Eyeing up Fortnite’s meteoric rise and ongoing success, a developer can be excused for wanting to have a go at releasing the next big online multiplayer phenomenon. Unfortunately, reality isn’t that simple and this year we’ve had our fair share of catastrophic flops. From brief moments of glory to straight up nonstarters, here are five multiplayer and online games that failed miserably in 2018.
Realm Royale’s premise takes the tried and tested battle royale format and infuses it with medieval jesting, five playable classes with unique abilities, and Forges where players can dismantle items to craft better gear. The angle offered was novel, yet ultimately failed due to being too similar to Fortnite, notably in the art style which matched the cartoonish esthetic of Epic’s behemoth. Apart from a brief stint in the limelight in June with 100,00 concurrent players when over enthusiastic souls marked the game as Fortnite’s successor, Realm Royale has steadily faded into gaming obscurity with barely 2000 players per day. The removal of both the Forge system and classes cemented Realm Royale’s death sentence and a persisting ‘mostly negative’ Steam rating. RIP.
Wild West Online
From the outset Wild West Online was destined to be doomed. Sketchy alphas, shaky early access, and a huge backlash of hate on social media were met by a development team that suffered from an aggravated case of delusions of grandeur. Intent on ignoring the warning signs and convinced their game was the best thing since sliced bread, WWO Partners dove head first into a looming disaster. At its core, Wild West Online is a good idea; an emergent wild west open-world where the lawlessness of the Final Frontier is highlighted in all its glory with a heavily PvP focused gameplay loop and strong role playing potential. A western Rust if you will. Plagued with bugs, an unwarranted price tag, and a world with very little to actually do, players wisely opted to hold out for Red Dead Redemption 2.
Tennis World Tour
With licenses for the top tennis pros on the circuit, multiple years of development, and a triple A price tag, Tennis World Tour oozed potential. But boy we were we taken for a ride. Tennis World Tour is in many ways the definition of the Steam scam; unfinished, clunky, as deep as a glossy tabloid magazine, online multiplayer that barely works, and absolutely dire controls. They are so bad you can actually not touch the controller and the player will continue to hit the ball. Tennis World Tour was a fiasco and word quickly got around to stay well clear of this monstrosity. The game can barely muster 10 concurrent players per day.
Radical Heights is Fortnite on an IV drip of punk and tasteless swag. Stylized as a battle royale game show, the game leans heavily on tired out 80s/90s tropes and attempts to bring Wayne’s World meets The Price Is Right to BR with cringe worthy results. More obnoxious that endearing, the bombastic approach was simply jarring. Radical Heights had its moment in the limelight for brief instant for a few weeks back in April with the likes of Dr DisRespect giving it a go. It was free to play, but a waning player base, accusations of being a cash grab, and negative reviews culminated in a rather sad ending. Ex-Epic designer director Cliff Bleszinski was forced to shut down Radical Heights studio Boss Key Productions. Servers have been shutdown and the game is no longer playable. Far out.
The Culling II
Through and through a PUBG and H1Z1 rip-off, The Culling II is ostensibly linked to the original The Culling title, a BR game that though it didn’t break any records, offered fun melee mechanics and a steady player base. The Culling II is simply awful. From the graphics seemingly extracted from a decade old game to the choppy animations by way of terrible controls, the game was quite clearly riding the wave of The Culling name to make a quick buck. To put it into perspective, the devs were too lazy to implement a swimming or climbing mechanic, meaning players walked on water rather than swam, and kind of lumbered up onto obstacles. Watered down, charmless, and not even close to being finished though it was touted as a full-fledged release, The Culling II deserves it’s rapid descent into obsolescence. Very few games manage a ‘very negative’ score on Steam, yet The Culling II managed just that.