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Death, taxes, and AAA video game sequels: the only inevitable things in this world. If we didn't get a new Call Of Duty or Assassin's Creed this year, we would take it as an omen of Ragnarok -- which is why it's all the more tragic that some of the best potential sequels ever envisioned will never come to pass. Like ...

Fallout Online Got Lost In A Legal Quagmire

Long before Fallout 4 brought the mighty porn industry to its knees, pun remorselessly intended, the Fallout games put a lot more emphasis on the role-playing side of things, giving you a birds-eye view of a game that looks like it could be run with the processing power of an unusually large potato.

Not even an Idaho one -- more like a Wisconsin-grown potato.

The early Fallout games were considered some of the finest RPGs ever made. But in 2007, Interplay, its creator, sold the franchise to Bethesda Softworks, the company of 10,000 artists and three voice actors. Part of the deal was that Interplay got to keep the rights to develop an MMO based on Fallout -- think World Of Warcraft, but with super mutants instead of orcs.

A huge improvement on the sexiness scale.

This wasn't just a pipe dream -- large chunks of the map had been developed, the guts of the gameplay were functional, scenarios had been written, players had the ability to create and run their own towns, and Interplay had developed a "game-worldwide meta-puzzle," where the entire player base would have to come together to solve an elaborate mystery that spanned the apocalypse. Basically, you know how all your friends won't shut up about their Fallout 4 adventures? Fallout Online would have allowed you to have those adventures together, although it also would have vastly increased the likelihood of employers across the country seeing through your fake illness when you inadvertently grouped up with them.

The Stupid Reason It Was Cancelled:

That deal we mentioned? It came with the condition that Interplay had to start getting serious about working on Fallout Online by 2009. All those words we just said up there implied that they had, but Bethesda disagreed and took Interplay to court. Long and complicated story short, Bethesda lost more decisions than the Washington Generals, but eventually managed to settle out of court, giving Interplay 2 million bucks and permission to continue developing their game -- as long as they stripped every mention of "Fallout" from it.

Their knock-off Nuka-Cola would have been nothing but raw
sewage and carbonated Brahmin blood ... So, Pepsi.

Definitely Not Fallout Online was then handed over to another developer who ran a crowdfunding campaign to rustle up even more money, after which they, uh, vanished from the face of the Earth, taking every hope of a Fallout MMO with them (and also the money of all those loyal fans).

Dickheads? Dickheads never change.

A Completed Star Fox 2 Was Canned Because Of The Console Wars

Star Fox, the game that birthed a generation of furries, and Star Fox 64, the game that birthed a generation of frog-hating barrel roll enthusiasts, are both universally regarded as classic Nintendo games that look like the aftermath of a drunken polygon party by today's standards. But another game was supposed to have come out in-between them, appropriately titled Star Fox 2. And it looked pretty damn good ...

Instead of just being a linear series of ship battles, Star Fox 2 would have had you flying around the solar system to contain an invasion force. You had to pick your battles, defend your home planet from missiles, and retreat from fights to dive into others that needed you more, adding strategy and exploration to a game whose only weak point was its on-rails nature. There was also a multiplayer duel option, and the Star Fox team would have expanded to include a tomboy lynx and a fashionable poodle girl. And we think everyone can agree that the male-dominated Star Fox team needed some ladies to balance out the space combat gender gap and help guide some animal-loving players through a very special time in their lives.


Someone's about to make a Slippy in their pants.

Once you tear your eyes away, you may start wondering why basically everything is known about a game that got the ax. Well, the game was all finished and set to be released in the summer of 1995 until it was abruptly cancelled, which is like watching your mom pull a fresh batch of chocolate-chip cookies out of the oven, only to dump them in the garbage bin and cover them with cat vomit.

The Stupid Reason It Was Cancelled:

Star Fox 2 was all set to be a hit, partially because Nintendo in the '90s could have slapped their name on a box of venomous centipedes and still sold a million copies. But, the Nintendo 64 was about to come out, and Nintendo wanted a clean break between the Super Nintendo's two dimensions and the N64's bold new future of one more than that.

A strategy that never, ever bit them in the ass. Ever.

Also, the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation had just come out, and Nintendo was worried that their newfangled 3D games would make Star Fox 2 look shitty and old-fashioned by comparison, regardless of how fun it was. And so they pulled the plug, losing money and scuttling a couple years of hard work because graphics were more important than gameplay, even in an era when every 3D game you played made you feel like you had cyber-glaucoma.

Rats, in this case, being Nintendo's accountants.

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Fez 2 Became The Casualty Of A Twitter Spat

Polygon Corporation

Indie game Fez, whose tumultuous five-year development earned its own Wikipedia page, was primarily powered by designer Phil Fish, who was quite outspoken about how game design may not always be kitten snuggles and rainbows. But, Fez overcame long odds to sell more than a million copies and become highly regarded as an ingenious platforming puzzle game. A sequel seemed inevitable, and, sure enough, along came a teaser video with suitably epic music ...

... and then Fish canned the game a month after announcing it, to the complete shock of everyone who wasn't named Phil Fish.

The Stupid Reason It Was Cancelled:

When Fish refused to comment on Microsoft's new Xbox One indie game development policies, obscure gaming journalist Marcus Beer decided that this was an egregious affront against humanity. Beer said Fish was "bitching and moaning" about having to answer media questions. He also called Fish a "fucking asshole," a "fucking hipster," and a "tosspot," which we're pretty sure is British for something along the lines of "not a great dude." Fish responded on Twitter in the most mature and responsible way that platform allows: by telling Beer to go kill himself.

