We continue looking at games that, for one reason or another, were canned at various stages of development. Whether you actively played and enjoyed them or couldn’t care less about their collapse, every failed title meant fewer opportunities and choice for players, as well as a loss to the gaming industry in general. Refer to Part I, if you haven’t already done so, and follow along for more entries.
Another Richard Garriot game, albeit canned by a different publisher. Tabula Rasa took what was at the time a fresh concept of mixing elements of a third-person shooter with traditional MMORPG gameplay. Coupled with a comprehensive Sci-Fi setting and a flexible career system, it is easy to see why gamers talk about the loss of the title to this day.
Despite having all those exciting features, the game was just not polished enough at release. According to the developers and the fanbase, if Tabula Rasa was given enough time to shape up and roll out a few expansions, it could realize more of it’s potential and subscriber numbers would rapidly increase. This, however, was not enough for the publisher NCSoft, which claimed that the game was not profitable and worth keeping from a business point of view. Tabula Rasa was estimated to cost $106 million but only made just over $5 million and clearly, the executives were not pleased. On 28 February of 2009, the game got the axe after customers enjoyed some time with it free of charge.
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