Halo: The Master Chief Collection (XB1)
The game everyone wanted, in the state no one wanted it in.
Remember when I said Driveclub was one of the worst 8th gen releases and at least games like Halo: The Master Chief Collection had single player? Misdirection my friend. Nobody really cared that Halo:MCC had single player, its major selling point was having every officially released multiplayer map from Halo 1-4 in one beautiful 1080p/60fps package. Unfortunately, for fans and 343 Industries, the multiplayer didn't work thanks to crippling connectivity issues.
Halo: MCC is a massive disaster: A game that should have been an easy home run instead resulted in a beanball to the face, a black eye, and a meaningless walk to first base. Over six months after its release, Halo: MCC's first official tournament had to be cancelled due to persistent issues. This isn't the publicity 343 Industries wanted for the lead up to Halo 5: Guardians.
Final Fantasy XIV (PC)
Paired with Crystal Tools, FF14 was a bigger flop than Spirits Within.
This wasn't Square Enix's first MMORPG, they already had experience and success with the long lived MMORPG Final Fantasy 11, yet they somehow had a worse launch than any other major MMO in history. Final Fantasy 14 ran on the equally as floptastic Crystal Tools engine, was slow, laggy, and just plain unfun.
This game was so bad it caused Square Enix, a Japanese gaming giant, to come out and apologize, admitting the game had severely damaged the Final Fantasy brand. Things have to become pretty dire for something like that to happen.
Since then, the game was relaunched as Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, to a much warmer and more lucrative reception. The relaunched title was even cited as the cause of a massive turnaround for the once ailing developer/publisher.
There you have it, five notable botched launches. There are plenty more to choose from, and there will be many more to come, so feel free to let us know what launches you feel deserve a spot in the hall of shame.
Battlefield 4 (PS3, XB360, PS4, XB1, PC)
Eager to keep up with major rival Activision's yearly Call of Duty installment, EA forced Battlefield 4 out just in time for the 2013 holiday season. Who cares that it was a broken mess of a game that shouldn't have been released in the state it was in? Apparently the investors that tried to sue them over their lies about its quality and the existence of crippling bugs.
Since then, DICE has made good on their promise to fix the game: It's passable military based FPS. Still, Battlefield 4 hurt the brand and was the first step in DICE's own prophecy of the franchise's death.
Half-Life 2 (PC)
Even great games have bad launches.
Many people feel Half-Life 2 is one of the greatest games ever made, but what many don't remember is that the launch was a botched nightmare for fans. It was the first game to require Steam registration to play, even if you bought a physical copy. As expected, the servers crashed and fans couldn't play the game they'd waited so long for.
Steam was still in its infancy, and this event caused many to doubt Valve's platform. We all know how the story ended, but for a time Half-Life 2 looked like it was going to smother Steam in its crib.
In light of Batman: Arkham Knight's horrible PC launch, let's take a look at some of the biggest and most significant botched launches of this millennium. Just to be clear, we're talking botched launches, not terrible games. This means the game had to be at least mediocre and playable at some point after its launch.
The PS+ version was recently made available, so you can check it out for "free."
Driveclub is one of many 8th gen releases to have horrible launches, but it stands out as one of the worst due to circumstances around its release. As a game with very little in the way of engaging single player content, unlike say Halo: Master Chief Collection, major connectivity issues are a pretty damning problem to suffer from.
Fans were promised a PS+ version of the game at launch that would be a "full" game but with more car and track variants for those ho purchased the full title. Those plans fell through, much to the ire of fans. Sony has recently saw that promise come to fruition though, and Driveclub is arguably the best current gen racing sim on the market.
Batman: Arkham Knight (PC)
Of course this is on the list, it's the inspiration for the damn thing.
Bugs and mistakes happen all the time, and with the ever increasing size and complexity of games today, you're going to see more buggy launches slipping through the cracks That's not the case with Batman: Arkham Knight: Nothing slipped through the cracks here. Even if you don't believe anonymous sources claiming the game was broken for months leading up to release and WB just didn't care, those unfortunate enough to buy that turd of a PC port could tell WB knew of its condition.
Batman Arkham Knight's PC launch was a AAA slap to the face of every PC gamer that was excited for its release. It goes down in history as the first AAA game to be released and then unlisted from retailers and digital platforms because of the condition it was in. Thankfully, Steam's refund policy came just in time to put WB in their place.