It wasn't that long ago that children and teens across the globe would huddle around their friend's GameCube and argue about who would get to be which character in everything from Mario Party 4 to the classic Super Smash Bros. Melee. Those memories have served as the foundation that so many current video game fans built on. The GameCube's list of exclusives was impressive and some franchises have continued to prosper to this day, such as Animal Crossing. But with all the good memories that players made on this square shaped console, what can be said for the list of games that didn't make the cut?
While the initial sales for the GameCube were better than its competitors, it was missing some technical features available in the Xbox and PlayStation 2, including the inability to play DVDs. The GameCube saw strong sales on its exclusives, which is to be expected, but it underperformed when it came to cross-platform games from publishers like EA. Developers began pulling their support for the GameCube due to loss of sales in 2003, and Nintendo even stopped producing the console for nine months in 2003 as they tried to offload the surplus. In all this chaos, many games were cancelled or moved despite having a lot of potential.
Some of the criticism surrounding GameCube's cancelled games were that Nintendo placed too heavy of a priority on games that were made in-house at Nintendo. When Resident Evil 4 released exclusively on the console in 2005, it did really well and gave a new life to a console that had become complacent with Nintendo's titles. If Nintendo had taken this opportunity to branch out into partnerships with new developers, then it is very likely the GameCube could have offered real competition to the newcomer Xbox.
For example, the cancelled Diddy Kong Racing sequel by Climax Studios would have been the successor to an incredibly popular franchise with a dedicated fanbase. Even then, it wouldn't be a stretch to believe that this would've garnered some new fans that wouldn't find the title on the Xbox or PlayStation 2.
Starcraft fans were eager when they heard about the new project from Nihilistic Software for the GameCube, titled Starcraft Ghost. Many were even more fascinated when they learned that it would be a departure from other Starcraft titles in that it would be stealth-based third person shooter. When it was cancelled for the GameCube, many potential owners of the console likely focused their attention on other platforms that had games more attuned to that sci-fi stealth audience.
Another criticism of the GameCube is that Nintendo marketed it too specifically, with everything from its immature toy box design to the first party titles that had a tendency to skew toward a younger audience . GameCube would've benefited from branching out into content that had stories and humor that were just as targeted toward mature audiences. Cancelled games like Conker's Bad Fur Day 2, the sequel to the critically acclaimed title, had a pension for crude humor and strong language.
Another example of this is a 1930's cartoon-style game in the vein of Conker. Crank the Weasel would've seen players stealing things to sell at pawn shops, turning gangs against one another, and attempting a total takeover of the city by biting and turning other cartoon animals rabid. Nintendo could've easily expanded it market share with these types of humorous games.
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