%% If it was ever released, if you could ever go into a store and buy it, then it is SavedFromDevelopmentHell, not this trope.
%% Do not include such examples; they will be deleted. Several such examples have been commented out; do not restore them.
->''And then Indonesia claimed that they\\
Were going to get one, any day.''
-->-- '''Music/TomLehrer''' on Indonesia's nuclear ambitions, "Who's Next?", ''Music/ThatWasTheYearThatWas''
%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab.

Computer or video game software or hardware with revolutionary or next-generation capabilities that is continuously hyped to the public, but doesn't seem to be coming any closer to store shelves. Note that long development cycles do not, by themselves, qualify a product as Vaporware; the game must be repeatedly postponed and put off, all the while being promoted as "Coming soon!"

Sometimes this is intentional, done by various promoters and stockholders solely to drive up the company's share prices, lure in new investors, or create a buzz in the marketplace that will keep their name on top. In the most extreme cases, the developing company itself may be a total fraud. That said, the vast majority of vaporware isn't malicious. Most of the time there is legitimate product being produced, but internal problems simply result in it falling behind schedule and being passed in the marketplace by competitors. The developers simply promised more than their programmers could possibly deliver in too short a time frame.

Often, when a big goal is for the product to be up with the current technology, it becomes a self-reinforcing feedback loop of sorts when work has to be scrapped to keep up with the times. Combine this with people leaving the project out of frustration with the lack of forward progress and it gets harder to finish with every delay. More than a few games have also fallen victim to runaway ego and perfectionism, where the designers get distracted by their own artistic visions or desire to create something revolutionary and genre-shattering and won't be satisfied until it's "perfect", cost, publishers, and release dates be damned! (With predictable results).

Whatever the cause, it annoys consumers to no end. If and when the product finally is released, [[HypeBackLash its quality and abilities are often lower than what was expected]], to further the disappointment of users.

Compare DevelopmentHell, StillbornSerial, and WhatCouldHaveBeen. Contrast DeadFic and OrphanedSeries, which actually manage to release more than a teaser (thanks to serialization) before eventually being abandoned incomplete. See also SavedFromDevelopmentHell for a few who managed to get completed. See also the CanceledVideoGames index for pages about games that have been officially canceled by their creators.

'''IMPORTANT!''' If a work was ever released--if it was ever available for purchase--then it was SavedFromDevelopmentHell, not this trope, and such examples should go there (or be moved there upon release).

Should not be confused with VaporWear, {{Vaporwave}}, or [[Creator/BlizzardEntertainment so]] [[ScheduleSlip on]].


[[folder:Video Game Titles: A-M]]
* ''Official Dreamcast Magazine'' did a preview write-up on an intriguing SurvivalHorror game titled ''Agartha'' and developed by Frédérick Raynal, the man behind the original ''Franchise/AloneInTheDark'' series. Unfortunately, Sega Europe pulled the plug on many of the games in development and so ''Agartha'' never saw the light of day.
* ''Agent'' by Rockstar. Revealed at E3 2006 as a UsefulNotes/PlayStation3 exclusive title, and has been MIA since. As of New Years 2017, Rockstar has renewed copyright, but it's unclear what state the product is in. In Late August of 2017 there was a supposed leak of new concept art along side the long rumored ''VideoGame/{{Bully}}'' sequel having art released, Rockstar and Take 2 have not spoken on if this is real as of September 2017.
* ''American [=McGee's=] Oz'' was a cancelled spinoff to ''VideoGame/AmericanMcGeesAlice'' based on ''Literature/LandOfOz'' books.
* ''Atriarch'' has been hyped as being a radical MMO since the turn of the millennium, advertising how it will be different from every other game produced before or since. However, [[http://atriarch.com/ the website]] seems to receive no updates except to add yet another year to the copyright span (but even that seems to have stopped as of 2012). The character races aren't completely fleshed out, either; the full profile for the Unarra has been "coming soon" since 2003.
* ''Avalon'' was a VehicularCombat game by the Creator/ClimaxGroup in development for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation3 and UsefulNotes/{{Xbox 360}}, announced before either console was released.
* For a while, there were rumors about a third ''VideoGame/BatenKaitos'' game for the UsefulNotes/NintendoDS. It was later confirmed to have never gotten past the first stage of production; however, rumors about ''Baten Kaitos 3'' still persist.
* ''[[http://www.unseen64.net/2009/07/21/b-bomb-genesismd-cancelled/ B-Bomb]]'', a first-party UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis action game based around AssKicksYou, appeared at the 1992 Summer Consumer Electronics Show as a playable demo, but was never finished.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' was supposed to get a game called ''[[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Babylon_5:_Into_the_Fire_%28Game%29 Into The Fire]]'', developed by [[{{Creator/Sierra}} Sierra studios]] back in TheNineties when ''Series/BabylonFive'' was a hot property. However, Sierra was going through "corporate reorganization", laid off staff and canceled the game. The fans eventually took matters into their own hands and created ''VideoGame/TheBabylonProject'' from the ''VideoGame/FreeSpace 2'' engine.
* The sequel to the [[AcclaimedFlop critically acclaimed (but poor selling)]] ''VideoGame/BeyondGoodAndEvil'' has been in limbo for over 10 years now, Ubisoft confirms the title exists in some form or another but not on the status of the game. The only hints the public got that it wasn't forgotten was a leaked concept trailer in 2009 that made the game look more like ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreed'' InSpace. The game has been officially announced at [[UsefulNotes/ElectronicEntertainmentExpo E3]] 2017 as a completely different concept featuring new characters, and is billed as a ''prequel''. The original premise of a sequel will probably never see the light as a video game.
* ''Ballerium'' was an MMORTS developed by Majorem, with beta testing in 2003-2004, to be published by Interplay. The game was cancelled in 2005, relaunched in 2007 by Sleepy Giant, and was defunct by 2008.
* 2-D fighting game ''Beast's Fury'' was announced in 2013 by indie developer Evil Dog Productions. It was subject to an ''extremely'' [[TroubledProduction contentious production]] -- the developers actually had ''no idea'' how to make a fighting game, severely underestimated the development costs, started multiple crowdfunding campaigns with varying degrees of success, and in general were very mean-spirited to its audience, [[CantTakeCriticism especially to critics]]. A demo -- [[ObviousBeta albeit a poorly-made, buggy one at that]] -- was released after much delay, and it ended up being the closest Evil Dog ever got to bringing the game to fruition; the project was cancelled in 2016, with bridges burned and tons of livid staff members and customers (many of which out as much as thousands of dollars) targeting Evil Dog's leader, Ryhan Stevens, for his incompetence. It's understandable that the fighting game community now associates the game --and Stevens -- as perfect examples of the ''don'ts" of game development.
* ''VideoGame/BioForceApe'', a fast-moving NES PlatformGame by Seta starring a genetically altered chimpanzee using [[WrestlerInAllOfUs pro-wrestling moves]], was previewed in 1991 as an upcoming release, but canceled within a year. Reports in 2005 that a prototype of the game had been discovered turned out to be a hoax, but five years later an actual prototype cartridge of the game was discovered. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5INj76ni21c James Rolfe and Mike Matei took a swing at it.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Bionicle}}: The Legend of Mata Nui'' was to be released in September 2001, as part of Franchise/{{LEGO}}'s multi-media promotional push for their then-new toy franchise. It was advertised with screenshots, concept art and the intro video in catalogs, magazines, LEGO instruction booklets and on promo [=CDs=], and LEGO even forbid their writer from concluding the story in the comic series, because they wanted to tell it via the game. It never came out, although a number of beta disks are still floating around, and a decade after its cancellation, some gameplay footage was released on Website/YouTube. The likely reasons for its canning are the bugs (the first level cannot be completed, for one), general gameplay and design issues, and probably the lack of budget and a rushed schedule which the infamous Maori lawsuit[[note]] some Maori people were giving LEGO legal trouble for making money off words from their language[[/note]] had a large hand in. Allegedly, the game also had trouble running on most [=PCs=] of the time. For years, fans have tried to acquire the beta disks from their owners, even contacting the current right-holder of the game, to no avail so far. On February 10th, 2018, YouTube user Vahkiti (host of channel The Beaverhouse, and co-admin of the BioMedia Project content archival fansite) streamed a copy of an alpha build of the game. It was emailed to the other admin of BioMedia Project JuniorMasterBuilder by an anonymous source, with Vahkiti's co-host of his YouTube Channel speculating on-stream that the source may have been an ex-Lego or Saffire employee. Due to the found version being in it's alpha stages, there are a few differences from the clips leaked previously. The main differences being some textures and the main menu in DeepBrick's video not being present, a debug screen in it's place. Thanks to this, the other levels of the game are now playable.
* ''VideoGame/BloodStorm'' promises a sequel at the end of the game, but a ''Blood Storm II'' was never made.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Bonk}}''/''PC Genjin'' series had an advertised but never-released RPG spinoff called ''RPC Genjin''. Many years later, a revival titled ''Bonk: Brink of Extinction'' was being developed for [=WiiWare=], XBLA and PSN; some gameplay footage of it was shown at E3 2010, but the next year it was canceled along with many other Creator/HudsonSoft titles after the company was bought by Konami.
* ''Bounty Arms'', a 2D run-and-gun game for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation by Data West starring a pair of LovelyAngels with mechanical arms, was announced for the system in its early months. All that was ever released of the game was a playable demo of ObviousBeta quality, not counting the fact that it ends after half a stage.
* ''Bracken Tor: Time of Tooth and Claw'' was first advertised for preorder in 2009. In the years following, release dates were repeatedly given and then pushed back, with the same general explanation every time: the game was very near to completion, but was being delayed to add features or improve content. The game has never officially been cancelled, and as of Summer 2015, the developer's website estimates a Fall 2015 release...
* ''Break Shot'', a billiards game by {{Creator/Konami}} for the {{UsefulNotes/MSX2}}, was [[http://bifi.msxnet.org/msxnet/konami/breakshot/ advertised]] but never released.
* ''Bully 2'', a hypothetical sequel to ''Videogame/{{Bully}}'', has been rumored to be in the works since 2009. However, very little other than offhand comments have ever been made in regards to the game, and nothing at all has been heard since 2013.
* ''California Raisins: The Grape Escape'' was developed late in the NES lifespan. That's right, a game based on a marketing ploy to eat more fruit. Despite being finished and reviewed by many magazines, it utterly vanished into the night without being released on the NES. It actually had some cool concepts, like moonwalking... [[GoodBadBugs which resulted from a game bug]]. More can be found [[http://progressiveboink.com/archive/grapeescape.html here]] and [[http://www.seanbaby.com/nes/basedoncrap10.htm here]].
* ''Campfire: Become Your Nightmare'' was a game that was being developed for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 and UsefulNotes/{{Xbox}} by a Swedish company called Daydream Software, who only managed to put out [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75xsuaNunXk a live-action trailer]] and [[http://www.unseen64.net/2010/04/15/campfire-ps2-xbox-cancelled/ a press release]] before going into liquidation in 2003. It was to have been a "reverse SurvivalHorror" game where you play as one of four masked killers stalking and murdering teens at a campground with a variety of weapons, similar to the later games ''VideoGame/{{Manhunt}}'' and ''VideoGame/NaughtyBear'' only with more explicit SlasherMovie influences.
* ''Cartoon Network: Backlot Party'', featuring characters from several of the channel's shows, was planned for a 2015 release, but no further information was given. See [[http://lostmediawiki.com/Cartoon_Network:_Backlot_Party_(Cancelled_Video_Game;_2015) the Lost Media entry here]].
* ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}''
** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaResurrection'' was announced as a UsefulNotes/SegaDreamcast launch title, featuring Sonia Belmont. Late in development, it was cancelled for reasons that remain mysterious.
** A ''Castlevania'' title in development for the Sega 32X got canned when it was obvious the system was not selling; some of its spritework was recycled for ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' and ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin''. The game's fan nickname is ''Castlevania: The Bloodletting''.
** Among the many Game.com titles that got the axe was a port of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight''; while there's not much information available, it seems that it didn't get far in development.
** A ''Castlevania'' game was announced for the [=PS3=] and Xbox 360 in 2008, with a short video of Alucard as the main character, in 3D. It's likely Konami canceled the game to focus on ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow''.
* The ''VideoGame/CaveStory'' PSP port by Variant Interactive was just wishful thinking, as the company soon folded and never got Studio Pixel's official permission.
* The computer game adaptation of ''TabletopGame/{{Champions}}'', the pencil-and-paper superhero RPG, provides an epic example of this trope. Cover-featured in [[http://vu.morrissey-solo.com/moz/perez/info/cgw4-92.htm a 1992 issue of ''Computer Gaming World'']], it promised to be an ambitious and groundbreaking game that would be faithful to both the RPG and the superhero genre. It never happened. [[http://www.gamespot.com/features/pcgraveyard_champions/index.html According to Steve Peterson]], designer of the original ''Champions'', the game was about 50% complete when it was canceled. Problems included the game's extremely ambitious design for its day along with the divorce of the game's chief developers, a husband-and-wife team. ''Champions'' would finally become a computer game in 2009 as ''VideoGame/ChampionsOnline'', but apart from the underlying intellectual property, it has no relation to the vaporware classic. Also, a ''VideoGame/ChampionsOnline'' port for the UsefulNotes/{{Xbox360}} was eventually cancelled.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Action 52}} Cheetahmen]] 2'' was envisioned to be part of a long running game franchise to rival ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles''. The game was not released, aside from the discovery of some [[ObviousBeta very unfinished]] prototype cartridges.
* ''Chocobo Racing 3D'' was announced for the 3DS, and was cancelled in 2013.
* The last ''VideoGame/CommanderKeen'' game ends with an ad for "Commander Keen in The Universe is Toast!", planned for Christmas 1992. It never happened -- their publisher at the time, Apogee, offered more guaranteed money for [[VideoGame/Wolfenstein3D a game featuring John Carmack's new 3-D engine]] rather than a sidescroller. What makes this vaporware instead of a mere tease is that it's never really been officially abandoned, and a couple of the creators still insist they'd like to make the sequel.
* ''Corridor 7: Alien Invasion'' was successful enough for the developers to immediately begin work on a sequel titled ''Corridor 8: Galactic Wars''. This got as far as a prototype (really a working mockup), running on the [[GameEngine Build engine]] and using assets from ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'', but Capstone's bankruptcy killed the game.
* ''Crimsonland 2'' is certainly taking its sweet time to appear.
* ''The Crossing'', by Creator/ArkaneStudios, was going to be a hybrid single-player and multiplayer FPS, set in parallel timelines of Paris, and was cancelled in 2012.
* ''Cry On'', a collaboration between studios Creator/{{Mistwalker}} and Cavia, was announced in 2005, but abruptly cancelled in 2008 due to "poor economic conditions", much to the dismay of journalists. A concept trailer for the game was later released in ''2014'', four years after Cavia went under.
* ''VisualNovel/CulpaInnata'' has a sequel, but it has not been released because [[ScrewedByTheNetwork the developers were owed money by the publishers]] and the game finished on such GainaxEnding.
* ''ComicBook/{{Daredevil}}'' was going to be a 2004 game for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 and UsefulNotes/{{Xbox}}, featuring a series of fight scene vignettes emulating the comic stories. It was reworked as a WideOpenSandbox game to take advantage of Daredevil's radar abilities. It was reworked again as a level based game where the radar abilities became more useless in the narrower environments, and the game was cancelled. There were also plans for an ''ComicBook/{{Elektra}}'' game as a followup.
* ''Dark Zion'' was going to be an MMORPG, by Wombat Games, with the lead programmers of ''VideoGame/UltimaOnline'', and a story by author Creator/TadWilliams. The game would have had a player controlled world with player run businesses, ecology, towns, and armies. Permadeath was planned as a possible feature.
* ''Dead Phoenix'', a RailShooter, starring a WingedHumanoid named Phoenix, was one of the "Creator/{{Capcom}} Five" [[note]]along with ''VideoGame/ViewtifulJoe'', ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'', ''VideoGame/Killer7'', and ''VideoGame/PN03''[[/note]] set of games announced for the UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube, and the only one that wound up being canceled.
