What was the worst video game launch ever? There have been some real doozies over the years, but which game was so poor on release that it not only left a sour taste in our mouths, but also made reverberations across the industry as a whole?
We’ve shared what we think are the worst game launches below, and now we want to see your answers in the comments section!
Paul Tamburro, executive editor: “Fallout 76‘s launch was so poor that, even though it was a spin-off game, it arguably did irreparable damage to the mainline series. I had to invest hours into this game on day one for work purposes, and that’s time I’ll never get back. Meandering, empty, with broken co-op and utterly pointless PvP, Fallout 76 somehow lowered the bar for microtransaction-heavy loot shooters.”
Jason Faulkner, senior editor: “If we’re going by sheer amount of player frustration and company turmoil, I think it was probably Star Wars Battlefront 2. Since EA can’t pump out but one mediocre Star Wars game on PC or console every few years, people were really pumped for BF2, and what we got was a $60 AAA game that was set up like a free-to-play mobile game. I think BF2 was the first game that really brought the issues with microtransactions into the mainstream. They ended up patching it into a decent game, which seems to be the trend for AAA developers these days, but a lot of damage was done to the Star Wars brand with how much of a blatant cash grab EA tried to make Battlefront 2.”
Mack Ashworth, lead editor: “Radical Heights‘ launch was… tragic. While I think the devs did a great job in creating the game, the game’s release was a sad state of affairs. With LawBreakers having flopped, developer Boss Key Productions threw its hat into the battle royale ring. Despite some cool mechanics, and a push from various influencers, Radical Heights just couldn’t contend with the competition. It gave up the ghost pretty quickly, unable to achieve the immediate success that it needed to survive. The game’s failure contributed to developer Boss Key becoming defunct.”
Michael Leri, features editor: “I have to go with Jason and say Battlefront 2 because it screwed over so many people involved. Customers got a fraction of a game where most of it was locked behind a bad progression system. Reviewers had to struggle through those terrible unlocks and then had to basically re-review it right as it launched. EA released yet another turd in a growing lineup of turds. And it stopped the momentum Disney had behind the current wave of Good Star Wars™. I don’t feel sorry for corporations, especially ones as big as Disney and EA, but no one came out of this looking good. The game might be fine now but very few people are going to trust EA with a Star Wars shooter anytime soon.”