Special Report

25 Biggest Product Flops of the Last 10 Years

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images News via Getty Images

16. Portal
> Company: Facebook
> Year introduced: 2018
> What it was: Webcam

Few were surprised when business news magazine Fast Company reported in October 2019 that sales of Facebook’s smart display communication device, Portal, were “very low” — and that is despite a considerable price reduction. Initially costing $199 or $349, depending on the model, prices now range from $129 to $279.

Even before evidence emerged that the Portal was a commercial flop it was already a critical failure. Upon its 2018 release, reviews of the device were anywhere from icy to outright hostile, questioning the need for such a device while also pointing out that, in the wake of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, giving the company access to a camera in your home may not be the best idea.

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

17. Google Stadia
> Company: Alphabet
> Year introduced: 2019
> What it was: Cloud gaming service

Google Stadia promised to revolutionize gaming when it was launched in 2019. Players would be able to access games anytime and anywhere, without downloads or installations. But problems haunted the platform, among them a lack of stability and reliability. The service crashed often. When it didn’t, there were significant lag times. The game selection was limited as well.

In October 2022, Google announced it was closing its Stadia cloud gaming service and would refund all players for all Google and Stadia store hardware, content, and add-on purchases.

Source: Christian Petersen / Getty Images News via Getty Images

18. Cyberpunk 2077
> Company: CD Projekt Red
> Year introduced: 2020
> What it was: Video game

Even with action-film actor Keanu Reeves of Matrix fame providing the promotional clout, the video game Cyberpunk 2077 – called the most anticipated game of the 2010s – was a misfire. There were bugs and glitches galore, especially when its company, CD Projekt Red, upgraded the graphics so swiftly that earlier-generation consoles such as PS4 and Xbox One could not handle the enhancement.

CD Projekt Red was forced to distribute refunds to a gaming community angered over the game that had promised so much. PlayStation eventually removed Cyberpunk 2077 from its online store.

Source: David Ramos / Getty Images

19. Horizon Worlds
> Company: Meta
> Year introduced: 2021
> What it was: Virtual reality

Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta launched Horizon Worlds in the U.S. and Canada in 2021. Horizon Worlds is one of the virtual-reality social apps offered by Meta, which wants to build a metaverse consisting of many virtual worlds. The company expected that users would spend more time hanging out with their friends in these virtual spaces, and even spend money on in-app goods.

Thus far, Horizon Worlds has had difficulty connecting with consumers. According to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, internal documents and employees indicate disappointing numbers of people are employing the app. Meta hoped to have 500,000 monthly active users visiting a variety of virtual worlds. That number has been revised to around 200,000.

Source: Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

20. Space Jam: New Legacy
> Company: Warner Bros.
> Year introduced: 2021
> What it was: Film

This reboot of the original “Space Jam,” which starred Michael Jordan, is about a rogue artificial intelligence entity that kidnaps the son of basketball star LeBron James – who has to work with Bugs Bunny to win a basketball game. A poor script and James’s failing as an actor led to a colossal loss of $163 million.

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