revival of a game
Video Games

Revived Games: From Launch Failures to Great Games

In the high-octane world of video gaming, initial impressions matter. However, that’s not to say that a rocky start spells the end. Quite the contrary, some games have managed to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of their launch failures, transforming into beloved titles within the gaming community. This article takes a look at some of the most impressive turnarounds in gaming history.

No Man’s Sky

Perhaps one of the most dramatic turnaround stories in video game history, No Man’s Sky, developed by Hello Games, failed to live up to the hype upon its release in 2016. Many players felt deceived by the game’s pre-launch promises, leading to an overwhelming sense of disappointment. However, through numerous updates and expansions, including the ‘Next’ and ‘Beyond’ updates, No Man’s Sky has managed to redefine itself, delivering on its initial promise of endless exploration and unparalleled universe-scale ambition.

Final Fantasy XIV

When Final Fantasy XIV was initially launched in 2010, it was met with heavy criticism for its poor gameplay, technical issues, and confusing interface. Square Enix, not wanting to tarnish the revered Final Fantasy name, decided to take drastic action. They brought on a new team, led by Naoki Yoshida, who worked tirelessly to fix the game’s numerous issues. The result was Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, released in 2013. The revamped game garnered high praise for its engaging storyline, improved gameplay, and beautiful graphics, successfully reviving the game from its initial downfall.

BattleBit Remastered

BattleBit Remastered is a tactical shooter game with a focus on teamwork and cooperation. After an underwhelming initial release, the developers took player feedback to heart and overhauled the game, addressing its shortcomings and significantly improving gameplay mechanics. They shifted from a hardcore shooter to a more Battlefield or COD-like game and it paid off, players loved these changes. Now, BattleBit Remastered offers an immersive combat experience, complete with detailed environments and realistic weapon behavior and it has sold 2 million copies after launch. This game’s revival is proof that the careful application of constructive criticism can yield fantastic results.

Destiny 2

Released in 2017, Destiny 2 was initially criticized for its lack of content and rewarding gameplay loop. The game’s developer, Bungie, took the feedback to heart and began a slow, methodical process of revamping the game. After several expansions and countless tweaks, Destiny 2 has become a haven for lovers of loot-based shooters, with a massive amount of content and a satisfying progression system.

Star Wars Battlefront II

Star Wars Battlefront II was highly anticipated before its 2017 release, but fell flat due to a controversial progression system that many felt was skewed towards ‘pay to win’ mechanics. Developer EA DICE received the message loud and clear and overhauled the game’s systems, removing the pay-to-win elements, revamping the progression system, and continually adding new content. Today, Battlefront II is seen as a robust and rewarding game that faithfully recreates the Star Wars universe’s epic battles.

Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege, developed by Ubisoft, was a relatively barebones game at its launch in 2015, with limited content and various technical issues. However, Ubisoft stuck with it, ironing out the kinks and adding a wealth of new content, from maps and modes to playable operators. The game’s focus on teamwork and strategy set it apart from many other shooters, and it has since cultivated a dedicated player base.

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Sea of Thieves

A rare gem in the world of multiplayer pirate games, Sea of Thieves by Rare, was launched with mixed reviews in 2018. Many critics felt that despite its beautifully crafted world and engaging naval battles, the game lacked content and depth. However, thanks to regular updates and expansions, it has managed to refine its gameplay and add the depth it initially lacked. Today, it’s a thriving MMO with a vibrant community and a wide variety of quests, making it a great experience for pirate lovers everywhere.

The Division

The initial release of The Division in 2016 by Ubisoft was marked by several technical issues and a lack of compelling endgame content. In the years that followed, Ubisoft made continuous improvements to the game through regular patches and updates, each adding new content and fixing various bugs and issues. The Division has since matured into a much-loved title within the loot-shooter genre, boasting a rich world, detailed storyline, and intense combat mechanics.

Elder Scrolls Online

When Elder Scrolls Online was first released in 2014, it failed to live up to the high standards set by previous titles in the Elder Scrolls series. Many fans were put off by its numerous bugs and the game’s departure from the single-player experience they had come to love. However, ZeniMax Online Studios remained committed to the game and introduced massive updates, such as the ‘One Tamriel’ update, which overhauled the game’s progression system and opened up the world for more exploration. Today, Elder Scrolls Online stands as a robust and satisfying MMORPG, offering a vast world teeming with quests and adventures.


Warframe from Digital Extremes had a relatively quiet launch in 2013. The game was criticized for its repetitive gameplay and lack of clear direction. However, the developers were committed to the game’s potential and introduced a series of significant updates over the years. These updates expanded the game’s universe, introduced new gameplay mechanics, and overhauled the new player experience. Today, Warframe is celebrated for its fast-paced combat, deep customization, and expansive lore.

Diablo III

When Diablo III was launched in 2012 by Blizzard, it was met with heavy criticism due to its always-online requirement and the inclusion of a real-money auction house, which many felt unbalanced the game. However, through various updates and expansions, most notably the ‘Reaper of Souls’ expansion and the Loot 2.0 update, Diablo III has since corrected its course. Today, it stands as a worthy successor to its beloved predecessors, offering a rich dungeon-crawling experience filled with epic loot and menacing foes.

Redemption is possible

The stories of these games offer a glimmer of hope, proving that with perseverance, dedication, and a commitment to players, even the most disastrous of launches can be turned around. They highlight the importance of developer-player communication and show that in the world of gaming, it’s sometimes not about how you start, but how you adapt, evolve, and finish. In the end, these revived games have become must-plays, standing as a testament to the power of a well-executed second chance.