15 Horror Games That Were Cancelled (And Why)

The horror gaming industry is probably one of the hardest to develop. Some games seem to be the salvation of horror but for one reason or another were brutally canceled. Here's a list of a few of this treasures that never saw the light.

15. P.T. (A Silent Hill franchise)

P.T. was released as a playable teaser in the year 2014. It was a preview for Silent Hill developed by Hideo Kojima along with Guillermo del Toro. The game never saw the light, but this demo was a glimpse of their work. 

What a disappointment to know this game was probably going to be one of the most terrifying games ever. Silent Hill has been a spectacle of horror and this game was going to be legendary proof of it. An interactive experience where you had to go through a haunted house solving puzzles. Sounds pretty simple, but it wasn't. The game had many hidden symbolism, making it unique and difficult to solve. It was told that even Junji Ito was going to be part of the game's design—a whole dream for horror fans. Sadly the Konami company changed its path and started developing mobile games for monetary reasons. Kojima couldn't finish his job with Silent Hill and had to cancel the project. They also removed P.T. from the store which made the demo a relic. Consider yourself privileged if you have it on your console! 



14. Hotel 626 

This is kind of weird. The game was just a marketing campaign released by the Doritos company along with Asylum 626. Did you know that Doritos even released a horror series of 13 episodes? Yes, they did. This is probably the strangest marketing made for a company well-known around the globe. 

Back then the game was available on the web page hotel626.com. The most curious thing about it is that it was only available during the night. The game was an interactive walk through of a haunted Hotel where you would face dark spirits and survive the experience. It had interesting interactive mechanics. Some of them were quite advanced, like the one consisting of noise control in order not to wake up the baby. I tried to find this game because it was actually a really scary experience. But it seems that it was taken from the web and there is nothing left but the trailer and a few gameplays.    



13. Asylum 626

Since Hotel 626 ended up being a huge success, Doritos decided to repeat the marketing strategy and released Asylum 626. It wasn't as good as its predecessor but it accomplished the purpose of the company which was to sell the flavors advertised in this campaign. 

The game was similar to Hotel 626. It was a horror interactive experience but this time the player would go through an asylum where many weird things would happen. Asylum 626 had a special feature connected with a code printed on the Doritos packaging. Once you got to a certain scenario inside the Asylum, the game would ask the player to take a picture of the code in order to unlock the final scene. 

Both games were discontinued because the company decided not to keep paying for the domain of the websites. The community is still hoping for these to be continued or maybe for other scary campaigns like this one.



12. Resident Evil 1.5

It's called 1.5 because it was supposed to be Resident Evil 2 but during the process of development, it got canceled. A small part of this version was recycled for what is the actual Resident Evil 2. Sadly the game was not good enough. It had too many deficiencies that led it to its sad ending. Also, Capcoms executive director Yoshi Okamoto quit the company. This led the team to start all over with a better proposal. Anyway, a demo was released, and many players could enjoy it before it got canceled.

There are many differences with Resident Evil 2. The story is a bit different, some mechanics and weapons were not included in RE 2, like the clothes that would add some stats to the player. The characters Roy, Elza, and John are exclusive of 1.5. Claire replaced Elza because the producers thought Elza was unimpressive and had no personality. There are also many enemies like the T-Gorillas that weren’t included in the final version. 

An interesting fact about this version is the final boss was called Golgotha, this name was recycled for the virus-G in Resident Evil 2.   



11. Resident Evil 2 Game Boy Advanced

After the success of the game on PlayStation and Nintendo 64, Capcom wanted to take Resident Evil 2 to the Game Boy Advanced console. They wanted to keep the game visually the same as the original with 3D graphics and all cinematics included. Thus a huge challenge that wouldn't be finished. 

Sadly for the GBA players the game was too much for the console that couldn't handle its greatness. But luckily for everybody, there's a way to play it on any PC. The ROM can be found on the internet. Although it is only possible to play a small part of the game and as Leon. The Claire version wasn't developed but it was planned to be on a different cartridge.  



