Horror has always been a popular choice for game developers, but some horror games were never released.
Horror games in the world of video games often get stuck in “development hell” or are just canceled for what seems like no reason. Many of these games were canceled because of bad management, not enough money, publishers having the final say on projects, or studios taking on projects that are too big for them to handle.
But even though these games are gone, it’s still fun to look back at what could have been and learn from the mistakes that developers and publishers have made. Luckily, a lot of the demos and concept art for these projects still exist so that they can inspire and warn future developers.
Russian Retro Sci-Fi Horror Project
The Russian Retro Sci-Fi Horror Project is a horror project that came from the mind of Masashiro Ito, who was the art director and monster artist for the first Silent Hill games. If it wasn’t obvious from the name of the game, it was cancelled before it even started.
The only proof that it ever existed is the concept art that Masashiro Ito made and shared almost seven years after Sony Entertainment Japan dropped it, in 2017.
Guillermo del Toro, who is known for movies like Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, and, most notably, Pacific Rim, worked with Volition to make the horror game inSANE. Unfortunately, the only thing we know about the game is from Guillermo del Toro himself and a 30-second trailer with just the logo on it.
The director said that the game was meant to make you think about your morals. Because everything you did had an effect on you and your surroundings. But this would never happen because three years later, in 2013, the project was canceled. There are rumors that THQ, the company that made Volition, ran out of money. They filed for bankruptcy five months after it was confirmed to be canceled, which shows this.
Silent Hills (P.T.)
Silent Hills, also known as P.T., is the most well-known horror game that was planned but never made. It was created by Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro (Playable Teaser). Silent Hills (P.T.) was first talked about in 2014, when the now-famous game demo P.T. It was free to play for everyone on the PlayStation store until Kojima and Konami broke up and Konami took it down.
After this, people signed petitions and talked to Kojima and Konami to find out what went wrong, but nothing changed. For years, people thought that making a new Silent Hill game was a lost chance. But in October 2022, Konami announced that they would remake Silent Hill 2 and make a new Silent Hill game called Silent Hill f.
Development hell can be hard for both developers and fans, who have to see a game with potential get ruined. Sadness, a psychological horror game about paranoia and narcolepsy, “began” to be made for the Nintendo Wii in 2006. It was supposed to come out in 2009 or 2010.
But as the days went by, there was no sign from the studio, Nibris. That any work was being done on the game. Deadlines weren’t being met, and concept art wasn’t even being shown to the public. In the end, it was confirmed in early 2010 that the game would not be made. The only thing that came out of it was a finished soundtrack.
People Can Fly decided to start making a film noir detective survival-horror game after the success of Painkiller. The game was being made well, and both fans and the people making it were excited about the game they had already carefully planned. But THQ stopped it all of a sudden, which was very sad.
People Can Fly says that THQ had too many games to deal with at the time. So they had to cancel the project. So, even though they said they would help People Can Fly. They decided to break the deal and drop them from everything, which almost put them out of business. Epic Games helped them get back on their feet. Nearly fifteen years later, there have been rumors that People Can Fly will pick up the project again.
Tangiers, a stealth game inspired by Lynch, has been in development in silence since 2013. It’s not clear if the game has been canceled or is just way behind schedule. It was supposed to come out in 2014, but it was pushed back to 2015. Since then, it hasn’t been talked about much. All of its social media accounts have been deleted or aren’t being used, except for one: Kickstarter.
The game’s developer still posts updates on Kickstarter every so often. These updates usually talk about a few things. That are coming to the game or are being worked on right now. Tangiers has been going on for ten years, but it doesn’t look like it will end any time soon. But it’s not clear when it will come out, and there’s still no playable demo.
Redwood Falls was a first-person shooter (FPS) survival horror game that was meant to take advantage of everything the new Unreal Engine 3 had to offer. Because of this and how quickly a demo was made available. It was given the go-ahead to be worked on more, and it was a great start to the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 era.
But soon after, it was confirmed that the game would not be made because the company. That made it, Kuju Entertainment, was bought by a new company. The new owners decided they didn’t have the time or skills to keep working on the project. So they dropped it, leaving fans with only concept art and a video of the demo.
Dead Unity is a game for the original PlayStation that was made by Aramat Productions. Not much is known or understood about it. But from what we know, it would have been a sci-fi survival horror game like Resident Evil that wanted to get away from zombies.
Unfortunately, not long after that, the game’s publisher, THQ, pulled the plug on it and swept it under the rug without a word. All that’s left is the game’s original trailer, which shows a blank character fighting robots in a spaceship, a futuristic hotel, a catwalk, and a bunch of empty places with rock music playing in the background.
Legions Of Fear
Legions Of Fear was a survival horror point-and-click game for the PC and PlayStation 2 that came out in 2002. Delphine Software, the company that made the game at the time. Was about to go bankrupt and needed a publisher to help them out. This led to a PC demo of Legions of Fear being made, which eventually caught the attention of Sony.
But Delphine Software went bankrupt because it didn’t have enough money and took on too many projects for a small studio. Six projects were left unfinished. Only two videos of the demo on YouTube and two ex-employees taking the time to talk about it thirteen years after it was canceled are all that are left of it.
If It Happen
The unknown horror adventure game If It Happen is the most surprising thing from the era of cancelled video games for the Dreamcast. It was supposed to come out in 2001 or 2002, about a half year after the Dreamcast stopped being made. The world didn’t find out about it until 2021, when it was used in a game called Bokomu no Tatsujin.
The only thing we know about Spacebar Clicker game is from the trailer that was found. It shows a low-poly man running around a mansion with random images like dice, mannequins, a graveyard, and a car that don’t tell us anything. We can guess that it was made in the style of Resident Evil because of the creaky doors and the way the mansion is set up.