* ''Dead Rush'' was an open-world action horror game for the [=PS2=], UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube, and UsefulNotes/{{Xbox}} announced in 2004 by Creator/{{Activision}}. It was to be developed by Treyarch[[note]]nowadays best known as the company that releases ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' games [[VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps on even]]-[[VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps2 numbered years]][[/note]], and given a release date of 2005. The game was essentially described as "''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' [[RecycledInSpace with zombies!]]"; it was to even use ''GTA''[='=]s style of "one big initial load screen and then no more after that" to make load times on all versions as minimal as possible, something that would have been impressive for a multi-console release of the time. The main character, an AmnesiacHero named Jake, had a WideOpenSandbox in which he could take on missions to help survivors during the ZombieApocalypse, and uncover the truth behind the zombie outbreak. One feature about the game that would have been unique for its time was that Jake could collect parts from broken cars and make new ones with the help of a WrenchWench, and the custom cars could have things like better armor and other attachments to make sure the cars could survive plowing through zombies (all cars would have had their own life bars of sorts).\\
Given Treyarch had experience with open world games thanks to developing the excellent ''Spider-Man 2'' and ''Ultimate Spider-Man'' games, hopes were high for it. The game was shown off at E3 2004 behind closed doors, but [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAA1dtZuk8Y a trailer]] and many screenshots do exist (and if you were a ''Game Informer'' subscriber in 2004, then chances are good you have the issue of the magazine that did an expansive preview of the game). Sadly, ''Dead Rush'' was cancelled just a few months after it was shown off at E3, with Activision stating that the game "wasn't meeting expectations". Note that this was before Activision turned ''VideoGame/GuitarHero'' and ''Call of Duty'' into their main {{Cash Cow Franchise}}s, so even before Activision became reliant on their "big name" [=IPs=] they were still catching flak from gamers for cancelling promising-looking projects.
* ''Deep Down'' was announced by Capcom at Sony's UsefulNotes/PlayStation4 announcement conference in February 2013 as a [=PS4=] exclusive title. Later on that year, it was announced that the game would be a free-to-play title. Apart from that, ''Deep Down'' has been conspicuously absent from trade shows and electronics expos that Capcom has been present at, and as of 2018 it still doesn't have a release date.
* A ''Film/DirtyHarry'' game was being developed from 2004-2006 by The Collective, Inc., set for a 2007 release on the [=PS3=] and Xbox 360. The game was to take place between ''Dirty Harry'' and ''Magnum Force'', and was to be included in a five disc movie box set along with all the films. Clint Eastwood expressed interest in continuing the film's story over several video games. [=TimeGate Studios=] was to rebuild the game in a new engine, with help from Monolith Productions, but the game was cancelled in 2008. Sensory Sweep Studios were developing more ''Dirty Harry'' games for PSP, DS, and Xbox, along with a different [=PS2=] game with a Wii port, and a PC port of the [=PS3=]/Xbox 360 game, none of which were released.
* ''VideoGame/DisneyInfinity'' had plans for several characters for 3.0 before following up with a 4.0 sequel. Due to increasing development costs and lack of income from making more than enough figures than what was being publicly demanded, Disney Interactive was forced to shut down the franchise and other self-publishing operations [[DroppedABridgeOnHim without any warning]]. Especially a let down as there had been hope for especially WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck and WesternAnimation/GravityFalls figures later on in 3.0's life, but alas, they were not to be.
* ''[[VideoGame/DJHero DJ Hero 3D]]'', announced for the 3DS, was not released.
* ''Dragon Empires'' was going to be a fantasy MMORPG by Creator/{{Codemasters}}. Developed in 2001, with a release planned for 2002, then pushed to 2003, the game was cancelled in 2004.
* ''VideoGame/DreamfallChapters'', the third game in ''VideoGame/TheLongestJourney'' series, was first mentioned in 2007 and only started production in November 2012, due to designer Ragnar Tornquist working on ''VideoGame/TheSecretWorld'' (itself also delayed frequently). Also, it's apparently not even going to be the proper conclusion to the series, which is going to have to wait for ''The Longest Journey Home''... expected to be released some time around '''''2030'''''--[[https://twitter.com/ragso/status/741008032528801794 if at all]].
* ''Duality'' was to be a first-person shooter developed by Double Aught (who worked with Bungie on ''[[VideoGame/MarathonInfinityBloodTidesOfLhowon Marathon Infinity]]''); the main character is rescued from the labs of the Deciding Factor, a theocracy of sorts that's conducting inhumane genetic experiments, and must seek out the last remnant of the "ancient builders" and the evil force that destroyed them and was locked away in the planet's core (shades of the Jjaro and the W'rkncacnter from ''Marathon''). It was meant to come out sometime in 1998, but ultimately never did.
* Possibly the strangest example of vaporware ever: a light gun game called ''Duelin' Firemen''. Set to be released for the 3DO in early 1996, this was an FMV game about... singing firemen! Yes, you read that just right. Singing firemen. Instead of, you know, putting out fires and saving innocent victims, the object of the game was to find buildings that were ''not'' burning and perform a dance routine of the captain's choice. The light gun would be used when a rival brigade appeared, who you would need to eliminate with your trusty fire hose. To win the game, you had to score a contract with a Japanese record company. Yes, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Msp2xO_TdQ4 this was actually for real!]]
* ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'''s interface ('It's not coming in your lifetime, but it's coming.') will supposedly get a revamp when it gets closer to the fabled v1.0. Understandable, since it's an alpha product. Tarn Adams jokingly estimated in one interview that at his current rate of progress 1.0 will come out sometime in the ''early 2020s''. Which isn't to say that it's not being worked on. The Toady One releases progress reports on a fairly regular basis, but given the type of game that Dwarf Fortress is, it will be a very, ''very'' long time before it's near completion.
* ''VideoGame/DukeNukem'':
** ''Duke Nukem 3D: Reloaded''/''Duke Nukem Next-Gen'' was a fan project with support from Creator/GearboxSoftware, and was a modern reimagining of ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'' on Unreal Engine 3, put on indefinite hold.
** ''Duke Nukem: Chain Reaction'' and ''Duke Nukem: Proving Grounds'' were planned to be part of a handheld trilogy on [[UsefulNotes/NintendoDS DS]]/[[UsefulNotes/PlayStationPortable PSP]], following ''Duke Nukem: Critical Mass''.
** ''Duke Nukem: D-Day''/''Duke Nukem: Man of Valor'' was going to be another third person shooter, this time for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation2, following ''Duke Nukem: Time to Kill'' and ''Duke Nukem: Land of the Babes''.
** ''Duke Nukem: Endangered Species'' was a cancelled hunting game using a modified ''VideoGame/{{Carnivores}}'' engine. Some assets were used in ''Vivisector: Beast Within''.
** ''Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction'' was going to be a top down action RPG for PC, [[UsefulNotes/PlayStation4 PS4]] and UsefulNotes/XboxONE. Legal issues between 3D Realms and Creator/GearboxSoftware over the Duke Nukem license caused the game to be refitted into an original title, ''Bombshell''.
* ''Edge of Twilight'', a fantasy-based ActionAdventure game, was first revealed in 2007, but thought to be cancelled when developer Fuzzyeyes laid off many of its employees and ceased development of all projects in 2009. In late 2012, they announced it had not been cancelled, and gave a projected release date of summer 2013. Nothing has been heard since.
* ''Eight Tentacles of the Apocalypse'' by Absurdus was announced as the third game in the "Kraken trilogy" after their two other games ''Eye of the Kraken'' (2002) and ''Carte Blanche'' (2006). The game would have tied the two others together to create a grand finale; ''Carte Blanche'' features a character export feature that presumably would have been used in ''Eight Tentacles''. It had a tentative 2010 release date, but Absurdus got as a far as a trailer before the project went dormant.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** ''The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard'' was to be followed by ''The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Eye of Argonia''.
** The PSP version of ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'', known as ''The Elder Scrolls Travels: Oblivion'', was going to be an action RPG with PSP exclusive features, and the first of its kind in the series. It was announced in November of 2006, and slated for release in June 2008, but the game was never heard about again, with no reason given for its cancellation, or even an acknowledgement that it was cancelled.
* ''Endless Saga'' by Webzen was going to be an anime-style PC and UsefulNotes/PlayStation3 MMORPG running on Unreal Engine 3.
* ''[[VideoGame/EverQuest EverQuest Next]]'' was going to be a WideOpenSandbox MMO by Daybreak Game Company, on the [=ForgeLight=] engine, with Oculus Rift support, and was cancelled in March 2016. A concurrent project, ''[=EverQuest=] Next Landmark'', was a creation tool focused on player made buildings and structures, which could be imported into ''[=EverQuest=] Next''. ''[=EverQuest=] Next Landmark'' was retitled as ''Landmark'' and continued development as a separate project, until being shut down on February, 2017.
* ''VideoGame/{{Evolve}}'''s development was suspended indefinitely with the expiration of Turtle Rock Studios' contract with 2K. While the game itself was available, all the content still being developed or adapted [[note]]A multiplayer campaign, three gameplay modes, fourteen maps, twelve character adaptations, and an unknown number of new hunters and monsters[[/note]] is now locked away unless 2K decides it might be worth releasing.
* ''[[Franchise/{{Fable}} Fable Legends]]'' was going to be a multiplayer action RPG by Lionhead Studios, on Unreal Engine 4, with PC and Xbox One cross-platform multiplayer. Announced in 2013, the game was cancelled March 2016.
* ''Faith and a .45'' was a [[OutlawCouple Bonnie and Clyde]]-inspired ThirdPersonShooter by Creator/DeadlineGames set in TheGreatDepression. Originally announced for a 2009 release, Deadline did not find any publishers interested in funding the game, as the setting and the focus on a romantically-involved couple was considered too hard to sell to shooter audiences. With the commercial failure of ''Watchmen: The End Is Nigh'', Deadline shut down in 2009 and the project died with them.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' spent five years in development at Black Isle studios, and was almost at a releasable stage in development, when Interplay went belly-up in 2003 and closed Black Isle down. Creator/BethesdaSoftworks eventually acquired the rights to develop the game for a late 2008 release, but opted to begin entirely from scratch, meaning that Black Isle's ''[[VideoGame/FalloutVanBuren Van Buren]]'' version of the game will likely never see the light of day, outside of the leaked tech demo that the ''Fallout'' community began distributing in 2007.
** Black Isle Studios. ''Franchise/BaldursGate III: The Black Hound'' (A.K.A. "Jefferson", the source of ''Van Buren's'' engine; supposedly coming out as a ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' module some time soon) and ''Torn'' are two of the more infamous examples.
** A ''Fallout'' top-down shooter was being developed for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation by [[Creator/InterplayEntertainment Interplay]], along with a UsefulNotes/PlayStation port of ''VideoGame/BaldursGate''.
** ''Fallout Online'' was to be developed by [[Creator/InterplayEntertainment Interplay]]. The rights were transferred to Creator/{{Bethesda}}, and it was eventually cancelled in 2012, though through crowdfunding it may be turned into a strategy RPG.
** Other ''Fallout'' vaporware included ''Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2'', ''Fallout Tactics 2'', and ''Fallout Extreme''.
** ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' was developed by Creator/ObsidianEntertainment (primarily made up of former Black Isle staff), who incorporated elements of ''Van Buren's'' plot into the game's backstory and setting. The group called Caesar's Legion in particular is inspired by a similarly named group of slavers from ''Van Buren''.
* A game based on ''Film/TheFastAndTheFurious'' was announced for the Playstation 2 in 2003. It was to be developed by Creator/{{Genki}} (the developer behind the ''VideoGame/TokyoXtremeRacer'' series) and published by Vivendi Universal. The game faded from public consciousness and was later cancelled without anyone noticing. In 2006, a different game based on the film series was released for [=PS2=], but it was completely different from the earlier one. (This one was developed by Eutechnyx and published by [[Creator/BandaiNamcoEntertainment Namco]].)
* ''Fear and Respect'' was a wide-open sandbox game set up as a vehicle for Music/SnoopDogg and was produced by Creator/JohnSingleton that was set to be ready for a 2006 release. But despite having much buzz (such as a cover story in Game Informer and the announcement of a film version that would also feature Snoop Dogg), Midway canceled the game due to a crowded market.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fez}}'' was well received when it was released in 2012, so a sequel was a definite...or so we thought. Naturally, a sequel was announced in 2013. A month later, head developer Phil Fish got into an argument on Twitter over Microsoft's policies on self-publishing. After the argument got especially heated, Fish announced that ''Fez 2'' was cancelled and he was retiring from the video game industry.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'' was announced for the ''[=WonderSwan Color=]'' as one of the original three games that would have both a port and a special edition ''[=WonderSwan Color=]''. It didn't happen.
* After its cancellation, Creator/JossWhedon expressed interest in further exploring the universe of ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' as an MMORPG, and there was even evidence that it was in the works; Penny Arcade even remarked on it ("Everyone just rolls shaman"). There's been little word on the game since 2006, and while developer Dark-Cryo has picked up the pieces of what was developed, they seem to be doing so without authorization from 20th Century Fox or Mutant Enemy.
* ''Fireteam Rogue'', an ActionAdventure game developed in the mid-1990s for the UsefulNotes/SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem. Publisher Creator/{{Accolade}} intended it to be the launch of a major franchise, including a toyline and a TV series. For all its ambitions (Accolade promised over 100 hours of gameplay), and despite being previewed in several magazines, the game was never finished.
* ''VideoGame/FreedomFighters'' had a sequel announced half a year after its release in 2003. Very little has been heard of it since.
* Back in the early days of ''Website/GaiaOnline'', before Houses and Towns, there was an announcement sent out about an MMO they were going to develop, referred to as the Battle System. While details were slim, there were several times during the development where it was announced as an upcoming feature users should be on the watch for. By the time Pinball materialized, a few months before ''[[Website/GaiaOnline zOMG!]]'' finally entered closed beta testing, "When the Battle System is finished" had already become a running gag among the userbase.
* ''Gekido'' was a side-scrolling beat-'em-up released for the original UsefulNotes/PlayStation in 1999, that received a sequel for the UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance titled ''Gekido Advance: Kintaro's Revenge''. A second sequel titled ''Gekido: The Dark Angel'' was supposed to come out for UsefulNotes/PlayStationPortable around 2006 but nothing outside of [[https://web.archive.org/web/20110128105143/http://www.gekidothegame.com/ a teaser]] was ever shown.
* ''George A. Romero's City of the Dead''. It showed up at E3 2005 with no playable demo, and was soon canned.
* ''Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising'' was going to be an MMO by Perpetual Entertainment, and was cancelled to focus on ''Star Trek Online'', with the game rights bought by Heatwave Interactive.
* The ''VideoGame/GranTurismo'' series almost had an entry on the [=PS2=] called ''Gran Turismo For Boys'', an entry directed at younger gamers. (Never mind that the games regularly garner "E for Everybody" ratings from the ESRB.) It was scheduled for release in 2005, around the same time as ''Gran Turismo 4'', but never appeared. When discussing plans for ''Gran Turismo 5'', Kazunori Yamauchi said he was hoping to make ''GT For Boys'' a feature within that game. That didn't happen either.
* ''VideoGame/GuitarHero'' was going to have a Facebook MMO spinoff, ''Hero World''. It was to be a DJ and club management sim, and was not released.
* ''[[TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} GURPS Online]]''. It's still advertised in the text for ''GURPS 4th Edition.''
** For that matter, many of the online tools for Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition (Especially the online game table app) have still not been released, despite advertising that they would be bundled with 4th edition on release in 2008.[[note]]Wizards of the coast are partnering with roll20.net for D&D on the tabletop. now.[[/note]]
* ''Half-Life 2: Episode 4: Return to Ravenholm'' was going to be a ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' episode developed by Creator/ArkaneStudios, which ended up not being released.
* ''[=H2Overdrive=]'' was going to be a 2003 game by Crave Entertainment, and was unrelated to the 2009 game of the same name.
* ''[[Franchise/{{Halo}} Halo Online]]'' was going to be a Halo MMO, developed by Ensemble Studios, and was canceled in 2008. Plenty of [[https://www.halopedia.org/Titan_(canceled_game) concept art]] remains, including an early, alternate take on the Forerunners.
* Of particular note is the long promised, but still missing ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon'' {{MMORPG}}. Online connectivity (read: the ability to buy, sell, and trade items between other players) has also been long promised since ''Save The Homeland'' debuted. It finally appeared in limited form in ''Island Of Happiness'' via the UsefulNotes/NintendoDS' [=WiFi=].
* A ''Franchise/{{Highlander}}'' video game was announced several years ago, then repeatedly postponed and pushed back until the company making it was sold in 2011 and the new owners ultimately pulled the plug.
* ''Heavenly Bodies'' was planned to be an adult MMO by Nest Egg Studios.
* ''Heist'' or ''HEI$T'', by Creator/InXileEntertainment, was going to be about a group of criminals performing thefts in 1969 San Francisco, and was cancelled in 2010.
* ''Hero's Journey'' was going to be a fantasy MMORPG by Simutronics, using the [=HeroEngine=], and was canceled in 2009.
* The ending credits of ''VideoGame/{{HomefrontTheRevolution}}'' contain three paragraphs from the director about the game's troubling production.
* ''[[WebAnimation/HomestarRunner Homestar Runner RPG]]'' was going to be an RPG running on the [[UsefulNotes/{{Atari2600}} Atari 2600]], was announced in 2006, and was cancelled in 2008.
* ''Imperator Online'', by Mythic Entertainment, was going to be a sci-fi MMO where Roman and Mayan civilizations developed space travel, and was canceled in 2005.
* The graphic adventure ''Indiana Jones and the Iron Phoenix'', a sequel to ''VideoGame/IndianaJonesAndTheFateOfAtlantis'', was never produced except for a comic book tie-in. One reason for its cancellation was the worry that a NoSwastikas version could not be produced for Germany, as the plot involved Nazis using the Philosopher's Stone to resurrect Hitler.
