in hoping Silent Hills would make a return. The game's original trio of directors and actors have joined forces again for Death Stranding, which will hopefully make up for all the tears we shed over Silent Hills.

Doom 4

The story behind Doom 4, the FPS title anticipated to join the rest of the all-killer/no-filler games in Bethesda Softworks's Doom series, is a doozy. Development on the game (which would follow the Hell on Earth uprising) was officially announced back in May of 2008. Just a short while later, John Carmack—one-time head developer at Doom's parent company, id Software—teased Doom 4 at the 2008 QuakeCon, and the response seemed fantastic. Many of the minds behind the title promised grand gameplay that would hone in on the horror-esque play of its predecessor, Doom 3, but this time, there would be a more rewarding experience.


In an interview with The Escapist, Carmack explained that the game would be full of butt-kicking action that players would actually be able to survive. "You are the hero, and you are winning," he said. "You're going to beat back all the hordes of Hell using all the tools at your disposal." Additionally, Doom 4 was supposed to include "state-of-the-art hardware" and run at a brilliant 60 frames per second.

And the game's E3 2015 trailer seems to support all those promises, showing off beautifully-rendered gameplay in 1080p HD. Its promises of "fast gameplay, a wide variety of guns, and a lot of violence" had players pumped, applauding the high production value, but things soon fell apart. So why did the game come crashing to a halt?


According to Tim Willits, creative director of iD Software, Doom 4 was cancelled because it "did not have the spirit, it did not have the soul, it didn't have a personality." In other words, the game creators thought it was too different from the rest of the titles in the franchise, saying it felt too much like Call of Duty. With just a little refocusing, Doom 4 could have been something quite solid, despite its deviations from the series. Instead, the game was rebooted as Doom, and while the game met with positive reviews, we're still wondering about what could've been.

Fez 2

Minimalism is magnetic. Well, at least it was with the now-cancelled Fez 2, a 2-D puzzle platformer from independent developer Polytron. The sequel to 2012's "underground darling of the indie game scene," Fez 2 unveiled its first teaser trailer during 2013's E3 conference. While the preview was fairly bare-bones, that only caused more people to pay attention. The trailer's strengths sat in the unknown, making the eventual cancellation sting even more.


Knowing how thunderously positive the original Fez's reception was—with Eurogamer even giving it their Game of the Year Award—fans believed Fez 2 would deliver big time, especially after watching the trailer. It buzzes with neon electricity and evokes a totally rad, 1980s vibe. Players were all in until it all went wrong, and Fez 2 fizzled out...all thanks to a nasty Twitter war.

Just four short weeks after Fez 2's debut at E3 2013, creator Phil Fish got into a cyber spat with video game journalist Marcus Beer. In an episode of Invisible Walls, Beer spoke about Xbox One's indie self-publishing endeavors and then criticized Fish's negative response to Microsoft's decision. Beer said Fish "decided to go bananas and b***h and moan," then later called him a "whiny tosspot." Following these comments, Fish took to Twitter for a heated back-and-forth with Beer, which culminated in an official cancellation announcement and Fish's departure from the gaming industry altogether.


"I'm done. Fez 2 is cancelled. Goodbye," Fish tweeted on July 27, 2013. Later, Fish followed up on Polytron's website, writing, "Fez 2 is cancelled. I am done. I take the money and I run. This is as much as I can stomach. This isn't the result of any one thing, but the end of a long, bloody campaign. You win."

Phil Fish's Twitter account is now locked down on private mode, and Polytron hasn't hinted at any upcoming projects since the blowout. Unless something magical happens, Fez 2 is as good as dead, leaving only the brilliant trailer behind.

Shadow Realms

BioWare Austin's Shadow Realms had one insane trailer that took the Gamescom 2014 audience by the wrists and dragged them into a monster-filled, fire-flinging, bleak-and-black world where "everything dies." BioWare Austin also unveiled a live-action trailer for the game at San Diego Comic-Con in 2014, which was arguably even more badass than the official reveal spot, and the resulting buzz became almost deafening.


