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Missing in Action: The Curious No-Shows of E3 2012

Missing in Action: The Curious No-Shows of E3 2012

A look back at the games that missed the cut to be shown at E3 this year, for one reason or another.

Steve Watts

June 8, 2012 2:30 PM19

E3 2012 is behind us, marking another year of new game announcements, hype trailers, and functionality coming to hardware platforms. But every year some games fall by the wayside, and in all the excitement it’s easy to forget the games that didn’t make it to the party. They may just need more time, or we may know of some extenuating circumstances, but this is a list of games that we expected, or at least hoped, to see or hear about at this year’s E3. They just didn’t RSVP.

Agent – Three years after the initial announcement it seems high time for Rockstar to show off this purported PlayStation 3 exclusive. Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick confirmed ongoing development of the game last year, but has since been quiet. Rockstar North, developer of the game, is also working on Grand Theft Auto 5, which could be reason for Agent’s continued absence. Agent is still listed as “coming soon” on Take-Two’s website.

Anarchy Reigns – This balls-out brawler from Platinum was already delayed for strategic reasons by Sega, despite the game itself being finished. We at least expected it to be part of Sega’s line-up, maybe with a solid release date, but no such luck.

Animal Crossing 3DS – Animal Crossing has been one of Nintendo’s most popular recent franchises, and it was far enough along in December for Nintendo to talk about the game’s customization features. It seemed like a perfect fit to showcase this year, but Nintendo didn’t mention it during any of its four press events — even the one explicitly devoted to the 3DS.

Beyond Good & Evil 2 – To be honest, we didn’t expect this to show up. Michel Ancel has remarked that it will need next-gen hardware to run, and this year wasn’t going to be the debut of the next generation. But the game was called “active creation” as recently as May, so a small part of us hoped Ubisoft would show it hasn’t forgotten.

BioShock Infinite – BioShock stole hearts at last year’s E3, topping the Critics’ Awards. Irrational Games did say that the game would not reappear at E3 this year when its release was pushed to February of next year. The next time it is shown, it will be “essentially the product we intend to put in the box.”

Blizzard project (Codename “Titan“) – Even with a killer licensing deal on its side, Star Wars: The Old Republic has been criticized for imitating WoW. It seems that MMO developers want to see Blizzard’s next big move, but they’ll have to wait a little longer. Aside from rumors that that Titan will be free-to-play, this game is still a big question mark.

Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 – The Brothers in Arms series took a bold new direction at last year’s E3, with a trailer that borrowed liberally from Inglorious Basterds. With a packed lineup at this year’s show, this was an odd omission for the publisher–especially for a game that’s supposedly coming out later this year.

Bungie project (Codename “Destiny”) – We know almost nothing about Bungie’s first post-Halo project. In spite of a purported 2013 launch for the game, Bungie opted not to attend the show this year. “We’re not going to be at E3 in any official capacity this year,” they stated on their blog.

Command & Conquer Generals 2 – C&C Generals 2 was shown very briefly during last year’s Spike VGAs. It’s still set for 2013 as far as we know, but we’ve barley heard from it since.

Dragon’s Crown – Dragon’s Crown was one of the first games announced to have interoperability between its PlayStation 3 and Vita incarnations. That functionality was a focus for Sony this year, so it’s odd that we didn’t hear any word of the game — especially since it’s due in 2013.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII – FF Versus XIII was meant to be a thematic tie-in with the proper FFXIII. Years and multiple delays later, it’s still up in the air. Square Enix has released numerous, lengthy CG trailers, but other than the occasional tease from Tetsuya Nomura, little on the actual game has been released.

Fortnight – Epic has a new IP in the works with Fortnite. Unfortunately, instead of focusing on the new, the company spent its time talking up Gears of War Judgment.

Grand Theft Auto V – Rockstar tends to march to the beat of its own drum for marketing, especially with a huge franchise like Grand Theft Auto. But as rumors start to surface for an October launch, we at least expected a new trailer at one of the press conferences.

