Greatest video-game tragedies of the last decade

 Zeroes from the Aughts
By LASER ORGY  |  January 20, 2010

As Phoenix writer Ryan Stewart pointed out recently (OK, last year), the aughts ushered in a new era of gaming as not a niche phenomena limited to jobless shut-ins and frag-happy 13-year-olds, but something more widespread and nuanced. But as with every leap forward, this decade certainly saw its share of stumbling backward off the precipice of progress and splattering onto the rocks of humiliation below. Here are some of our favorite anti-victories of the past 10 years, in rough chronological order.

11. Daikatana flops (2000)

Daikatana trailer

Almost forgot about this one, didn't you? Or maybe you just wish you did. While you can easily argue that the stunning failure of Daikatana was really forged in the '90s (with developer Ion Storm once proclaiming that "Come hell or high water, the game will be done on February 15, 1999"), this game didn't actually hit shelves until May of 2000 -- and was quickly crowned one of the greatest commercial failures of the computer-gaming industry. Up to this point, Daikatana creator John Romero had been a messiah of the first-person shooter, cranking out such insta-classics as Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and Quake. In 1997, this Time article ran with the subhead: "Everything that game designer John Romero touches turns to gore and gold" -- but you can only tempt fate so much. So what the hell happened, exactly? It's the same old story: a project hamstrung by crippling greed, hubris, and turmoil. (You can read GameSpot's coverage here.) Daikatana had the dubious distinction of becoming the first major gaming catastrophe of its decade ... but it was hardly the worst. 

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