Shadow Realms was intended to be a four-versus-one game in the episodic style of The Wolf Among Us, with a heavy emphasis on action and role-playing. Those who caught a look at the game (or even previewed it) at Gamescom were enthusiastic. Writer David Houghton at GamesRadar had an incredibly positive reaction to the trailers and the game itself, saying, "It's one of those most life-affirmingly anarchic romps I've played in a good while. It's also, accessible, lightning fast, and nourishingly smart in its on-the-fly tactics."

The trailer for Shadow Realms placed hope into fans' minds that BioWare Austin would be launching a game that could hold its own against blockbuster titles with a similar structure, such as Left 4 Dead. And in a lot of ways, the sneak peek represented a possible turning point for BioWare as a whole, but alas, the company pivoted in another direction. Sadly, BioWare Austin left Shadow Realms to focus their efforts on developing additional content for two other titles. In a statement on the now-deleted Shadow Realms site, Jeff Hickman, general manager at BioWare Austin, further explained the cancellation.


"We've made the decision to not move forward with development of Shadow Realms," Hickman stated. "We fully recognize that this news is disappointing to some of our fans, so I want to explain more behind this decision." He then assured fans that the BioWare Austin team would be working on "enhancements to the award-winning Dragon Age: Inquisition, as well as the next game in the Mass Effect series." So while we probably would've loved playing Shadow Realms, we can't be too disappointed. Trading it in for Mass Effects: Andromeda seems like a pretty fair deal.

Mega Man Legends 3

Mega Man Legends 3 would've likely been a mega hit, given its near-legendary history. Set to be the fourth entry in Capcom's Mega Man spin-off franchise, Mega Man Legends, this adorable action-adventure title had a throng of dedicated players eager to get their hands on the 3-D gameplay and immersive narrative. Keiji Inafune, the main man behind the Mega Man Legends series, announced the project in 2010 during a Nintendo 3DS press conference (later releasing a video announcement as well). But it was the official first look at Mega Man Legends 3 that had fans itching to play. And boy, did they go bonkers over the kitschy and unique prototype trailer, one that represented a new era of a franchise so many adored.


Intended to act as a sort of prologue to the game's core narrative, the preliminary teaser spurred some excitement-induced screams, best summed up in one fan's reaction: "Mega Man Legends 3...has just been announced and it's about d**n time! MEGA MAN LEGEND 3 [sic] OMG!" Suffice to say, anticipation was cranked up to the highest level.

Unfortunately, Keiji Inafune departed from Capcom in October 2010 after 23 years of involvement, stepping down from his many company positions to begin his life over. Less than a year later, Mega Man Legends 3 was cancelled, with Capcom citing inadequate production means as the root cause. Capcom ceased all work on the project, and then confirmed that neither the prototype nor the full game would be released. It's a difficult pill to swallow, as Mega Man Legends 3 for the 3DS could've been the sequel that sparked a new generation of fans.


Fable Legends

Here comes another legendary (see what we did there?) game that had all the potential to pack a hyper-powered punch. Fable Legends was the 2016 follow-up to the original Fable franchise of action-RPG games. It was first announced at Gamescom 2013, teased again at E3 2014, and finally shown off in epic proportions at E3 2015. And it was the last trailer that truly kicked Fable Legends into "absolutely need to play this game, no matter the costs" territory.


Featuring beautiful-beyond-words voice-over narration from Game of Thrones actress Lena Headey, sweeping shots of whimsical forest landscapes, and the flitting fairies that dot the Fable world, the official look took an epic turn when the game's many antagonists were revealed. (Hey, there are anthropomorphic trees and ax-wielding beasts!) With that final preview, fans were pumped, believing Fable Legends to have all the potential for greatness. In response to the game's announcement, Keza MacDonald at IGN said, "If Lionhead can pair this hugely adventurous five-player gameplay with the at turns hilarious, affecting and rousing storytelling and characterization of Fable games past, Fable Legends could be very special indeed." Following the 2015 trailer, journalist Vince Ingenito also wrote that Fable Legends is "something more interesting" than any other Fable entry players had seen before. There was so much Fable faith after seeing this trailer...and then it was all dashed against the proverbial rocks.


