Top 10 Games With Huge Budgets That Flopped Miserably

Video games and the digital gaming world at large have a huge impact on the society. Children are more glued to their digital games as compared to half a century ago. Video games and gaming consoles were not as popular as they are today. Back then, children used to play at the park with standard toys. The introduction of digital games and gaming consoles grew rapidly and became big business as families all over the world quickly adopted the trend. This ,in turn, led to an upsurge of new companies that scrambled for a piece of the pie. A lot of success stories emerged from this but many companies realized huge losses through commercial failure games as well. Below, we look at huge budget games that never broke even.

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10. Shenmue (SEGA)

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With its development starting back in 1987 and its release taking place 10 years later in 1997, it kicked off on a very low bar. From a budget of a whopping $ 70 million, Shenmue was expected to be SEGA`s solution to PC gaming. It, however, joined the unfortunate list of flopped games that never broke even.

9. Duke Nukem Forever

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After a huge campaign trailers that generated adequate interest amongst many gamers, its delayed release partially led to its demise. The game was initially supposed to be released back in 1998 but its release was delayed until 2006. With technology continuously evolving, a lot of the features of this game became obsolete and the company that designed it ran bankrupt 3 years later. Duke Nukem forever joined the list of commercial failure games.

8. Driv3r (Atari)

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From the developers of Atari and Reflections Interactive, there were high expectations that this game would be and advanced version of its predecessor Driver game for PC`s which was very successful. After its release in 2004, gamers complained about some of its features like its minimal 3-hour single mode, its frustrating controls and the character`s jerky movements among many other things. This led to Atari registering massive losses only 6 months after its release. Driv3r joined the list of flopped games.

7. Superman (Nintendo 64)

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After creating a huge buzz amongst gamers who were full of great expectations, a chain of problems led this game to its demise. Production delays and technical issues during its development plagued this game and despite it being a huge budget game, it never really broke even.

6. Lair (PlayStation 3)

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Designed for PS3, it was expected to take the world by storm. Some of the factors that led to its failure were its predictive and tedious storyline coupled with battle sequences that were repetitive and uninspiring. The company, unfortunately, filed for bankruptcy in 2009 amidst a chain of lawsuits from its partners and employees.

5. Pac-Man (Atari 2600)

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As a game known to many, its developers decided to re-introduce it when they faced imminent closure. Had technology not evolved rendering the game obsolete, this strategy might have worked. However, gamers went criticizing the game for its wanting technology. The company slowly started to feel the heat when anything they fronted with their name was adversely ignored by the market. By 1983, they posted a $356 million in losses at their fourth quarter report and joined companies with commercial failures games.

4. Daikatana

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A product of Ion Storm, it debuted in year 2000. After its 3-year development span, it didn’t hit the ground running as was expected. Many gamers criticized it for an inconsistent story line and monotonous battle sequences. After Eidos`s purchase of Ion Storm and pumping a whopping $25 million into the project, they only managed to sell a meager 200,000 copies of Daikatana. It was a failure of epic proportions.

3. Messiah

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The story behind this game was that of an Angel named ‘Bob’ whose job was to fight Satan in a future city full of crime. A product of Shiny Entertainment and released in 2000 for PC, it started facing problems when it was criticized for being annoyingly repetitive. Most gamers thought it lacked innovation. It later became obsolete and its consoles were abandoned. The huge budget game slowly disappeared into oblivion.

2. Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness (PlayStation 2)

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Faced with countless delays in production due to it being passed to two different teams, it created a high buzz about its release and everyone looked forward to playing it. It quickly lost its hype when gamers thought it had didn’t deliver to expectations. It eventually led to a downward plunge of a game that was otherwise a huge budget game.

1. E.T The Extra Terrestrial (Atari 2600)

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Widely known as the game that set the wrong precedence on all crappy video games, Atari designed a game that was criticized of being one of the most agonizing and poorly designed games. Most gamers who purchased the game felt that it was a total waste of money. After investing all of their capital on this project, Atari was brutally shocked when things went south. They were eventually left in debt as the game joined the list of commercial failures games.


As sure as it’s a risk worth taking, it is imperative for gaming companies to conduct a thorough research before investing in the development of a game. Lack of adequate research has seen giants in this industry come down to nothing. Visit us for more interesting articles

Post Author: SparkInList Staff

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