Video games are the product of hundreds of people working together to achieve a single creative goal. But sometimes those people misunderstand and/or actively hate each other. Whether it's miscommunication, a lack of resources, or sheer incompetence, the development process of some games is less reminiscent of a carefully coordinated project staffed by a group of talented professionals and more akin to a high school group project 15 minutes before presentation time.
5 Last Action Hero Wasn't Allowed to Have Action or Heroes
Because you're a Cracked reader, we know you have the filmography of Arnold Schwarzenegger tattooed on your back, so you're well aware that his career was equal parts brutal action flicks and family-friendly comedies. He decided to focus on his tender side shortly after the release of Last Action Hero, and that's how a game based on a movie that gleefully celebrated action cliche ended up being about as exciting as an episode of This American Life playing in a narcolepsy ward.
At least we'll always have the slavishly accurate pinball machine.
According to a developer, the game's weapons were going to be "hugely extravagant" -- rocket launchers, miniguns, Schwarzenegger's biceps -- when word came from Schwarzenegger's lawyers that they didn't want him wielding any firearms or even being too muscular. The lawyers essentially contacted the developers and said: "You know that furious pile of beef, famous for exploding people's skulls? Yeah, could you cut about 1,000 percent of his muscle mass and replace the skull explosions with, say, gentle tickling?"
So while the movie is an over-the-top spoof of the action genre that features dozens of dudes getting shot, impaled, or exploded, then shot, impaled, and exploded, the game features an average-sized guy lackadaisically punching his way to tepid victory.
Is that Full House-era Bob Saget?
And we're lucky we even got that: it reportedly took "a long time" for the developers to determine if it was OK for Schwarzenegger to even throw a punch, which makes us wonder if there's a beta version where he defeats his enemies by talking through their differences and turning them into friends.
The energy bar is how much strength you have left to hug it out.
4 The Developer of X-Men: Destiny Couldn't Be Bothered to Actually Develop X-Men: Destiny
X-Men: Destiny had the potential to be a great game, but that wasn't its ... fate. Developer Silicon Knights had the critically acclaimed Eternal Darkness on their resume, a lot of talented employees, and a big financial investment behind them. They also had Denis Dyack, who led his team with all the skill and nuance of a drunken child.
Peter Redman/National Post
"You ... you hold it by the handle, asshole."
Dyack started off by moving nearly half of his employees away from the game they were actually contracted for and onto a pet project. Then he mostly just ignored Destiny in favor of that pet project, only occasionally chiming in to rant about petty garbage like the colors of trucks in the background. Some employees left the company, and those that remained had no idea what the hell they were supposed to be doing. When the publisher, Activision, began pressuring Dyack to get his shit together, he responded by moving even more staff off the project in the hopes that making less progress would allow them to ask for an extension. Go ahead and try that at your own job, folks. Start slacking off in the break room and try to use that as justification for more time. We'll buy you a pillow and set it on the sidewalk, to cushion your fall when they hurl you out on your ass.
To be fair, Dyack himself put in a lot of hard work.
Activision won this ridiculous game of chicken by releasing a trailer with Silicon Knights' logo (and thus reputation) on it, so Dyack heroically instituted mandatory 60-hour work weeks. Somehow they managed to shit out something that vaguely resembled an X-Men game, featuring everyone's favorite mutants like, uh, Soccer Hooli-Man.
His mutation is the ability to chug a 12-pack of Milwaukee's Best and not feel shame.
And Schoolgirl Strider here:
"I will strike terror into the hearts of C-list villains and bus perverts."
There was almost no marketing. Reviewers savaged the game. It sold abysmally. The developers had to cease production, destroy all unsold copies, and delete the code because they lost a lawsuit involving their use of the game engine. X-Men: Destiny failed so hard the world actively tried to erase it from existence. But it was all worth it when that special project Dyack diverted resources to, a demo of Eternal Darkness 2, turned two hard years of work into "one two-level church interior." The first Eternal Darkness was amazing, so at least after the Destiny debacle they were finally free from distractions, allowing Dyack and his team to buckle down and, oh, they went out of business. Never mind, then.