Biggest Video Game Disasters

Since its inception decades ago, the gaming industry has made extraordinary progress. No one can deny that it provides a sustainable and enjoyable medium of entertainment for people around the world. While there is no shortage of stellar titles and incredible moments, the industry is not without its blemishes.


For every Witcher 3: Wild Hunt or Breath of the Wild success story, there is at least one Duke Nukem Forever situation that you can pinpoint. Here is a look at a few of the biggest video game disasters to date.


No Man's Sky


While No Man's Sky started garnering attention in 2013, it was 2015 when lead director, Sean Murray started promising the world to anyone who would listen. These promises included multiplayer interaction, which just compounded the hype.


Eventually, August 2016 came around, and what was released was nothing like what was promised. Players expected the title's procedurally generated worlds to be vibrant and full of life. However, what they got was a bland experience that didn't deliver.


The icing on the disappointing cake was the game's ending that brought players back to the beginning. Gamers were furious, and the developers even received death threats. To Hello Games' credit, No Man's Sky is now very close to the promised experience, as the team worked on it over the years.


Though the game was missing a lot of what would eventually make it enjoyable, the real problem here was that the developers, and especially Murray, overhyped the game and made false promises.




BioWare is the studio behind the well-regarded Mass Effect trilogy. So, when gamers were promised an experience where they could fly around in powered-up mech suits to loot and shoot, they were very excited.


The hype was through the roof leading up to the February 2019 release date of the MMO experience. However, the final product had numerous bugs, and it was missing countless vital features.


It turned out that the game's development cycle was a nightmare. For example, despite a 2019 release date and a 2012 teaser, development hadn't started until 2017.


Additionally, the development team was asked to use EA's frostbite engine, though none of the team members had experience with it, and it was best suited the sports games, such as FIFA.


Things were so bad that dedicated employees who had been there for years resigned and went elsewhere.




This one dates to 1982. Howard Warshaw was one of Atari's star programmers. He led the development of Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, which was a Steven Spielberg classic. Warshaw did such a great job, that Spielberg specifically requested him to work on the video game adaptation of his next production, E.T.


The movie was a hit, and Spielberg wanted a game that could evoke the same effect. Unfortunately, there were a couple of issues here. First, Warshaw was asked to create the concept and finish the game in a matter of five weeks. As ridiculous as this sounds, he accepted the terms.


Over the next five weeks, Warshaw and his team worked day and night to create the final product. What gamers got was an experience that was confusing to play, difficult because of bad design, and one that had a very underwhelming objective.


E.T. is hailed by many as the worst video game of all time. Many of the unsold cartridges got dumped into a landfill, and some even cite it as the reason for the gaming industry's collapse back then.