Long-awaited video games that may never see release, as Kien hit shelves 22 years late

Slated for release in 2002, the Game Boy Advance game is finally available

Kien will be released for the Game Boy Advance after a 22-year wait. Photo: Incub8
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Twenty-two years after its planned launch date, Kien is finally being released for Game Boy Advance players in 2024.

The action role-playing game platform was originally due to be launched in 2002, at the height of Game Boy Advance's prominence as Nintendo's handheld console of the day.

But, due to cancellations and delays, the fantasy-genre game never materialised.

That is about to change, as its publisher Incub8 and indie development studio AgeofGames have announced the game will be out in April or May this year.

Enticing players who may need a refresh or blurb for the physical game teasers: “For 7,000 years the planet of Malkut has been wisely ruled by the Seven Masters of the Absolute. But chaos has been reborn as evil corrupts the Land of Harmony.”

A two-decade release teaser may be a rarity, but console games going from "in development" to seemingly abandoned is more common.

In hopes that others may follow Kien's lead, here are four games unreleased or unfinished.

Silent Hills - 2012

This entry is a sore spot for many serious gamers; perfectly set up to be one of the scariest and most interesting gaming experiences of the time, yet Silent Hills never saw the light of day.

Hideo Kojima’s creation is a single-player horror game that stars Norman Reedus as the protagonist role and credits Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro as one of its directors.

First in development in 2012, details were kept under wraps until a playable teaser was released in 2014, showing audiences what to expect from the complete game.

Having players navigate a seemingly endless looping hallway, haunting spectres lurking in the shadows, as they aim to solve a murder made for a bumper-horror experience.

The teaser achieved so much with so little – manipulating sound from the speakers and sensation from the controller to truly horrify players – demonstrating that Kojima's genius could become a whole new genre and present an unforgettable game.

Unfortunately, the relationship between Konami and Hideo Kojima, the company producing the game, deteriorated and they parted ways in 2015.

Konami still owns the Silent Hill franchise, and Kojima has his own game production studio now, so the prospect of ever playing the full-fledged game is next to zero.

Agent - 2009

Rockstar Games is one of the most influential studios today, and with titles like Grand Theft Auto 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2, fans have come to expect a near-perfect experience from the company.

Back in 2009, Rockstar announced a brand new game titled Agent, described as a stealth action experience centred around espionage and assassinations.

The teaser generated lots of excitement from fans and within the industry, with Sam Houser, one of the company's founders, saying Agent was the game they had been wanting to make for some time.

Unfortunately for fans who were excited about the project, production would stall owing to shifting focus to other games, including LA Noire.

Knowing the level of detail and finesse Rockstar pours into creating worlds, it's a shame that gamers missed out on this spy game experience from the studio.

Star Wars: Battlefront III - 2006

The first two Battlefronts, released in 2004 and 2005, were very popular titles. The games allowed fans of the franchise to experience an all-out battle between the rebels and the empire.

A third game was due for release in 2006, but was sadly cancelled at the last minute, leaving a near-complete game to linger in limbo.

The franchise has since been rebooted after Star Wars returned to the big screen with a new trilogy.

In recent years, footage from the axed game has reached the internet, with many lamenting the missed opportunity of a great experience.

The footage shows different stages and abilities, which would have been a big upgrade on what was available in the second game in the series.

BC - 2002

It is a short and succinct title for a game with huge potential.

Developed by Intrepid Computer Entertainment for the original Xbox, the game excited fans with its premise of prehistoric survival and combat against dinosaurs and the elements.

Its developers also spoke highly of BC’s larger-than-life potential, as dinosaurs would be so much bigger than the playable character.

The game was also skewed for adult gamers, promising to be more gruesome in its combat sequences than competition at the time.

Yet in 2004, after two years of sharing details and screengrabs of the game, BC was cancelled.

Reasons behind the cancellation were not shared, but years later, Peter Molyneux, one of the heads of the company developing BC, said it was mostly due to their other game Fable being further down the development line.

But with Kien finally making it over the line in 2024, all hope is not lost.

Updated: March 18, 2024, 6:51 AM