Twitter/Phil Fish

Twitter/Annoyed Gamer
Yet another stupid fight started with Beer consumption.

When the dust settled, Fish declared, "I fucking hate this industry," cancelled the game, announced his exit from game development, and took his ball home.

Twitter/Phil Fish
Leaving disappointed fans to tell him where he could put it.

Fish later clarified that the cancellation of Fez 2 wasn't "due to any one thing," implying that Beer's comments were simply the straw that broke the fish's back.

Twitter/Phil Fish
... said the boorish fuck.

But, regardless of other contributing factors, it was a stupid Twitter spat that ultimately killed the game. Seriously, social media, is there anything you don't ruin?

A Mario Volleyball Game Was Cancelled For Violating A Vague Honor Code


Mario is one of the greatest athletes to ever fictionally exist. From golf, tennis, and go-karting to baseball, basketball, and more, he has mastered countless sports, despite looking like his favorite is amateur hot dog eating. So, when Next Level Gamers started working on a Mario volleyball game with the premise of "Hey, Mario hasn't played volleyball yet," they must have felt pretty good about their odds of success -- especially since they had already made their mark with two Super Mario Strikers games that were praised for combining the tedium of soccer with the physics of Space Jam.

At least it gives Waluigi something to do in between bouts of never doing anything.

Then, they threw in elements of professional wrestling and game shows to make the weirdest hybrid this side of a stoner's kitchen. Nintendo's beloved characters were going to spike balls into faces and pile-drive each other into the floors of electrified rings in the insane genre mash-up you never knew you wanted. At best, it would have been a glorious, surreal combination of ideas that monopolized your weekends like so many go-kart races and tennis matches before it. And, at worst, it would have provided fleeting amusement before your inevitable demise, which is all we can really ask of a video game.

It honestly makes about as much sense as actual wrestling, so why not?

The Stupid Reason It Was Cancelled:

Nintendo felt that "certain aspects of [the game's] premise clashed with the company's code of honor," because Nintendo apparently operates under the same principles as the French Foreign Legion. Just what Nintendo meant is vague, but we do know that they were uncomfortable with the level of violence in the game and considered it "dishonorable" to be able to hit characters that were already down. Behold the incredible, stomach-churning combat that Nintendo found unsettling:

What happened to wholesome entertainment, like ripping turtles
out of their shells and slowly digesting Goombas alive?

Their objections mostly just raise further questions, considering one of their most successful franchises is all about having their most popular characters mercilessly pummel the absolute shit out of each other. Maybe volleyball is just really unpopular in Japan. Or, maybe the video game industry is terrifyingly arbitrary, and it's a wonder anything ever gets made at all. Or, maybe both!

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Silent Hills Was Cancelled Because Konami Thinks Mobile Gaming Is The Future


Silent Hills offered gamers the nerd Holy Trinity. Hideo Kojima, the revered eccentric behind Metal Gear Solid, was going to team up with director Guillermo Del Toro to make a game starring the voice and likeness of The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus. If they had teamed him up with Bruce Campbell, we would have lost all of the world's nerds to lethal dehydration caused by excessive ejaculation.

Doubly so if they included an alternate skin of his fashion model days.

The hype train gained further steam with the release of P.T., a playable teaser (oooh, we just got that), where you stroll through the same hallway repeatedly and watch your home slowly get more and more horrifying.

Home Alone took a dark turn once Kevin found Buzz's stash of mushrooms.

There was no combat, almost no dialogue, a simple plot, and little interaction beyond discovering what fucked-up thing was now in your bathroom. And it was still widely considered one of the best horror games of the year. That's like a movie trailer beating actual movies for the Best Picture Oscar. It was a legitimately terrifying experience and, if the full game was able to match its intensity, it would have been an instant classic.

"Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to devour my flesh and feast on my soul."

And then it was cancelled, the ability to download P.T. was removed, and developer Konami is now hunting down anyone who still references its existence and sending them to re-education camps. Run! Save yourself, before it's too late!

The Stupid Reason It Was Cancelled:

Konami thinks traditional games just aren't worth the effort anymore. This is the Silent Hill game they decided to make instead.

Yes, that's a Silent Hill-themed slot machine set to music that's rocking junior high schools across Midwest America. We completely understand if you need a minute for the tears to stop. Konami actually makes more money from their casino games than they do from video games, and they think mobile games represent the only profitable future in the latter department.

Three Pyramid Heads nets you 50,000 points and your grandma's head on a pike.

OK, so it's a cold yet rational business decision. Disappointing, but understandable. But, wait a second -- Metal Gear Solid V, a game that was anticipated as much as Silent Hills, made more money in its opening weekend than Jurassic World and Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Combined. It's a massive hit, leaving Konami's logic inscrutable. Between deciding they don't like making games anymore, cutting ties with long-time collaborator Kojima, and making Del Toro say that he'll never work on a video game again, it's like Konami's having a midlife crisis where they quit their job, divorce their spouse, alienate their friends, and hit the open road on a brand-new type of motorcycle that runs solely on spite.

Cancel all your plans TONIGHT, because we're doing another LIVE podcast at the UCB Sunset Theatre at 7:00 p.m. Join Stanley Wong (The Big Short), Liana Maeby (South On Highland), Jack O'Brien, Dan O'Brien, and Alex Schmidt as they discuss the problems with the Academy Awards and what can be done to make everything right again. Get your tickets here!

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