Five Big Canceled MMORPGs

Hot on the heels of Amazon’s recent cancelation of their The Lord of the Rings MMORPG, PC Gamer brings us this list of other high-profile massively-multiplayer projects that were canceled before they ever saw the light of day. These projects range from 38 Studios’ ill-fated Project Copernicus to the very much promising Stargate MMO.

Here’s just one example:

World of Darkness

Developer: CCP Games
Year it was cancelled: 2014

The ambition: World of Darkness was going to take the beloved tabletop universe behind Vampire: The Masquerade and turn it into a giant social sandbox reminiscent of CCP Games' other big MMO, EVE Online. Players could become vampires, join clans, and rise through their faction's ranks to even become princes and rule over entire cities. The emphasis here was on social interactions and unstructured play—a great big, blood-soaked sandbox full of scheming, betrayal, and, y'know, vampire stuff.

Why it was cancelled: CCP Games just couldn't commit to World of Darkness. Five years into its development, the MMO was still in pre-production because staff had been laid off and what few remained were often pulled from the project for months at a time to help out with EVE Online. This went on for seven years with barely any progress being made on the game itself. Features were continually being abandoned and rebooted from scratch and after seven years of no real progress—which is widely chalked up to management issues—CCP Games finally scrapped the project and sold off the license to Paradox Interactive.

Would it have been good? I'm a sucker for sandbox MMOs so I want to say yes. The ideas behind the MMO sounded genuinely great, and early previews were positive. But even if it did make it to release, CCP Games' reluctance to commit the resources and staff needed to finish World of Darkness probably would have made it severely under-baked.