There is nothing as passionate as a fandom. Groups of people coming together to share their love and adoration for a particular franchise is one of the best parts of pop-culture, with no fanbase being as ardent about their devotion than video game fans. Containing lovers of gigantic blockbusters, cult favourites, and a fanatical eSports scene, it’s easy to see why the video games industry has become incomprehensibly huge.
However, there is a darker side to fandom. Just as quickly as fans will show their appreciation, potential customers will just as eagerly show their distaste for something. Even if they've yet to get their hands on it.
For as many success stories and acclaimed titles there are out there, the gaming landscape is full of just as much fan backlash and controversies. Whether it was due to a trailer supposedly ruining a franchise or a scandal painting an indelible black mark on a title shortly before its launch, it doesn’t take much for some to completely write-off a game before they’ve had the chance to play it.
Even if these games would be seen in a more favourable years later, the initial negativity they faced hung over them like a shadow.
10. Assassin's Creedy Unity (2014)
In the years leading up to Assassin’s Creed Unity, the franchise had been through a rollercoaster of highs and lows. The swash-buckling success of Black Flag was a breath of fresh air after the comparatively bland plot of Assassin’s Creed III. And with the lingering threads of Desmond’s storyline still hanging in the air, the next game, set during the French Revolution, was supposed to revolutionise the franchise, bringing it into the (then) next generation.
With massive crowds, a revamped control scheme and combat system, co-op missions, and sandbox assassinations, Unity was the revitalisation Assassin’s Creed needed. Unfortunately, though, this title did mre harm than good.
Instead of being remembered fondly for the bustling Parisian setting or protagonist Arno’s revenge narrative, Unity is still best known for the borderline unplayable state it launched in. The internet at the time was flooded with footages of the various issues plaguing the game. Characters would infamously have no faces, Arno would constantly fall through the map, and NPCs would get stuck in hilarious positions.
Despite Ubisoft’s efforts to remedy the situation, the damage was already done. Unity’s reputation was marred, and fans were likewise wary of picking up the far superior Syndicate the following year.