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  • This trope happened plenty of times with video game compilations where a Compilation Rerelease that ends its title with "Volume 1" never actually gets a "Volume 2". Some examples are Sega Ages Volume 1 for Sega Saturn, Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits Volume 1 for Nintendo 64, Sega Smash Pack Volume 1 for Sega Dreamcast, Yu Suzuki Game Works Vol. 1 for Sega Dreamcast, Jaleco Collection Vol. 1 for PlayStation, Toaplan Shooting Battle 1 for PlayStation, Capcom Coin-Op Collection Volume 1 for Microsoft Windows, and SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 for PS2, PSP, and Wii (not counting PSP exclusive SNK Arcade Classics 0 which was only released in Japan). However, a particularly amusing subversion exists with the Xbox Live Arcade Unplugged series. While the numbered series itself is restricted to only a Vol. 1, this was not the only entry in the line, with three more unnumbered entries going under different names.
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  • 12Riven was originally intended to be the first in what would have been the Integral series (a spinoff of the Infinity series), but a variety of factors, including the company's bankruptcy, the main writer's departure, and less than stellar sales ensured that didn't happen.
  • XIII, based on the first five volumes of the European comic book series, ends with a Cliffhanger. Poor sales, however, erased hopes of a game continuation of the story. A TV miniseries based on the comic and the game was later produced staring Val Kilmer and Stephen Dorff, which suffered a similar fate as the game it was based on. It was resurrected a second time as XIII: The Series in 2011 by a Canadian company. The TV series is a direct continuation of the miniseries's plot, though none of the miniseries actors (especially Kilmer and Dorff) reprise their roles. It burned X-Play, which had done a single preview episode devoted to the game based on that show's editorial staff and Adam Sessler's excitement over the game's cel-shaded graphics and underlying story. When it turned out to be a run-of-the-mill "3... out of 5" shooter featuring bored voice acting by David Duchovny, the show wouldn't do a single game preview episode for another five years. It wasn't until much later that Gameloft released a sequel (XIII-2) for mobile phones, while a remake of the game was set to be released for all major consoles on November 13, 2019, but was delayed until 2020 and received lousy reviews once it did come out.
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  • Action 52 had a $199 price tag (in 1991 for an NES game), nearly unplayable games, weak concept, and was horribly and seriously bug-infested, yet for some impossible-to-fathom reason, Active Enterprises believed that its featured title Cheetahmen (which shared many flaws with the other games on the cartridge, including not having an ending) was going to be a huge breakout hit. Plans were made for a Cheetahmen Saturday morning cartoon, action figures, and of course a sequel. Their hopes turned out to be waaay premature; the sequel never emerged except as an unfinished, unplayable beta, while the very short-lived franchise became one of the most infamous pieces of "entertainment" ever created.
  • Advent Rising was intended to be a trilogy on consoles with a spin-off for the PSP. The poor reception of the original game put a stop to any further prospects, as well as the million-dollar contest promoting it.
    • Advent Rising also reportedly killed off a video game adaptation of the Orson Scott Card book Empire to be done by the same development studio (Card had also penned the plot of Advent Rising and Empire was written to actually promote the game rather than the other way around). What also didn't help was the fact that Empire was mediocre at best and basically a novel-length scathing rant about how liberals are literally destroying the country.
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    • Shadow Complex, on which Empire was based, was released on Xbox Live Arcade to glowing reviews. Of course, in order to sell it to people without having a massive backlash strike out, the developers had to entirely ignore the novel Card had written to promote it.
  • The shareware RPG The Aethra Chronicles: Volume One - Celystra's Bane. Volumes Two and beyond never surfaced.
  • Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma was planned to be an episodic series, but was soon pulled from the market after the failure of Volume One.
  • The Facebook app The Agency: Covert Ops was made to help promote a spy-themed MMO that was ultimately canceled after four years of development.
  • Alone in the Dark:
    • The 1992 original was supposed to be the first game in the "Virtual Dreams" (as one can read on the original French box art) series of standalone titles which shared the same engine. No more were made and the label was immediately discontinued while Alone in the Dark continued on as the sole franchise.