10. Resident Evil 3.5

The idea belonged to the producer Hideki Kamiya who started working on this game in 1997.  The story was continuing the missions of the agent Hunk from Resident Evil 2. In this game, he was sent on a cruise to retrieve a sample of the virus G. There, an encounter with a new type of enemy was going to take place. The idea of the cruise was pretty original but the time wasn't right.

The PlayStation 2 console was just being announced and this made Capcom worry about the success of the sequel. Out of security, they decided not to risk the sales and canceled the game. Instead, Resident Evil: Nemesis was released two years later. None of the ideas in 3.5 were used in Nemesis. But some ideas were recycled for Dead Aim. Not bad but I still think that it was a very original idea. Maybe one day we get to play on a cruise. Another two ideas for the sequel were presented but also got rejected.  One of these two ideas ended up being Devil May Cry, isn't that crazy? That's the great thing about the games industry. Out of similar ideas, you can get extremely different and amazing games.



9. Resident Evil 7: Canceled Idea

It might be the last one mentioned in this list but not the last Resident Evil canceled. Capcom definitely hurried the trailers. They tend to release ideas too fast as game trailers but most of them aren't the final version. The good side about it is that we're left with some nice demos and we get to play the best version of each game. 

This was just an idea that got rejected. The actual Resident Evil 7 is way different from this idea. The story was around the agent Jill Valentine and a female kid that was going to be the main focus. None of this happened and it ended up being completely different. Resident Evil 7 also had a bunch of discarded weapons, characters, side stories, and more. This is one of the reasons why this game saga is successful. They always put the best and only the best into it, they don't care if they have to cancel ideas or games that aren't good enough. They will do as many attempts as they need to release a better version of each game. 

Trailer of the released Resident Evil 7: 


8. Routine

Back in the year 2010, the game was big news. It was similar to Alien Isolation which made it a highly expected game. The trailer was all about a majestic Sci-Fi horror game. There was even a demo that was taken down later on. There's not a lot of information on what happened during all this time but a new trailer has recently been posted and new hopes are born.  

This game wasn't canceled but went through a long process and there was a lot of uncertainty about it being released. Ten years after the first announcement, a new trailer was published. If you were 20 when the first news of Routine came out, now you're probably a 30-year-old person with kids and a full-time job. I highly doubt the public that was excited about Routine back then will be the same when it finally comes out. At least we will get to see a great idea come to life. But this is just one of those weird situations where a game that was long forgotten makes a reappearance. It is said that it will be released this year, 2023. But if you go into the steam store, the game is there with no release dates. I decided to put this game on the list because the whole concept of Routine is magnificent. Back then it was unique, a game where you would be on the moon facing alien enemies was just crazy. Maybe nowadays it isn't as shocking but it’s still a very cool concept worth giving a try.



7. Sadness

One of the most famous on the list, given its particular design and the great marketing it had back in 2006. Perhaps the biggest lie so far. It was promoted as the most immersive survival horror game ever made by Nintendo. They said it would have different endings according to the player's decisions in the game. We're talking about a survival horror RPG. But that's just the beginning. Sadness would be a black-and-white survival horror RPG set right before the first WW. The dark ambient shown in the trailer along with the poetic statement hit right on the spot. 

Sadly for everybody, it was too much to handle for the team that had the idea. Just a few years later in 2010, it got canceled. What's funny is that in those years they only wrote the script, and that's it. In the year 2014, an attempt to bring the idea back occurred. It was going to work as the main inspiration for a very similar game called Sadness & Solitude intended for Wii U. It also got canceled. The title seems to match the endings of these ideas after all. 

With some luck, they will surprise us with the so-very-promised RPG survival horror game. 



6. Thrill Kill

The first thing that comes to my mind when I look at the trailer is Bloody Roar. Some characters and scenarios are very similar to those presented in the legendary furry fighting game. It was like a mixture between Bloody Roar and Mortal Kombat. It's a very old game developed in the year 1990 and intended for the PlayStation console. 

