What’s With All The Canceled 3DS Games?

I’m not sure how many of you are paying attention, but there’s been a lot of 3DS cancelations as of late.  Yesterday we were told about the latest victim, Mega Man Legends 3, and that made me realize that there’s already been quite a few cancelations already.  Here’s a quick list of titles confirmed to be canceled.

Assassin’s Creed: Lost Legacy
BloodRayne: The Shroud
DJ Hero 3
Kororinpa: Marble Mania
Mega Man Legends 3
My Garden
Omega Five
Saint’s Row: Drive-By

We also know that Crush 3D has been placed on indefinite hold until 3DS sales pick up.

Not all of these games are winners, but there’s enough content here to start noticing a trend.  From different developers comments it appears as though many are waiting to see how the 3DS and Vita play out compared to mobile device like Android phones and iOS devices.  I’ve been saying for years that these devices are going to play a major role in the future, and it appears that future may have already arrived.

Where do you stand with this?  Do you think the time is over for dedicated portables?  I personally feel that both the 3DS and Vita will be successful after a year or so, but there’s no question smartphones are starting to make an impact.  Could there come a day when dedicated portable gaming systems are a thing of the past?

14 thoughts on “What’s With All The Canceled 3DS Games?”

  1. Phone games are more casual and therefore should probably count as a different market. Plus, games are mostly 1$ so who doesn’t mind spending that even if the game turns out bad?

    As for Vita vs. 3DS, that’s definetly too early to tell!

  2. I still think the 3DS is awesome and has a lot of promising stuff, with Kid Icarus, Cave Story 3D, RE Revelations, and more.

    But Mega Man Legends 3 was THE game I wanted for the 3DS. I am extremely disappointed that Capcom cancelled it. It was a promising game, and the Dev Room was an innovative step forward for the company–completely transparent game development is a cool idea. Capcom has traditionally been my favorite thid-party developer, but since Keiji Inafune left, they’ve completely ignored the Mega Man franchise by cancelling two promising projects. This is insulting. Mega Man is a classic game character and the franchise helped build Capcom into the company it is today. The series deserves more respect. I am really heartbroken.

  3. I think this generation will really determine whether or not the phone market and the dedicated portable gaming system market can coexist. Right now everyone from ages 5 and up are buying iPhones or iPod Touches and Android enabled smartphones. If Vita and 3DS aren’t able to sell 50 million units and push software, we might have a very different portable market in five year’s time. Right now the mobile market is exploding in ways we’ve never seen before. Dollar games are making more money than 60% of the disc-based industry. That’s a scary statistic.

    As for Mega Man, this really doesn’t bode well Tim. If we don’t see a new Mega Man released within another 12 months I’d say to start looking for another character to replace the blue bomber.

    1. I agree, the game market has been changing and will continue to change. To be honest, I’m not too sure if I like it that much. I find myself getting really cynical about modern games and often wish for the older days of gaming. We’re seeing such segmentation in the game market that it’s really stunning. Cheap, casual games are selling in droves, which is encouraging developers to make small, bite-sized pieces of entertainment, while game outlets and magazines glorify the huge, blockbuster mega-games like Mass Effect, which require enormous budgets. It doesn’t seem like there’s any inbetween anymore. Either a game is a cheap flash game that you can play on a phone or the equivalent of a hollywood blockbuster. And in the US, the staggering sales of shooter games, regardless of quality (Duke Nukem Forever is selling amazingly well) is really having a heavy influence in what games are marketed and released here. This all troubles me greatly.

      For the 3DS, the list of cancellations does sting, although the only game I really care about is, of course, Mega Man. I’m still expecting the system to take off some more once the holiday season hits and some more high-profile games hit the system, to help drive up sales and then increase interest. There are a lot of games coming between September and December. Though Nintendo really needs to step up its game to continue being a relevant contender. They’ve always managed to take the handheld market without much a fight before and this time, they may actually have to swing full force. Strong online content and download games via the eShop will go a long way for Nintendo, and a lengthy list of quality retails games (1st and 3rd party) will be necessary to make people see the 3DS as a legitimate “game system.”

      As for Mega Man, the series is obviously no longer important to Capcom. They’ve basically abandoned it, which is sad. We’ve seen two 8-bit games largely because of Keiji Inafune, and I expected that meant a comeback. Keiji really wanted the series to get more attention, and everybody was talking about Mega Man with his return to retro with 9. Prior to then, we got Powered Up, Maverick Hunter X, ZX, ZX Advent, X8, Command Mission, etc…all great games, backed up by solid review scores by critics. But they just never got the kind of attention they needed I suppose.

      I’ll always love Capcom and Capcom products, because out of many companies today, they still have some ties to the classic game company I love. They have a lot of franchises, new and old, that are compelling and fun. Compare that to other companies prominent in the 80s and 90s. SEGA is no longer relevant, and Konami is hardly the same company it was in the 90s. But with Capcom’s total abandonment of the Mega Man franchise, I feel really left out. To me, it’s like SEGA dropping Sonic. I always felt that Mega Man was Capcom’s mascot. I hope that they see how much negativity this decision is spreading and decide to breath some new life into the franchise once again.

