Under even the smoothest of circumstances, games development is hard, and the majority of players won’t ever be able to appreciate quite how much time, effort, and money goes into creating even the most run-of-the-mill, mediocre, and forgettable of games – let alone genuinely great ones.
As such it’s little surprise that so many anticipated titles end up falling short of the mark, and though publishers might try to dissuade us otherwise with glossy marketing, often the telltale signs are staring us in the face before release.
That certainly seems to be the case with these upcoming games, all of which are currently suffering through major creative or business issues in the middle of development.
Now, this doesn’t mean that these games will all be critical duds or commercial flops at the end of the day, but it absolutely means that there’s cause for concern, and if you’re thinking about throwing down some pre-order money, you might want to wait for reviews to drop first.
There is, unfortunately, a strong chance these games indeed fall short of expectations – but here’s to hoping not…
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum – an action-adventure game set in the Lord of the Rings universe centered around Gollum (obviously) – was first announced in March 2019, for a planned 2021 release.
Yet word on the game has been strangely quiet in the years since, and as you can probably gather, it didn’t make its initial release window last year.
Gameplay footage suggests it’s far from the AAA title fans were probably expecting from the glossy initial teaser trailer, and back in July developers Daedalic Entertainment announced that the game would be delayed from its revised September 2022 release date by a non-specific “few months.”
Even with delays being common in the fraught pandemic era of games development, it’s tough to have much faith in this one being much good.
Between the relatively rough gameplay shown off so far and its release likely sliding into 2023 – two years past its planned original period – it’s easy to believe that it’s going to release to mediocre reviews and muted enthusiasm from fans.
Releasing the game alongside Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings TV series this past month would’ve at least given it something to tether itself to, but next year is anyone likely to care much about this one? Doubtful.