Created By: love1993 on April 30, 2012 Last Edited By: love1993 on June 27, 2012

Series Developer Shift

One or more entries in a franchise are produced by a different company or creator from the original.

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When the development company of a popular franchise hands over production to another company, that is when this trope goes into effect. This could happen for numerous reasons. Maybe the original company is being shut down, giving up the franchise or wants to give the series a different feel. Or maybe another creator wants to continue a franchise after the original author has ended the series.

The shift doesn't have to be permanent, however. As long as the original company or creator is still alive and kicking, the franchise can always go back to being developed by the former company.

Needless to say, the reception of this type of development can vary a lot, depending on the quality of the company in charge. The company could wind up improving or destroying the franchise.


Examples

Comic Book

Film
  • The Friday the 13th film series was produced & distributed by Paramount, then bought by New Line Cinema so they could have the crossover Freddy vs. Jason with New Line's Nightmare on Elm Street killer.
  • Disney feature-length animated films were usually created by Disney Animation Studios. Their sequels, however, were mostly made by Disney Toon Studios. The only exceptions to this are The Rescuers Down Under, Fantasia 2000, and Winnie-the-Pooh.
  • The The Chronicles of Narnia movie series were originally made by Walt Disney Pictures, but after the first two, it shifted to 20th Century Fox, as they could not agree on a date to release The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader.
  • The James Bond films Never Say Never Again and Casino Royale (1967) were made by companies other than Eon Productions, which made all other James Bond films. Royale's film rights were held by a different company than the rest of the Bond series, and due to a lawsuit over Thunderball Kevin McClory was given rights to make any film he wanted based on that book. Both are considered non-canon.
  • Nearly all of Don Bluth's films have had sequels and spin-offs made by other studios without his input. The sole exceptions have been the Anastasia spin-off Bartok the Magnificent and the recent Dragon's Lair and Space Ace comic books.

Video Game
  • The first four Silent Hill games were made by Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo. Later games, however, were developed by American companies.
  • Dead Rising was developed directly by Capcom. The second game and its side titles were developed by Blue Castle Games under Capcom's supervision.
  • The Donkey Kong Country series was made by Rare, until it was sold to Microsoft. Later games were made by Nintendo using Donkey Kong Country characters, and it wasn't until 2010 that an official sequel was created by Retro Studios, under the title Donkey Kong Country Returns.
  • Speaking of Retro, they developed the Metroid Prime series. Metroid was originally developed by Nintendo.
  • A few of the Legend of Zelda games were developed by Capcom, including Oracle Of Seasons, Oracle Of Ages, and Minish Cap.
  • The infamous Legend Of Zelda CDI Games and Hotel Mario were developed by Phillips.
  • The fourth Sly Cooper game is being developed by Sanzaru Games.
  • The first three Spyro the Dragon games were created by Insomniac. Later games had numerous shifts to different companies with varied reception.
  • Same goes for Crash Bandicoot. They were at first produced by Naughty Dog but the series has since moved on to different development companies.
  • Crackdown shifted with the sequel.
  • Valve's Half-Life expansion, Opposing Force, was developed by Gearbox Software, and introduced aliens that were new to the Half-Life universe - and then never seen again.
  • The original Neverwinter Nights was developed by Bioware, the sequel was made by Obsidian.
  • The Fallout series was first developed by Interplay Entertainment. The sequel was made by Black Isle Studios and the third game was made by Bethesda.
  • While the main series of Pokemon are created by Game Freak, most of its spinoffs are not.
    • The Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games are made by Chunsoft, the creators of Dragon Quest
    • Pokemon Pinball was made by a company called Jupiter, notorious for making Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
    • Pokemon Rumble was created by Ambrella.
    • The Pokemon Ranger and Pokemon Snap games are created by HAL.

Western Animation
Community Feedback Replies: 31
  • April 30, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Not sure Mario counts, as those are spinoffs. The main series development hasn't apparently shifted. Same with the Zelda games.

