Bad games sometimes make big changes and takebig risks to try to remain part of the conversation.
Some succeed, while others fail.
But all – for better or worse – went big, and either went on or went home.
Believe it or not, there was once a time whenFortnite wasn't making money hand over fist.
Before Epic's popular shooter started pullingin millions of dollars a day – back when there was no battle royale or battle pass – it wasa boring old survival title.
You harvested materials during the day andbuilt defensive structures against monsters.
It seemed Fortnite was destined to fade intoobscurity rather quickly.
But then something happened – the developersat Epic Games saw another title called PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds doing rather well, and theymimicked its battle royale mode in Fortnite.
The rest is history.
Fortnite quickly became the most popular battleroyale title on the market.
The rapid building aspect of Epic's game addeda new feature to the genre.
Once the streamers started playing, Fortnite'saudience multiplied exponentially.
Soon, Epic dug into its seasonal model andmade every day worth logging in for.
Fortnite took off and never looked back.
The massive popularity of Turtle Rock Studios’Left 4 Dead is why so many thought the company’s Evolve would become the next big thing inmultiplayer gaming.
Unfortunately, Evolve was a massive dud, butnot for lack of trying.
Evolve launched in February 2015, hoping tomake the asymmetrical multiplayer genre a new staple.
Evolve actually sold relatively well, moving2.
5 million units.
The bad news came in the form of the game'splayer count; while millions bought it, few stuck around.
Evolve quickly had to make a move to bringin more players.
The folks at 2K and Turtle Rock tried free-to-playin July 2016.
It didn't work, leaving the fate of Evolveuncertain until September 2018.
At that time, Evolve shut down its servers, killing off a title that 2K said would be part of a permanent franchise.
Word on an Evolve 2 has yet to circulate, so the property may be truly dead.
Most popular games get sequels.
They usually arrive while the original gameis still popular.
That wasn't the case with The Culling, though.
Despite coming from fairly unknown developerXaviant, The Culling was a widely played battle royale game that seemed to be going placesuntil PUBG and Fortnite entered the picture.
After that, things got very bad for The Culling, and Xaviant needed a hit fast.
The answer? The Culling 2 was a far worse game than itspredecessor, and barely had enough players to fill a match.
Those few still playing the original gameshunned the follow-up outright, forcing Xaviant to make another drastic move.
“In July of last year we launched a year calledThe Culling 2, and it was a total disaster.
” Xaviant tried to mend fences by removing TheCulling 2 from stores, stating it would make The Culling a free-to-play game.
But the damage had already been done.
The Culling's servers were eventually pulledoffline in May 2019, and Xaviant didn't even bother to renew the game's domain name, signalingthat this one was officially dead.
Long before Media Molecule's Dreams hit thescene, those on the Xbox side had a game creation engine of their own.
Project Spark had promised big things.
There was just one problem – the Xbox Onehad an atrocious launch, and this overshadowed most of the games released at that time.
Microsoft really tried to make Project Sparkwork.
The title was originally fueled by microtransactions, but Microsoft later pulled these to give creators all that content for free.
Microsoft also added some Conker content toProject Spark.
None of it was enough to make Project Sparkstick, however.
Once Microsoft realized the title was a lostcause, it canceled future Conker content and cut online services, which meant creatorscould no longer share their games with others.
Project Spark can still be used in a verylimited capacity today, but it seems few are putting in the effort.
“Really?! Where’s the rest of your game?” The Elder Scrolls is arguably Bethesda's mostimportant franchise.
You can play these games on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
There's even a version adapted to work withAmazon's Alexa.
“Alexa, play Skyrim.
” “You're level 50 and see a tall, snowy mountain.
” With all that love, you'd assume anythingwith the Elder Scrolls name would be a slam dunk.
Not so fast.
The Elder Scrolls Online would like a wordwith you.
The Elder Scrolls Online had problems fromthe get-go.
For starters, it was developed by ZeniMaxOnline Studios, and just didn't have the feel of your typical Elder Scrolls title.
Then the game launched at a full $60 pricepoint, with a monthly subscription tacked on.
You can see where things started to fall apart.
Fortunately, Bethesda knew a serious shakeupwas needed.
After some rough early days on the continentof Tamriel, The Elder Scrolls Online dropped the monthly subscription in favor of laterDLC.
Over time, the base price dropped, as well.
This helped bring in more players, forminga community which is still very much alive to this day.
You may think of Final Fantasy 14 as a fairlysuccessful MMORPG, but that wasn't always the case.
In fact, when the game first launched in 2010, it was a generally underwhelming experience.
It wasn't until Naoki Yoshida took over productionduties that Final Fantasy 14 began to come together.
Over the next few years, the team at SquareEnix basically rebuilt Final Fantasy 14 entirely, improving upon everything Yoshida felt didn'tmeet his standards.
When the game was re-released in 2013, A RealmReborn was added to the title to let everyone know: “Hey, this is a brand new game.
” You have to take your hat off to Yoshida forhaving the guts to take on such a huge project.
He felt Final Fantasy 14 would be better forit and, judging by the game's success, he was right.
Now consider the Auction House in Diablo 3.
