So we have a Massive Multiplayer Crossover
spanning across multiple worlds, franchises, uni/multiverses, what-have-you. Many characters from all featured worlds participated in it, in one way or another.
But then you noticed something: one, or at least a small number, of said franchises/worlds gets more spotlight than the others
, be it the number of representations, the limelight, or the story prominence.
This means we have a case of Spotlight Stealing Crossover.
Keep in mind, though, that this trope isn't always bad
and isn't necessarily an unintentional blunder either (e.g some works deliberately focus the crossover from one franchise's Point of View
Not to be confused with someone from a franchise who's regularly featured in crossovers because of popularity - check Breakout Character
, Wolverine Publicity
and Popularity Power
Anime & Manga
- In the Yu Gi Oh Bonds Beyond Time movie which crosses over the then three Yu-Gi-Oh series the story mostly focuses on Yusei and the cast of 5Ds with all the supporting cast appearing. The plot mostly takes place in the time of the original Yu-Gi-Oh series but GX gets the shaft with Jaden being the only (living and/or human) character to appear and his section takes place in Venice rather than anywhere from his life.
- In any given Crisis Crossover in the DC Universe Batman and Co will likely be featured prominently despite being as street level as Superheroes get.
- Happened quite a bit with the Silver Age Worlds Finest comics—they were run by the Superman editorial office, so tended to feature Superman's villains and themes far more than Batman's. (And sometimes when they did use Batman characters, failed to check for updates on their status.)
- Nearly every crossover fan-fiction with more than two series involved will focus on characters from the author's favorite series.
- Downplayed in Super Mario Bros. Z. It's set in and named for Mario's world and most of the characters are Mario ones but the main villain and Macguffins are from the Sonic series.
- Averted by executive mandate in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Disney and Warner Brothers allowed their characters to be used but they had to have equal screen time, hence the Donald Duck & Daffy Duck and Mickey Mouse & Bugs Bunny scenes.
- Partially due to the game reusing characters from previous games, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes has more than half of its cast coming from Street Fighter or X-Men.
- In the previous crossovers there would always be at least two X-Men: Wolverine and the flavor of the year character. (Psyloke for Marvel Super Heroes, Cyclops for Marvel Superheroes vs Street Fighter and Gambit for Marvel vs Capcom 1)
- Injustice: Gods Among Us had a significant portion of its cast coming from Gotham even though Catwoman and Bane barely play any role in the story. Batman is also the only remaining superhero and the only character to have two chapters in story mode: one as the main universe one and the other as his Injustice verse counterpart.
- Playstation All Stars Battle Royale started getting called "God of War All-Stars Battle Royale" after the game's Big Bad and Final Boss Zeus was made playable in a later line of DLC, which includes any number of new icons, backgrounds and minions associated with a new character (and thus, more fanservice for the GoW fan-base). It should also be noted that God of War is the only series to be a part of two stages, have three items and (besides the The Coles) have two characters.
- Sega Super Stars got so far into this with regards to Sonic the Hedgehog's overabundance of characters that they later renamed the series Sonic & All-Stars (starting with All-Stars Racing Transformed).
- This trope is in full effect in the SNK vs. Capcom series in light of all the Street Fighter and The King of Fighters characters populating the roster (though at least KOF has the distinction of starting out as a Massively Multiplayer Crossover). When SNK made their later entry with SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, they tried to remedy this a bit by throwing a few Unexpected Characters into the mix, such as Zero, Red Arremer and The Mars People (in other words, characters not coming from a Fighting Game background).
- Super Smash Bros.
- In the original Super Smash Bros the only series to have 2 characters were the Mario and Pokemon Series.
- In Melee about half the cast was either from Mario, the Legend of Zelda or Pokemon.
- This isn't so much the case in Brawl where the Mario and Zelda don't gain any new characters (Toon Link replaces Young Link) and other series like Kirby and Donkey Kong finally get other characters. Pokemon however has six characters if all of the Trainer's Pokemon are counted separately.
- The full cast for the forth game in the series hasn't been revealed yet but all four Mario Veterans were confirmed to return before any other series got more than one.
- Look no further than Nicktoons Unite, or SPONGEBOB featuring Nicktoons, as the final installment was named. While the earlier titles in the series went toward more egalitarian representation of the Nicktoons involved, as the series progressed Sponge Bob Squarepants stole the whole show.
- In Street Fighter X Tekken, while there's equal amounts of playable characters per side, many more Street Fighter Characters make cameo appearances.
- And in an example of a nested crossover, It'd be harder to name a Final Fight character that doesn't appear one way or the other, including Poison being playable for the first time ever. Not that anyone is complaining.
- Kingdom Hearts plays with this, since it focuses on the Original Generation more than the Disney and Final Fantasy worlds. To a lesser extent, the Final Fantasy worlds play this straight, due to being a franchise (granted, one where the games are Non Linear Sequels) to Disney's various non associated movies. though they appear in less worlds than the Disney characters, a couple of them are among Sora's group of friends and as a result, slightly impact the plot more then the Disney Animated Canon characters note and at least one the worlds that they do appear in (Hollow Bastion/Radiant garden, Twilight Town and Traverse Town) shows up in each game.
- Averted in the 'Justice League'' cartoon by way of Executive Meddling where, due to the fact another Batman focused series was running at the same time, the only Batman character available was the Dark Knight himself.
- Played straight in relation to the Superman characters though where most of the arc villains were foes of Superman.