* ''VideoGame/InfinityTheQuestForEarth'', a indie space combat/trading MMO has been continuously in development for ''nine years'', with the "expected release" generally a year to two years ahead of the date at the time. The game appeared to be caught in the development hell of constantly trying to stay up-to-date for years; the development newsfeed was composed almost entirely of graphical changes. The game was later canceled and its engine (I-Novae) offered for licensing with a ''much'' more reasonably sized game, ''Infinity: Battlescape'' on the horizon.
* ''[=inSANE=]'' was a SurvivalHorror game made by Creator/{{Volition}} and Creator/GuillermoDelToro that was announced at the Spike Video Game Awards in 2010, with an intended release date in 2013 and plans for a whole trilogy. Unfortunately, its publisher, Creator/{{THQ}}, was falling apart at the time, and in 2012 they canceled the game, with the IP rights going to del Toro; they ultimately went bankrupt four months later, and were dissolved the following year. Given del Toro's subsequent work on ''VideoGame/SilentHills'' (which met the same fate), it's unlikely that the game will ever be finished.
* ''VideoGame/JetMoto 4'' for the [=PS2=], which was semi-officially announced, but never started, probably due to poor sales of ''Jet Moto 3'' (which came out in the [=PS1=]'s dying days).
* ''Film/KillBill'' was to have a game by Black Label Games, for [=PlayStation 2=] and Xbox. It was cancelled in 2003.
* ''Killing Bites'', a video game adaptation of [[Manga/KillingBites the manga]], was announced in September 2015 for a 2016 release on [=PS4=] and PS Vita, with Nex Entertainment as the publisher. However, Nex shut down in 2016, so Fields, a company that makes mainly pachinko and pachi-slot machines, picked it up. In September 2017, Fields announced that development of the game had been called off, and future plans for it were uncertain.
* Both attempts [[http://www.50yearsofkimba.com/videogamestory.html to make a video game for]] ''WesternAnimation/KimbaTheWhiteLion'' were eventually canceled.
* There were supposed to be three ''Franchise/{{Kirby}}'' games for the [[UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube GameCube]]: A four-player simultaneous game known as ''Kirby Adventure'', a 2.5D or 3D platformer involving movement in 3D space, and a game involving an animated Kirby in a pop-up book with new Copy abilities that can be powered up. One is known by fans as ''Kirby: Legend of the Stars''. They never materialized on that system, but in late 2011, features from all three ended up in the Wii game ''VideoGame/KirbysReturnToDreamLand'', to the fanbase's delight. ''VideoGame/KirbyStarAllies'' would also introduce the triple helper system proper.
* A SpinoffBabies ''Kirby'' game with the working title of "Kid Kirby" was planned for release on the SNES, developed by DMA Design (who had earlier collaborated with Nintendo on ''Uniracers''). It had CGI-rendered sprites, a la ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry'', and would have featured Kirby as a curly-haired (!) baby and King Dedede as a young child. For one reason or another, it never got beyond a few promotional renders and level layouts.
* ''Kumite'', a 3D FightingGame featuring MotionCapture of martial artists and realistic damage modeling, was have been published by Creator/{{Konami}} for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation and UsefulNotes/SegaSaturn. The game design proved too ambitious for its small third-party developer, a company known as 47-TEK, to bring anywhere near to completion.
* ''VideoGame/LaMulana'''s developers managed to fund a sequel [[https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/playism/la-mulana-2 through Kickstarter]]. It was supposed to come out in December 2015. Their site's blog mentioned that the lead programmer needed surgery, but no major news after that; However in 2018 they stated the game was going to be released in summer of that year. See [[https://la-mulana.com/teaser_en.php here]].
* The ''VideoGame/LegacyOfKain'' series has had a long history of finessing out of development and legal complications. However, its admirable run ended tragically with the cancellation of the sixth installment, to be titled ''Legacy of Kain: Dark Prophecy'', after only three months in development. Only some concept art remains as evidence of its existence before evaporation.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfElLobodestroyoVsLaLigaDeLosVillanos'' (originally titled ''Lobodestroyo'') is a 3D platformer announced in 2013 for the Wii U. It stars a FunnyAnimal luchador wolf and is based on classic 3D platformers like ''Banjo-Kazooie'' and ''Spyro the Dragon''. Not much has been shown off besides a few test animations and music, however it's still in development as of 2016.
* ''Lejendary Adventure Online'', or ''Lejendary Adventure'', was going to be an MMO based on Gary Gygax's other RPG. The game was in development in 2002, with no word given on its cancellation.
* ''VideoGame/LilyBergamo'', announced in 2013, was a "super action game" by Creator/Suda51 and featuring art by Yusuke Kozaki, for the [=PS4=]. One trailer was released before the game re-surfaced in 2014 as ''VideoGame/LetItDie'', which is... very different than the initial product.
* ''Line's End'', the sequel to the freeware RPG, ''A Blurred Line'', has been eluding expectations of a conclusion to A Blurred Line's engrossing story for several years. The creator seems to have abandoned it in favor of a career in law.
** As of August 2010, though, the creator has announced that he's [[http://rpgmaker.net/games/93/?p=3#comments going to finish it after all.]]
*** As of 2014 though, nothing further has been heard so it's looking very unlikely that this game will ever be finished.
* ''VideoGame/LittleBigPlanet HUB'', a free-to-play installment in the ''[=LittleBigPlanet=]'' series, was announced back in 2013. Whenever [[WordOfGod Steven Isbell]] was asked about it, he responded that the team was working on the Creator/DCComics DLC (in 2013) or [=LittleBigPlanet=] 3 (in 2014) or that there was just no new info. Content from that game later appeared in [=LBP3's=] Seaside Surprise DLC in 2016, and the Challenges feature that was set to make an appearance in ''HUB'' was added to [=LBP3=] in an update, making it highly unlikely that the game is still a thing.
* ''LMNO'' by Creator/ArkaneStudios was going to be a first person parkour game with adventure and RPG elements, with the involvement of Creator/StevenSpielberg, and was cancelled in 2010.
* [[http://www.unseen64.net/2008/05/26/lobo-snesgenesis-cancelled/ Lobo]], a fighting game based on the DC Comics character, for the SNES and Sega Genesis. Very little info was released before it was cancelled. A prototype was eventually found and a ROM dumped.
** Kemco also announced a Lobo game for the Xbox. That was it. No screenshots were ever released and Kemco eventually announced it was cancelled with no work whatsoever having been done on the game.
* ''Love Despite'' was going to be another spiritual successor to ''Katawa Shoujo'' (see ''VisualNovel/MissingStars'' down below) that began development in January 2012, immediately after ''Katawa Shoujo'''s release. However, development news were very scarce, [[IncrediblyLamePun despite]] the creators setting up a very elaborate [[https://web.archive.org/web/20150801190239/http://love-despite.com/ website]] (archived link). That site was made to look like the official web page of the fictional academy the game was going to be set in. However, it stopped updating in 2014, the project was cancelled a little later and in 2016 that page was turned into a general web page for the dev team, renamed Unfinished Circle. Even ''that'' one, though, stopped any updates after the very first post, leaving all the team's projects [[IncrediblyLamePun unfinished]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Lugaru}} 2'' was like this for awhile, mainly due to the core programmer being in college. It was announced in 2005, with some initial work. However, the one-man programmer went to college and ''Lugaru 2'' just sat there collecting dust. Although he did create some physics tests and such (one even involved a moving ball that actually sounds like it's moving), the core of the game wasn't worked on a lot. After he graduated (near the end of '08), he changed the name to ''VideoGame/{{Overgrowth}}'' and his company, [[http://www.wolfire.com/ Wolfire Games]] has been "leaking" out alphas Since the beginning of November '08. ''Overgrowth'' was originally planned to be released in the first quarter of '09, then the second quarter, now it's done when it's done.
* The [=PS1=] of port of ''VideoGame/MaddenNFL '96'' was going to be ''Madden's'' first foray into the [[UsefulNotes/TheFifthGenerationOfConsoleVideoGames 32-bit era]], but Creator/ElectronicArts canceled the game because it wasn't up to their ''quality of publishing standards''. Knowing EA's reputation for rushing out yearly installments and not caring about the final product as long it sells well; when they say a game is unworthy of being published, you know something is really wrong. The main problem is that it suffered a same fate as ''VideoGame/{{Jurassic Park Trespasser}}'', it was just too ambitious for the technology at time. The game was heavily hyped by Sony and judging by the pre-release images, it looked great, until it was later revealed that [[http://www.game-rave.com/psx_galleries/unreleased_madden96/magazines/demo.jpg EA ''doctored'' the images]]. More info can be found [[https://web.archive.org/web/20150503103249/http://www.game-rave.com:80/psx_galleries/unreleased_madden96/index.htm here]] and you can read about all the problems it went through, see pictures, and watch videos on the prototype.
* An example which specifically starts out meta and goes on from there, in-universe: ''VideoGame/TheMagicCircle'' is a game about the titular game, 'The Magic Circle', which has been in development for so long, and gone through [[DevelopmentHell so many iterations and changes]], ''all while being [[HypeBacklash constantly hyped]]'', that [[GeniusLoci the game itself]] starts to [[RageAgainstTheHeavens rebel against its creators.]]
* The ''Videogame/MechWarrior'' series has held many games locked in development hell.
** A new ''VideoGame/MechWarrior'' game was announced to much rejoicing from the fans along with a spectacular looking trailer, in 2009. Then, news surfaced of a lawsuit by Harmony Gold, and nothing had been heard since. Fans had already resigned themselves to another [=MechWarrior=]-less decade. Then, [[SavedFromDevelopmentHell the game resurfaced as]] ''VideoGame/MechWarriorOnline'', a free-to-play game set to go live in August of 2012. WordOfGod in 2011 was that were was no lawsuit, but rather a cease and desist order aimed at {{IGN}}, where the original trailer was first posted. The real issue was being unable to scare up a major publisher for what would have been a [=MechWarrior=] 5.
** While we're on the topic of ''[=MechWarrior=]'' let's talk about ''[=MechWarrior=] Tactics'' Another "free to play", though given its Closed Beta status, requiring either winning a free Beta key via Lottery pick, or paying money for a founders package for instant access, it was an AllegedlyFreeGame, from Infinite Games Publishing (who published ''Online'' with Piranha Games as Developers). They assigned it to 3 different development teams. (Roadhouse Interactive, ACRONYM Games, who both worked togther, then were sacked, replaced with Blue Lizard games). All news for the game ended in January of the 2014, with the beta stagnating. Then the game, and website went down on August 18th, 2014, citing Extended server maintenance and hardware upgrades, which lasted more than the listed time frame of 72 hours. Questions began being asked, and it was found out that Blue Lizard Games had also left quietly from making the game back in December of 2013. A month latter, in September 2014 after the game went down, IGP ''finally'' replied admitting the truth everyone already knew about there being no developers, while at the same time, now informing everyone the game had no servers now to run it. Despite the fact that fans had pieced together the fact that IGP was looking to close its doors for good, what with its CEO leaving to start ''[[RefugeInAudacity video game consulting firm]]'' and that 90% of IGP had been fired, let go, or quit, they [[BlatantLies insisted that Tactics was "Still in development" and that they were looking to get a 4th development team, and new servers to continue the project]] as an excuse as to why they wouldn't refund angered customers money they spent for founders packages or on the C-bill premium transaction store during Beta, (also claiming that the "money had already been spent" despite failing to deliver on their end). On November 26th, the final truth has come out, as both Infinite Games Publishings website, and [=MechWarrior=] Tactic's website were both quietly shutdown, with still zero updates on either Facebook pages, and a sale of remaining assets was posted online. The game was supposed to be launched in 2012, according to IGP's own marketing, even claiming it had already been a [[BlatantLies successful launch on its website]].
*** The issue with ''MW Tactics'' left fans so disgusted, that when Harebrained Schemes[[note]]which was founded and is led by one the creators of the [=BattleTech=] franchise, Jordan Weisman[[/note]] launched their Kickstarter campaign for VideoGame/BattleTech, they felt the need to apologize to fans of ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' and ''VideoGame/MechWarrior'' for the sheer incompetence and lies of Infinite Games Publishing, despite the fact that they had nothing to do with Infinite Games or MW Tactics.
** ''Multiplayer VideoGame/BattleTech 3025'', PC MMORPG by Kesmai. It received glowing praise from players during its beta test, but the company was acquired by Creator/ElectronicArts before release and subject to massive ExecutiveMeddling. The game went back to the drawing board, and its servers were shut down in 2001.
* ''VideoGame/MegaMan Anniversary Collection'' for the UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance would have collected MM's five original Game Boy adventures. One speculation was that creator Capcom had lost the source code for the original games. Eventually, Capcom declared it too expensive to produce, and that the GBA was in decline anyway.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManLegends 3'' wound up being [[http://www.capcom-unity.com/devroom/blog/2011/07/18/a_message_from_capcom unceremoniously cancelled in July 2011]], after a promising start from positive fan reception, eventually culminating in Capcom's own disappointment in the project, without even releasing the prototype/prologue that was supposed to be used to judge whether the final game would sell.
* VideoGame/MegaManUniverse was another ''Mega Man'' title cancelled around the same time as ''Mega Man Legends 3''. It would have been a 2D sidescroller with a level creator in the vein of ''VideoGame/MegaManPoweredUp'', and would have allowed you to customize your Mega Man's appearance as well as play as other characters (i.e. Bad Box Art Mega Man and Ryu from Franchise/StreetFighter). Capcom cancelled the game citing poor reception from testers.
* Ports of the original ''VideoGame/MetalSlug'' trilogy for the UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance were announced coming off the success of ''Metal Slug Advance''. Despite its near completion of the first game, it was ultimately canned due to memory constraints and the fact that its late release date on the system and the near release ''[[CompilationRerelease Metal Slug Anthology]]'' would've made the [=GBA=] ports obsolete. Efforts were then shifted to create ''Metal Slug 7'' for the UsefulNotes/NintendoDS.
* ''Metroid: Dread'' was hinted at in the ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' series, and since then, every ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}}'' fan has been demanding to know its status or quick to assume any upcoming title will be ''Dread''. With the announcement of ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'', the first thing Nintendo did was state that it was not, in fact, ''Dread'' under another name (''Dread'' was supposed to take place after ''Metroid Fusion'' while ''Other M'' takes place ''before'' it and after ''Super Metroid'' (the cutscene containing a 3D remake of the final battle of the latter game makes this clear)), and were coy that such a game was ever even under development. Later, they claimed that it definitely existed, but had been "shelved indefinitely" during work on ''Other M''. More recent interviews have stated that ''Dread'' exists, without a doubt, but no further details about which studio will work on it, where in the timeline it will fit, or when work on it will resume have been released. As of 2017, we're still no closer to knowing anything about it; the only new games revealed and/or released since ''Other M'' are [[VideoGame/MetroidPrimeFederationForce a spinoff]] set between ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime3Corruption'' and ''VideoGame/MetroidIIReturnOfSamus'', [[VideoGame/MetroidSamusReturns a remake]] of ''Metroid II'' in the vein of ''VideoGame/MetroidZeroMission'', and the equally-enigmatic ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime4''.
* ''Middle Earth Online'' was being developed in 1998 by Creator/{{Sierra}} as a 2D or 3D isometric MMO supporting 10,000 players, and a later project in 2001 was being developed as ''Tolkien Online'' or ''Tolkien Online RPG''.
* ''Might & Magic Online'' was going to be an MMORPG from the developers of ''Meridian 59'', and was cancelled by the publisher, 3DO.
* ''VisualNovel/MissingStars'' is a freeware original English-language VisualNovel announced in 2012 as a SpiritualSuccessor to ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo''. The project is still a thing as of 2017 however, much like ''Katawa Shoujo'', it has a long and TroubledProduction. Its first demo was released in January of 2017 however it was clearly rushed, with several typos and a few interface issues.
* ''Mythica'' was going to be a Norse mythology fantasy MMORPG by Microsoft Game Studios, and was cancelled in 2004.
* Another classic that promised a never-to-appear sequel like the previously mentioned ''Commander Keen'' was Creator/{{Infocom}}'s take on ''VideoGame/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', potentially called ''Milliways: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe''. Delays, including the development of ''Bureaucracy'' (also written by Douglas Adams), meant the game was delayed, with Infocom eventually going bankrupt before the sequel could be made. All that is left to show for it are some of Douglas Adams' notes and a very, ''very'' small amount of code with nothing more than a few locations on the surface of Magrathea, only two of which have any description whatsoever. All of the code, what little there is, is playable online [[http://waxy.org/random/software/milliways/milliways_release15.html here]]. A complete history (as complete as anyone can make it, anyway) can be found [[http://waxy.org/2008/04/milliways_infocoms_unreleased_sequel_to_hitchhikers_guide_to_the_galax/ here]].
