Hype is an essential term in the video game industry. The more developers market their games, the better their chances of building a solid following. This hype leads to either of two scenarios – given its grand launch, the game sees an uproar in attention and reviews. Or, the game fails at launch, and the consequences are worse – people won’t stop talking about it.
Unfortunately, the modern-day gaming industry notices major flops more often than not. Yet, there’s no better story than a beautiful comeback made by the developers through regular updates, patches, and responses to community feedback.
We’ve compiled a list of such stories. Let’s look at some fantastic rebounds in the modern era of gaming.
No Man’s Sky (2016) – PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
No Man’s Sky promised us things. A lot of things. It’s easily one of the most ambitious titles to be designed by Hello Games. Players can explore and chart the universe’s many quintillions of planets, which are generated procedurally.
Sounds too good to be true? It was. No Man’s Sky was met with backlash upon release. The game was riddled with bugs, half-done mechanics, and a lack of co-op features.
In the six years that followed, Hello Games has worked relentlessly to match the anticipation for the release of No Man’s Sky and well beyond it with significant updates, bug fixes, and ports. No Man’s Sky, in its current form, is finally the game we were promised, and it keeps giving. Undoubtedly, the game will evolve and become an unmatched rival to exploration games.
The launch of Star Wars: Battlefront II was one of the most notorious in video game history. Players despised the loot box mechanics and aggressive microtransaction schemes. An EA spokesperson claimed gamers would feel “proud and accomplished” after obtaining heroes through normal gameplay, resulting in the most unfavorable remark in Reddit history. Yikes.
These game design decisions were eliminated, eventually. Instead, EA gave gamers an online experience that felt genuinely rewarding and progressed naturally. With the release of Battlefront II: Celebration Edition, players could witness everything the game had to offer without grinding for it. Even though the development for the game and updates have stopped, Battlefront II remains loved by its player base.
You’ll hear many “we were there when it happened” stories surrounding Cyberpunk 2077’s launch. The heavy marketing. Keanu Reeves. The promises. It all feels recent.
The game’s horrible launch delivered close to nothing the developers promised initially. Cyberpunk 2077 experienced every possible setback, ending in Sony withdrawing the PlayStation 4 version from their online store.
CD Projekt Red has gradually resolved most of Cyberpunk 2077’s flaws, and additional content has been made available to enhance the experience alongside a current generation version. Phantom Liberty will be Cyberpunk 2077’s first significant expansion in 2023. The widely popular online anime Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, which sparked a lot of fresh interest in the game, also contributed to the growth of the Cyberpunk universe. In its current state, we highly recommend Cyberpunk 2077 as one of the best narrative-driven games out there.
When it comes to loot boxes and microtransactions, some devs have made a reputation for themselves. Activision-Blizzard debuted the ‘Auction House’ for Diablo III. Players could buy items at the Auction House using real money or in-game gold. This includes all fees, whether flat-rate or cashing-out-related, at 15%. Other problems with Diablo III included its vibrant color scheme and always-online design.
After three years that felt like an eternity, Diablo III’s Auction House was ultimately replaced with the “Loot 2.0” system. The fantastic Reaper of Souls expansion was released alongside a significant quality-of-life upgrade, which included the rewarding Loot 2.0 system. We look forward to the launch of Diablo IV in June, but Diablo III’s comeback story remains strong in our memory.
The Fallout series made a name for itself by creating a universe that pandered to solitude, a post-apocalyptic life, and exploration beyond everyone’s comprehension. Fallout 76 was everything but that at launch.
When Fallout 76 was first published, it had many technical problems, no human NPCs, and essentially audio logs telling the plot.
However, all hope wasn’t lost. Over time, the developers implemented patches to the game. In its current state, Fallout 76 has human NPCs with classic Fallout dialogue and skill checks, thanks to the “Wastelanders” update. Numerous free story expansions for Fallout 76 have greatly expanded within Appalachia. Although the game is still far from perfect, it has developed enough to warrant its wonderful and vibrant community.
On paper, Destiny is the perfect space-based FPS adventure game. It was Bungie’s first title after they departed from the Halo franchise, and we were all excited.
The first year of Destiny was followed by harsh criticism, thanks to the game’s plot, server issues, boring gameplay loop, and extensive grinding. Even with some prominent voice actors (such as Peter Dinklage) behind, the characters felt lacking.
As the game evolved, however, a deeper narrative around the game came to be. The players took an interest in the game’s universe, and the looter-shooter mechanics and the ‘grind’ were improved. The phenomenal voice acting stayed, thanks to the likes of Lance Reddick (may he rest in peace), and the characters were immortalized. In its current state, Destiny feels like an ever-expanding universe that demands your time and attention. And we’re not complaining!
To sum it up, Battlefield 4 was unplayable at launch. Players installed the game, played a few matches, and went “nope.” The heavy nostalgia for older, well-received Battlefield games wasn’t helping either.
Corrupted save files, crashes, bugs, and glitches were just a few problems. It took EA several months to patch Battlefield 4 and make it consistently fun. In its current state, Battlefield 4 clearly shows the hard work that went into developing and fixing the game. Even though there won’t be any new character additions, the new maps, modes, and weapons keep surprising its players with great content.
Final Fantasy XIV
If we ask you to look at Final Fantasy XIV in its present shape, you won’t spot a single issue that puts you off. However, the origin of this game pissed off everyone – even those who had never played an MMORPG before wanted to try this.
The game received negative reviews in almost every department. Due to the significant criticism, Final Fantasy XIV was shut down by Square Enix. The production team was reorganized, and a new game version, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, was launched. The relaunch was a significant success, making it one of the most loved MMOs. The game fully supports solo play and all the elements that make MMORPGs worth someone’s time.