While some series pop out a new entry with clockwork regularity every 12 months, others keep us hanging on. Poor old Psychonauts-likers had to wait 16 years for Psychonauts 2. Return to Monkey Island is due out later in 2022, 13 years after Tales of Monkey Island—though technically it's continuing on from the ending of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, which would put the gap closer to 26 years. Wasteland 2 has it equalled without need for a technicality, coming out a full 26 years and eight months after Wasteland. That's a long time between drinks in the irradiated desert.
What's the longest you've had to wait for a sequel?
Here are our answers, plus some from our forum.
Chris Livingston, Features Producer: RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 (2004) ➡ RollerCoaster Tycoon World (2016). I absolutely loved RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, which came out in 2002, and mostly liked RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, which dropped in 2004. And then... there was a great void.
That void got bigger. RollerCoaster Tycoon World was supposed to launch in 2015, making it an 11-year wait for the sequel, but it got pushed back into 2016, flopped into Early Access with a 'Mostly Negative' rating, then tried to shrug it off by launching the finished game... just one day before rival Planet Coaster's scheduled release. Classy! It didn't help, and that was pretty much the funeral for the series.
At least Planet Coaster turned out great.
Evan Lahti, Global Editior-in-Chief: X-COM: UFO Defense (1994) ➡ XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012). In my early years at PC Gamer, editor Dan Stapleton (now IGN's reviews editor) would rave about X-COM as an underappreciated classic, a brutal animal of a strategy game of the kind we hadn't seen since the days of Doom. I hadn't owned it when I was younger, but I'd played enough after that to know what it was like to lose a unit on the Skyranger ramp.
I knew how hard the game was, and how impenetrable and dated its interface was. The amount of clicking you had to do just to organize your forces back at base added yet more pain. But you could see the spirit of something incredible there, yes: permadeath, wrapped in the timeless theme of alien invasion.
X-COM had sequels, including two that didn't reach completion around 2001. MicroProse's X-COM: Genesis and X-COM: Alliance, the latter being a first-person shooter. But it wasn't until Firaxis (formed by Sid Meier and other MicroProse refugees) resurrected the turn-based format of X-COM almost 20 years later that we learned how eternal its original ideas were.
Ted Litchfield, Associate Editor: NieR (2010) ➡ NieR: Automata (2017). The wait between NieR and its sequel, NieR: Automata wasn't the biggest (seven years) but it sure felt like the longest shot, the most "really, this game is getting a sequel?" With the success of Automata and Replicant v.I'm-not-going-to-do-the-numbers-bit-here, it can be hard to remember just how much of an afterthought the original NieR was before Automata's breakout success.
I tried out the first game in 2015 because of the strong word-of-mouth and fell absolutely in love with its hauntingly bleak future and incredible characters, but I'd just resigned myself to never seeing anything like it again. Its developer, Cavia, had shut down quickly after NieR's release, and its follow up of sorts in Drakengard 3 didn't make much of a splash. Automata is a games industry come-from-behind tales for the ages, putting creator Yoko Taro on the map extremely late into his career, and I find it to be a heartening reminder that there are no foregone conclusions in this world—sometimes it'll deliver you a pleasant surprise like no other.
Jody Macgregor, Weekend/AU Editor: Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine (2011) ➡ Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2 (announced in 2022) I'd given up hope of ever seeing a resolution to the cliffhanger ending of Relic's Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, yet a decade later Space Marine 2 was announced by Saber Interactive out of the blue. (Get it? Because Ultramarines are blue.) It's apparently coming "soon". I'll happily keep waiting as long as it takes.
From our forum
Colif: 12 years? Diablo 2 - 29 June, 2000. Diablo 3 - 15 May, 2012. Problem waiting that long is the chance of the next one being as good as the previous one starts to enter DNF territory. Its a shame the initials don't really stand for Did Not Finish.
Frindis: The most I have ever waited was roughly 1.5 years. After playing GTA 3 back in the good old days, I had a loooooooong spring waiting for GTA Vice City to release on PC in the spring of '03. I was reading everything I could get my hands on about the game, which obviously did not help ease the pain. Best GTA game in my eyes, so well worth the wait.
WoodenSaucer: It's been almost 11 years since Skyrim released, and it will probably be another 25-30 years before TES VI comes out. I may still be alive at the time. In the meantime, they've released about 10-15 re-releases of Skyrim to hold us over.
mainer: Well, I don't have an exact number of years, as the sequels I want the most haven't been released yet, though all of them are presumably in some form of development. Listed by number of years that I've been waiting so far:
1- Elder Scrolls 6; last game was ES5 Skyrim released in 2011. Wait time 11 years & counting.
2- Dragon Age 4; last game DA3 Inquisition released in 2014. Wait time 8 years & counting.
3-Fallout 5; last game Fallout 4 released in 2015 (I don't consider FO76 a continuation of the series, as it was Bethesda's attempt at an MMO-style Fallout, not a single player game). Wait time 7 years & counting.
4- Mass Effect 4; last game in series was ME Andromeda released in 2017. Wait time 5 years & counting.
I imagine Fallout 5 will be the eventual winner in terms of time waited between sequels, but there's too many variables that could occur in the coming years of production for any of these games. It feels like I've been waiting half my life for these sequels.
Brian Boru: Will this thread still be open when Half Life 3 and C&C Generals 2 come out? If so, I reserve my choices now! HL3—18 years and counting; C&C G2—19 years and counting.
Of games which actually have released, that would be Age of Empires 4, 16 years after AoE 3.
Zloth: Alternate Reality: The Palace - still waiting after 25 years. But you said "kept" me waiting. Past tense. I guess that means the sequel must have shown up. AND I actually played it (so no Duke Nukem or Baldur's Gate). Let's see... Doom 3 to Doom 2016 was 12 years.
McStabStab: XCOM: Enemy Unknown came 11 years after the previous installment in the series, but I would say the only other games that were comparable to it were X-Com: UFO Defense and X-Com: Terror From the Deep. If we leave out the games that strayed from the original gameplay format the gap is 17 years. It was worth the wait!
Sarafan: Hard to believe, but it's almost 22 years and... I'm still waiting! Baldur's Gate 2 was released on September 2000 and although the sequel was announced by Larian (and they released the Early Access version), they're still working on the game. Full game is supposed to be released sometime in 2023, so we'll probably get closer to 23 years.
It's still not as much as in the Wasteland 2 case, but in gaming it's a whole era. This reminds me how far ahead of its time was Baldur's Gate 2. While the graphics are not that impressive anymore (although handmade backgrounds age very slowly), the gameplay is still on top. I wish that I can say something similar about BG3 after the next 22 years.
technomadic_rony: Mass Effect 4. I've been waiting for a good Mass Effect game since 2013. There's a rumor that the new Mass Effect game will be released next year, eagerly waiting for that.
Mass Effect: Andromeda left such a bad taste in my mouth that I almost gave up on this series. But last year got a chance to play through the original trilogy in the Legendary Edition and I fell in love again. This series really deserves a good follow up. Please don't mess it up, Bioware.