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* Creator/{{Nintendo}} fans remember ''VideoGame/HotelMario'' and the [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaCDiGames Zelda CD-i games]] with shame, due to [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mHw5g55oC4 this]] and general unplayablity. They haven't been forgotten by Creator/YouTube, by way of SoBadItsGood-ness and by extension, WebAnimation/YouTubePoop.
** Nintendo is also starting to hear new accusations of this in recent years; while most of their games continue to be well-received by fans and critics alike, their gameplay has gradually become more and more streamlined to cater to Japanese audiences, whom Ken Sugimori described as increasingly impatient as a result of the growing prevalence of smartphones and the internet in Japan. This has led to game design choices that have ranged from questionable to outright [[BrokenBase controversial]] (most notably in the case of ''Paper Mario'', as noted below). Meanwhile, Nintendo of America has come under criticism for its current localization practices, with a noticeable rise in [[WereStillRelevantDammit references to internet memes]] and [[{{Bowdlerise}} acts of censorship]] that many have deemed unnecessary (despite much of said censorship being implemented to conform to [[ValuesDissonance differences in content standards]] between Japan and the United States, with age of consent being the most prominent one).
* The ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' subseries of the ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' franchise is generally agreed to be in one as of 2016. It started with ''VideoGame/PaperMarioStickerStar'', which was a heavily controversial game for removing the story, exploration and RPG elements that made previous installments so beloved (ordered by ''Miyamoto'' no less! Yes, the creator of Mario was the one who ordered these changes, citing previous entries as "too complicated"). With ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPaperJam'' mostly being held aloft by the gameplay and characterization approach of [[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi its other constituent series]] while suffering from a few of the same problems as current ''Paper Mario'' games, and ''VideoGame/PaperMarioColorSplash'' being highly reminiscent of ''Sticker Star'', many fans agree that the dork age isn't ending any time soon. There are a few fans who believe that the dork age began with ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'', but [[VindicatedByHistory in hindsight]], it's seen as a far better game that mostly only suffers due to [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks its different gameplay]].
* The UsefulNotes/ElectronicEntertainmentExpo (E3) is widely believed to have gone through a dork age between 2007 and 2008. Once a Mecca for gamers the event was made invitation-only and attendance dropped from 60,000 down to a low of 5,000 (the event was also inexplicably renamed the "E3 Media & Business Summit" during that time with little justification other than "the video game industry is not about 'entertainment', it's about business"). As a result E3 went from being the ultimate expo in the video games to a low-key event. It didn't help that the E for All trade show meant to replace it turned out to be a dud. Also to make things worse the announcements and game demos E3 is known for were rather lacking in comparison to previous years. Some gaming experts also believe that the E3 had a dork age in 1996, if only because [[VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry3DixieKongsDoubleTrouble the best-selling video game of that year]] was not featured on the E3 at all.
* ''Franchise/SilentHill'' is notorious for its horribly BrokenBase, but most fans will agree that the series peaked with the [[VideoGame/SilentHill1 first]] [[VideoGame/SilentHill2 three]] [[VideoGame/SilentHill3 games]], and the existence of a franchise DorkAge is nearly unanimous. The general summation of this is a [[CreatorWorship reverence for "Team Silent"]] and a [[OnlyTheCreatorDoesItRight mistrust of the games in which this development team was not involved]], though the consensus is that ''VideoGame/SilentHill4: The Room'', the last of the Team Silent entries (and a DolledUpInstallment), is where the slide began. ''VideoGame/SilentHillShatteredMemories'' [[LoveItOrHateIt broke the fanbase further]], between those convinced that the series remained mired in suck, and those who believe this entry was fresh and compelling enough to possibly signal a revival of the franchise. Reception to ''VideoGame/SilentHillDownpour'' was far more positive, and the announcement of ''VideoGame/SilentHills'' got even the most jaded fans interested in the series again... until [[{{Vaporware}} it got canceled]] in a dreadful case of [[ScrewedByTheNetwork Screwed by the Publisher]], which (along with the announcement of a ''Silent Hill'' slot machine) has many fans wishing the Ten Plagues on Creator/{{Konami}} and fearing that the series may never escape its Dork Age.
* ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal 3'' and ''4'' were developed by 989 Studios rather than series' original developers, Singletrac. When the former staff members of Singletrac formed Incognito to develop the newer games in the franchise, it elected to wipe the events of those two titles from continuity.
* ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'': There's a lot of debate as to which expansion of ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' constitutes as this. The common arguments are as follows:
** ''The Burning Crusade'' is generally considered to have great gameplay, but a terrible plot and setting that changed a lot of beloved ''Warcraft III'' characters, accidentally and shoddily retconned a major enemy race, and had too many elements verging on sci-fi for players to feel it belonged comfortably in ''Warcraft'''s fantasy setting. It also contained what is still considered to be the single hardest raid dungeon in the game's history, which influenced a lot of the development team's future philosophies with raid and class design.
** ''Wrath of the Lich King'' is the inverse, with players praising its great narrative and characterization, but hating the gameplay changes, feeling as if both dungeon and raid content was dumbed down to appeal to a more casual playerbase, and homogenizing classes to the point where they lacked unique identity. It also added the game's first new class, the Death Knight, which saw a ridiculous amount of oversaturation during the expansion's life cycle.
** ''Cataclysm'' has been met with cries of ''both'' story and gameplay rot, with the former two expansions and the vanilla game ironically being looked back upon as {{Golden Age}}s. Gameplay wise, it met a good mix of people feeling the new content was too hard, followed by nerfs that made it ''too easy''. Story-wise the expansion had a largely ineffectual main antagonist following up the very well-loved Arthas, characters such as [[CreatorsPet Thrall]] and [[TheScrappy Garrosh]] playing very important but unpopular roles, and it began the trend of Alliance players feeling as if the writers were biased against them, giving the Horde a lot of KickTheDog moments and having their own quest lines never result in a fair comeuppance against the Horde.
** ''Mists of Pandaria'' was controversial; certain aspects of the gameplay (notably daily quests) have been heavily criticized, and prior to release many people felt the inclusion of the pandaren was a [[JumpingTheShark jump the shark]] moment for the series. The story and the handling of the faction war are also objects of criticism. Debates also abound as to whether the game having its lowest subscription numbers in years is a result of poor development or simply people tiring of an almost decade-old game.
** ''Warlords of Draenor'' has proven to be a very, very controversial expansion with players, although the sub numbers increased from 6 million to 10 million and hype was high the launch was marred by full servers with some people unable to get on for *hours* waiting in a queue, though players felt themselves at a loss for what to do after hitting the level cap besides raiding, players subscribed at a faster rate than previous shrinking to 5.5 million in September 2015, which turned out to be the last ever sub announcements as Blizzard announced in November 2015 they would no long announce subs, so one can only wonder how far they've dropped before Legion comes out.
** One that most will agree upon is the handling of the orc storyline in ''Cataclysm'', and ''Mists of Pandaria'' due to their seeming extreme demonization, AesopAmnesia, and {{Flanderization}}. The positive representation of the orcs in ''Mists of Pandaria'' could even be counted on one hand!
** Let's not forget the RTS crowd who've been waiting years since ''Warcraft III'' for a new RTS title. Some believe ever since ''[=WoW=]'' (and [=MMORPGs=] in general) proved to be a bigger money maker than RTS games, this change in genre for the franchise marked the end of future RTS titles. Since then, ''VideoGame/StarCraftII'' has been released to scratch the RTS itch, but the wait for a ''Warcraft IV'' continues.
