Risk-taking in the games industry can be an expensive venture. Games and technology can be in development for years and release to low sales, if not fail completely. However, for every game, service, digital platform and console that’s taken or faced risks, either consciously or unconsciously, there are some that end up being massive successes. Let’s take a look at 15 of the biggest risks in gaming and how they totally delivered.
You have to feel bad for Guerrilla Games. Its first game, Killzone, was touted as a “Halo killer” in 2004 and barely passed muster. While work was going on with Killzone 2, Sony debuted a trailer at E3 2005 that was claimed to be “real gameplay.” It wasn’t, of course, and caused a fair amount of controversy (with Guerrilla mortified that it was claimed to be real). As such, when Killzone 2 was re-revealed in 2007, there was even more pressure on whether the visuals were the real deal or not.
The initial $20 million budget shot up to $40 to 45 million and by February 2009, the sequel was released. Fortunately, its visuals were not only from the actual game but actually superior to the E3 2005 target render demo. Critics praised it as well and by April 2009, it sold one million copies. While not quite recouping its initial budget immediately, it established Guerrilla as a force to reckon with and one that could surpass excessive hype.