There are some video game series whose revival was not the best idea. Whether it was a remake, remaster or full-fledged follow-up. They simply did not succeed. Sometimes the quality was lacking, and other times it proved that the market had long since moved away. In this article, we want to take a look at some cult games brands that their revival turned out to be a total failure. Stay tuned.
Obviously Warcraft is still alive and well, but mainly in MMO form. World of Warcraft continues to attract millions of players today despite its better and worse moments. Much less fortunate was Blizzard in reactivating the classic strategic approach to the series. Here we are talking primarily about the highly unsuccessful Warcraft 3: Reforged, as it completely disappointed gamers – new as well as veterans of the original.
This was not a remake on the scale of Diablo II: Resurrected. In addition, Warcraft: The Beginning was also not a great success, which did not get a sequel and was quickly forgotten. Yet despite all these investments, the brand is still relying solely on MMOs.
9- Killer Instinct
We are back to the Rare studio, which has put not only Battletoads, but also Killer Instinct under its belt. This game originally came out as a launch title for the Xbox One. At the time, Microsoft was having a very bad time and figured out an unusual distribution model for this title. The production of Double Helix studio left with a minimum number of characters. As time went on, we were supposed to get more in the form of paid DLC.
Not surprisingly, the formula was not positively received by the community. Over time, there was still a change of developer to Iron Galaxy. This new studio ironed out a lot and brought Killer Instinct to a good level. The poor start, however, meant that the game failed to build popularity. Accordingly, the classic from Rare is once again tucked away in the closet.
This is the first of two brands of the cult game Rare to appear in this list. The Battletoads reboot developed by Dlala Studios was against all odds successful. The game was fun to play, diverse and entertaining. However, unfortunately, it was not enough to bring the brand back to its former glory. Even though it’s two years since its release, there’s no talk of Microsoft going to release a sequel. One certain explanation may be the current low popularity of the beat’em up genre.
But is this really the case? The slightly earlier released Street of Rage 4 was significantly more popular. The biggest fuss, however, has been made by last year’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, a game that not only garnered great ratings, but also achieved commercial success. Against this backdrop, Battletoads went somewhat unnoticed.
What’s the best way to revive an iconic strategy series? Well, Electronic Arts came up with the best solution: to create a first-person shooter. This one came into being in 2012 through the work of the Starbreeze Studios team. We must admit that it was a pretty competent FPS. The gameplay was quite good.
However, despite everything, the game somewhat lacked soul and climate of the universe in which the production was placed. So that was the biggest problem. There wasn’t much to feel that it was Syndicate. So the completely ill-conceived project ended up turning into a financial failure. Not surprisingly, we didn’t even hear for another ten years if there was a chance for Syndicate to return.
6- Panzer Dragoon
MegaPixel took it upon itself to revive this cult Sega brand with a remake/remaster. In theory, it’s the former, but then again, there were no great changes in gameplay. This also perhaps caused the revamped Panzer Dragoon to fail to capture the market. While the game sold, and made money for itself, but it was quickly forgotten. Curiously, we have not lived to see the release of the rebuilt second part, which had also been announced.
The studio managed to release House of the Dead Remake instead, as well as announce a three-part Front Mission refresh. Also worth noting is that the spiritual heir to Panzer Dragoon, the Crimson Dragon developed for Microsoft, has not made it on the market. Also making a poor impression was The Falconeer. The market has no place for such gameplay.
5- Planescape Torment
The return of the cult Planescape Torment was a huge disappointment. Tides of Numenera, which was developed by inXile Entertainment, was not bad after all. Certainly, from such a team one could expect a bit more, but still, it’s difficult to talk about any drama. It was something else that was the problem. The classical model of gameplay relying on reading walls of text no longer works.
So the successor to Planescape Torment simply had too much content to digest, causing it to bounce back to modern realities. Nowadays, what is expected of games is somewhat different. No wonder Tides of Numenera failed to win the market, and the studio itself went back to the Wasteland series.
4- Saints Row
Fresh off the boat. At the time, it appeared that the Saints Row reboot might be a success. Getting away from somewhat spacey ideas and getting back to the roots sounded like a good idea. However, unfortunately, the Volition team was lacking in talent. That the game turned out full of bugs is the least of the problems.
There was a lack of greater refinement of the campaign and basic mechanics or some more interesting quests. Also, there was too much of a laid-back vibe and little showing of gang life. This was not a new opening that causes excitement at the very thought of future games in the series. While 2022’s Saints Row made a pretty good debut (in terms of sales), it did not generate optimism among gamers.
Throughout the years, Shenmue III has been that legendary project for which millions of gamers have been waiting. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that people were excited when this title was announced. However, after seeing the end result, it wasn’t surprising that Sega didn’t particularly wanted to get involved. The sequel to the cult series proved to be a modest, low-budget production, definitely too rooted in old schemes.
This was not a bad thing, but it tended to target fans of the original and not new players. What ended up happening was a modest launch that interested no one in particular. There was thus more talk about the need for Shenmue’s return than actual demand for the brand.
Following the great return of the Deus Ex series, there seemed to be a chance that this time Eidos Montreal will do the same with the Thief brand. The first footage looked great and atmospheric. However, unfortunately, the game was a bit lacking. Most of all, fans of the series, for whom the new incarnation of the series does not meet all expectations, often voiced their dissatisfaction.
Also missing was the admiration of new gamers, who do not judge the game through the prism of sentiment. The latest Thief thus failed to enchant any audience. Not surprisingly, Eidos Montreal chose not to create another major game in the series. Perhaps in a few years the developer will give the brand another chance.
While the world was hardly asking for the return of the Oddworld series, Oddworld Inhabitants studio decided they needed to revive the once-popular IP anyway. However, the result was not very good. Originally, the latest installment was released exclusively for the PlayStation 5 and was even available on PS Plus. However, that wasn’t enough. More than anything, Soulstorm was a lame game that was too rooted in classic gameplay from a few console generations ago.
So rather than going the way of Stranger’s Wrath, the developer chose to continue with a rather ossified style of gameplay. This was compounded by balance problems in the difficulty level. Ultimately, the game was only made famous by a statement from one of the developers, who decided that the studio didn’t get enough money from Sony for PS Plus access. However, the blame had to be sought at home.
So what do you think about these cult games brands that never had successful revivals? Are there any other games that you think should have been added to this list? Let us know in the comments section below.