    • A title called Time Gate - Knight's Chase was supposed to be the "real" Alone in the Dark 4, and the beginning of a new trilogy of games under the "Time Gate" label based upon time traveling and ancient Egyptian mythology. Since the Alone in the Dark engine was already dated at that time, plans to keep the trilogy going were cancelled and Knight's Chase remained a standalone title.
  • Alpha Protocol was intended by publisher Sega to become part of a greater series. The poor sales killed that but allowed Obsidian to keep the rights to the franchise. With Microsoft buying Obsidian in 2019 along their IPs such as The Outer Worlds and Pillars of Eternity, there is a better possibility of an Alpha Protocol sequel or reboot.
  • Anachronox is an interesting case, because the Sequel Hook at the end, which will probably never be followed-up on, wasn't originally planned to be one. It was supposed to be the halfway point of the game, but due to a whole slew of problems, they ended up having to end the game there.
  • AnEarth Fantasy Stories, an open-world RPG originally developed for the PC Engine CD, was apparently intended as the first installment of a trilogy. Being the very last game Hudson Soft published in Japan for the fading system may have been one reason why it never caught on, but MediaWorks tried again and remade the game for the Sega Saturn, hopefully subtitling it The First Volume. This remake, and the novelization released at the same time, is the last that's been seen of the series.
  • Anthem was intended as the start of a larger franchise; but disappointing reception and sales, combined with a myriad of technical problems effectively halted these plans. Bioware intended to revamp the game from the ground up to address these issues, but these plans were halted in early 2021 as the developers shifted their focus to the next installments of Dragon Age and Mass Effect.
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura was supposed to have a sequel using the Source engine, but this was derailed by a disagreement between Valve and the game's publisher Sierra. Troika's dissolution sealed its fate.
  • ARMS was clearly being set up to be a Flagship Franchise for the Nintendo Switch on par with Splatoon, with several Story Breadcrumbs and Sequel Hooks being left in the game. Then it actually came out to decent, but not great reviews and over 2 million copies in its first year - while impressive, nowhere near the 3.61 million copies sold in the first quarter-year by Splatoon 2 which released merely a month later. Major updates ground to a halt after merely 6 months, the intended tie-in graphic novel entered Development Hell and was Quietly Cancelled in 2021, and Nintendo has as of yet not mentioned any sequel whatsoever.
  • Electronic Arts' Auto Destruct ends with the Big Bad escaping in an emergency submarine after you shoot down his helicopter. While not bad by any means, the game was rather obscure and didn't sell well, so no sequel was made.
  • The SNES Shoot 'em Up, Axelay, from Konami, shows the message "See you again at Axelay 2" after finishing the game on the hardest difficulty for the second time, but this sequel never materialized.
  • Balan Wonderworld was clearly meant as the start of a new franchise; with the developer being named Balan Company and the intent to make more games and other material (an Expanded Universe novel was even written to compliment the game). Instead, the game ended up a huge critical and commercial letdown. Yuji Naka has since left Square Enix and shifted to indie development for smartphones instead.
  • The Bard's Tale: In 2004, Designer Eric Flannum had discussed the possibility of further adventures for the main character in a sequel. The eventual 2018 sequel, The Bard's Tale IV, was an Un-Reboot, sealing in the 2004 reboot's continuity as a Stillborn Franchise.
  • Blasto was released after a long development rife with issues to a middling reception. However, the titular character, voiced by Phil Hartman, was very well-received even by reviewers critical of the game. The developers had already started planning a sequel, and an entire franchise was intended for Blasto, with Hartman described as "the soul" of Blasto. But when Phil Hartman was murdered, two months after the game's release, the creators of Blasto, who felt Hartman helped define the character, saw little point in continuing with the character and the franchise plans were quietly cancelled.
  • Blinx was Xbox's early attempt to have a cute Series Mascot like Nintendo's Mario, Namco's Pac-Man, Sony's (then) Crash Bandicoot and Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog. The game was deemed overrated and simply "average" by many, the most troublesome part being the difficult controls. The game got a sequel but other than that has dropped off the radar (while Master Chief was the one who became the mascot).
  • Boogerman was planned to have a sequel and an Animated Adaptation in the 1990s, but neither came to be. The game's original creators launched a Kickstarter in 2013 to make the sequel, but it failed to reach its funding goal.