** From a story standpoint, ''[=WoW=]'' has slowly become a dork age for the franchise in general. During the era of the RTS games, each game would expand on the world and even though some things were changed, for the most part fans were fine with the way the story developed. As ''[=WoW=]'' went on, [[RetCon retcons]] and [[SeriesContinuityError continuity errors]] became much more common as well as more blatant. Many important [=NPCs=] became [[{{Flanderization}} flanderized]] and new characters who were built up as important were often very controversial. The nature of being an MMORPG strangled the story, and prevented a lot of story threads from being resolved properly. Many characters who were portrayed as morally ambiguous (or even benevolent) were turned into raid bosses with little justification. The Alliance and The Horde will always be at each other's throats, no matter how many [[ConflictBall Conflict Balls]] have to be passed around for it to happen. The defeat of [[spoiler:The Lich King]] was partially negated by the reveal that [[spoiler:without a Lich King, the Scourge would devastate Azeroth, so another character was forced to take up the role, ensuring that the Scourge will likely never be wiped out]]. Attempts at [[RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap rescuing characters from the scrappy heap]] either don't stick, or come at [[CharacterShilling the expense of other characters]]. The developers are forced to try (and often fail) to balance the [=NPCs=] from taking part in important events without stealing the glory from the players, and having the [=NPCs=] doing absolutely nothing at all. Regardless of the mechanical benefits, each expansion tends to bring on another heap of [[BrokenBase base-breaking]] plot developments and characterization.
* A variant: ''VideoGame/{{Monkey Island 2|LeChucksRevenge}}'' ended in such an [[MindScrew impenetrably baffling fashion]] (The last part of the game takes place in [[spoiler: the maintenance tunnels of an amusement park, and the undead antagonist turns out to be Guybrush's brother in a mask, and the whole escapade was AllJustADream ([[OrWasItADream or was it?]])]] that its sequel, ''VideoGame/TheCurseOfMonkeyIsland'', {{retcon}}ned the previous game's final confrontation into something a bit easier to follow. However, status quo wasn't necessarily restored because ''Monkey Island 2'''s ending was ''bad'' -- it's more that after Ron Gilbert left the series, no one knew where he was planning to go with this revelation, and he has no intention of telling anybody. However, it's far more likely that it was just the final absurd twist in a game full of them than any sort of deep statement about the characters.
* The makers of the MMO ''VideoGame/StarWarsGalaxies'' decided it wasn't successful enough, so they came up with the "New Game Experience", which involved massive changes to the game mechanics, combat system, character classes, and pretty much everything else, in the hope of attracting a whole new demographic. The result was an existing player base that was thoroughly (and vocally) pissed off, a new player base that never materialised, and a huge drop in subscriptions (not officially admitted, but confirmed by user-written in-game surveying tools before the company caught on and disabled the tools). Other [=MMOs=] have dome similar things on a less spectacular scale, but ''SWG[='=]s'' NGE is the infamous example everyone points to. One of the ''major'' reasons for this is that the developers changed the way one becomes a Jedi. Originally, players had to find holocrons and master whatever class tree it said to master, then the player may luck out and become a Jedi, or would receive another holocron. This, naturally, would be a grind. The New Game Experience let players start as a Jedi. Not only did this mean that everyone picked to be a Jedi while avoiding every other class, and pissing off those people unlucky enough to have had to master ''every'' class to become a Jedi before then, but it also [[SeriesContinuityError royally futzed with the franchise's canon]]. You had many thousands of Jedi when at that time in the official storyline, the only true, trained Jedi still living was Yoda. Just how bad is it? [[VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic A new Star Wars MMO]] handled by ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' developer Creator/BioWare and set in the [=KoToR=] timeline had since came along.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** Square Enix themselves have admitted that the late 00s and 2010s haven't been good to this series. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' had mixed reviews, but had already been set up into a major franchise of sequels and spinoffs that had limited appeal to those who disliked the original. The original incarnation of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' was a disaster so big the whole game had to be pulled, causing what SE called 'irreparable damage to the ''Final Fantasy'' brand', and remade. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV'' spent over a decade in DevelopmentHell. The {{JRPG}} format had already been starting to date, but the increasing technical feasibility of WideOpenSandbox games made it look like a dinosaur in comparison; the general level of storytelling in other games drastically improved, while ''Final Fantasy'' continued down a FranchiseOriginalSin approach of increasingly exaggerated and poor aesthetic choices to appeal to the core audience. At the beginning of the 2000s, ''Final Fantasy'' was regarded as a series of artistically beautiful, emotional, intelligent games that surpassed most other franchises; by 2015 it was regarded as a niche franchise, if not an outright joke, even in its home territory of Japan. When Yoichi Wada was asked why there hadn't been a ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' remake, he explained that they would never do one until the studio was good enough to live up to the original. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'''s very well-received redo, the announcement of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIIRemake'' and assigning a new director to ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV'' suggests Square is determined to make significant changes, but it remains to be seen if they'll drag ''FF'' into a renaissance.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'', the ''Chains of Promathia'' expansion is considered to be a DorkAge by many, many, '''many''' players. Reasons included; grueling boss fights that required [[CripplingOverspecialization very specific party combinations]] and [[LuckBasedMission a fair amount of luck to win]], storylines that were {{left hanging}} between updates, Notorious Monsters that were amazingly gimmicky with incredibly low drop rates for gear AND pop items for further Notorious Monsters. The era was also known for the infamous "Ranger Nerf" that, while somewhat justified in the fact that the Ranger job was [[GameBreaker/FinalFantasy severely overpowered compared to other jobs]], went way too far and made it into one of the weakest jobs in the game. (This nerf was partially countered years later after Samurai became the new overpowered pet-job of the dev team.) Combined with the first unbeatable boss of the game, the Jailer of Love which was then nerfed to make way for the new unbeatable boss [[ThatOneBoss Absolute Virtue]], quite a lot of mid to end-game players left ''FFXI'' to play ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''. Not that ''Chains of Promethia'' was completely terrible; the mission storyline is among the longest and most interesting in the game (and better than some of the storylines of the main games), created systems and fights that are still popular years later like Limbus, [=ENMs=], Bahamut, and Ouryu, and included many in-depth optional side quests such as Adventuring Fellows (your own personal NPC). Changes to the mission fights were made to help players, such as making the fights easier, removing the experience penalty if they fall during battles, rewarding players with experience if they help people with the battles, and easing the restrictions of special items that help to make the battles easier- but these were made after the next expansion, ''Treasures of Aht Urhgan'', when most players will agree that the DorkAge ended with a vengeance with a completely new philosophy in game design. (That it shouldn't be terrible to do things in the game.) Many people look fondly at the ''Chains of Promethia'' expansion, mainly because time has passed and people don't quite remember the original [[NintendoHard controller-throwing difficulty]] of the unnerfed missions, or they had only played the missions after they had been nerfed. Also, not losing thousands upon thousands of XP to the then unnerfed Jailer of Love and the still-to-this-day unnerfed Absolute Virtue may well help to keep those glasses rose-colored.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' managed to go through a dork age ''twice''. When the game launched in 2010, there were lots of bugs, terrible optimization that made the game run sluggishly for most PC users, and many game mechanics that were not looked upon favorably, such as having experience points being reduced in gains if you try to level up too much. Once the development team got replaced with new faces, the game was reworked from the ground up and relaunched 3 years later with favorable results; players could complete quests at their own leisure, items were mostly easy to obtain, and the game was very stable and optimized. However, a second dork age came along shortly after the rerelease; certain materials were hard to find or buy due to people and bots alike farming the materials and then selling the materials back on the market for absurdly high prices. End game gear that wasn't part of a loot drop were regulated to many weeks (or even months) of grinding for special tomes that were needed to obtain said gear. A few patches did address the issues, but the next major patch introduced more problems with the Atma system where players had to get 12 specific items from 12 specific events that pop up at random times in order to power up their InfinityPlusOneSword. The problem is that the events can take ''hours'' to appear and the items from the event have ridiculously low drop rates. The fan base had exploded in anger over the Atma system and some have compared it to the same systems that were used in ''Final Fantasy XI''.
* The ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry'' series entered a DorkAge with the games starring Larry Lovage (''Magna Cum Laude'' and ''Box Office Bust''). It is worth noting that Al Lowe, the series' creator, isn't involved with either of them. Judging by his site, he'd be more than happy to give them advice, and is also more than happy he wasn't involved when the games bombed.