* Several CD-i games based on the ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' franchise were planned at one point, but only ''VideoGame/HotelMario'' was ever released. Among the canned titles were ''Super Mario's Wacky Worlds'', a sequel to ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'' with stages set in various real-world locations, and ''Mario Takes America'', an FMV game that would feature a RogerRabbitEffect Mario traveling from New York to Hollywood to film a movie while getting in various state-themed shenanigans along the way.
* ''Marvel Universe Online'' / ''Marvel Universe'', by Cryptic Studios, was a cancelled Marvel MMORPG. Some assets were later used to develop ''VideoGame/ChampionsOnline''.
* ''Videogame/{{Mercenaries}}'' was to have sequels ''Mercs Inc.'' and ''Mercenaries 3: No Limits''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'' has been modded by the community basically since it launched, and the developers (Mojang) acknowledged this by committing to developing an official UsefulNotes/ApplicationProgrammingInterface for the game. Mojang went as far as [[http://www.minecraftforum.net/news/417-bukkit-officially-joins-mojang/ recruiting the lead developers]] of the community-made API [[http://www.bukkit.org Bukkit]] to lead the project. Within a few months, they established a [[http://dev.minecraft.net/blog/ blog]] and public [[https://github.com/Mojang/Minecraft-API Github]], and then proceeded to go silent. Neither the blog nor the Github have seen activity in nearly a year; and the Github does not even exist anymore.
* Development of the largely anticipated and long-awaited fan project ''VideoGame/MyLittlePonyFightingIsMagic'' was terminated by a [[ScrewedByTheLawyers cease and desist order from Hasbro]]. A massive InternetBackdraft immediately ensued, and in doing so increased rumors that Hasbro is attempting [[ExecutiveMeddling to take more control of]] [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic the show]]. After about two and a half years after the original project was given the Cease and Desist, Mane 6, the developers of ''Fighting Is Magic'' have since formed their own company and created a new fighting game, ''VideoGame/ThemsFightinHerds'', with characters created by ''Creator/LaurenFaust herself''.
* On the fraud front comes [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17915305 Mythic: The Story of Gods and Men]], an entirely fake game fabricated and promoted with media from other, existing games just to raise funds for the project. Fortunately, it was exposed and the contributed funds returned.
* ''Mythri'' was an indie RPG by Team [=XKalibur=] initially announced for the Gameboy Color in 2000 that first received press when news site [=RPGamer=] began covering it and started a campaign to get a publisher for it. Variant Interactive eventually signed on board and the project jumped from the outdated (by 2003) GBC to the then-viable GBA, complete with comparison screenshots of improved graphical engine updates. After two years with absolutely no updates, news eventually trickled out that Variant had dropped the game and Team [=XKalibur=] was once more seeking a publisher. The game was finally quietly cancelled. Not long after, the developer was disbanded and the staff scattered across the industry.

[[folder:Video Game Titles: N-Z]]
* ''Neon FM Dance Radio'' was first unveiled as an arcade dance game built on a heavily-modified ''VideoGame/StepMania''. It had a unique pad layout with five buttons, but arranged in a ''VideoGame/{{beatmania}}'' styled "piano key" layout (two rows, two on top and three on bottom) rather than in cardinal directions like its competitors. It also contained an EarWorm song titled "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UT6fXdYpJuQ Girlz Buttz]]", whose subject matter is self-explanatory. The team had a distribution deal planned with Betson, and unveiled a playable prototype cabinet at a release party. But then, ''[[VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA]]'' was announced soon afterward, which also had a distribution deal with Betson, and the game quietly vanished. In 2014, the game was rebooted as just ''Neon FM'', and became a ''VideoGame/PopNMusic''-esque game with a vertically-oriented display and five giant circular pad buttons (still in the same layout, however). Unlike the dance game version, this one ''did'' get released, and has been actively-maintained with new content, as well as a mobile port. It even got a distribution deal with Andamiro in South Korea, leading to bidirectional crossover songs between it and ''VideoGame/PumpItUp'' (including the aforementioned "Girlz Buttz" in a ''VideoGame/PumpItUp Infinity'' patch).
* ''VideoGame/NexusTheJupiterIncident'', produced by Mithis and HD Publishing, released way back in 2005, was scheduled to have a ''Nexus 2'' come out later in 2007. That year has long since passed. Many claim that no ship-to-ship space combat sim produced since has ever rivaled it, yet only a crusty layer of dust-caked die-hards can even remember its name. This is probably past vaporware by now... Interestingly, concept video of Nexus 2 was posted to Youtube in 2012. Supposedly the project had been in the works for some time, and in 2012 a small Kickstarter was attempted for the project.
* Freeware space exploration simulator ''[[http://www.anywherebb.com/ Noctis IV]]'' saw a good (and justified, given how an entire galaxy was squeezed in 700 kilobytes of data) popularity in the early 2000s; the author announced ''Noctis V'', a version with native Windows support, a renewed engine and many more new features and adjustments, around that time. For a while, it completely fell off the radar, and contributions to the NIV starmap weren't even included in the game anymore. Then, support to NIV resumed and its source code was released, but as of July 2009 (when the author once again assured that he hasn't given up on the project), NV ''still'' hasn't come out, while the older iteration shows more and more the signs of its age (like complete lack of sound, a very cumbersome interface, and low resolution).
* Quantic Dream had originally planned on making a sequel to ''VideoGame/OmikronTheNomadSoul'' called ''Nomad Soul: Exodus''. However tensions between Quantic Dream and Eidos forced them to scrap it. A few years later they announced yet another sequel, this time called ''Omikron 2: Karma''. Once again, the project was put on hold so Quantic Dream could focus on ''VideoGame/HeavyRain''. Given the long developmental cycles their games tend to have, who knows when--or if--Omikron 2 will actually see the light of day.
* ''VideoGame/{{Omori}}'' is a RPG Maker surreal psychological horror title in the vein of ''VideoGame/YumeNikki'' and ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' being developed by artist Omocat and a small team of developers. A Kickstarter for the game was opened in early 2014 and was met with a resounding success, but then updates on the project became rather scarce. As of early 2017, a new trailer was shown, but [[http://omori-game.com/#updates the updates page]] on the official site mention a change in the game's engine, and also reworking of several story and graphics elements, without even a tentative release date. This does not bode well for the game's release.
* ''Otoiroha'' was a rhythm game in the Franchise/{{Bemani}} franchise that was shown off at JAEPO 2016 that featured a touch screen and panels that could be slid up and down the cabinet, similar to ''VideoGame/SoundVoltex'''s analog dials. After its one location test, nothing was heard of the game for about a year; in late January 2017, its website was pulled from Konami's [=eAMUSE=] portal site. At JAEPO 2017, it was stated that while the game isn't officially canceled, development is on hold and they're unsure whether or not to continue.
** With the original songs made for the game being ported to ''VideoGame/ReflecBeat'' and ''VideoGame/{{Jubeat}}'', it's looking more likely that Konami really has pulled the plug.
* The Wii game based on Connie Talbot's ''Over The Rainbow'' album was scheduled to be released on the first quarter of 2009, but copyright issues with the songs to be used left the game in limbo. And guess who [[VideoGame/NinjabreadMan developed]] it...
* The English version of ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline2'' had originally been scheduled for release in the summer of 2013. This has since been pushed back to "TBA 2014". Most players have since given up on an English release and simply play the Japanese version.
* ''The Outsider'', a WideOpenSandbox espionage game by David Braben's (of ''Elite'' fame) Frontier Developments was cancelled in 2011 after a protracted development cycle and being dumped by publisher Creator/{{Codemasters}}. Interestingly, [[http://www.joystiq.com/2011/10/11/source-frontiers-canned-the-outsider-project-was-actually-t/ the game was described as being practically complete apart from QA testing]]. At the same time Braben's studio was in talks with EA about retooling the game into an adaptation of ''Franchise/TheBourneSeries'' since they held the rights at the time. All that exists of the game now are a few trailers and screenshots.
* ''Planet Michael'', a Music/MichaelJackson-based MMORPG, was announced in 2010 for a 2011 release. Nothing's been heard of it since. Even the official website slid to a halt; its latest news blurb was in January 2011.
* Askiisoft's ''VideoGame/PoliceTeamKazuo'', supposedly a 2D tactical strategy game that was announced in 2014 and still "coming soon". The [[http://askiisoft.com/games/police-team-kazuo/ official site]] is empty, Askiisoft's site doesn't mention it and all its social media page ([[http://greyradian.deviantart.com/journal/Announce-POLICE-TEAM-KAZUO-527389377 found here]]) are similarly void of any content. It's safe to say it has quietly been cancelled.
* The original DOS release of ''VideoGame/PrincessMaker 2'' was planned for a western release by a development company called Softegg and a publisher called Intracorp. Unfortunately, delays, Intracorp's dissolution, the growing obsolecense of MS-DOS, and the dominance of first-person shooters on PC lead to the localization never being released. An English beta of the game leaked onto the internet in the 2010s, although Softegg maintained that they still owned the rights to the localization and asked players not to pirate the beta. Eventually, the near entirety of the ''Princess Maker'' series would finally be released in the west via Steam by CFK, starting with the Windows port of ''Princess Maker 2'' in 2016.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Rage}} RAGE 2]]'' was announced in 2011, planned to be released some time after ''Doom 4'', which was also cancelled. Development stopped in 2013. However, Bethesda released a new gameplay trailer for it in 2018 after the game's existence was leaked through a Walmart listing.
* ''LightNovel/RailWars'' was supposed to get a video game adaptation on the PS Vita soon after the Anime version aired in the [[Main/Summer2014Anime summer of 2014]]. However, the anime tanked, and the project quickly [[IncrediblyLamePun derailed]].
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'' was intended to be released during the spring of 1997, but ended up being revamped from scratch after the designers were unsatisfied with the nearly finished build of their first version (now dubbed ''Resident Evil 1.5''), delaying the game by a whole year. The original version (''1.5'') had Leon S. Kennedy as the main male protagonist like in the released version, but instead of Chris Redfield's sister Claire, ''1.5'' had Elza Walker, [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute a college student/motorcyclist]] with no relation to Chris or any other previously existing character. The police station the game was set in looked more like a regular office building in ''1.5'' than the art museum-like design of ''2''. A group that had gotten hold of an early build has since compiled a playable ISO image of ''1.5'' that can be found online. It's buggy as hell and not even close to a complete game, but sure to please those who've been itching to try ''1.5'' ever since news first broke that it was canned.
** The UsefulNotes/GameBoyColor port of ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil1'' was canned at about 90% completion. Two ROM images were eventually released online, and even though both are unfinished, it's possible to play through almost the whole game between the two beta images.
** ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' spent five years under development and had several canceled versions, although some of them were revamped into separate projects: namely the original ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry'' and ''VideoGame/HauntingGround''.
* ''Anime/{{Robotech}}: Crystal Dreams'' for the N64 slipped into vaporware oblivion when its developer, Gametek, went belly-up. Only a ROM of the demo version exists.
* This appears to what has happened to ''VideoGame/RockBand Japan''. In June 2008, Harmonix said they were codeveloping the game with Q Entertainment for Japanese release, featuring popular Japanese artists. The next time it was brought up was to announce its cancellation.
* ''Rockman Online'', a Korean ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' MMORPG that was announced in 2010. It was ultimately cancelled in 2013 after developer Neowiz underwent internal restructuring.
* ''Rune Conquest'' by Red Dragon Software. The ultimate MMO, or [[http://gbob.onlinegamers.org/dragon.html some kid]] [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/issues/issue_12/77-Chasing-Phantoms and his dad]] [[http://www.brokentoys.org/?author=2&paged=203 extracting $50]] from people with nothing to show for it?
* ''S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2''. A full sequel to the first game ''[[VideoGame/{{STALKER}} S.T.A.L.K.E.R.]]: Shadow of Chernobyl'', was announced in 2010. Not much is known what it would have, as in early 2012 it was put on "indefinite hold" as GSC was forced to close down due to massive financial issues. GSC has since reopened, though there's been no word about the game's status.
* ''Sadness'' for the Wii was announced so long ago that Nintendo's machine was still called the Revolution at that point. During "development" of the game, Nibris came under heavy criticism for not producing any evidence of any development, no images, demos, gameplay trailers, etc. All Nibris has to show for it is [[http://www.youtube.com/user/NlBRlS some concept artwork]] and [[http://www.nibris.net/news.html broken promises]]. In the end, [[http://gonintendo.com/viewstory.php?id=139668 Nibris stopped develping games]].
* ''VideoGame/SaintsRow:''
** The series designer was working on a UsefulNotes/WiiU open world game that was cancelled.
** Preceding that was ''Saints Row Undercover'' (or ''Saints Row: The Fall''), a sequel to ''Saints Row 2'' for the PSP. It was canceled in 2009, but an (incredibly glitchy) test ISO was released for download by Volition in 2015.
** ''Saints Row: Money Shot'' was a rail shooter tie-in to ''VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird'', for Xbox 360 and [=PS3=] but also, interestingly, the [=3DS=]. It entered DevelopmentHell in 2011 when THQ closed its studio in Phoenix; later it was announced that the game would be free-to-play on the Playstation Network, but nothing has come of that (and probably never will as THQ has been bankrupt since 2013). A mostly-complete version of the game has been leaked, but the full game will never see the light of day.
* ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'', a 3D ''Sam & Max'' game that was to be published by Creator/LucasArts and released in 2004, and even '''finished development and got rated by the ESRB''', was infamously cancelled because [=LucasArts=] claimed that "no one would be interested in the project", and fired most of their "creative division" as a result. Some of those people in the "creative division" went on to forming Creator/DoubleFine, while the others went on to forming Creator/TelltaleGames, who would later remake the 3D ''Sam & Max'' project. The rest is history.
** Predating this is ''Sam & Max Plunge Through Space'', a game that would've been an ''action game'' rather than a point-and-click adventure, and was going to be released for Xbox. The developing company went under about six months later, and so they pulled the plug on the project. To this very day, not much is known about the project.
* Nintendo was in talks with Sega to port ''VideoGame/{{Seaman}}'' to the UsefulNotes/Nintendo3DS in 2012, but nothing ever came of it.
* ''Seiken Densetsu: The Emergence of Excalibur'' was a Famicom Disk System title that was planned to span five disks. What makes this entry so bizarre is that pre-orders were placed ''before one line of code could be typed'' because of a clever marketing campaign that involved very convincing-looking mock-ups. It was apparently unrelated to the later ''VideoGame/WorldOfMana'' games except for the title. More info [[http://www.lostlevels.org/200311/200311-square.shtml here]] on that game and the planned fourth ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' game for the Famicom that was canceled to focus development on the Super Famicom sequel that became ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV''.
* After severing ties with Banpresto, Winkysoft, developers of ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsGaiden'', created a similar game called ''Seireiki Rayblade''. In 2001 they announced a sequel... Which hasn't come out yet, despite the official site being updated every few years. With the release of Duke Nukem Forever, it held the dubious honor of being the oldest unabandoned videogame project until 2015, when [[http://www.forbes.com/sites/olliebarder/2015/12/01/the-end-of-an-era-as-winkysoft-files-for-bankruptcy/#3dd5ef1a6ece Winkysoft filed for]] bankrupcy, making it very unlikely it will see the light of day.
* There was a sequel planned for the Macintosh FirstPersonShooter ''Sensory Overload'' (which came out about the same time as ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}''), but development apparently never commenced.
* ''VideoGame/{{Shadowgate}} Rising'' was fairly close to complete as another Nintendo 64 installment in the franchise, but the [=GameCube=]'s imminent release coupled with the middling reception ''Shadowgate 64'' had garnered both combined to seal its fate.
* ''Shadow of Atlantis'', first in development for the UsefulNotes/SegaCD and later for the 32X, was ultimately canceled in 1997.
* A sequel for the infamous ''VideoGame/ShaqFu'', pompously named ''[[http://www.alegendreborn.com Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn]]'', was fully founded on Indiegogo about 20 years after the previous game. The official site has stopped updating in December 2014. The official Facebook page has some more development history, but ultimately has nothing outside of some concept art and promises. However, in February 2018 a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Dfj9x9uBik launch trailer]] came out and the website was updated.
* Development of ''Shard'', a co-op puzzle game by Roger Morash (lead coder of ''[[VideoGame/{{Frequency}} Amplitude 2016]]''), came to a sudden halt after [[AuthorExistenceFailure he and his wife suddenly passed away]] [[http://abc7news.com/news/berkeley-couple-died-from-carbon-monoxide/1736934/ in January 2017]]. In April 2017, [[http://kotaku.com/after-game-developers-death-his-collaborators-set-out-1794006845 his collaborators announced their decision to continue Morash's work]], but it is too soon to say what ''Shard'''s future holds.
* ''VideoGame/ShogoMobileArmorDivision'' had two {{Expansion Pack}}s, ''Shugotenshi'' and ''Legacy of the Fallen'', neither of which was released due to a sudden drop in sales the month after the main game's release (traditionally blamed on the release of ''VideoGame/HalfLife1''). Rumors of a sequel were substantiated by a tech demo of a new version of the [=LithTech=] GameEngine with images labeled "Shogo 2"; unfortunately, [=LithTech=] 3.0 turned out to be too buggy to be used in any released game.