  • Brute Force was an original Xbox exclusive which was hyped as doing to third-person shooters what Halo: Combat Evolved did to console first-person shooters, and just like Halo, was promoted with a prequel novel that expended on the backstory (in fact prior to the console's release Microsoft marketing expected Brute Force to be the big Killer App franchise for the Xbox, but launch-title Halo vastly surpassed their expectations.) However, the final version didn't quite live up to the hype and thus Brute Force never became the multimedia juggernaut Halo is. There were rumors of a sequel for the Xbox 360, but Digital Anvil's death in 2006 ensures that it will never happen.
  • Headfirst was planning at least three other Call of Cthulhu games to follow Dark Corners of the Earth, one of which was based on At the Mountains of Madness. Unfortunately, the company went bankrupt before they could finish any of them.
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts doesn't resolve the central conflict and ends on a major Sequel Hook with the main villain somehow surviving being shot in the head and dragging away the main hero to torture into becoming a killer like him. It also ended up being the poorest performing modern Call of Duty title in terms of sales and critical reception. As a result, Infinity Ward ended up developing Call Of Duty Infinite Warfare instead of continuing the Ghosts storyline.
  • There were two attempts by Capcom at making a Captain Commando franchise (Section Z and, unsurprisingly, Captain Commando), but neither game took off quite as well as expected.
  • Chrono Cross was not supposed to be the end of the Chrono series. A sequel, Chrono Break, was planned shortly after Cross's completion and, many years later, it has yet to materialize. A HD remaster of both Cross and Radical Dreamers did release in 2022 to the pleasant surprise of many, but Square Enix stated there were still no plans for future installments at that time, which more cynical fans interpreted as being tied to the sales of said remaster.
  • Cocoron had a sequel, or possibly a remake, developed for the PC Engine called PC Cocoron, which was apparently finished but never released.
  • Due to Executive Meddling, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Diddy Kong Racing and Grabbed by the Ghoulies each promised a sequel which never came to be. The most that ever came of any of these were remakes of Bad Fur Day for the original Xbox and Diddy Kong Racing for the Nintendo DS. In 2015, Conker got a sequel called Conker's Big Reunion; but it is a game made on Project Spark, a Game Maker, so there's also material in it to make your own Conker game.
  • In Darkstone, one of the highest level quests had the player rescue Santa Claus, who thanks them with a gift of Darkstone 2. It was intended to be a promise of a coming sequel, but the sequel was never made; the game's developer, Delphine Software, ceased operations in 2004.
  • This has happened to DmC: Devil May Cry. Due to its Audience-Alienating Premise, amongst other issues, any attempts to get a series of games going from it died when the game failed to break Devil May Cry 4's sales in Japan or America. Even when the Definitive Edition was released, it still was outsold by the latter game's Special Edition when both were released in 2015. Eventually, the classic series was announced to return with Devil May Cry 5 which, combined with Ninja Theory being purchased by Microsoft, officially put the nail in the reboot's coffin for good, outside of a DLC costume for Dante in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.
  • Donald in Maui Mallard had a sequel planned and was made to test the waters for this detective/ninja incarnation of Donald Duck, with even ideas for an animated series. Due to coming at the end of the 16-bit consoles' lifespan and some flawed marketing (Donald's name was dropped from any promotional material), the game bombed and all plans were scrapped.
  • Fallen EP-1 was an iPhone survival horror game meant to be the prologue of a new series, clearly based on Resident Evil and Silent Hill. As the beginning of this article says, "There's nothing quite so risky as attempting to make an episodic game", and in fact no more episodes were produced and the devs made just another unrelated game before disbanding.
  • Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy was to be the start of collection of titles for Final Fantasy, with three separate games announced as tying into each other via a shared mythology, though not necessarily direct connections. Final Fantasy XIII launched the franchise in 2010 and had mixed fan reception, and saw the critical and fan reception to its two sequels grow weaker each time. The second title, the PSP game Final Fantasy Type-0, was released in 2012, but wouldn't be exported to the West until 2015 as a Polished Port for the PS4. It got a mixed-to-positive response and a Sequel Hook was added via a secret ending, but there's no official word on any sequel, just a browser game tie-in. The third title was Final Fantasy Versus XIII, but it languished in Development Hell for so long that it ended up being released as Final Fantasy XV in 2016, now completely divorced from the mythology of the other titles outside from thematic parallels, and XV has become its own sub-franchise with a mixed-to-positive reception. Whatever Square Enix planned for the Fabula Nova Crystallis, the dream of interconnected games has fallen through and the three titles that were supposed to comprise it ended up their own standalone games.note 
  • The ending screen of SNES platformer Frantic Flea instructs players to "watch a console near you for future adventures of Frantic Flea", something that wouldn't come to pass in light of the game's mediocre reception.
  • Freedom Wars was Sony's last attempt to publish a killer app (and Monster Hunter replacement) for the PlayStation Vita with a lot of advertising, a Japan-only visual guide explaining its mythos and setting and having a inconclusive ending that sets up major events to come in a sequel. However, while the game sold slightly more than 700,000 copies worldwide (which is decent for a handheld game) and the developers were interested in making the sequel, Sony decided not to produce it as they expected the game to become a big hit (at least as big as God Eater, a franchise by the same developers) in Japan.
  • While Halo is still going strong, its spin-off Spartan Ops was not so lucky. The side-series was meant to serve as DLC content, giving new monthly missions while bridging the story between Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians. But a combination of polarizing fan reception, the high expenses of the project, and the story writing itself into a corner meant there hasn't been a new Spartan Ops season since the first. Its storyline was eventually wrapped up with a comic series, Halo: Escalation, with the Big Bad of Spartan Ops being disposed of in seconds during the first level of Halo 5: Guardians.
  • Haven: Call of the King for the PlayStation 2 was supposed to be the first installment in a revolutionary video game trilogy that would defy all genres. What was actually released was mediocre: while it did mix together a lot of genres (action, platforming, RPG, driving) as promised, it didn't do any of them particularly well. The lackluster sales killed the planned trilogy at the first game, whose planned Xbox and Nintendo GameCube ports were also canceled.
  • Homefront ended with a major Sequel Hook, and a sequel was under development. However, after THQ went under, said sequel was retooled as its own installment with no connection to the original: Homefront: The Revolution. Considering that title's even worse performance than the original's, it's extremely unlikely that Deep Silver will ever revisit the series in any capacity.
  • Illbleed has vague hints toward a sequel. Its developer closed down in 2002, and though the company's founder Shinya Nishigaki had hopes of resurrecting it, he died suddenly two years later.
  • Journey: The Quest Begins, befitting its title, ended with a Sequel Hook. It was the very last game developed by Infocom, and no sequel was ever made.
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was designed as a prologue to a multimedia franchise centred upon a planned MMORPG with the Working Title Project Copernicus. Unfortunately, catastrophic financial shenanigans ensued, revolving around an ill-advised government loan for $75 million (with wildly-unrealistic repayment terms) and incredible mismanagement on behalf of developer 38 Studios. The resulting monetary implosion meant the game needed to sell three million copies to break even, and despite selling over one million in a few weeks, the company went under. The rights then reverted to the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, who attempted to auction off the IP. While the game did sell well by normal, non-bankruptcy-involving standards, Rhode Island was unable to find a buyer until 2018 when it was acquired by THQ Nordic, who are now working on a remaster of the game with new content, Re-Reckoning, that seeks to avert this trope entirely.
  • Kya: Dark Lineage flopped, partially due to a dumb marketing campaign ("She's a whole lotta hurt in a belly shirt"), and the sequel hinted at in the ending never materialized.
  • Sacnoth was already planning sequels to Koudelka and there were also talks of a Neo Geo Pocket port at some point but the game's middling reviews and sales put an end to all of it. Instead, they decided to develop a more conventional RPG that eventually led to the Shadow Hearts trilogy.
  • The Last Express, despite the sheer quality of everything from the art nouveau style to the intricate storyline, was hit by a perfect financial storm that sank both the game and its production company. The ending drops tantalizing hints at a sequel that will most likely never be made.