* In the late 1990s, Creator/{{Konami}} farmed out the development of the ''VideoGame/{{Contra}}'' series to Hungarian developer Appaloosa, resulting in the creation of the series' two UsefulNotes/PlayStation installments ''Contra: Legacy of War'' (which also saw release on the UsefulNotes/SegaSaturn) in 1996, and ''C: The Contra Adventure'' in 1998. Both games were critically panned when they came out and Konami even canceled plans to localize the first of the two titles in Japan after the negative reception it received, which makes one wonder why they would give Appaloosa a second chance. It's made all the worse by the fact that ''Legacy of War'' relied on a [=3D=] glasses gimmick for sales (we're talking '50s BMovie red/blue cardboard glasses here) and massively derailed existing characters and canon, considering these followed on from ''Contra: Hard Corps'', one of the more story-heavy ''Contra'' games, it did not go well. It should be noted that both games are explicitly [[CanonDiscontinuity exiled from the Contra canon]].
* ''VideoGame/BackyardSports'', with the games from 2006 onward. There had been numerous character changes and [[ChuckCunninghamSyndrome removed characters]], and the announcers were incredibly boring.
* Fans of ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'' generally look at the period of time Eolith produced the games, especially ''KOF 2001'' as a Dork Age. The way ''2001'' plays is in general more glitchy and gimmicky (letting you choose how many teammates and strikers you want, for starters -- meaning you can even fight ''1-vs-4 battles'', something that should only be reserved for bosses) than any other incarnation of the series, and is in general a mess. The music for these games has been compared to the sounds of robots farting, and Eolith [[ExecutiveMeddling introduced a few of their own character designs]] (although a scant few, like [[EnsembleDarkhorse May Lee]], were more favorably received). When Creator/{{SNK}} [[BackFromTheDead reclaimed the wheel]] as SNK Playmore, among the first things they did was to [[{{Retcon}} wipe several elements from]] ''[[{{Retcon}} 2001]]'' [[{{Retcon}} right out of the canon]], including the whole character of K9999 (also a blatant CaptainErsatz of [[Manga/{{Akira}} Tetsuo]]) and [[KilledOffForReal Foxy's death]]. ''[[DreamMatchGame 2002]]'', however, is still one of the most played versions in the series competitively, and even after the release of ''[[UpdatedRerelease 2002: Unlimited Match]]'' you'll still see some original ''[='02=]'' tournies being played. Now, ''2001'' on the other hand? Nope.
** The time the franchise switched to the tag team format with ''KOF 2003'' and ''KOF XI'' can be seen as one as well (though it ''was'' generally well-received, especially with the improvements made in ''XI'', one of the more favorable SNKP entries along with ''XIII''), which is why later games have dumped the tag team system in favor of the traditional 3-man elimination format.
* ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' was another fighting series that went through this.
** After ''VideoGame/MortalKombat4'' hit the PolygonCeiling, the series seemed to have reached a stalemate with a largely undistinguishable (except for an expanded character roster) UpdatedRerelease for Dreamcast, ''Mortal Kombat Gold'', and the UsefulNotes/PlayStation-exclusive ''VideoGame/MortalKombatSpecialForces'', an utterly horrible action spin-off. In the wake of this, John Tobias jumped ship from the creative team, and the series laid low as the gaming industry entered its new generation -- between ''Special Forces'' and the next entry in the series, there was a three-year gap.
** The trilogy of ''Deadly Alliance'', ''Deception'', and ''Armaggedon'' are not exactly remembered fondly. ''Deadly Alliance'' derailed several characters and [[KillEmAll dropped bridges on nearly all of the iconic characters of the series]], ''Deception'' introduced many less than stellar characters, including a character whose entirely characterization is literally yet another {{Stripperific}} ninja, a character is who is a walking, one note ToiletHumor joke, a main hero who is straight out of a teenage ''MK'' fanfiction, and a main villain who is one of the biggest {{Villain Sue}}s in fighting game history (though Onaga is more fondly regarded nowadays among the fandom, a rarity for {{Big Bad}}s not named Shao Kahn). Finally, ''Armageddon'' replaced the unique Fatalities with bog standard ones to accommodate for all the characters present and a story mode even more fanfictiony than ''Deception's''.