* ''VideoGame/SilentHills'' was a planned ''Franchise/SilentHill'' game made by the DreamTeam of Creator/HideoKojima and Creator/GuillermoDelToro, with Creator/NormanReedus voicing the protagonist and Creator/JunjiIto working as the main artist. It first emerged in late 2014, when an extremely well-received "proof of concept" demo called ''P.T.'' put the game on the radars of every SurvivalHorror fan... only for it to become the most high-profile casualty of the [[TroubledProduction acrimonious breakup]] between Kojima and publisher Creator/{{Konami}} in 2015. Not only was the game canceled, but the ''P.T.'' demo was [[UnPerson pulled from the PlayStation Store]]. del Toro (who had been burned before with ''[=inSANE=]'', which is described above), Reedus, and gamers alike bemoaned the game's sudden death. After his contract with Konami ended, Kojima reformed his studio as an independent company and would announce a new game for Creator/{{Sony}}, ''VideoGame/DeathStranding'', featuring del Toro and Creator/MadsMikkelsen, much to the excitement of fans.
* A sequel to ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia'' has occasionally been hinted at, but with no media to back it up. It's also been rumored that they ''were'' going to make a sequel at one point, but cancelled it for the [=GameCube=] remake instead. Also of note is that said remake, ''Legends'', was slated for a [=PS2=] and PC port as well, but both were cancelled for unstated reasons.
* ''Sonic 2 HD'', a FanRemake of ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2'', had potential when the alpha stages of the remake were shown to the public with brand new shiny HD graphics and remixed music, and quickly became very popular. However, after months of releasing no further information of the game after the Emerald Hill Zone release, the development team decided to come out and say that [=L0ST=], the main programmer of the game, had refused to stay in contact with the team, put [=DRM=] in the demo to stop people from trying to look at the game's code (which is actually based off of Sonic 2's) and spent ages trying to make the game suit his vision perfectly, even going so far as to replace other members' work if he wasn't pleased with it. Eventually, the team got sick of his antics and cancelled the project. It's back on a new engine, with concept for more levels released.
* ''VideoGame/SonicChronicles The Dark Brotherhood'' ended on a cliffhanger SequelHook. The division of Bioware responsible for handheld games was later shut down with no announcement, and nothing has been heard of ''Chronicles 2'' in years. Many assume this is due to the [[ScrewedByTheLawyers lawsuit]] towards EA and Sega by Ken Penders, former head writer of ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog''
* ''[[Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog Sonic X-Treme]]'' is a notorious example of Vaporware meets FinaglesLaw: thanks to an overdose of ExecutiveMeddling, a massive drop in employees, the director's failing health, and the failing popularity of the Sega Saturn (which the game was to be released on), ''X-Treme'' never made it out. Although game content such as music and level design as well as game engine builds of the game have been publicly released, it's highly unlikely the game in its entire form will ever see the light of day.
** An unofficial continuation/recreation of ''Sonic X-treme'' known as ''Project-S'' (which was supervisied by one of Sonic Xtreme's original staff members Chris Senn) began production in 2006, only for the fangame to cease production four years later, [[HistoryRepeats much like its (spritual) predecessor]].
*** The name ''Project S'' was also used as a code-name for ''VideoGame/SonicRivals'' during the early stages of that game's development. This caused some confusion in 2006 when ''Sonic Rivals'' was released, but when what was done of the aforementioned fangame was also released to the public, it became obvious that the two had nothing in common.
** It wasn't a complete loss, however, since many of its design ideas were unintentionally reused in ''VideoGame/SonicLostWorld''.
* ''South Park'' for the UsefulNotes/{{Xbox}} was cancelled in 2005.
* ''Sovereign'' was going to be a 2001 sci-fi persistent world MMORTS by Verant/SOE, cancelled in 2003. The game was planned to have player run planets with trading, diplomacy, and 15 to 500 player battles.
* ''Space Agency'' was an action rpg originally planned for the UsefulNotes/NintendoDS by Audio, Inc. that was announced back in 2009. Sadly, the developers couldn't find any publisher for the project, most likely to the fact that Audio Inc.'s previous games, ''Sakura Note'' and ''VideoGame/{{Contact}}'', sold very poorly.
* ''[[VideoGame/StarCraft StarCraft: Ghost]]'', a [[StealthBasedGame stealth-based]] ThirdPersonShooter starring a Terran Ghost named Nova. Initially announced in 2002, it was postponed six times before being put on "indefinite hiatus", a month before its projected release date. Nova herself, though, got a TieInNovel and turns up for one mission in ''VideoGame/StarCraftII'' where you can either help her keep a bunch of deranged criminal psychics from escaping a prison complex, or make life hell for her employer, [[TheEmpire The Dominion]], by helping them all escape. In 2016 she even got a DLC mini-campaign of her own, though [[http://www.polygon.com/2015/11/6/9670176/starcraft-2-future-history-dlc-blizzard Blizzard states]] that it doesn't incorporate any story elements from ''Ghost''. She's also a playable character in ''VideoGame/HeroesOfTheStorm''.
** Given a ShoutOut in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' with a special grave stone in Netherstorm Outland for Nova, the would-be protagonist, with the N.O.V.A written on it. Nova herself appeared as a stealthed blood elf next to the grave at one point but has since been removed. The grave stone is known as the Nova Shrine among players.
** Blizzard never actually canceled it (despite what some people may say) and keep saying they have plans to MAYBE finish the game (hence its "Postponed Indefinitely" status). Whether or not this can be taken as a glimmer of hope is up to you. Given the fact that Diablo 3 was in development for 11 years before release and survived the closing of Blizzard North in 2005, it's not beyond the realm of possibility - though it is certain it's never going to release on the Xbox, Gamecube and [=PS2=] consoles as originally intended...
* ''Stargate Worlds'' was an {{MMORPG}} set in the ''Franchise/StargateVerse''. Concept footage was briefly seen in the pilot of ''Series/StargateUniverse'' (it's the game Eli's playing), but its developer went bankrupt, making it unlikely it will ever be released.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** ''Franchise/StarTrek: The Secret of Vulcan Fury'' was heavily hyped for a 1997 release, featuring the full cast of ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' reprising their roles and 3D character animation that could arguably rival Creator/{{Pixar}}'s work in animated film ''ten years later''. By 1999 the project had been cancelled due to Interplay's financial difficulties, key team members jumping ship, and a rapidly inflating budget.
** After approximately five years in development, the version of ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' created by Perpetual Entertainment had a lot of pretty pictures, but no evidence of code depicting the actual gameplay. CBS, quite cheesed at this, yanked the licence, gave it to Cryptic and Atari, and told them to get to work on a new game, which came out in February 2010.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** ''[[VideoGame/ThirteenThirteen Star Wars: 1313]]'', an amazing looking game about Boba Fett, was announced around E3 2012. In 2014, Disney confirmed they had dropped the ''Star Wars 1313'' trademark, though Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has stated some of the unused material may be used for another project.
** ''VideoGame/StarWarsBattlefront III'' was first claimed to be in development by Free Radical Design in ''Computer and Video Games'' magazine in September, 2006 . It took a year and nine months later, from a different magazine, just for the rumor that a Creator/LucasArts employee was in the creation process. Then, nothing for another five months, before Activision Blizzard got a ratings classification from the ''Australian'' Film and Literature Classification (Which got an E10+ equivalent for the Nintendo DS), along with announcements that Free Radical lost the rights to develop the game. Gameplay footage, character renders, models, textures, and pre-alpha footage became available after [=LucasArts=] was shut down. Since then, EA and DICE have rebooted the series with the unrelated ''VideoGame/StarWarsBattlefront2015''.
* ''Stellar Dawn'', a SciFi MMORPG by Jagex, has been in development since 2008 or 2010, depending on whether or not you include the never finished predecessor ''Mechscape''. Its development has currently been paused indefinitely.
* ''Strelka Stories'', a game set in the same universe as ''VideoGame/TailConcerto'' and ''VideoGame/{{Solatorobo}}''. Concept art was released in 2010 to commemorate Creator/CyberConnect2's 15th anniversary but aside from a brief mention in 2012 of a project connected to ''Solatorobo'', nothing has come of it and the teaser site has since disappeared from [=CC2=]'s website. ''Fugue on the Battlefield'', another ''Little Tail Bronx'' based project, was announced in 2018, but it's unknown if it has any connection to ''Strelka Stories''.
* The Japanese Famicom version of ''VideoGame/{{Strider}}'' was promoted as early as mid-1988, during the serialization of the manga (which shared the same basic premise of the NES game). The game was delayed a few times, then was never heard from again. An American-only English version based on an ObviousBeta did however saw release in July 1989.
** Several rumored sequels for the series surfaced over the years, but the only one known for sure existed was [=GRiN=]'s attempted reboot in 2009, which didn't break out of proof-of-concept before the company filed for bankrupcy.
* ''VideoGame/{{Sunman}}'' by Sunsoft was planned to be released in 1992, but never came out due to unknown reasons.
* Introversion Software (''VideoGame/{{Uplink}}'', ''VideoGame/{{DEFCON}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Darwinia}}'') spent many years hinting at their new project, ''Subversion'', and even produced an intriguing twenty-part development blog -- before abruptly halting all announcements and going dark for ten months. A lot of people feared AuthorExistenceFailure, but the reality was more mundane; they'd realised that ''Subversion'''s ideas weren't coalescing into a game in they wanted it to, so they threw it onto the back burner and turned to a new game, ''VideoGame/PrisonArchitect''. ''Subversion'' remains as a project and an idea, but it's pretty much on indefinite hiatus as a game.
* ''Super Dog Booby: Akachan Daibōken no Maki'' was meant to released for the Famicom back in 1991 by Creator/{{Jaleco}}, but it was never released for unknown reasons. Despite its name, it was nothing to do with boobies, instead you played as a dog named Booby who had to guard a baby named Alfred from hazards.
* Ever heard of the (very [=NSFW=]) ''VideoGame/EmoGame''? There was a ''Super Emo Game III''' in development for a long time. Scheduled for a 2006 release, it... was never released. Very, ''very'' occasional updates were released for years. For a while, it was claimed the game was going to be on a CD you could order online. And then, to close the cycle, superemogame.com was taken down and all mention of ''Super Emo Game III'' was removed from emogame.com, as were the links to the blogs discussing it. Jason Oda has since considered the Emogame series an OldShame.
* ''Superhero'' was an amazing-looking Amiga game, a mix of beat-em-up and platformer ahead of its time, which was announced in 1994 but never released. It was actually pretty much finished but an incredible case of bad luck, as detailed [[http://www.indieretronews.com/2015/08/unreleased-amiga-game-superhero-gets.html in this article]], prevented it to see the light of the day. Basically, the dev team's computers were confiscated by the police for an investigation, and when they received them back four years later, the Amiga game market was all but dead. To add insult to injury, the salvaged code was lost when the working computers were destroyed in a house fire. Plus, it's unclear who owns the rights to the game so, even if it could be miraculously re-created, it couldn't be legally published again. The main developer would like to work on a similar game someday, but the original is sadly lost forever.
* ''Sword of Legendia'' was first announced in 2006 by Namco Bandai Games and was to be an RPG for the Wii. Though the title sounds similar to ''VideoGame/TalesOfLegendia'', produce Tsutomo Gouda said it wasn't actually part of the ''Tales'' series and that the name would likely change. Other than [[http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=119634 one piece of character art]], nothing was revealed about the game for years. No other pieces of art were shown, no screenshots, no trailers, not even any basic information on the story or gameplay. In a 2008 interview with Gouda regarding ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'', he said that ''Sword of Legendia'' was still in development. Kentaru Kawashima, producer of ''VideoGame/FragileDreamsFarewellRuinsOfTheMoon'' also claimed the game was still in development in a 2009 interview. Finally, in a Japan Expo 2011 interview with Yoshizumi Makoto, it was revealed that ''Sword of Legendia'' was cancelled years ago.
* ''VideoGame/{{Swordquest}}: Airworld'' never got started due to UsefulNotes/TheGreatVideoGameCrashOf1983.
* ''VideoGame/TabulaRasa'' was originally developed as a fantasy MMORPG and SpiritualSuccessor to ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}}'', by gaming legend Richard "Lord British" Garriott. It spent ten years in DevelopmentHell, cost millions, and, according to the hype, was going to do to [=MMOs=] what ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}}'' did to [=RPGs=]. The original fantasy design was scrapped and reworked into a different fantasy MMORPG, then that version was scrapped and reworked as an MMOFPS that went defunct a year after its release. Garriott sued the publisher, with each claiming the other was responsible for one of the game industry's most spectacular failures to date. It turns out it was [=NCSoft=]'s fault, through what can only be called a real life example of CorruptCorporateExecutive behavior -- they cancelled the healthy MMO and forged a resignation letter from Richard Garriott (In Space!) to keep him from getting a stock windfall. This backfired gloriously though, as Garriott successfully sued them for $28 million.
* One running joke among players of the serial {{MMORPG}} ''A Tale In The Desert'' comes from the lead developer's insistence that 'This Telling (iteration) will be shorter'. Of course, that was back in the second Telling, which ran for a year and a half, and led to the third Telling, which ran for over two years. Well into the fourth Telling, there were no predictions for how long it would run, though the fact that its TechTree quickly pushed forth light years ahead of its predecessors was a good sign...
* Data East's pinball division worked on an unreleased fighting arcade game called ''VideoGame/TattooAssassins''. It has a lot of farting!
* ''VideoGame/TekkenXStreetFighter'', a crossover between Namco and Capcom's signature fighting games built around the ''Tekken 6'' engine, was announced together with ''VideoGame/StreetFighterXTekken'' in 2010. ''Street Fighter X Tekken'' was released two years later in 2012. As of 2014, there has been little news on how far in development ''Tekken X Street Fighter'', apart from comments from series producer Katsuhiro Harada assuring everyone that the game is not canceled. No official gameplay footage has been shown, no roster has been announced, and a release date has yet to be established.
* ''VideoGame/TetrisTheGrandMaster 4: The Masters of Round'' was unveiled in 2009, but cancelled in 2010 after frustration over free-to-play Tetris clones. A similar game was shown off in 2015, reusing assets from the 2009 version, but very little has been said about it since.
* ''[[http://www.theycamefromhollywood.com/ They Came from Hollywood]]'', a RealTimeStrategy that has been in development since ''2001''.
* ''This is Vegas'' was going to be a 2008 partying simulator by Midway. After repeated delays, it was cancelled in 2010 due to Midway's bankruptcy.
* ''VideoGame/ThrillKill''. The game was raked across the coals of DevelopmentHell for years, its publisher -- Virgin Interactive -- trying to [[{{Bowdlerise}} tone down the violence]] in it to conform to an M rating before being picked up by EA. While it's now available through filesharing by the game's developers, there will never be an official release of it; EA found the game so [[{{Gorn}} senselessly violent]] that they actually refused to sell the game off to someone else, for fear of it getting out and tarnishing their reputation.
** Although a developer did get the rights to use the [[GameEngine engine]], which was the basis for ''Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style''.
*** The controversy it had already stirred up might have been a factor. (The BBFC had refused to give it classification, essentially banning it in the UK).
* ''VideoGame/ThunderForce VI'' was first announced for the UsefulNotes/SegaDreamcast, and an intro movie from late 2000 exists. The next year, Sega abandoned the console market, and Technosoft folded. The unreleased game's soundtrack was released. Creator/{{Sega}} ended up licensing the series and releasing an all-new ''Thunder Force VI'' for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 in 2008.
* ''Tiberium'', a strategy/FPS hybrid in the ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'' universe, drew along for some two years before being canned by EA's Quality Control. According to ''Game Informer'', it controlled well, but they just couldn't make it fun.
** The team developing the game said it was cancelled for very different reasons, simply put there were [[CreativeDifferences rampant disagreements amongst the dev team]], as several people wanted to take control of the project and all had their own ideas for the game, with so many people competing for control of the project, the game development severely slowed down to the point where EA decided it was cheaper to cancel the game outright, rather then risk any more delays.
* Ever wonder why you don't hear about ''VideoGame/TimeSplitters 4'' anymore? Two words: ExecutiveMeddling. While ''[[VideoGame/TimeSplittersFuturePerfect Future Perfect]]'' sold very well and was positively received by critics, it took two years for developer Free Radical Design to announce the next ''[=TimeSplitters=]'' game. Their next project, ''VideoGame/{{Haze}}'', sold poorly and gave a debilitating financial blow to Free Radical, forcing them to cancel ''VideoGame/StarWarsBattlefront III'' right before its completion. Free Radical went into administration before being sold to Creator/{{Crytek}} to become Crytek UK, who proceeded to put ''[=TimeSplitters=] 4'' on indefinite hiatus so that it could work on Crytek's own ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}}'' series instead. Then, Crytek UK imploded in 2014 due to financial issues caused by exposés that revealed Crytek had been paying the studio's employees very little (as in, [[http://www.eteknix.com/crytek-uk-employees-on-strike-refuses-going-to-work/ about £700 per month]]), causing them to go on strike. Where the rights to ''[=TimeSplitters=]'' stand after Crytek UK's closure is unknown, thus making ''TS 4'' even more unlikely.