  • Multiplayer Hero Shooter LawBreakers was hyped by Cliff Bleszinski as being the next "billion dollar franchise" on par with his previous material like Unreal Tournament and Gears of War. Unfortunately, LawBreakers completely and utterly bombed on a level rarely seen, only logging in 10 players around the world just two months after launch. The game ultimately killed Boss Key permanently and forced Bleszinski back into semi-retirement. It's safe to say this "billion dollar franchise" isn't going to see further installments.
  • The ending of Leander says: "Look out for Leander Part 2: TIGRANDER (Tiger Man)." No sequel was ever produced.
  • Loom, a 1990 adventure game made by LucasArts. The game was well received, sold well and was part of a planned trilogy. However, the game's makers had other commitments and didn't want to work on the sequels.
  • As with its animated counterparts, games based on The Lord of the Rings main books have suffered this fate:
    • Starting with the SNES game J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Vol. I by Interplay, a Vol 2 was planned but poor sales and critical panning killed those plans. Around the same time, Interplay also made completely different video game adaptations for home computers which got to The Two Towers, but a third part never came to be.
    • Much later, when Peter Jackson's film adaptations were coming out, Vivendi Universal was planning on making the full video game trilogy adapted from the books (back then, Vivendi held the rights for Tolkien's novels while Electronic Arts held the films' rights). Vivendi managed to release The Fellowship of the Ring which, although not a bad game, was nothing special. Meanwhile, Electronic Arts released The Two Towers and The Return of the King which were based on the movies (the Two Towers actually also contained Fellowship material). But the planned novel-based adaptations of the remaining books were never released. Eventually, Vivendi lost the rights to EA too.
  • Lunar Legend was not followed by a Game Boy Advance remake of Eternal Blue, and Silver Star Harmony was not followed by Eternal Blue Harmony.
  • Magical Doropie had plans for a sequel, but making one for the SNES was expensive, so they didn't make it. The developer regrets it.
  • The ZX Spectrum game Marsport was proudly advertised as "the first part of the Siege of Earth trilogy." The following two parts were to have been titled Fornax and Gath, but they never saw the light of day.
  • A Taiwanese developer named Erotes Studio released in 2015 a visual novel named MayJasmine Episode 01 - What is God?, which was supposed to have two following games, Episodes 02 and 03. Since the devs are busy with other projects, it's very improbable that they'll ever see the light of the day.
  • Medal of Honor: Rising Sun was originally going to be the first of a series that would have followed a group of brothers through the Pacific War fighting a secret cabal of the Japanese high command. However, it flopped. It was somewhat resolved later on with somebody mentioning that one of the brothers had been planning POW rescues (one of them was in Japanese hands at the end of the game), but we never got to see those rescues.
  • The instructions and advertising for the ZX Spectrum text adventure Merlock the Mede describe the two games on the tape as the first of a set of eight — and a player who solved all eight could win a digital watch. The first two received far from glowing reviews, and nothing was ever seen of the other six.
  • Metal Arms: Glitch in the System by Swingin' Ape Studios received fairly decent reviews and had a clear Sequel Hook at the end, so it was no surprise that the developers had hoped for sequels. There was a lot of work done towards a Metal Arms 2, but Swingin' Ape Studios was purchased by Blizzard in 2005 and neither the franchise nor the work done on it have been heard from since.
  • The ZX Spectrum text adventure Metropolis 1 was supposed to be part one of a trilogy. However, the developers lost the will to continue after they lost the hand-drawn art prepared for the second game.
  • Mighty No. 9 was an extreme example of putting the cart before the horse. During its (troubled) production, Keiji Inafune publicly announced plans for not only a sequel, but also a spin-off, an animated series, an animated series for the spin-off, a film (or even two), and much more. When the game was finally released, it turned out to be a technical trainwreck and was met with scathing reviews, leaving little chance of the franchise getting off the ground, though this didn't stop game studio Comcept (which was more of a design studio than an actual developer) from still wishing to do a sequel. Comcept was bought out by Level-5 a year later, and hasn't made anything but a single mobile game since then. The most Mighty No. 9 has had since then is the spinoff crossover in Mighty Gunvolt Burst, which is admittedly considered a decent game but a far cry from the heights Inafune dreamed for the franchise.
