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Top 10 Video Game Fails

VO: Dan Paradis
These moments were such decisions that companies were affected long term. Like when Sega released too many expensive Hardware add-ons, or how the Wii U and Vita have both failed to sell well during their launch periods. We've already covered Top 10: Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft fails respectively so be sure to check out those lists for anything not covered here. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Video Game fails. Special thanks to our users ryanpoindexter4 and DawsIsaBoss for submitting the idea on our WatchMojo.comsuggest page!

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Top 10 Video Game Fails

These companies ended up making mistakes that ended up having long term effect. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Video Game fails.

For this list we’re looking at the business decisions of gaming companies that affected the company in a significant negative way. We’ve already released 3 videos highlighting fails from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft respectively. So most of their fails will be on those lists, although we will be covering anything that we missed herein.

#10: Disc Locked Content

Capcom may have some of the biggest fan favorite names under their belts, but their business decision in more recent years have been questionable. When Street Fighter x (Cross) Tekken came out it was discovered that extra characters and costumes were locked on the disc, and that Capcom tried to resell them as DLC, with the total content going over $100. Capcom got caught out on it and said they wouldn’t do it again … except they did with Resident Evil 6

#9: Coleco Adam computer

In 1982 Coleco became Atari’s biggest rival with the launce of the Coleco Vision. But a year later when the industry started to implode, the company turned their attention to the computer market with the release of the Coleco Adam. Unfortunately, a string of problems with the system, most notably the fact that an electrical surge on startup erased any discs in the drive, led the system to be a commercial flop. A few years later, the company filed for bankruptcy.

#8: Phantom Console

The ironically named system that never appeared, The Phantom promised to offer a PC like gaming experience for the living room in 2004. It would have also been well ahead of its time by relying solely on a digital distribution service. However, the console kept on getting pushed back repeatedly, until the company’s website stopped updating. In the end, the company Infinium Labs lost over $62 million building a console that was never released … ouch.

#7: Wii U Launch

Nintendo released its HD successor to the Wii a full year before Microsoft and Sony had theirs ready. Unfortunately their head start was squandered with a marketing failure over the confusion about gamepad, a lack of strong titles and 3rd party developers releasing shabby ports. Nintendo has proven it can turn the market around, as evidenced by the 3DS’s recovery, whether or not they can do the same with its big brother remains to be seen.

#6: Playstation Vita

While its predecessor the PSP was able to get a small chunk of Nintendo’s marketshare, the Vita should have been the ideal handheld system. But Sony’s failure to tell the difference between the Handheld and Console markets, along with expensive preparatory memory cards have led to a disappointing cycle for the Vita. Another console with a lackluster library, strong titles like Killzone and Tearaway have yet to boost sales significantly.

#5: Xbox One Pre Launch

Microsoft’s successor to the 360, the confusingly named Xbox One, Was a disaster from the first curtain rise. Mostly with a reveal that showed the system more like a glorified cable box, and heavy focus on (TV TV Sports Sports) But it was information that came after that sparked a backlash. With privacy concerns with the always on Kinect, preventing the sale of used games, large pricetag and a certain business measure that we’ll get to a little later. While they’ve since reversed many of these controversial decisions, the stigma of thinking they could have gotten away with it definitely affected their launch sales.

#4: Sega’s Hardware Rush

During their rivalry with the SNES, Sega felt that stronger hardware was the way to go, first releasing the Sega CD add-on, which had few good games and sold poorly, then 2 years later they brought in the 32X add on, which also sold poorly. But if that wasn’t bad enough Sega rushed the Saturn to market, resulting in a system that was overpriced, and difficult to develop for. Sega finally got it right with the Dreamcast but the damage had been done.

#3: Atari rejects Nintendo’s deal

With the success of the Famicon on Japan, Nintendo was interested in bringing their system to North America. So in 1983 with the industry on the verge of collapsing, Nintendo approached Atari to bring the system to North America. But at the 1983 Consumer Electric’s Show when the deal was supposed to be signed, Atari found Donkey Kong running on the Coleco Adam, and since this was an intellectual property promised to them, they broke the deal. So Nintendo went at it alone and created the NES. Funny how history later repeated when Nintendo similarly snuffed Sony, which lead to the birth of the Playstation.

#2: Always on DRM

While DRM or Digital Rights Management, has been around since the 80’s, the more recent trend of always needing to stay connected to the internet, has been creeping onto games to the point of making them unplayable. Notably, the launches of Diablo 3 and SimCity which used this DRM were both disasters since overcrowding of the servers meant people couldn’t even play the game on launch day. Microsoft also attempted to use this measure in the Xbox One, now you see why there was a backlash?

Before we get to our Number one pick, lets take a look as some Dishonorable Mentions

#1: The Crash of 1983

No failure could ever top the moment that almost destroyed video gaming as a whole. Between 1983 to 85 revenue from Video games dropped almost 97%. The reasons for this included a lack of quality control resulting in terrible games, oversaturation of systems on the market, and the failures of highly marketed games, such as the 2600 port of Pac Man and E.T., which had all but destroyed consumer trust. It wasn’t until Nintendo came into the market in 1985 to revive the industry singlehandedly that things improved.

Do you agree with our list? Which boneheaded business decision made you facepalm? For more cataclysmic Top 10’s published everyday, be sure to subscribe to

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