* ''[[WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures Tiny Toons]]: Defenders of the Universe'' was being developed by Treasure in the early 2000s under contract from Conspiracy, with screenshots and previews being shown. However, years passed by and there was nothing new on the release of the game. Eventually, the game was confirmed as cancelled, the reason supposedly being that Conspiracy went bankrupt around 2002, and lost the rights to Tiny Toon Adventures before the game was released. Fortunately, the game wasn't completely lost, as a ROM of the beta was leaked, and can be played on a [=PS2=] emulator.
* Creator/{{Blizzard}}'s unannounced MMO, code named ''Titan'', which was in development since 2006, underwent a "reset" in 2013 and wasn't expected to release until 2016 at the earliest, if at all. In 2014, Blizzard announced that ''Titan'' was officially cancelled, as they couldn't figure out a way to make the game fun, and they decided that they didn't need a second MMO. Some of the game's assets and concepts (such as a teleporting character with SMGs) were used in ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'' instead.
* ''[=ToonFighterZ=]'' started its life in 1997 as the obscure ''[[http://www.mobygames.com/game/fightnjokes Fight 'N' Jokes]]'', a wacky but actually competent comical fighting game made by "Nasty Brothers Software" (three Italian brothers plus some friends). Some time later the dev team changed their name to Mental Drink and around 2010 set up a website, a [[https://www.facebook.com/FightNJokes/ Facebook page]] and a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoAdbgbMp8s YouTube trailer]] to promote the new and improved version of their game that was supposed to come out for Nintendo DS and iPhone. Years later, the [=ToonFighterZ=] site shut down and Mental Drink only actually made lame advergames and rehashes of Pong and Space Invaders. It's safe to say that the project's dead at this point.
* ''Trinity: The Shatter Effect'', a FirstPersonShooter being developed by Gray Matter Interactive (developer of ''VideoGame/ReturnToCastleWolfenstein'') for Creator/{{Activision}}, was featured at E3 2003, only to be canceled a few months later.
* Level-5's ''True Fantasy Live Online'' for the Xbox was going to be 3D anime-style fantasy MMORPG that could have competed with ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI''.
* ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal Black 2: Harbor City'' was supposedly cancelled due to several developers dying in a plane crash, though that's now widely believed to be a hoax as there is no actual proof that anything like that ever happened. Creator/DavidJaffe himself more or less admitted it was false, and it's more likely that Jaffe was too busy working on ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'' to be able to devote his full attention to ''Twisted Metal'', so he ultimately pulled the plug on the game because of it.
* ''Tyrannosaurus Tex'', by Slitherine Software, was going to be a single player FPS, with planned two-player deathmatch, on the UsefulNotes/GameBoyColor. Developed in 1999, the game was cancelled in 2001, due to publishers shifting focus to the UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance.
* ''Ubusuna'' was a shmup by Hiroshi Iuchi, the creator of ''VideoGame/{{Ikaruga}}'', announced in 2014 for the PS4, as one can see in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSnv1_8nKmI this video]]. It's now early 2018 and nothing more has been said about it, and Iuchi mentions in [[http://www.vgmaterials.com/notebook/ his blog]] (in Japanese) that the project has been halted by work- and health-related problems, so it will probably never see the light of the day.
* ''[[http://www.nesworld.com/mirror/nrhtml/ultj.htm Ultimate Journey]]'' was to have been released by Bandai America for the NES in the early 1990s. Apparently a ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden''-like game with an MagicalNativeAmerican warrior who could transform into animals, it must have been at least nearly finished, since [[http://www.flickr.com/photos/lostlevels/4158417665/ box art was produced]] and ''Electronic Gaming Monthly'' gave it a full-page review, yet little more about it has emerged since.
* ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}}'':
** ''Ultima Online 2'' was developed as a 3D sequel to ''Ultima Online'', and could have competed with ''VideoGame/EverQuest'', ''VideoGame/AsheronsCall'' and ''VideoGame/DarkAgeOfCamelot''. The game had similar features to early ''VideoGame/StarWarsGalaxies'', sharing the same designers, and was later titled ''Ultima Worlds Online: Origin'', then cancelled. Some themes of sci-fi mixed with dark fantasy were later used in the ''Technocrat War'' novelization trilogy and the ''Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn's Revenge'' expansion, as [=Todd McFarlane=] had already developed concept art for the game, and a short preview was shown in ''VideoGame/UltimaIX''.
** ''Ultima X: Odyssey'' was going to be a 2004 MMORPG on the Unreal engine, continuing from ''Ultima IX''. Set in the new world of Alucinor, the game was to feature a player virtue system and more cartoon-like graphics.
* ''Vic Viper'', a 3D racing game by {{Creator/Konami}}, was described by EGM as "30-percent finished" when they previewed it in 1995. EGM's suspicions that the game might not be released proved correct.
* ''Ultimate Newcomer'', by Protovision, was going to be an updated version of the {{Retraux}} C64 game ''Newcomer'', for Windows. Since the 2012 release date, the game has not appeared.
* ''VideoGame/ViewtifulJoe'' stated during the ending that the world would have to be saved three times. After ''Viewtiful Joe 2'' came out, Double Trouble and Red Hot Rumble were released to pad out the third game's development. However, Clover Studios was shut down by parent company Creator/{{Capcom}} and the game never saw the light of day. However, Joe recently made an appearance in ''VideoGame/TatsunokoVsCapcom'' and ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'', and Creator/PlatinumGames have made a spiritual successor, ''VideoGame/TheWonderful101''. Right now, WordOfGod says "Joe is sleeping" -- a fancy way of saying the series has been PutOnABus.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'':
** ''Gorkamorka'', a ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''-licensed VehicularCombat game for the UsefulNotes/SegaDreamcast, was featured at E3 2000, but was never released.
** ''Warhammer Online'' was an MMORPG developed by Climax Online in 2002, and was cancelled in 2004. Mythic Entertainment developed their own ''VideoGame/WarhammerOnline'' that was released in 2008, and was shut down in 2013.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer40000}}'':
** ''Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium'' had to be completely retooled thanks to the fall of Vigil Games after its [[{{Creator/THQ}} parent company]] went bankrupt and was unable to sell the studio. However, the members of the studio have repeatedly tried to calm down the crowd, stating that game ''isn't'' dead yet. The subsequent mess of retoolings led to [[SpiritualSuccessor a new project]] ''[[VideoGame/Warhammer40000EternalCrusade Eternal Crusade]]'' rising from ''Dark Millennium'''s ashes, which went into closed alpha in August 2015 thanks to a secure source of funding from founder's packs.
* ''Warhawk 2'' for the [=PS1=]. They did recently revive the franchise on the [=PS3=], though.
* The SurvivalHorror game ''Winter'' for the Wii was originally announced in 2007 and after making a demo and a trailer no publisher has been interested in publishing it. Last word from the company on the game was in 2009 and saying they were hoping that as they continue to update the game a publisher would grow interested.
* The planned ''TabletopGame/WorldOfDarkness'' MMO by CCP was in development since 2006, with only sporadic updates over the years. However, don't expect this game to ever be released, as in 2014, CCP officially cancelled the game and disbanded the development team.
** Descriptions of the internal practice in CCP indicate that the game was essentially victim to EVE Online's expansion cycle; personnel would be 'temporarily reassigned' to the latest EVE expansion, and replaced with new people later who had no idea where the project stood, thus requiring the development team to start from scratch. Rumor is that they got the game to an alpha build on three separate occasions, each one an entirely different engine. When CCP sold White Wolf and its properties off to Paradox studios, they supposedly got all the code from these alpha builds... but [=MMOs=] aren't Paradox's forte, and it's unlikely they'll try to make it work, when they could simply develop games that fit the franchise and their expertise first.
* ''Wing Commander Online'' / ''Wing Commander: Privateer Online'' was going to be a ''VideoGame/WingCommander'' MMO, though it is unclear if this was two separate projects or one project with two names.
* ''Wish'' by Mutable Realms was going to be a 2004 "Ultra MMO" featuring tens of thousands of players on a single server, with live content run by [=GMs=] instead of static quests. The game was cancelled in 2005.
* ''The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf'' was a [[ReformulatedGame reworked port]] of the original ''[[VideoGame/TheWitcher Witcher]]'' that was announced for the [=PS3=] and Xbox 360 in 2009. It ended up being canned due to creative differences between Creator/CDProjektRed and co-developer Widescreen Games.
* Egosoft once teased an ''X-Universe'' MMORPG. [[http://online-universe.net/ The site is still up]], but the plans were shelved due largely to overwhelmingly negative fan reception.
* ''Yeah Yeah Beebiss I'' was listed as an NES game on a Play It Again mail order form in ''Video Games & Computer Entertainment'' magazine, and on a Funco mail order form as ''Yeah Beebiss I''. The most likely candidate is a planned localization of a game in the ''Family Trainer'' series for the Famicom, ''[[https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/nes/579388-family-trainer-rai-rai-kyonshis-baby-kyonshi-no-amida/images/120004 Rai Rai Kyonshis: Baby Kyonshi no Amida Daibouken]]'', where the player directs the movements of a ChineseVampire with the Power Pad.

[[folder:Video Game Titles: Multiple-game Examples]]
* Vaporware is not a new phenomenon. Way back in the 8-bit days of 1984, ''Psyclapse'' and ''Bandersnatch'' (for the UsefulNotes/{{Commodore 64}} and the UsefulNotes/ZXSpectrum, respectively, although practically the same game) were in development for Imagine Software. Advertising promised much -- hardware dongles to support new features Never Seen Before on either system, and promoting the achievements of its outrageously large development team (of nine, nearly nine times the average for the time). Despite the hype, it eventually became clear that ''Psyclapse'' never got past the design stage, and ''Bandersnatch'' would need to sell for a ridiculous amount of money just to break even. By the time [[Creator/TheBBC the BBC]] arrived to film the spectacular successes of a Liverpool-based firm at the forefront of the then-upstart computer games industry, Imagine were absolutely in the toilet, and the BBC found themselves making [[http://youtu.be/ZoDh61sgCOg a cautionary tale about corporate excess]] that finished with the bailiffs arriving to repossess everything Imagine ever owned (and very nearly the BBC cameras, too). One of the splinter companies organized in the wake of Imagine's demise, Finchspeed, continued to develop ''Bandersnatch'', and a version for the Sinclair QL was allegedly completed but never released. Finally, the game was remade as ''Brataccas'' for the UsefulNotes/{{Amiga}}, UsefulNotes/AtariST and UsefulNotes/AppleMacintosh and published by Creator/{{Psygnosis}}, a new company that would also revive Psyclapse InNameOnly as a secondary publishing label. (Ocean Software likewise acquired the corporate name and associated trademarks of Imagine and assigned them to a development unit of its own.)
** Another notorious ZX Spectrum example was ''Series/StreetHawk'', a spin-off from a barely noticed American action TV show that suffered such severe delays that the software company had to give a completely different game with the same title to a magazine that they'd promised copies to for a subscription gift offer.
** Yet another notorious Spectrum effort was Spirit Software's ''Formula One'', which promised greatest ever realism because it included a ''steering wheel'' peripheral (at a time when joysticks were not standardised but were an expensive add-on which were at least usable for many games). Adverts ran for literally years until the game eventually dribbled out onto the market to poor reviews and annoyance that the "peripheral" wasn't something you plugged into the computer, it was a cardboard ring that you rolled across the keyboard.
** ''Scooby-Doo in the Castle Mystery'' was originally previewed in magazines as a ''VideoGame/DragonsLair''-like game for the UsefulNotes/ZXSpectrum. The publisher ultimately decided the original concept was technically unworkable, and so commissioned a simpler game using the same license. This inspired ''Crash Magazine''[='s=] "Scooby Award" for much-delayed games.
** Music/SigueSigueSputnik's "Massive Retaliation" ends with an ad for an unreleased game: "Behold, the fifth generation of home computer entertainment. Get the Sigue Sigue Sputnik computer game from your favorite software house now." The game was mentioned in ''Computer and Video Games'' issue 60 and ''Commodore User'' issue 35, promising a September 1986 release date on the UsefulNotes/Commodore64, with plans for release on the UsefulNotes/ZXSpectrum and UsefulNotes/AmstradCPC. Tony Gibson and Mark Harrison created a UsefulNotes/Commodore64 demo, labelled "Media Wars", in hopes of finding a publisher, but the original disks were lost after being left at a friend's house, who threw them out after a flood.
** The officially licensed ''Star Trek'' for the UsefulNotes/ZXSpectrum (not to be confused with its various ports of the VideoGame/StarTrekTextGame) became a RunningGag in magazines like ''Sinclair User'' for its persistent failure to be released. It never did make it to the Spectrum, though as ''[[http://www.mobygames.com/game/star-trek-the-rebel-universe Star Trek: The Rebel Universe]]'' it did show up on the Commodore 64, Atari ST and PC.
* Creator/BullfrogProductions was working on several games that were cancelled due to Creator/ElectronicArts buying them up: ''Creation'', ''Dungeon Keeper 3: War for the Overworld'', ''Genesis: The Hand of God'', ''The Indestructibles'', ''Theme Movie Studio'', ''Theme Resort'', and ''Void Star''.
* Some games based on Creator/ImageComics were advertised but not released. A ''ComicBook/{{Gen13}}'' game was announced for [=PlayStation=], N64 and Saturn. A ''ComicBook/{{Shadowhawk}}'' game on the SNES was not released, though prototypes have been found. ''[[ComicBook/{{Youngblood}} Youngblood: Search And Destroy]]'' was announced for [=PlayStation=] and PC, and was not released, though the PC version's demo is available.
* A third ''VideoGame/TheLastBlade'' game and a sequel to ''[[VideoGame/FatalFury Garou: Mark of the Wolves]]'' were apparently in development when {{Creator/SNK}} collapsed in 2001.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Lufia}}'' series has a few of these:
** The UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis version of ''VideoGame/LufiaAndTheFortressOfDoom'', which was advertised with a delay ("It's worth the wait!"), but never released. The same company assigned to develop this port was [[http://opa-ages.com/forums/topic/74650-prototype-of-a-playstation-game-i-worked-on-in-1994/ also working on]] two other never-release games for Creator/{{Taito}}: ''Brimstone'' for the UsefulNotes/SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem and ''Farstar'' for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation.
** ''Lufia: Ruins Chaser'' for the Sony UsefulNotes/PlayStation, cancelled due to the bankruptcy of its developer. (Ideas from that game were used in ''Lufia: The Legend Returns'', which was developed by the same developer, Neverland, as the first two games in the series and the second's [[VideoGameRemake reimagining]].)
** ''Lufia: Beginning of a Legend'' for the UsefulNotes/GameBoyColor, originally in development alongside ''Ruins Chaser''. (Unlike Ruins Chaser, the ideas used in this game were scrapped entirely rather than handed to Neverland.)
* The equivalents of ''VideoGame/DukeNukemForever'' in the ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' [[GameMod modding]] community are ''Mordeth'' Episode 2 and ''Millennium''. ''Mordeth'' in particular is so notorious for this that the Cacowards' "longest development time" award is named the "Mordeth Award" in its honor.
* Several Maxis games were unreleased.
** ''[=SimCity=]'' on the SNES started developed as a ''[=SimCity=]'' game on the NES, which was not released.
** Though ''[=SimCity 3000=]'' was released in 1999 as a 2D followup to ''[=SimCity 2000=]'', the game was previewed as a full 3D game. This version was not released.
** ''[=SimMars=]'', planned to be released around 2000, was previewed on the CD for ''[=SimCity 3000=]''; the game was canceled, though ''The Sims: Vacation'' references a ''[=SimMars=]'' arcade game.
** ''[=SimsVille=]'', planned to be released around 2001, was previewed on the CD for ''[=SimCity 3000 Unlimited=]'' and ''The Sims: Livin' Large'', and was canceled, with some features included in ''The Sims: Hot Date'', ''The Sims 2'', ''The Sims 3'', ''[=MySims=]'', and ''[=SimCity 4=]''.
** ''[=MySims Social=]'' was going to be a Facebook social game, like the defunct ''The Sims Social'' and ''[=SimCity Social=]'' games, and was canceled.
** The Sims console game, ''The Urbz: Sims in the City'', was planned to be a series of around three games, with an eventual PC port. ''The Urbz 2'', planned for release on [=PlayStation 2=], Gamecube and Xbox, had its development moved to the [=PlayStation 3=], Xbox 360 and Wii, and was canceled. The [=PlayStation 2=] version of ''[=The Sims 2=]'' uses ''The Urbz 2'' engine, and assets can be found on the game disc.