  • Mitsumete Knight is a sad case of this. After the surprise and spectacular success of Tokimeki Memorial: Forever With You, Konami wanted to keep the momentum and create another similar Dating Sim Cash Cow Franchise. Mitsumete Knight was thus planned as such, and lots of efforts were put in it: co-created by Konami and Red Entertainment (the other Dating Sim leader of the time, creator of Sakura Wars), a spectacular voice cast, deep storyline, solid gameplay, a line of goods, favourable critics, lots of built hype one year before the game's actual release in March 1998 via a Radio Drama and previews... Only to meet average-ish good sales, not the expected killer profit (partially due to the public's waning interest in Dating Sims which started around that time). Realizing this, and with Tokimeki Memorial 2 around the corner, Konami canned the franchise one year later in 1999.
  • The licensed game Mobile Suit Gundam One Year War was announced as the first in a series of games called Project Pegasus. Despite a heavy marketing push (including a Master Grade model kit specifically based on the game's depiction of the RX-78-2 Gundam) and good sales, however, no further Project Pegasus titles materialized.
  • While the main Mortal Kombat series has been successful for years, two attempts at spinoffs haven't been so fortunate.
    • The name of Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero alone confirms there were plans for more games with other characters. Unfortunately, the first game turned out to be MK Mythologies: Sub Zero and no others appeared.
    • There was also Mortal Kombat: Special Forces, a spinoff centered around Jax Briggs that was intended as the first of an entire series focusing on other members of the Special Forces. The game ended up being the only such title.
  • Nightshade Part 1: The Claws of Sutekh was not followed by a Part 2.
  • Pearl Harbor Trilogy — 1941: Red Sun Rising was meant to be released as the first of a trio of World War II-themed WiiWare flight sims (or more accurately, the PC game Attack on Pearl Harbor chopped up into three parts) but poor sales have prevented the rest of the series from seeing the light of day.
  • PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale was intended to be the first of a series meant to compete with the Super Smash Bros. games and give the PlayStation its own Mascot Fighter to compete with Nintendo. The game's disappointing commercial reception effectively made it the only one.
  • P.N.03 sold barely 20,000 copies, so Capcom aborted the franchise. Notably, it was one of two Capcom Five titles to not be ported from the GameCube to the PS2 (the other being canceled Shoot 'em Up Dead Phoenix).
  • Pryzm Chapter One: The Dark Unicorn was a PS2 game about Pryzm, a very special young unicorn, and Karrok, a grizzled troll mage, who team up to defeat Zartu the Dark Unicorn. The game was presented as Darker and Edgier than typical fare involving unicorns, and came with a comic expanding on the backstory, but it didn't sell well, so all plans for a sequel quickly evaporated.
  • The Starfire Soccer Challenge was intended to spin off a third series of Purple Moon games and was heavily promoted by girls' sports organizations, but had no sequel. What might have been had the company not gone under, the world may never know.
  • Ride to Hell originally started development in 2008, then was cancelled, then restarted and intended to be a series of three games — one on retail discs, one as a downloadable Xbox Live Arcade/Play Station Network game, and one on smartphones. Only the retail product, Ride to Hell: Retribution was released, receiving immense backlash from all corners. Unsurprisingly, neither Deep Silver nor Eutechnyx made a peep about the other two games, Beatdown and Route 666, suggesting that they were unceremoniously cancelled.
  • Rise of the Robots had some serious plans in mind, including a film, cartoons, and toys, hoping to become a franchise on the scale of Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter. The constant ad blitzes and massive launch on nearly every platform at the time (down to the 3DO, Game Gear, and CD-I), along with the attempts to convince gaming magazines to give it good scores, all suggested the sheer level of ambition going on. Tragically, this meant that a lot of dev time was dedicated to just trying to get the game to work on all those different platforms, with little heed paid to gameplay, and while the game initially sold well, its reception was positively withering, resulting in everything barring the tie-in novel being cancelled. One sequel managed to squeak its way out in the fifth generation, which bombed horribly and killed the developers.
  • Crytek UK, a studio which formed from the ashes of Second Sight and TimeSplitters creator Free Radical Design, has gone on record that this is the case with Second Sight. They had a few ideas for a sequel and still maintain the IP rights, but according to them the game just didn't garner enough interest. As for TimeSplitters, Crytek apparently isn't planning to continue it, though they did greenlight a Fan Sequel.
