Development Hell: Games That Spent Far Too Long in Development

If you’re a gamer, you can appreciate the fact that video games are complex pieces of art that combine storytelling and cutting-edge technology, but that doesn’t make the wait for the next installment of your favorite franchise any less agonizing.

Over the years, fans have been left waiting for games stuck in “development hell” due to everything from creative disputes to tech troubles to financial hardship and some have even taken over a decade to be completed.

Here are 10 games that spent the most time in development before finally “going gold” and being released.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

The original StarCraft was released in 1998 by Blizzard Entertainment and is still a widely played and beloved game even today, which is why its sequel StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty was so highly anticipated.

After early delays due to Blizzard’s focus being split on World of Warcraft, work finally began on StarCraft II in 2003, but Blizzard waited to announce the game until 2007. They promised a beta version in 2009, but much to the disappointment of fans this was later pushed back to 2010. After a near seven year wait, StarCraft II was finally released, or a third of it was anyway. Blizzard announced that two of the three single player campaigns would be released later as expansion packs which followed in 2013 and 2015.


Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 was first hinted at in 1999 by its developer and publisher Capcom, but fans were forced to wait for six long years while the game was planned and then scrapped no more than four times during its stint in development hell. While one of the early versions that had been dismissed as being too action focused went on to become Devil May Cry, Resident Evil 4 remained in limbo while Capcom tried to get the game’s tone and style just right.

Resident Evil fans were rewarded for their patience when the game was finally released in 2005 and it was hailed as being one of the best games ever made, proving that some things are worth waiting for.

L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire took seven long years to make, but most who’ve played it would agree that this incredibly detailed, well-researched, and realistic open world game was well worth the wait.

Developed by Team Bondi starting in 2004 and released with the help of Rockstar Games in 2011, L.A. Noire follows the exploits of a police detective in 1947 Los Angeles where the player must solve crimes by analyzing suspects’ facial expressions. This was made possible through the use of a groundbreaking technology known as MotionScan, which uses 32 cameras to capture every angle of an actor’s face. The result was a challenging game with incredible graphics, a stellar cast and a highly detailed world that truly transports the player to a bygone era.

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