Though the free-to-play game made it fairly far in the development process, it was cancelled in the middle of its open beta period in March 2016. Hanno Lemke, the general manager of Microsoft Studios Europe, made an official statement regarding the game's end and the disconcerting reveal that Lionhead Studios, Fable Legend's developer, was looking into closing its UK office. As Lemke put it, "After much consideration we have decided to cease development on Fable Legends, and are in discussions with employees about the proposed closure of Lionhead Studios in the UK."

Any players who made in-game purchases were refunded, but little else has been said about Microsoft closing the doors on Fable Legends. And as the game seemed to offer interesting variations on the original series, gorgeous graphics, and a solid storyline, that's really a massive shame.

Star Wars 1313

Several years ago, Lucasfilm wanted to go gritty for their next action-adventure Star Wars game. However, the situation got a little sticky following Disney's purchase of the company in October 2012 (for $4 billion, at that). But before the deal of the century took place, Lucasfilm unveiled the first Star Wars 1313 trailer at E3 that same year. Given how passionate Star Wars fans are, it came as little surprise to hear the response to 1313 was unbelievable.


Hopeful gamers were anxious to explore the "seedy underworld" of the game's "densely populated planet," where they could get their hands dirty in crimes, conspiracies, and cover-based shooting. (And the full demo sent them reeling even further.) It looked like 1313 was the answer to a mature audience's desire for a neo-noir take on the Star Wars universe. But by this point, you can probably see what's coming next.

Remember that big business deal? Well, after reportedly being placed on hold following Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm, Star Wars 1313 saw an early death when the mouse-eared conglomerate shut down internal development at LucasArts, the title's developer and publisher. However, while gaming fans were crushed when 1313's flame was snuffed out, there have been reports that it might not be totally buried. In 2015, Lucasfilm's current president, Kathleen Kennedy, spoke with Slashfilm and brought up the cancelled title, stating the company doesn't "want to throw any of that stuff away." She went on to give Star Wars enthusiasts a new hope (pun intended here) for the game. "We may very well develop those things further," Kennedy said. "We definitely want to."


Prey 2

Human Head Studios and Bethesda Softworks had big hopes for Prey 2, the would-be little sister of 2006's Prey. Following a tightly winding road through development hiccups, trademark hand-offs, and a few lulls in project momentum, Bethesda finally revived the project in 2011 (for real this time) and marked it for an anticipated 2012 release.


Enter Prey 2's cinematic trailer, so sleek and enthralling that it feels like some kind of man-made adrenaline is being injected directly into your veins as you watch. (Okay, maybe it's not that intense, but it's still 110 percent awesome.) After seeing it at E3 2011, fans applauded the trailer's use of Johnny Cash's "Rusty Cage" and its electrifying color palette and environment. Some called the trailer a "thing of beauty." One writer even said it "looks like Blade Runner meets Mass Effect." How's that for epic?

And it was semi-smooth smailing for Prey 2...until the minds behind the title hit a breaking point in 2011. Due to a number of disagreements, reports that "Bethesda denied further funding of the project," and what ex-employee Jason Blair called "political" fallout, Human Head Studios halted development in November 2011. Three years later at 2014's PAX Australia, Bethesda confirmed the game was officially cancelled, after falling prey to a whole host of issues.



Fighting dragons and battling enemies? That's what the Sorcerian-inspired Scalebound promised with its E3 2014 announcement trailer. Even with the little that was shown, fans were blown away, stating the Scalebound teaser fulfilled their "wishful fantasies and crazy dreams."


Unfortunately, things quickly fell apart one morning in early 2017. The rumor mill was churning like crazy on January 9, and claims of Scalebound's impending cancellation were confirmed that same afternoon. According to a press statement from Microsoft, the studio decided to "end production for Scalebound" before promising to "deliver an amazing lineup of games to our fans this year." Since then, Microsoft has stripped its YouTube channel of any Scalebound content. All fans are left with now is a hole in their hearts that only the beast-vanquishing RPG could have filled