As you might imagine the game was extremely violent and sexual for such conservative times. The characters were all kinds of lunatics, psychopaths, and fetishists. If the game was released right now there wouldn't be an issue. We have seen much worse than that but we got to admit that it was too much to handle for that generation. What's very sad about it is that the game was about to be finished when it got canceled. And Electronic Arts are the one is to blame. It's said that EA bought Virgin Interactive which was in charge of the distribution of Thrill Kill. This led Thrill Kill to be absorbed by EA and once they saw how violent, gory, and sexual the game was, they just said nope. Thrill Kill had nothing to do with the ideals and public image of EA. The company didn’t want to be related to such type of game, sadly. We still had Mortal Kombat so is not that important. The cool thing about Thrill Kill is that it had an all vs all mode that could handle 4 players fighting on the same screen. Hopefully, we'll see something similar in the near future. 



5. Prey 2

One of the most promising Sci-Fi shooters ever made. Prey 2 by Human Head Studios was going to be the sequel to the claimed Prey. It was practically finished when they decided to cancel the project. They said that the results didn't fulfill their expectations and felt they were going nowhere.  

Bethesda decided to give it to Arkane Studios, the developers of Dishonored. This has kept them entertained. They have released many others games in the meantime. They also decided to work first on the remake of Prey instead of going directly to the sequel. There was news about Prey 2 during the past year so it's a matter of time before it turns into reality.  



4. Redwood Falls

The classic representation of what an alien invasion would look like. A buddy living in a small town in a place far away from the city founds his farm animals suspiciously dead. People in town disappear in mysterious ways and the crazy neighbor says "the aliens abducted them”". The game was going to be a classic shooter. It looked promising.

Unfortunately, the company working on this title couldn't afford the project. It is very expensive to develop a game of such characteristics. And like many other companies, they moved to the mobile games industry. 



3. Sad Satan

This one wasn't exactly canceled. The story behind it sounds like a creepypasta but one just never knows. It is said that Sad Satan was a game found on the deep web. The game is pretty weird as it couldn't be any different. Many people claim they have played it but it can't be found anymore. Other people say it was probably a story made up by the person who uploaded the gameplay videos on youtube as a form of marketing. Either way, I find interesting the intentions behind Sad Satan. An indie proposal of a walking simulator game where you would find different scenarios containing images or symbolism referring to our world's most disturbing problems. Things like the first World War, Jimmy Savile, and Charles Manson. Also, the audios were cryptical. Containing hidden messages that the community investigated. 

There is a game called Sad Satan for sale on Amazon but it seems to be a fake and pretty bad version of the original title. 



2. Black Death

Two failed games exist with the same name. Isn't that curious? One of them is a medieval survival MMORPG that remains on early access on Steam. You can play the early access but the servers are completely dead since no advances have been made in the game. The other one was developed by Darkworks, a French study involved in the development of games like I Am Alive, Cold Fear, Alone in the Dark, and others.

Black Death by Darkworks was a survival horror FPS announced back in the year 2011. An amazing idea was being cooked in the hands of this studio. The game was set in a town merged in a dark toxic cloud that was infecting the population and turning them into mutant creatures. The biggest feature was the ability to create chemical weapons in order to deal with each enemy. Each weapon had a different skill, this is great cause you had to experiment until getting the right formula. Black Death was a huge promise that the studio couldn't handle. Sadly Darkworks closed its doors that same year and left a bunch of games and ideas unfinished.



1. Ushiro​

Ushiro is my favorite game on this list. The game had a very catching concept that I'm still waiting for. It was announced back in 2008 by the Japanese company Level 5. It was a horror RPG meant to be released in 2009 for PSP but it never saw the light. The protagonist was supposed to be a ghost who could possess people. It was going to be a strategy game with a very unique aesthetic. 

A few years ago, in 2018, Level-5 announced that they were bringing Ushiro to Nintendo Switch, but until now they have remained silent. It seems like this pretty game will not have a chance in the gaming world. No Ushiro for now… 


You may also be interested in:

Running from the barbarian lands of Latin America, this little bright elf creature brings all of her knowledge collected on her journal. A wise creature ready to face any adversities in this world.
Gamer Since: 2003
Favorite Genre: MOBA
Currently Playing: League Of Legends; Hello Guest; Dishonored;
Top 3 Favorite Games:Dishonored, Dragon Age: Origins, League of Legends

More Top Stories