  • The 1994 Macintosh FPS Sensory Overload ended on a Sequel Hook with the Mastermind teleporting away after her defeat, but the sequel never materialized (likely because the game was overshadowed by the releases of Doom II and Marathon on the platform less than a year later), and developer Reality Bytes went out of business in 1999.
  • Perhaps putting overt franchise aspirations in the title of the 1988 game Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic was an act of hubris. Electronic Arts never made a sequel for this interesting proto-Mass Effect game, though 1990's Hard Nova was a Spiritual Successor.
  • Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, due to being overshadowed by the launch of Half-Life a few weeks later, received neither the announced Expansion Packs or a sequel.
  • Showdown Bandit was meant to be Kindly Beast's next horror game after Bendy and the Ink Machine with a similar release schedle of episodic chapters. However, future chapters were cancelled due to poor sales.
  • Siege of Avalon, whose developer Digital Tome disbanded and left the planned sequels, Pillars of Avalon and Ashes of Avalon, unproduced.
  • SiN Episodes: Emergence debuted to weak sales and some critical acclaim (for a series that hadn't seen an installment in more than a decade). Plans were made to have several more episodes, and a teaser was released at the end of Emergence that teased plot points from upcoming installments. Then the game's production company, Ritual Entertainment, was sold to a casual game developer, and production was canned — meaning that you'll never get to see any of the last eight(!) installments.
  • Sleeping Dogs saw a fairly strong positive reception on both the critical and commercial front, and Square Enix saw it as a potential launching point for a new franchise. Work on a sequel began and a film adaptation starring Donnie Yen was announced; however, the sequel was scrapped so the developers could focus on Triad Wars, an MMO spin-off instead. The film also went into Development Hell. When the MMO fell through and the developers closed down, it pretty much killed off any hope to see the franchise continue, unless the film adaptation manages to get off the ground.
  • The Snack World was seen as Level-5's attempt to branch out to American audiences (given the similarities to Adventure Time). They released a 3DS game in 2017 alongside an anime and toyline. The game would get a Switch port the following year. However, nothing came of the franchise after 2018, other than a really late English localization in 2020 that suffered from cringy humor and adult innuendos that weren't appropriate for kids (resulting in a T-rating). The toyline never saw release outside Japan, and the anime's English dub couldn't find a network, being quietly dropped on Crunchyroll.
  • BioWare promised that Sonic Chronicles would become a full series after its first installment, but for several reasons (nothing's been said on the matter since then; the game wasn't well received; the Archie expies in the game brought writer Ken Penders down on the people involved; etc. Though the biggest one is probably that BioWare was bought out by EA during the game's development, meaning any further collaborations with Sega are likely impossible), this never came to be.
  • Spanish For Everyone ended on a Sequel Hook with the protagonist going to France, and the lead designer confirmed that the game could've got a sequel titled French for Everyone. However, the first game's negative reception killed the chance of a sequel.
  • Neither Street Fighter nor Tekken are dead by any means. However, their crossover series ended after its first installment — Street Fighter X Tekken. Between the game being Overshadowed by Controversy over DLC packs that were already on the disc and the Bribing Your Way to Victory gem system, the lukewarm-to-negative reception of the game itself, and the underwhelming sales, the intended sequel Tekken X Street Fighter has yet to materialize (other than Akuma being a Guest Fighter in Tekken 7 and a Shout-Out in Ryu's trailer for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U). Notably, Capcom had very big plans for this one—they assumed it would sell as much as the most recent Tekken and Street Fighter games combined, and had a roadmap to keep releasing new gem packs for years to come. Instead, they ended up spending most of the game's post-launch window doing damage control, eventually releasing a patch that at least put the game in a good state before shifting focus back to Street Fighter. The official statement is that the game has been shelved with about 30% of the work already done, and in 2021, Harada had to dispell rumors that the game was cancelled that rose from his words being misinterpreted.
  • Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido was pretty clearly written for the story to continue, with a series of Sequel Hooks between the final battle and The Stinger (and arguably the postgame as well). In addition, the Achievement System has a set dedicated to milestones in online multiplayer, suggesting the designers expected there to be enough players for a robust online play environment. However, despite a sizable push by Nintendo, it failed to sell due to a combination of an Audience-Alienating Premise, a rather high price tag for the game, and cutscenes fully animated and voiced by professional actors driving up the budget. For the foreseeable future, there won't be any further Sushi Striker games. The biggest thing the franchise has had since then is the protagonist appearing in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a Spirit.
  • Thunder Force VI was envisioned by its producer Tetsu Okano, as the first in the "STG Project", a line of revivals of Sega's Shoot 'em Up properties (sequels to Fantasy Zone and Space Harrier were specifically mentioned in an interview), but its poor sales and very negative fan reception would kill those plans.
  • The mixed-to-negative reception that the 2008 TNA iMPACT! console game had received (as well as the eventual demise of its developer Midway Games) effectively nixed plans for a possible sequel. Then, when Southpeak Games got ahold of the TNA license, they planned another sequel, TNA iMPACT! 2011, which eventually got cancelled as well. And then in 2013, Activision was tapped to create another TNA game, but nothing had came of it. Since then, plans for another TNA console game were never heard of again.
  • Torin's Passage was intended to be a full-fledged series along the lines of King's Quest and the like. Turmoil in Sierra's ranks resulted in the series stopping at one.
  • The commercial failure of action RPG Too Human not only killed Silicon Knights' hopes of a trilogy, but also any hopes of an Eternal Darkness followup. This played a big part in the demise of Silicon Knights, but former studio head Denis Dyack is still trying to greenlight Shadow of the Eternals, a Spiritual Successor to Eternal Darkness, despite its ill-fated Kickstarter campaign.
  • Disney / Touchstone Pictures's 2008 Continuity Reboot of Turok, after Evolution killed the original series and its publisher, had the bad luck to be an average shooter when better shooters were glutting the market, thus the planned sequel was canned (another, much smaller comic reboot was eventually started sometime after DreamWorks Animation became a Turok copyright holder through Classic Media).
  • In 1995, Konami introduced its "Ultra Sports" series of Arcade Games, which came in special cocktail cabinets with trackball controls for two players. The first two games, Five A Side Soccer and Ultra Hockey, were the only ones released; at least two more were planned.
  • Wars and Warriors: Joan of Arc was a PC game released in 2004 to mixed reviews. There were plans on making a Xbox port as well as sequels, none of which ever left the drawing board.
  • The Vin Diesel vehicle Wheelman was supposed to lead up to a film, with the game setting up the backstory and the characters. However, the game's tepid critical and commercial performance very likely scrapped those plans.
  • Level-5 Studios' White Knight Chronicles was originally planned to be a PlayStation 3 launch title and the first installment of a new PlayStation-exclusive tentpole RPG franchise. However, production difficulties incurred from adding on an ill-advised quasi-MMORPG game mode led to the finished product being unfocused and decidedly mediocre. It failed to meet sales expectations, as did its "sequel", White Knight Chronicles II, which was actually just a stealth release of the originally unfinished and shelved back half of the first game. Sony has since tried its best to ignore its existence, and even Level-5 seems to be sheepish and cringey whenever its specter is brought up.
  • World in Conflict ends with an obvious cliffhanger (the Soviets are pushed from the US mainland but the war in Europe is still raging and the Chinese fleet besieges the Pacific Coast), but it was never continued, despite the game receiving enthusiastic reviews, good sales, and even an Expansion Pack. The main reason was that the developers' previous owner Vivendi Games was bought up by Activision the year after World In Conflict was released, and sold to Ubisoft as part of the merger that created Activision Blizzard later the same year. Ubisoft, in turn, had no interest in RTS and shifted their priorities to action games (Assassin's Creed: Revelations, specifically).
  • Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure was intended to be the first installment of a new Capcom IP (if the subtitle is any indication) and a lot of effort was put into it. Unfortunately, the game flopped due to poor marketing and demographic issues (the game is super cute but incredibly difficult and challenging — almost unfair — even for adult gamers). It is to the point that the game has never ever been referenced in any Capcom crossover.


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