  4. The problem with the 3DS for me is the 3D. Many view 3D as a fad. The name of the system should not have been 3DS. It must have taken them all of 5 seconds to come up with that name. 3D should be a cool bonus feature of the system. Because of the name, if 3D ever does fade out like everybody expect it will, then well all have a dead system in our hands within a few years.

    1. The thing is though, the 3DS isn’t just the 3D. That’s a highlighted feature to be sure but it’s not like it’s just a NIntendo DS that displays in 3D. It’s more powerful, offers more functions and as a result will offer different games. If nothing else, Nintendo’s own stable of titles will certainly imprint that fact upon those who follow those games and the platforms they appear on, an effect I think will eventually trickle down and do away with that particular line of thinking regarding the Nintendo DS system lineage.

      In any case, considering the situation I can see Iwata potentially being proven right about how the shift in thinking over the value of games affecting the industry as it currently exists.

        1. Because the 3D is the “attractive” feature. I’d say USP but other portable devices are now adopting glasses free 3D though at the moment th3 3DS probably has the most consistent application of it thus far.

          The 3D is a big part of the system’s appeal no doubt, I’m just saying it’s not the only part. After all, if the only benefit on offer was the 3D then it would invite a host of issues for those who can’t see the 3D effect for whatever reason or simply don’t want to utilize it, hence why the option to turn it on and off at will is there in the first place.

          1. For me, the name implies that gamers who would buy the system, would buy it in order to play 3D games. I know that it’s not the only feature, but I don’t think the general public knows that. If 3D fades out, there might be a problem.

          2. If 3D as an application fades out elsewhere that doesn’t necessarily mean it will fade out on devices that offer it as a standard. As far as I know, developing new content for the 3DS it isn’t some hassle where you have to go out of your way to have the 3D effect enabled in software. 3D outside of specialized circumstances such as theatrical releases and the like could fade away but more “personal” experience such as with upcoming smartphones and gaming devices like the 3DS it could still retain an audience.

            Like HD, 3D as an application is having a slower start because of the lack of content and the cost of entry, something that on the 3DS isn’t as big a barrier as it might be with a home setup and programming. The delivery of content continues to grow and will remain consistent throughout the platform’s life. At the end of the day however, on the consumer end, there is still always that choice to use it or not use it. Without that 3D effect, the 3DS is still a new generation portable with a lot more to offer than just stereoscopic 3D.

  5. Great comments guys. To put this into a little more perspective, Apple sold just over 20 million iPhones in the past three months. Read that again. The App Store platform alone has sold so many dollar games that developers are making millions off a $10,000-budgeted game. Like Tim said, everyone is taking notice and I wonder where this will leave the 3DS and Vita. All the big companies are acting nice now saying that there’s still place for these platforms, but honestly if things continue as they are, only the very biggest games will survive on these handhelds. I dislike this new trend myself, but realize it appears it’s what people want. I haven’t even touched on Android, but that only makes things that much more serious for Sony and Nintendo.

    When it comes to consoles, they remain somewhat safe for now only because they can offer an experience these mobile devices simply can’t. I can see digital distribution being the one area where consoles can relive the old day magic by releasing new and innovative software that treads the middle-ground between new genres and different sized budgets. Some Xbox Live Arcade games are better than disc-based games, and I expect that trend to continue moving forward.

  6. @ Jarrod

    Considering your comment a few days ago it’s interesting to see the next potential shift in the industry. EA is full steam ahead on social gaming and mobile applications, we know Ubisoft is headed into that space if they aren’t already, Square Enix is headed there… there was a Q&A not too long ago where one of their reps saw the future of FF and DQ in the social/mobile space and now recently Epic Games is in full support of that space as well.

    The way I see it so long as Nintendo and Sony can maintain what makes their portable offerings unique and desireable they can still be successful in the portable game market. Nintendo for instance has a strong stable of IP that is gobbled up without question on each iteration of their handheld systems and Sony has been growing their first party stuff even on PSP that will sure translate to Vita. Even if big titles like FF, DQ, Madden or whatever migrate elsewhere people will still want their “insert game X here” fix that only a specialized platform will provide. Will the industry see dedicated gaming portables as successful as the GB and DS were? Probably not or there will be a noticeable decline in total userbase but I think we’re still a ways off from truly questioning the viability of a dedicated portable gaming machine.

  7. Yeah Marcus I think we’re safe for now, but the quicker these mobile offerings continue to gain strength and overall support, the faster these devices will become irrelevant. I don’t expect this to occur overnight, but I fear the day will arrive where a dedicated platform is no longer an option.

    What amazes me is that before the iPhone I never took mobile games seriously, but now I can see their potential. One only has to look at Phantom Hourglass or Spirit Tracks to see how deep a game can be with full touch controls. If other games like that can be translated over to the mobile market there really wouldn’t be any need for a dedicated gaming device anymore.

    Right now I expect the 3DS and the Vita to both feel the might of the mobile market and I will be quite shocked if either platform is able to sell as well as the DS and PSP did.

  8. hi there yes lots of cancelations even 3d netflix and 3d youtube droped as well soo zero 3d movies low 3ds games and 3d evo htc and 3d lg thrill already catching up too nintendo 3ds and psp and iphones 3d phones could be future gaming and movies

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