Homefront 2Homefront wasn’t exactly a blockbuster hit, bit we do know that Crytek is handling a sequel to the game. It’s not slated until 2014, so its absence is understandable. Given today’s news, Homefront 2 might be the last pay-to-play game from the studio.

Kojima Productions project (Codename “Ogre”) – We’re not sure what Hideo Kojima has up his sleeve. We do know his next project confronts “delicate issues,” and that the company is also working on a new Zone of the Enders game. Whatever “Project Ogre” turns out to be will take advantage of the team’s brand new engine, the Fox Engine.

The Last Guardian – It’s hard to feel hopeful for The Last Guardian these days. Former director Fumito Ueda has left Sony (though he remains under contract), and in February we heard the game is being rebuilt. When Sony announced that it would be absent from E3 this year, it stated the game is still coming, but it’s facing technical difficulties. At this rate, the game might be the PS3’s swan song (if it actually comes out).

Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut DLC – While not a game itself, the Extended Cut ending to ME3 is due this summer. We thought BioWare and EA might give a peek at what’s to come, but all we saw from Mass Effect 3 was the promise of a Wii U port.

MechWarrior Online – This game isn’t really a mystery anymore; the beta has been on since May. But early access to the game starts in July, so E3 might have made a good venue to show it off and build excitement.

NBA Live 13 – EA Sports has taken some time off from basketball, but NBA Live 13 is supposed to be the franchise return. You wouldn’t know it from the company’s E3 presentation, which highlighted Madden and FIFA, but no NBA Live. EA promises to show it off later, telling Joystiq “it deserves its own time.”

Overstrike – Insomniac’s first multiplatform game is also coming from EA, but the publisher made no mention of it. The developer has a way with interesting weaponry, so it would be nice to know a bit more about this burgeoning franchise. The developer is also releasing a Facebook game.

Prey 2 – Prey 2 seemed like a sure bet to show this year, until the game was delayed and possibly moved to a new studio. Bethesda recently told Eurogamer that it is “trying to sort some things out” with developer Human Head, but declined to comment on whether the game had switched developers.

Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle – Another popular 3DS franchise missing this year, we didn’t see a single hint of the puzzle-loving proper English gentleman. This is especially odd since the game has been out in Japan since 2011, and was promised to hit Europe this year.

Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney – Oh right, Level-5 also has another Layton game in development, in concert with Capcom. This cross-over has only been announced for Japan, but we had hoped for a North American confirmation at least.

Rainbow 6: Patriots – Between its series legacy and moral ambiguity, R6 Patriots gained a lot of traction when it was first announced. In the time since, the creative director has moved off the project, and Ubisoft has said it’s evolving the vision of the game. It may still be on-track, but we’d probably feel more comfortable if it had gotten a gameplay demo or trailer this year.

Respawn Entertainment project (untitled) – Hearing anything about the new project from Respawn was a long-shot. Now that Activision has settled with Jason West and Vince Zampella, it shouldn’t be too long until we finally get a look at their next big thing.

Retro Studios project (untitled) – One of Nintendo’s premiere second-party studios, rumors swirled of a new Retro Studios game to be unveiled at E3 to kick off the launch of the Wii U. We know the developer was pulled to help with Mario Kart 7, but otherwise it’s been quiet since Donkey Kong Country Returns. What are they up to?

Thief 4 – Info on the next Thief game has been dripped out slowly, but the game was revealed way back in 2009. We’ve only heard snippets and rumors since then, so E3 would have made a prime location for the game’s coming out party.

Warrior’s Lair – Another PS3/Vita cross-over announced last year, Warrior’s Lair wasn’t shown for either system at this year’s E3.

XCOM – A shooter reboot might not be what the hardcore XCOM fans wanted from the franchise, but we didn’t expect it to be pushed to the side so completely. While XCOM: Enemy Unknown got its time in the sun with a pre-E3 demo and trailer, its shooter sibling was delayed to fiscal 2014 and stayed all quiet this year.

Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward – One of the odd games slated for both 3DS and Vita, this game from Aksys is scheduled to hit later this year, but it wasn’t a part of Sony’s showcase.

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