** And then there was ''VideoGame/MortalKombatVsDCUniverse'', which can be seen as Midway trying to figure out what to do with the series. It's not necessarily a bad game, but it's a firm indicator of ''Mortal Kombat'''s Dork Age, because the simple fact of it being rated T by ESRB (due to the DC superheroes) made this game a standout, and not in a positive way: it meant a lot of what players knew of ''MK'' would be inevitably {{Bowdlerise}}d (mainly the explicit {{Gorn}}, which was reduced to the odd blood spill here and there, and censored Fatalities -- even more so than the home versions of the original game). It ultimately took Midway [[CreatorKiller filing for bankruptcy]] and [[ChannelHop seeing its assets acquired by WB Games]] for the series to get back on track-the bankruptcy/acquisition period allowed for Midway Studios (now reincarnated as Netherrealm Studios) to sort out what worked and what didn't work and then return to series to form with the well-received ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'', as well as using their experience on the DC end of things to turn out ''VideoGame/InjusticeGodsAmongUs'', a cool all-DC fighting game.
* ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' actually inverted this. When the ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII'' series came out, many people were [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks turned off by all the changes]] and many dropped the series altogether. As time has passed however, many looked back and were able to view the ''SFIII'' series, specifically the [[CapcomSequelStagnation third iteration]] ''3rd Strike'', [[VindicatedByHistory much more favorably]].
* ''VideoGame/DeusExInvisibleWar'' was Warren Spector's entry into a Dork Age, and immediately lost his accumulated industry and fan respect. He's managed to bounce back some, which is better than other developer/producers have been able to do ([[VideoGame/{{Daikatana}}anyone remember what]] Creator/JohnRomero is up to anymore?) but still hasn't regained his former stature. Because of lingering rancor, ''VideoGame/ThiefDeadlyShadows'' received less fair critical reviews than it deserved, and Spector hasn't been invited to return for [[VideoGame/{{Thief 2014}} a sequel]]. He may have found a rehabilitation of his image in the unlikely vessel of a [[VideoGame/EpicMickey Mickey Mouse game]], though its mixed reception (and Spector's claims that negative reviewers "misunderstood" the game) didn't make for the reputation resurrection that was hoped for.
* Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog has had a number of these.
** The first one was between 1995-1998. The cancellation of ''Sonic X-treme'' meant that there would not be a main series ''Sonic'' on the UsefulNotes/SegaSaturn, which only provided fans with a CompilationRerelease, a port of [[VideoGame/Sonic3DFlickiesIsland a slow isometric game]] and a [[VideoGame/SonicR racing spin-off]]. Other than that, Sonic was relegated mostly to various spin-offs on the UsefulNotes/GameGear. While the early '90s had Sonic more recognisable than Mickey Mouse, Sonic Team reportedly received letters asking who Sonic was shortly after the release of 1996's ''VideoGame/NIGHTSIntoDreams''. This Dork Age finally ended with the release of ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'' in 1998.
** The second (and perhaps [[NeverLiveItDown the most well-known]]) is the one from November 2005 to January 2007 with the releases of ''VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog'', ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006'' and ''Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis'', a [[PortingDisaster GBA port]] of [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog1 the original Sonic]] game. Shadow's game was a spin-off meant to please Shadow's fans and conclude his amnesia arc, but Sega didn't stop there; they also tried to aim for the ''Franchise/GrandTheftAuto'' crowd using Shadow's ByronicHero characterization to justify some pretty bizarre choices (namely guns and mild swearing) with SoBadItsGood results. ''Sonic '06'' was hyped to be the Blue Blur's big comeback and a "re-imagining" of the series for the seventh-generation consoles; instead it turned out to be a [[ObviousBeta rushed mess]] with Sonic receiving a much-maligned romance subplot involving a human princess, which [[OutOfFocus had less overall importance]] compared to the plots given to [[SpotlightStealingSquad his co-stars]]. ''Sonic Genesis'' was '''another''' rushed mess that was just salt in the wound after ''[='06=]''. Lastly, ''VideoGame/SonicRiders'' and ''[[VideoGame/SonicStorybookSeries Sonic and the Secret Rings]]'' were released around this time, and though not as reviled as ''[='06=]'', they were widely criticized for their controls.
** After this, the fanbase became even more fractured than before, with differing opinions on when (if at all) this DorkAge ended.
*** One possible ending is ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'' which was hyped as "Sonic's big comeback" and praised for the daytime Sonic stages that mixed 3D and 2D segments together, but received mixed reviews regarding [[BeatEmUp the Werehog]] [[ScrappyMechanic stages]].
*** ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog4: Episode I'' was hyped as the much-awaited sequel to the acclaimed Genesis games and "Sonic's big comeback" but criticized for [[TheyChangedItSoItSucks changing]] and [[ItsTheSameSoItSucks keeping]] too much from the Genesis games. ''Episode II'' was better received to an extent, [[CutShort but not enough to get a third episode]].
*** Another possible ending to Sonic's second Dork Age is ''VideoGame/SonicColors'', which improved upon the Daytime stages of ''Sonic Unleashed'' and managed to get good reviews with many praising it as [[RunningGag "Sonic's big comeback"]], and ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations'', which served as a celebration of 20 years of Sonic with [[ContinuityNod/SonicGenerations copious nods to previous games]]. While both of these games were almost universally praised for their gameplay, they have attracted some bile over the increased [[DenserAndWackier silliness]] of the cutscenes, corny dialogue, and general disregard for characters outside of the Sonic/Tails/Eggman trio.
** There's been a ''third'' Dork Age for the franchise, which began in 2013 and may or may not have ended by now.
*** First, ''VideoGame/SonicLostWorld'' did away with the boost gameplay that had been invented in ''Unleashed'' and refined in ''Generations'', replacing it with a finicky "parkour system" that allowed Sonic to run on walls, but was highly unintuitive, thanks in part to the game's unclear instructions. The game's other major features, level design featuring planetoids with independent gravity and the return of Wisp power-ups, were widely criticized as watered-down versions of the main features of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' and ''VideoGame/SonicColors'', respectively; with the story also proving to very divisive for its characterization and attempts to tell a more serious story. While many fans looked past the problems with the Wii U version of ''Lost World'' and had a fun experience, the 3DS version was more widely panned for having chaotic level design and poor implementation of gyroscope controls. Regardless, ''Lost World''[='s=] lukewarm reception was disquieting to the Sonic fanbase, having been released immediately after the games that had returned Sonic to top form following a previous and particularly nasty Dork Age.
*** Those Sonic fans hoping that ''Sonic Lost World'' was a mild aberration were sorely disappointed when the ''VideoGame/SonicBoom'' games were released. Marketed as a fresh new take on Sonic, the ''Boom'' titles generated tons of hype prior to their debut, even if playable demos indicated that the games themselves needed ''a lot'' of polish. Alas, [[ObviousBeta this need was not met]]. ''Rise of Lyric'' was plagued with an advanced graphical engine that was too much for the Wii U to handle properly, resulting in subpar graphics, a choppy frame rate, and a highly degraded multiplayer experience. Other daunting problems included slow gameplay, overly simple fighting mechanics, sparse and sprawling hub areas, a dull and formulaic story, subpar musical score, and a host of bugs and glitches. Similarly, ''Shattered Crystal'' on the 3DS had its share of issues, like flawed level structure, overly complicated controls, and a conflicting continuity with the Wii U game. Both games were near unanimously panned by critics and fans (many likening ''Rise of Lyric'' to the infamous ''Sonic '06''), nor did they sell relatively well, possibly contributing to the restructuring of Sega of America and the layoffs of dozens of its employees in early 2015. Despite the poor reception and sales, this wasn't enough to stop another ''Sonic Boom'' game --''Fire and Ice'' for the 3DS-- from being announced for a 2016 release.
*** Another factor some people considering this era to be a third Dork Age is due to Sega making a three-game contract for the series to appear on Nintendo-exclusive consoles; which consisted of the aforementioned ''Lost World'' and ''Sonic Boom'' games, as well as a fourth ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndSonicAtTheOlympicGames Mario and Sonic]]'' installment. This came at the chagrin of Sonic fans who had been waiting for a new multiplatform Sonic game, especially as no Sonic games have been released for the [=PS4=] and Xbox One. Not helping matters was that all three games of the contract received average-to-poor reviews and sold below expectations; yet a fifth ''Mario and Sonic'' game (for Wii U and 3DS) and the aforementioned third ''Sonic Boom'' game for the 3DS were announced in spite the contract ending with the first two ''Sonic Boom'' games.
