1UP has published another list, this time it's about the five most botched PC game launches. The list includes Hellgate: London, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, World War II Online, Steam/Half-Life 2 and Ultima IX: Ascension. Here's a snip:
All hail the king of gaffed game launches: Though Ultima IX hit store shelves in 1999 (following a troubled development cycle that saw at least four different versions of the game and its engine), the box may as well have been empty. Eager RPG fans booted the game up on their fancy Voodoo3-equipped Pentium II rigs, only to run headlong into myriad 3D engine bugs and crash after game-halting crash. Eventually (after several half-assed attempts on publisher EA's part to fix U9's flubs), an unofficial patch was released anonymously by one of the game's developers, which at least made U9 playable. Given how much dirty laundry's come out in the years following U9's release (the usual corporate drama, repeated design reboots, and "creative differences"), we can't say we're surprised at how terrible it turned out -- and despite several sequel attempts, Ultima's never regained the ground it lost thanks to this dud. Such an unfitting end for such a magnificent series.