  • April 30, 2012
    JonnyB
    Valve's Half Life expansion, Opposing Force, was developed by Gearbox Software, and introduced aliens that were new to the Half-Life universe - and never seen again.
  • May 1, 2012
    partner555
    This looks like a Trivia trope.
  • May 1, 2012
    reub2000
    Trivia is at least interesting. This? Why should I care?
  • May 2, 2012
    nitrokitty
    The original Neverwinter Nights was developed by Bioware, the sequel was made by Obsidian.
  • May 3, 2012
    TomWalpertac2
    • The various Call Of Duty games depending on whether or not you call them by their alternate titles. (Activision, Treyarc)
  • May 3, 2012
    Surenity
    The Legend Of Zelda CDI Games and Hotel Mario, developed by Phillips.
  • May 4, 2012
    captainsandwich
    this is not a true example of the trope but, Narbacular Drop is a game similar to Portal (how much so i don't know, but i know the portals have the same color indicators), then Valve highered the team that made Narbacular Drop to make the game's spiritual successor Portal. Also i don't find it clear if the original company needs to still be around, do you think you can change the wording?
  • May 4, 2012
    TBeholder
    • Fallout 3 with its rocketproof babies?
  • May 4, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Why does it have to be limited to video games?
  • May 8, 2012
    LordMelchior
    • While the main series of Pokemon are created by Game Freak, most spinoffs are not.
      • The Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games are made by Chunsoft, the creators of Dragon Quest
      • Pokemon Pinball was made by a company called Jupiter, notorious for making Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
      • Pokemon Rumble was created by Ambrella.
      • The Pokemon Ranger and Pokemon Snap games are created by HAL.
  • May 12, 2012
    randomsurfer
    DC Comics bought out much of its competition in the 1970s-1980s (other than Marvel), so the adventures of Captain Marvel, the Blue Beetle, The Question, Plastic Man, etc. are now published by DC.
  • May 12, 2012
    DracMonster
    Expand this into a more general Creator Shift for things like when a different author continues a book series, or a movie sequel with a different director. (If we don't have that already.)
  • May 12, 2012
    HATI
    Not sure it counts but the Animaniacs cartoons were created by one company but animated by several different companies, leading to constantly shifting levels of quality in the animation.
  • May 13, 2012
    ShiningArmor87
    I think the BC example is more of Outlived Its Creator, as the strip was overtaken by someone else after the original creator died. Newspaper strips should only count as this if the new cartoonist takes over while the old one is still alive.
  • May 13, 2012
    ShiningArmor87
    For example, Six Chix is a comic strip that is drawn by six different cartoonists every day of the week (except Sunday, when it's a random one of them). The Thursday strips were drawn by Ann Telnaes from 2000 to 2005, then Carla Ventresca from 2005 to 2007, then Anne Gibbons from 2007 to the present. Likewise, the Friday strips were drawn by Kathryn LeMieux from 2000 to 2009, then Benita Epstein from 2009 to the present.
  • May 13, 2012
    ringsofrexor
    The Sims 3 weren't designed by Will Wright and Maxis.
  • May 13, 2012
    IfOnly
  • May 14, 2012
    randomsurfer
    ^Ditto the Popeye cartoons.

  • May 15, 2012
    ShiningArmor87
    The The Chronicles Of Narnia movie series was original made by Walt Disney Pictures, but after the first two, it shifted to Twentieth Century Fox, as they could not agree on a date to release The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader.
  • May 15, 2012
    DracMonster
    Maybe name it Series Developer Shift. "Development Shift" makes it sound like Genre Shift or They Changed It Now It Sucks.
  • May 17, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Not sure if this counts:
    • The James Bond films Never Say Never Again and Casino Royale (1967) were made by companies other than Eon Productions, which made all other James Bond films. Royale's film rights were held by a different company than the rest of the Bond series, and due to a lawsuit over Thunderball Kevin McClory was given rights to make any film he wanted based on that book. Both are considered non-canon.
  • May 20, 2012
    TonyG
    ^^^^^ I doubt the Superman and Popeye examples are this. Famous Studios was just Fleischer Studios minus the Fleischers, with Paramount taking over management. So it's basically same team, different owners.
  • May 23, 2012
    tooknown
    Wasn't the second season of Minami-ke made by a different company from the first?
  • May 24, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Would TV series which switch networks count? A couple off the top of my head: And then there's cases like All In The Family, which was originally developed for ABC but they decided not to pick it up, so CBS did.
  • May 24, 2012
    sigh824
  • May 25, 2012
    ShiningArmor87
    ^^ That's Channel Hop.
  • May 25, 2012
    HaggisMcCrablice
    Ren And Stimpy's first season was created by John Kricfalusi and his animation house Spumco. Later seasons were produced by Games, helmed by Bob Camp. A decade later John K. took control back for a short-lived, more adult-themed revival.

    MGM farmed 13 episodes of Tom And Jerry out to Gene Diezch's Eastern European-based studio during the sixties.
  • May 25, 2012
    TonyG
    ^It's Deitch, and after that the series was taken over by Chuck Jones when he set up shop at MGM.
  • June 12, 2012
    TonyG
    Captain Planet And The Planeteers was produced by Di C Entertainment for the first three seasons, after which it was passed to Hanna Barbera (which had been recently bought by Ted Turner).
  • June 12, 2012
    videogmer314
    Would an example count if a new developer is added, but the old one continues working on the series at the same time?

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