Blizzard saw players using outside channelsto trade and sell weapons and armor, and thought an in-game solution should exist.
Was Blizzard going to skim some money offthe top? Sure.
But players would ultimately benefit in thelong run… right? Not so much, as Blizzard learned.
It seems the studio forgot why players grindfor gear in the first place: it's about the sense of accomplishment as much as it is thelook.
Players did not appreciate seeing gear beingsold off to the highest bidder, as they felt it disrespected the time they put in to earnitems legitimately.
As a result, Blizzard caught a whole lot ofheat.
This could have been a make or break momentfor Diablo 3, but Blizzard decided to remove the Auction House from the game entirely.
To say Halo: The Master Chief Collection wasbroken at launch is a gross understatement.
The bundle of Halo titles had a whole hostof server issues when it arrived.
Players couldn't get into matches, and thebouts that did start up were unreliable at best.
The developers at 343 Industries, who tookthe Halo reins from Bungie, decided to take drastic measures to keep players on board.
Halo 3: ODST – a game that doesn't even starMaster Chief – was added for free for early adopters as a way to make amends.
And 343 got to work on improvements to Halo:MCC.
There's a good chance you might not have Halo:The Master Chief Collection on PC, had 343 not bungled the game's initial launch.
That set the studio on a path toward makingthe package as amazing as possible, with new builds and features flying in on a regularbasis.
It's possible that all of this worked outfor the best in the end.
Wow, did Assassin's Creed: Unity ever leavea stain on Ubisoft's record.
The title wasn't very well-received at launch, but the PC version got criticized for a bunch of technical problems.
Texture glitches made faces that seemed rippedfrom a nightmare, and the game performed like a last-gen title in some places.
It was not a good showing.
The folks at Ubisoft took the criticism toheart, however.
The CEO of Ubisoft Montreal, Yannis Mallat, even weighed in to say, quote, “the game was diminished by bugs and unexpected technicalissues.
” Ubisoft had to do right by its fans, and soit came up with a solution.
Those who purchased Assassin's Creed: Unitywould automatically get the game's first DLC for free.
Anyone who purchased the Season Pass alsoreceived one of several Ubisoft games for free.
These freebies came with the hope that Ubisoftwould take its time with the Assassin's Creed franchise going forward, and fortunately, the company did just that.
After Syndicate came out the following year, Ubisoft took a year off before coming back with Origins and Odyssey – arguably two ofthe best games in the series.
The content drops in Destiny 2 weren't alwayseasy to understand or obtain.
After you purchased the base game, thingsgot a little wonky.
The next year's expansion would require youto buy the previous year's season pass, and sometimes, Bungie didn't bundle it all togetherinto one helpful package.
Needless to say, many players disappeared, as catching up was prohibitively expensive.
That all changed when Bungie separated fromlongtime Destiny publisher Activision.
The studio wanted to switch its DLC approachto help preserve its player base.
When the Shadowkeep expansion arrived in October2019, that change finally came.
From Shadowkeep forward, players would onlybe required to buy expansions in order to stay up to date.
The quarterly seasonal content drops wouldnot be required, but would only cost $10 each if players did want to join the fun.
That's a whole lot easier to comprehend, andthus far, it seems the model has been working very, very well.
You're probably well aware by now Anthem hasserious issues.
The game was seemingly rushed out the doorwithout a satisfying gameplay loop, and numerous promised updates were either late or underwhelmingwhen they arrived.
It's possible Anthem has permanently taintedthe good name of BioWare, which had previously earned heaps of praise for its original MassEffect Trilogy.
These days, however, faith in BioWare hasfaded as Anthem's continued on in a very poor state.
However, it looks like BioWare might takea page out of the Final Fantasy 14 playbook.
BioWare blogged that they were actively workingto reinvent Anthem's core gameplay.
This rebuilding process is part of a projectthat hopes to bring the title back up to snuff as a sort of “Anthem 2.
It's entirely possible BioWare's Destiny-liketitle can't be saved, and the studio's resources would be better spent making sure Dragon Age4 is as good as it can be.
Then again, some would've said the same aboutFinal Fantasy 14.
There's no word on when “Anthem 2.
Hopefully, it launches before players tuneout entirely.
Bethesda already gave one of its key franchisesan MMO with The Elder Scrolls Online.
It only made sense, then, that Fallout wouldget an always-connected world of its own.
Enter 2018's Fallout 76, which Bethesda hopedwould win hearts just like Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 before it.
The reality, though, was much more of a disappointment.
One of the biggest issues gamers had withFallout 76 was its lack of human NPCs.
Once a staple of the Fallout franchise, thesenon-playable characters had essentially been traded out for robots, which made Fallout76 a lot less exciting.
Bethesda recognized this grave mistake andpromised an update called Wastelanders would bring the humans back.
The question is, will anyone care? Fallout 76 is widely considered to be a bombat this point, with a very small but devoted playerbase.
If the game can hold on until Wastelandersarrives on April 14th, 2020, it's possible a comeback story could play out.
It's also possible, though, that Wastelanderscould fail to live up to the hype, just as much as Fallout 76 has.
If that happens, it would put the future ofBethesda's MMO into serious jeopardy.
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