* PC games that use mods will often fall under this trope at some point. Usually, the modder or a team of modders will get a bit too ambitious in their work and give up trying to complete the mod or real life issues pop up that prevent them from finishing their work. It is not unheard of to see mods with great potential that won't ever see the light of day.
* Not even {{Game Maker}}s are safe! In the [=MegaZeux=] community, the general rule is that if someone publishes a demo of their game, that game will never be released. Period. This trend is popularly known as the [[http://www.digitalmzx.net/wiki/index.php?title=Demo_curse demo curse]]; among its best-known victims are ''A Death Beyond Imagination'', ''Honor Quest 2'', and ''Weirdness'' (by the creator of [=MegaZeux=] herself, who released only the first chapter before leaving the community.)
* The Nintendo 64's path through history was littered by the emaciated bodies of partially developed games. Some, like ''{{VideoGame/Robotech}}: Crystal Dreams'', ''Franchise/FireEmblem 64'' ([[http://fireemblem.wikia.com/wiki/Fire_Emblem:_Ankoku_no_Miko also known]] as ''Ankoku no Miko'' aka ''Maiden of Darkness''), ''[[VideoGame/NintendoWars 64 Wars]]'' and the above ''Earthbound 64'', simply collapsed under their own weight and died. Others, like efforts toward a [=3D=] ''VideoGame/{{Kirby}}'' game and sequel to ''Mario 64'', produced various side-projects in lieu of their originally intended design. In fact, the [=N64=] was ''legendary'' for this sort of thing, with games supposed to be launch titles stuck in development for years afterwards (''Body Harvest'', ''Mission: Impossible'') and swapping between multiple development teams, executive meddling, and ultimately numerous cancellations. None of this helped the flagging fortunes of the system as gamers frustrated by the long software droughts often abandoned Nintendo for the more reliable [=PlayStation=] lineup. Remember ''Freak Boy''? No? Didn't think so.
* ''Creator/ObsidianEntertainment'' had announced several projects being developed concurrently which were not published, including a prequel to ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'' known as ''Dwarves'', ''Futureblight'', and the Xbox One third person open world RPG ''Stormlands'', known as project ''North Carolina''. ''Aliens: Crucible'' was going to be an ''Film/AlienS'' RPG, but SEGA chose to publish ''VideoGame/AliensColonialMarines'' instead.
* The ''VideoGame/PanelDePon'' remake/sequel is a really odd case. The Japanese release of the game was canned, but the game did make it into worldwide markets as a DolledUpInstallment featuring ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' characters. Japan (and regrettably, [[NoExportForYou only Japan]]) would get what the game was originally intended to be one generation later in ''Nintendo Puzzle Collection''.
* Creator/{{Rare}} picked up quite a few of these, specially in the hey day of the N64 and [=GameCube=] era.
** ''VideoGame/KillerInstinct'' never received a port for the Nintendo 64, despite being advertised in the arcade machine's attract mode. The SNES port of ''Killer Instinct 2'' was never released. ''Killer Instinct 3'' was planned for the arcade and N64, but was canceled to focus on developing ''VideoGame/PerfectDark'' and ''Twelve Tales'', the game that became ''VideoGame/ConkersBadFurDay''.
** Conker would ''once again'' have trouble with this as a sequel for the [=GameCube=] was announced, but cancelled.
** ''Donkey Kong Racing'', a racing game slated for the [=GameCube=] that would focus around the entire Kong family, and would have you riding on animals instead of vehicles. It was canned once Rareware was bought out by MS.
** Due to the cancellation of the "[=McLaren=]" Windows Phone, featuring gesture technology, a ''VideoGame/PunchOut'' style mobile game, ''TJ Combo Boxing'', was canceled, along with the games ''Fragments'' and ''[[VideoGame/ConkersBadFurDay Young Conker]]''.
* Three games based on ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'' were announced by Parker Bros. for the UsefulNotes/{{Atari 2600}}, but they only released one, ''Death Star Battle'', before abandoning video games due to UsefulNotes/TheGreatVideoGameCrashOf1983. A prototype of "Game I" (also known as ''Ewok Adventure'') was discovered, but the second game, whose concept art suggests being based on the Battle of Sarlacc's Pit, appears to have never been programmed. Other unreleased titles announced by Parker Bros. included ''TheLordOfTheRings: Journey to Rivendell'', ''[=McDonald's=]'', ''TheIncredibleHulk'', and a ''Franchise/JamesBond'' game based on the TraintopBattle from ''Film/{{Octopussy}}''; prototypes of the first two have emerged.
* Freeware developer [[VideoGame/{{Seiklus}} tapeworm]] has been working on ''Velella'' for nearly five years, and ''Avaus'' for three. On his site, he mentioned he wants to have ''Avaus'' done by the end of 2007, then struck it through and appended 2008. Both years, of course, have long since passed.
* Valve has a habit of this. What makes them notorious for their extremely long delays is their demand for perfection in their games, as they stated in the commentary for ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2''. Basically, unless they are happy with how the game is coming out, they will not release it [[note]]And that's ''if'' they're working on it. Since Valve seems to have nebulous working habits where programmers can switch jobs, it's likely they won't be working on any old games, like say ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' or ''[[VideoGame/Left4Dead2 L4D2]]'',when something new comes along leaving a skeleton crew to keep the game(s) running (but growing increasingly stale) while more popular games such as ''[[VideoGame/Dota2 Dota 2]]'' or new programs such as the Vive get all of the love.[[/note]]:
** ''Half-Life Gold'' (''VideoGame/HalfLife1'' with the High-Definition Pack and ''Blue Shift'' expansion) was set to come out on the Dreamcast. It was even featured on the cover of [=GamePro=] and had a strategy guide to Blue Shift. But due to an announcement by Sega that they would be ending production and support of the Dreamcast, the game was never commercially released. The game was eventually leaked onto the Internet. Those who've played the leak can vouch that while Valve used the leak as an excuse for demoralization and how they felt they needed to redo things, the truth was that the game was anything but finished at that stage. The demo levels they were demonstrating were around the only levels they had that were remotely finished. All the other content was still in alpha stage.
** ''Half-Life 2: Episode Three'' or possibly by now, ''Half-Life 3'': Originally with a release date of Christmas 2007, there's been no trace of it since then. Valve outright refuses to say anything about the game, and hardly acknowledges the series exists at all. It doesn't help that in March 2015, founder Gabe Newell has more or less confirmed [[http://www.polygon.com/2015/3/18/8253189/gabe-newell-valve-half-life none of Valve's senior staff actually want to devote the company's efforts and time to focused single-player game development]]. And with the news of Half-Life chief writer Marc Laidlaw's retirement from the company at the start of 2016 as well as co-writer Chet Faliszek's resignation in mid-2017, at this point it's all but confirmed that the game has been quietly shelved altogether in favor of Steam and hardware development.
** Valve somehow promised that ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' would receive frequent updates like ''Team Fortress 2''. After seeing all the problems in the gameplay that ''Left 4 Dead'' had and what needed to be fixed, Valve most likely would have to change and patch so many things that they believed it would be better to release a sequel that addresses all the issues. Fans naturally reminded Valve daily about the promise that was broken.
* Most UsefulNotes/VirtualBoy games. It was actually going to have a ''VideoGame/StarFox'' and ''VideoGame/SuperMarioLand'' game.
* ''VideoGame/XCom'' games ''Genesis'' and ''Alliance'' were eagerly expected after years of development, but given the various studio shifts that Microprose suffered at the time, they were permanently delayed/cancelled.
* This is OlderThanTheNES: the numerous never-released games for the UsefulNotes/{{Colecovision}} are pretty close. Some games, like ''Chess Challenger'' and ''Mr. Turtle'', were advertised on the system's box, but never saw release, most likely due to the end of the system's production run in 1984.
* The developer Zoonami is infamous for this. The studio was founded in 2000, and hyped up to be a major third-party publisher for Nintendo, but its two major projects (a FPS for the [=GameCube=] called ''Game Zero'' and the rhythm game ''Funkydilla'') were announced but never released.
* The ''VideoGame/ZooTycoon 2'' user-made extension pack "Cretaceous Calamity" was announced years ago and still has no release date. Both that particular UXP and the others by the same group (Mysterious Map Marvels) have a history of trouble and delays.
** There have been hundreds of [=UXPs=] announced for Zoo Tycoon 2, but only roughly five or six [=UXPs=] ever released.
* Golgoth Studio was a French developer founded in 2008 that started with pretty ambitious projects: HD [[VideoGameRemake remakes]] of ''VideoGame/JoeAndMac'' and ''VideoGame/{{Toki}}'', both supposed to come out in 2010. Every mention of ''Joe and Mac'' was quickly removed from their site after nothing more than a couple of character designs was shown, and the Toki remake suffered the same fate: after about five years of promises, they just pulled the plug and removed their whole website. The only game they ever released was the mediocre ''Magical Drop V'' for Windows.
* Creator/OceanSoftware had a French subsidiary that specialized in porting UsefulNotes/{{Arcade Game}}s to the UsefulNotes/{{Amiga}} and UsefulNotes/AtariST. Ocean France's ports of such games as ''VideoGame/{{Cabal}}'', ''VideoGame/{{Pang}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Toki}}'' were generally well-received, and ''Zero'' #19 included previews of their upcoming ST/Amiga ports of ''VideoGame/HammerinHarry'', ''VideoGame/LiquidKids'' and ''VideoGame/SnowBros''. At least the Amiga versions of the latter two were completed, yet Ocean, apparently due to licensing problems, decided to cancel all of them and close Ocean France. The Amiga versions of ''Liquid Kids'' and ''Snow Bros'' were unearthed and leaked onto the Internet many years later.
* Creator/{{Psygnosis}}, somewhere in between the Sony buyout and the launch of the UsefulNotes/PlayStation, canceled most of their upcoming [[UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis Mega Drive]] games.
** The developers of ''Res-Q'' soon leaked copies of their otherwise unreleased game. A prototype of ''Bill's Tomato Game'', ported from the UsefulNotes/{{Amiga}} by the same team, was later recovered.
** ''VideoGame/{{Whizz}}'' ended up being released on the Amiga by Flair after Psygnosis dropped it, followed by multiple console ports, but not the Mega Drive version, which was supposedly the original.
** Another Mega Drive game Psygnosis chose not to release was Digital Illusions' all-but-finished ''Hardcore'', whose Amiga version was also canceled.
* Before focusing entirely on ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'', developer Retro Studios was working on four [=GameCube=] titles: ''NFL Retro Football'', ''Car Combat'' or ''Thunder Rally'', ''Raven Blade'', and the tentatively titled ''Action-Adventure''.
* More than half of the games announced by Scavenger, Inc. were never published, no thanks to a shoddy distribution deal with GT Interactive that helped push the company into bankruptcy. Their unreleased games include ''4x4 Frenzy'', ''Heavy Machinery'', ''Into the Shadows'', ''Mudkicker'' and ''Tarantula''.

[[folder:Video Game Systems and Peripherals]]
* The Phantom game console has earned numerous vaporware awards and frequent comments on its auspicious name (as if the entire thing was a practical joke on a massive scale). First announced in 2002 (when its download-only sales model seemed [[ItWillNeverCatchOn downright insane]]), it was repeatedly delayed and pushed back until being put on infinite hold in 2006. The design company has since been accused of fraud by the SEC, changed names, and decided to focus on releasing the console's couch-keyboard-and-mouse accessory for other platforms.
* The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indrema Indrema L600]] by Indrema Entertainment Systems, an ambitious attempt at a "Linux console" with a completely open development platform and hardware based on PC components, including a built-in DVD player; seriously game-changing specs for 1999. A working prototype was exhibited in early 2000, but the designers couldn't raise the capital needed to mass-produce it and it was overtaken by events when the Xbox and [=PlayStation=] 2 were released shortly afterwards.
%%* The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ApeXtreme ApeXtreme]] by Apex Digital.
%%* The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_2500 Atari 2500]], [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_2700 Atari 2700]], [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_Cosmos Atari Cosmos]], [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_Jaguar_II Atari Jaguar II]], and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_Panther Atari Panther]].
%%* The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control-Vision Control-Vision]] or NEMO, a console using VHS tapes.
%%* The Panasonic [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungle_(console) Jungle]] portable game console.
%%* The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MoMA_Eve MoMA Eve]] handheld game console.
%%* The Ericsson [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Jade Red Jade]] handheld console.
%%* The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sega_VR Sega VR]] virtual reality headset.
%%* The [=GamePark=] XGP [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XGP Extreme Game Player]], a portable video game system.
%%* The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultravision_Video_Arcade_System Ultravision Video Arcade System]], a combination game console and 10 inch color TV.
* The Atari Mindlink was going to be a controller for the UsefulNotes/Atari2600, able to play the games ''Bionic Breakthrough'', ''Mind Maze'' and ''Telepathy'' by being worn by the player and reading forehead movements with infrared sensors. The peripheral was shown at CES and was never released.
* Many of the designs invented by Active Enterprises were doomed to fail from the start, but the most ambitious of these was their planned portable gaming console, the '''Action Gamemaster''': Conceived as a massive, foot-and-a-half wide beast with a 3.2 inch screen, this system would not only be compatible with proprietary game discs (including "killer app" Cheetahmen 3), but it would also house an expansion port that would accommodate cartridges for the UsefulNotes/NintendoEntertainmentSystem, the UsefulNotes/SuperNintendo and the UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis, and it could also be used as a portable television set, with a projected price point of '''''500 dollars'''''. It seems as though Active were truly ahead of their time with their idea for a multisystem portable -- many of the Gamemaster's features now seem to have manifested in Sony's UsefulNotes/PlayStationPortable instead. Or in Nvidia's case, the Project Shield, which had a similar controller-with-screen form factor, sans the 18-inch device footprint.
%%* Multiplatform support? Bigger than original Xbox? Sounds like Richard [=DaLuz=]'s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFGQnU4TaYU Super Genintari]].
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panasonic_M2 Panasonic M2]] console was to have been the 64-bit successor to the [[UsefulNotes/ThreeDOInteractiveMultiplayer 3DO Interactive Multiplayer]]. Creator/The3DOCompany was working on an add-on to the original console and a standalone version, with the WorkingTitle 3DO II or Bulldog, becoming the 3DO M2, before being sold to Matsushita/Panasonic, to be released as the Matsushita M2 or Panasonic M2, and it was canceled very close to its announced 1997 release. {{Creator/Konami}} did release a few arcade games based on the [=M2=] architecture (namely ''Battle Tryst'', ''Polystars'', ''VideoGame/EvilNight'', ''Heat of Eleven '98'' and ''Total Vice'').
** The console was not released aside from some prototypes, and its technology was integrated into FZ-21S and FZ-35S multimedia players, ATM machines, and coffee machines.
** ''[[VideoGame/{{Clayfighter}} Clayfighter 63⅓]]'' was planned as ''Clayfighter 3'' on the SNES and M2 console, before being released on the N64. A planned [=PlayStation=] version, ''Clay Fighter X-Treme'', was also cancelled.
** The game ''[[VideoGame/{{D}} D2]]'' was going to released for the M2 console, and ended up being released on the UsefulNotes/SegaDreamcast.
** Sega was planning to develop software for the console, including ''[[VideoGame/VirtuaFighter Virtua Fighter 3]]''.
** ''IMSA World Championship'', known as ''IMSA Racing'', was a cancelled racing game on the M2.
* The Hasbro NEMO VHS-based console for which the FullMotionVideo games ''VideoGame/NightTrap'' and ''VideoGame/SewerShark'' were originally developed.
* The Sega Neptune, an integrated [[UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis Mega Drive/Genesis and 32X]], which was swiftly canceled when it became apparent how absurd releasing this would be (as indeed releasing the 32X already had been) when the UsefulNotes/SegaSaturn was just around the corner. [[VideoGame/{{Neptunia}} It still lives in spirit, though.]]
* As buyers were shifting from consoles to computers during UsefulNotes/TheGreatVideoGameCrashOf1983, UsefulNotes/{{Colecovision}} promised an expansion module that would essentially turn their console into an Adam computer in an attempt to draw in customers. It never went past the prototype stage.
* The ''Wii Vitality Sensor'' was shown at E3 2009, but was barely discussed since then. Some video game journalists started doubting that the project was ever real and the sensor itself was just a mock up shown because Nintendo didn't have anything new or interesting to reveal at E3 that year. In 2013, the Vitality Sensor was finally brought up by Nintendo... to reveal it was cancelled. It was a real, planned product, but was scrapped because there was too large a portion of test users that the sensor could not read. Oddly, its trademark was renewed in December of 2014.
** In 2014 Nintendo announced an as-yet still mysterious "quality of life" platform that will be focused on health and fitness and incorporate technology that can detect the user's body in some way. It's been speculated that the vitality sensor project may have morphed into this over time.
* The Konix Multisystem was a British console developed in the late 80s. Originally created as an advanced peripheral, Konix decided to go further with the project to create a 16-bit computer to compete with the Amiga. The system was then pushed back several times, up to Fall of 1990 due to a very troubled production and employees not receiving their wages. When Konix bankrupted without a finished computer, the project was scrapped.
