8 Games That Experienced Catastrophic Launches, But Now Stand Triumphant

In the vast landscape of video games development, colossal budgets and extravagant resources are poured into crafting triple-A titles. Yet, even amidst such dedication, the promise of a quality finished product remains uncertain. Even renowned game studios may falter with disastrous launches, leaving players dismayed.

Thankfully, developers have the opportunity to right their wrongs, diligently addressing glitches, and introducing new features through updates and patches. This article explores the awe-inspiring transformation of eight games, once plagued by calamitous debuts, but now revered for their resilience and excellence.

Cyberpunk 2077 (2020)

The much-anticipated open-world action RPG from CD Projekt Red, Cyberpunk 2077, enticed players with its futuristic megacorporations, cybernetically-modded street gangs, and rogue AIs. Sadly, the initial release was marred by a plethora of technical issues. Glacial frame rates, game-breaking crashes, and open-world glitches plagued the experience, particularly on last-generation consoles, prompting Sony to remove the game from sale.

Behind the scenes, alleged shenanigans involving the third-party QA company further tarnished the game’s reputation. The road to redemption was paved with patch 1.5, which substantially addressed the issues and introduced major upgrades to NPCs, combat, open-world mechanics, and AI. The result is a now thriving, lived-in future dystopia, though some players may still carry the bitter aftertaste of the game’s tumultuous beginning.

No Man’s Sky (2016)

Managing consumer expectations is an art, and unfortunately, Hello Games’ Sean Murray found himself facing heightened anticipation due to overselling No Man’s Sky. The promise of a procedurally generated galaxy teeming with life and multiplayer experiences was not immediately fulfilled. Disappointed players encountered repetitive gameplay and uninspiring worlds, leading to a cycle of monotonous exploration.

Years later, the game witnessed a transformation through dedicated yearly updates. Hello Games succeeded in fulfilling many of its initial promises, introducing multiplayer functionalities, VR modes, and breathing life into the vast cosmos. The game finally offered the immersive experience that players had yearned for.

Fallout 76 (2018)

The renowned post-apocalyptic survival franchise took an unexpected turn with Fallout 76, straying from its single-player roots and embracing an online-only approach. Players delved into the irradiated wasteland of West Virginia, but the absence of meaningful NPC interactions left many disheartened.

Bethesda’s attempt to introduce a subscription model for extra benefits further soured the experience. However, relentless in their pursuit of redemption, the developers expanded the game significantly over time, infusing it with branching quests and essential NPCs. Though some aspects still leave players longing for more, the wasteland now holds captivating stories and adventures for dedicated Fallout enthusiasts.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection (2014)

The Halo series, an iconic gaming brand of Xbox, brought excitement with its remastered collection of six sci-fi shooter games. Yet, the multiplayer component faced a turbulent beginning, causing players to endure lengthy matchmaking delays and frustrating game quit-outs. Bugs and glitches further plagued the experience for months.

As a gesture of goodwill, Microsoft offered compensatory rewards to the affected players, aiming to rebuild trust. Subsequent fixes mended many of the game’s issues, and today, the Master Chief Collection stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Halo franchise.

Assassin’s Creed Unity (2014)

Assassin’s Creed Unity unveiled a Parisian-themed stealth adventure to players, but initial experiences felt more like a horror show. The PC version suffered from a “no face bug,” portraying NPCs with only hair, floating eyeballs, and jaws with teeth. Console versions encountered glitches, clipping, and performance issues that persisted for months.

Despite the rocky start, Assassin’s Creed Unity evolved into a compelling addition to the franchise, set amidst the French Revolution. Cooperative teamplay, lifelike environments, and immersive experiences awaited players who ventured back into the fray.

Star Wars Battlefront II (2017)

The allure of Star Wars fused with large-scale FPS multiplayer maps seemed like a dream come true. However, DICE’s introduction of an aggressive loot box and microtransaction system tarnished the Midichlorian soup, resulting in controversy and investigation.

Following fierce backlash, EA eventually deactivated microtransactions and extended extra content and game modes. The journey to redemption saw Battlefront II emerge as a fun-filled galactic escapade, offering casual multiplayer mayhem set in the beloved Star Wars universe.

Batman: Arkham Knight (2015)

The PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight proved to be a haunting disappointment for PC gamers. While console players enjoyed an acclaimed adventure, the PC conversion mishap led to an unplayable experience on Windows.

Months of patches and freebies aimed to mend the wounds inflicted on PC gamers, ultimately offering an experience closer to that of console players. Today, the caped crusader’s journey is one of redemption, beckoning players into a truly immersive and enjoyable Batman adventure.

Mass Effect: Andromeda (2017)

Mass Effect, a beloved sci-fi franchise, looked to rejuvenate itself with Andromeda, introducing a new story to the acclaimed universe. However, the game’s development faced numerous challenges, resulting in a lack of scope and vision, and a dearth of diverse alien races and captivating worlds.

Overcoming meme-able facial glitches and animation woes, developers diligently addressed the game’s shortcomings. Though opinions remain divided, players can now delve into a new frontier within the Mass Effect universe, rediscovering the thrill of combat, rich character interactions, and exploration.


The journey from a catastrophic launch to triumphant redemption is a testament to the resilience of game developers and the dedication of passionate gamers. These eight games stand as shining examples of how perseverance, creativity, and a commitment to player satisfaction can transform a potential disaster into a remarkable success story.

In the ever-evolving world of video games, the road to redemption may be challenging, but it is not impossible. The gaming community, with its high standards and unwavering support, plays a vital role in shaping the future of the industry. As developers continue to learn from their mistakes and embrace the spirit of innovation, we can look forward to more transformative experiences that captivate and delight players worldwide.

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