* The UsefulNotes/AtariJaguar planned to have a model combining the CD attachment with the console. This may never have gone further than mock-ups, with the Jaguar's CD add-on selling poorly and Atari Corp. approaching bankruptcy at the time.
* One of the more famous cases was the UsefulNotes/{{SNESCDROM}}, a CD peripheral for the {{UsefulNotes/SNES}} to compete with the [=TurboGrafx-CD=] and the Sega CD. The problems that arose came mostly from Nintendo's demand that it be ''impossible'' to pirate the games in any way. Another odd choice was going through a third party to develop the system. The first attempt was with Sony, resulting in the UsefulNotes/{{Playstation}}, which eventually evolved into an independent console by Sony and ultimately Nintendo's biggest competitor. Whoops. The second attempt, with Phillips, resulted in ''Hotel Mario'' and the "Unholy Triforce" of Zelda games on the ill-fated [=CDi=] console. Double whoops.
* In 2001, Mad Catz planned to release the Bioforce controller, a Playstation 2 controller that sent shock waves to the player. It was shown off at trade shows but never made it to release likely due to health worries.
* The Retro Video Game System and its successor the Coleco Chameleon (unrelated to the Colecovision besides the name) were two consoles that were meant to "bring back" cartridge-based gaming. They were supposed to be able to clone numerous 8-bit and 16-bit consoles as well as play {{retraux}} indie games. After a lot of criticism and controversy, both consoles ended up being canned during their concept stages.

[[folder:Other Computing]]
* There are projects in [[SeriousBusiness application and system software]] that are older still. The most notorious example is Project Xanadu, the first computer hypertext system and intended to catalog all human knowledge: begun in 1960, still arguably in development, although its creator seemed to have abandoned it for a time before announcing that it had been SavedFromDevelopmentHell and was now finished (primarily by him lowering his extremely high expectations so he could say it was finished in his lifetime).
* A Filipino tech company named [=BiTMICRO=] Networks [[http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20111014005964/en/Philippines%E2%80%99-Industry-Led-Microelectronics-Institute-Unveiled announced a processor]] named in honour of Creator/JoseRizal. Not much has been announced about it except it would be developed in the UsefulNotes/{{Philippines}}, and there wasn't any word about the architecture to be used either. Five years later and yet little if any news has surfaced since.
* The GNU Hurd operating system kernel. Once meant to replace the kernel of UsefulNotes/{{UNIX}}, it long ago lost that honor to Linux, which it is now championed to replace... someday. Meanwhile, the constellation of open-source software meant to be built around it has been Linux-based for ''decades'' now and will have to be ported ''back'' to its official "home" system if the thing ever sees release. For some perspective, development on the Hurd began in 1984 and the first actual, installable OS based on it came out in 2003; there is yet to be a release of even beta quality. Comparatively, Linux started out in 1991 and had been marked as stable since ''1994'', and as of March 2018 the latest version of the kernel is 4.15.7.
* ''[=ReactOS=]'', an attempt to create a drop-in replacement for Windows, has been in development since 1998- although the project still does put out nightly builds, the nightly builds are more than often badly broken. The project started as ''[=FreeWin95=]'' in 1996 and aimed to create an open-source OS capable of running Windows 95 programs, but then went silent and came back in its current form in 1998, with the aim changed to create an open-source OS capable of running ''Windows NT 4'' programs. As of March 2016, the project has only hit 0.4, which the team still considers late-alpha- the team will only change the software state to beta when 0.5 hits. And it took them a whole decade to get from 0.3 to 0.4. Granted, the project was plagued by multiple issues including lack of manpower, several allegations that the project had used stolen Microsoft code which stalled the project for almost a year as the codes are audited, and [[MovingTheGoalposts perpetually-moving goalposts]] (as of current, the program has mostly Windows 2000 level compatibility. The team currently aims for XP level compatibility by first final release).
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface-conduction_Electron-emitter_Display SCEE display]] was vastly superior in both energy efficiency and color reproduction compared to [=CRTs=], [=LCDs=], and Plasma, and was supposed to enter mass-production "real soon now" -- since 1989. Besides production problems, a lawsuit slowed things down in the mid-2000s, followed by the crash of 2008, and Canon finally threw in the towel in 2010 when LED-LCD screens obsoleted the technology.
* The UsefulNotes/MacOS was infamous for its replacement projects that either got stuck in DevelopmentHell (Taligent and Copland) or never even started (Gershwin). In 1996, while on the verge of bankruptcy, Apple finally gave up and bought [=NeXTSTEP=] to get Steve Jobs back, which eventually became Mac OS X and helped save the company.
* Microsoft had several of these in Windows' lifespan, these include:
** Windows Neptune -- The consumer version of Windows 2000 with a few features that were instead shifted to XP. Windows Neptune would've required more resources than most consumers had at the time.
** Not an operating system, but a subsystem to revolutionize data storage, search and retrieval (in other words greatly speed them up): Object File System (OFS). It was started in 1990 or 91 as a part of next-generation operating system, Cairo. While Cairo itself was never released, most of its components were gradually released as part of other MS products: Windows NT, Windows 95, MS SQL Server... Except OFS. The project was shelved, but eventually revisited, now as an extension to MS SQL Server. Then as a part of MS Exchange. Then for Windows Longhorn (as [=WinFS=]). According to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WinFS The Other Wiki]] in 1994-2007 it was cancelled and resurrected no less than 6 times, but haven't been heard from since 2009. All its incarnations have contributed to other MS products, but the desired goal was never met. Since people still would like their computers to instantly find their photos, videos, music, books, text documents and whatever else they edit and store there, by only a vague description, the project is bound to come back yet again.
** In the early 1990s there was what was codenamed Omega, Microsoft's first attempt at a desktop database. Developers worked on it for a year and a half during which [[TroubledProduction snafus accumulated atop delays, and were further beset by complications, with everybody increasingly getting on each others' nerves]]. Until finally [[http://www.panopticoncentral.net/2012/10/31/my-terrifying-meeting-with-bill-gates/ one meeting]] with the company's ''[[Creator/BillGates capo di tutti capi]]'' led to this exchange:
-->'''Bill Gates''': [[ClusterFBomb Get fucking recruiting in here, I want fucking recruiting in here right now]]!
-->'''Some unfortunate Microserf''': OK, Bill, why do you want recruiting?
-->'''Gates''': Because I want to find out what fuckking colleges we recruited you guys from and tell them not to fucking recruit there any more because they clearly produce fucking idiots!
The project was canceled shortly thereafter, with instructions to throw out all the code and start from scratch. From the ashes rose the phoenix that is today Access.
* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holographic_Versatile_Disc Holographic Versatile Discs]], developed from 2004-2008 with the intent of being used for archival storage. With an impressive 100GB (which is Blu-Ray's maximum storage space) to up to 6TB of storage, it sounded really good. But there's still nothing on the market and with a $15,000 drive and $180 per disk cost along with its original developer going up in smoke, it doesn't look like it's coming out soon.
* ''VideoGame/TransformersUniverse'' by Jagex was going to be a free online... something. It went from MMO to a kind of 'team brawl' all the while frantically insisting that it would be FreeToPlay. The game managed to get to Open Beta. The game got far enough to start putting out 'Founders Packs' ahead of release, then both followers and Jagex seemed to realise just how much of the game you'd end up paying for -- especially considering how expensive the Founders Packs were.
** The game even started to put out profiles for the original characters that you would be able to fight as, and many Role-Players on the forum noticed striking similarities between them and their Role-Play characters. The two most blatant were 'Hotwire', a Decepticon Medic who ripped off an [=RPer=] called Hotwire, also a Decepticon Medic (the only true difference was the gender), and 'Monsoon', an Autobot warrior whose skills, weapons, personality and even appearance ripped off another [=RPer's=] character called Gearchange.

* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vector_Motors Vector]] must be the ultimate in automotive vaporware. Ten years from concept Vector W2, in 1978, to a production run of seventeen W8s. Then fourteen M12s made in 1996. Then another ten years roll by before the WX-8 prototype turns up at the LA motorshow.
* UsefulNotes/{{NASA}} have tons of them, such as the X-33/Venture Star, which was supposed to replace the space shuttle, and Project Constellation/Space Launch System, which after 9 years of development only has a broken full scale model and a bunch of rocket engines.
* The [[FlyingCar Moller Skycar]]. In the words of the SEC when they brought a suit against the company for exaggerating the likelihood of it ever working, "As of late 2002, MI's approximately 40 years of development has resulted in a prototype Skycar capable of hovering about fifteen feet above the ground."
* Fusion reactors. With a fusion reactor and a glass of water, you could power a city like New York for 3 years. Research has been conducted since the 1950s, at which time they promised the first commercial fusion reactors by the year 2000. For a time, this was a joke on soc.history.what-if: "Kolker's Law: The estimated time until commercial fusion reactors will arrive remains constant." In other words, if an expert believed that fusion was 20 years away 20 years ago, he probably still believes it's 20 years away today. Not to say that progress hasn't been made. The advances in superconducting materials and lasers that modern experimental fusion reactors are built around hadn't been made when fusion research started in the '50s and what is now known as the field of plasma physics hadn't even been recognized fully as a discipline unto itself. Partly the reason why development has been so slow is also ''because'' fusion is always deemed of being too far away and too difficult to get any near-term returns from an accelerated effort. Presently several countries are involved in national and international scale projects in fusion and plasma control, and interest has grown, but given the timeframes of experimental research in the field, several decades of VaporWare are still to be expected.
** In the same vein, advanced nuclear fission reactors (such as Gen IV reactors) may fall in this. Their benefits are great: they produce more energy with less fuel and produce less dangerous waste. Some designs eat the waste of the widely deployed Gen II reactors and some are essentially meltdown proof. But with events like Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, it seems the prospects of nuclear energy have gone down the tubes in several countries.
*** In the case of one Gen IV candidate, the Molten Salt Reactor, this is ''especially'' frustrating because a '''working''' prototype of a MSR was built and run for 5 years in the mid '60s (from 1964 until '69) called the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment. It didn't generate any electricity with its heat but managed to prove that the concept '''was''' sound and orders of magnitude more fuel-efficient than the reactors still in use '''today''' that use solid fuel pellets (<1% efficient to the MSR's >90% fuel efficiency). The planned follow up Molten Salt Breeder Reactor (the more recently proposed Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor, or LFTR (pronounced "lifter") for short, is essentially the MSBR brought into the 21st century.) was never built.
* Chyoo, an adult create-a-story[[note]]Think ChooseYourOwnAdventure erotic fiction, collectively written.[[/note]] website run by the same folks who run Website/{{Literotica}}, has been advertising "Chyoo 3.0" for several years. In fact, their front page has a notice claiming Chyoo 3.0 will be released in a few months... that dates back to 2006. In actuality, the Literotica owners have apparently lost all interest in maintaining Chyoo. Lack of quality content probably has much to do with it. It could also be because these stories are a dime a dozen on Website/WritingDotCom.
* Remember all that noise about the "All American Basketball Alliance", that supposed all-white baksetball league that supposedly was supposed to start in 2010, supposedly? Remember Don "Moose" Lewis' comments about fundamental basketball and wanting to take the street out of it?
* Immortal's Handbook, a third-party splatbook for Dungeons & Dragons. For awhile, the front page, at a glance, seemed to be 60% "look at all the cool stuff that I'm making!" and 39%, apologizing for not updating or releasing anything for years. Then, the website was changed. The [[http://eternitypublishing.wordpress.com/ new one]] seems a bit better in that regard, but not by that much.
* ''Castle Greyhawk''. ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' fans have been waiting since the mid-'70s for an official release of Creator/GaryGygax's home dungeon. Gary was looking at releasing the complex as early as 1978, but got sucked into the monumental task of writing ''TabletopGame/TheTempleOfElementalEvil'' and released only a few levels. In 1986, just as he had promised the castle again, he was unceremoniously fired as head of Creator/{{TSR}}. Any hint that Gygax would be releasing new Greyhawk or AD&D material would have sparked a lawsuit. In 2007, however, Gygax announced that he was creating a [[LawyerFriendlyCameo non-Greyhawk version]] of his iconic castle. One box set was released, detailing the castle fortress and the first level of the dungeons. Then [[AuthorExistenceFailure Gary Gygax died on March 4, 2008.]]. Co-writer, Jeffrey Talanian was set to complete the project using Gygax's copious notes, but he was fired within six months and the Gygax Games site seems to be all but abandoned. Gygax's original co-writer Rob Kuntz was releasing material from ''his'' notebooks, but he has also dropped the project. Finally, a dedicated fan who knew both Gary and Rob and had played in Castle Greyhawk released his own version of the dungeons starting on level 2, which is probably the closest we will ever get to the actual Castle Greyhawk.
* Speaking of D&D, the 4th edition never received a promised Virtual Tabletop app. With a new edition now replacing the 4th, don't expect to ever see it.
* [[http://www.furaffinity.net Furaffinity.net]], an art gallery that caters to the UsefulNotes/FurryFandom, is notorious for promising new features and updates that never materialize:
** Shortly after the site launched in 2006, a rewrite of the entire site was announced (dubbed ''Ferrox'') and that it would be in closed beta "[[RealSoonNow soon]]". A year later, another announcement was made that a ''new'' version of Ferrox was in development. That project was eventually shelved two years later.
** Another project which would overhaul the UI has seen similar delays, first announced in 2007, having mock-up previews released in 2009, and finally setting a deadline of Summer 2011 for completion, which didn't happen. Dozens of other planned features have gone through similar treatment.
** Another attempt at re-coding the site was announced in early 2014, an open-source project called ''Phoenix''. There is essentially one person working on the project, and it's all [[http://github.com/FurAffinity/phoenix/ on GitHub]] so you can follow along with the long periods of nothing happening.
** Around the same time, they announced ''new'' plans to overhaul the ''existing'' site's UI, which led some to believe even the site's owner doesn't have faith in the "Phoenix" recode ever going anywhere.
* The ''VideoGame/GuitarHero'' and ''VideoGame/RockBand'' fansite [=ScoreHero=] announced a giant (and much needed) update in November 2008. Almost immediately it was shoved on to the back burner for seven months when Harmonix turned up to talk about their idea for the nascent Rock Band Network; several mods and developers signed up to help with the rewrite and were promptly stonewalled when looking for information (RBN had the main admin tied up in [=NDAs=]). Said developers were subsequently somewhat disgruntled when the RBN announcement was made, and it's tied up JC's time so much now that the big update hasn't gotten off the back burner since (and, with {{Rhythm Game}}s on their way out, doesn't look likely to).
** Until it was [[SavedFromDevelopmentHell pulled forward again in November 2013]]... WeWait.
* The web video ''LetsPlay VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2SpecialEdition'' is about a completely fictional vaporware game: an UpdatedRerelease of ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2'' which never saw the light of day because its console (the Sega CD 32X) reached the end of its lifespan. Docfuture, the creator of the video, claims he received his copy of the mysterious game from an uncle, who bought the disc from Chinese bootleggers.
* There is a joke in construction that could easily apply to any field: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hofstadter%27s_law any building project will take longer than you expect even if you take this principle into account.]]
* The final episode of the ''[[http://www.baronvonbrunk.com/JSTMKtoons Julius Saves the Mushroom Kingdom]]'' series of Flash cartoons ("When Julius Comes Marching Home").
* The New ''[[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball United States Football League]]'', AKA [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_United_States_Football_League "USFL 2.0"]]. Announced in 2008, with an array of notable football names attached to it as potential coaches and team and league execs. It was slated to launch fully in Spring 2012. That date was then pushed back to 2015 (and that date was later stated as being "overly ambitious"), with still no cities in place as team hosts as of Summer 2017. And a rival league ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A11FL A-11 Football]] -- formed in the wake of NUSFL's first failure to launch) looking to launch first and steal their thunder, even going so far as to swipe several original USFL team names for their league[[note]]And as of July 2014, A-11 announced they were looking to "re-organize", for all intents and purposes folding.[[/note]]
* The whole point of the ''WebOriginal/KeitAi'' [[MemeticMutation meme]] is to be a joke vaporware concept for an anime that doesn't exist yet it has somehow spawned a [[http://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/keit-ai/list?title_no=36825 webcomic]], [[https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3206139 fan]] [[https://archiveofourown.org/works/7861570 fiction]], [[http://i1.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/099/986/de3.jpg fan]] [[http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/099/989/e2d.png art]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycfdfinG_P8 music]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXDNGS9V4Us videos]], a mock anime [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcVGDV67L-g preview]], the first anime [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_rz1bluG_k episode]], and a [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/keit-ai-finds-a-way/ host of other memetic content]].
* The tabletop game ''Far West'' was supposed to be an epic transmedia project, with an intended release date in late 2011. Mid-2018 saw an announcement that it was being revised with a different system, the first kickstarter update in something like a year. Those few backers who still think they'll ever see it have stopped expecting a transmedia project and would be satisfied with an ''any''-media project.