*** However, the ''Sonic Boom'' [[WesternAnimation/SonicBoom TV show]] and comics have gotten a mixed-to-positive reception, and Sonic Team's first at a mobile game, ''VideoGame/SonicRunners'', has gotten fairly good reviews (the soft launch, anyway; reception to the game's [[BadExportForYou worldwide]] [[AllegedlyFreeGame launch]] has been much less positive), meaning the end to the current Dork Age may be in sight. With the series' [[MilestoneCelebration 25th anniversary]] on the horizon and Sonic Team not having released a console game since ''Lost World'', many fans are hoping (yet again) that they are working on a 25th anniversary game for 2016 that will ''permanently'' break Sonic out of his slump.
* While ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''-based games made by Relic Entertainment (''Dawn of War 1'' and ''2'', ''Space Marine'', etc.) have been generally well-received, the ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'' expansion that was farmed out to Iron Lore has received nothing but rancor. Canonically, the storyline of the previous expansion was a rousing success for the "Spess Mehreens", while the campaign of the ObviousBeta that was ''Soulstorm'' is considered an [[OldShame embarrassing defeat that is spoken of only with great reluctance]].
** This is elaborated upon by fans that have noticed a few things. In ''Soulstorm'', two factions in particular were noticeably [[GameBreaker overpowered]] by Iron Lore: Tau and, to a far FAR worse extent, Eldar. A lot of the other factions were barely complete, having only threadbare unit lineups or just plain weak units that weren't worth the resources they were made of. One of these factions hit the hardest were the InUniverse ButtMonkey Imperial Guard. Later material that mentions the events in ''Soulstorm'' written by Games Workshop shows that the Imperial Guard won a ''[[CurbStompBattle massive]]'' victory over all other factions, the Tau were forced out of the sector entirely, and that the Eldar had lost an entire Craftworld due to the conflict.
* The ''VideoGame/TonyHawksProSkater'' franchise fell into one hard with ''RIDE'' and ''SHRED'', which attempted to revive the franchise by using a skateboard-shaped motion controller to simulate boarding movement. This failed to address any of the problems the series had been going through, and introduced several new ones. Both games failed as a result, and the ''Hawk'' franchise crashed and burned, forcing Activision to put it on life support with the downloadable "back-to-basics" ''Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD'' and the mobile Temple Run clone ''Tony Hawk's Shred Session''. Unfortunately, ''Pro Skater 5'' received poor reception, putting the franchise's future in doubt.
* There are ten years between Black Isle's ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' and Bethesda Softworks' ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}''. There are two ''Fallout'' games between them--Microforte's ''VideoGame/{{Fallout Tactics|BrotherhoodOfSteel}}'' and Interplay's InNameOnly ''VideoGame/FalloutBrotherhoodOfSteel''. ''Tactics'' was a competent game that had severe issues with staying within the established continuity (in a world where World War III was brought on by a crippling energy crisis, many bases of have full drums of fuel just lying around more than a hundred years later, etc.); the same cannot be said of ''Brotherhood.'' Bethesda has proclaimed ''Tactics'' to BroadStrokes canon, while ''Brotherhood'' is full-on CanonDiscontinuity.
* The ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeed'' franchise had one. While several older fans claim the entire ''[[VideoGame/NeedForSpeedUnderground Underground]]'' era to be FanonDiscontinuity, most fans generally point to ''Carbon'' in 2006 as the beginning of the series' downward slide (especially coming on the heels of ''[[VideoGame/NeedForSpeedMostWanted Most Wanted]]'' in 2005, generally regarded as one of the series' high points), and ''[=ProStreet=]'' and ''Undercover'' in the ensuing years as the nadir of ''NFS''' dork age. In any event, it ended with the release of the very well-received ''Shift'' in 2009 and ''Hot Pursuit'' in 2010, which brought the series back to its focus on exotic cars and away from the burned-out "tuner" culture.
* There was a time where, to save on bandwidth costs, the site for hosting custom content for ''VideoGame/GarrysMod'' forced its users to download add-ons via torrents rather than getting them directly off the site. It lasted for about two months.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Valis}}'' series had lain dormant since the early 1990s, until its reputation was stained in 2006 by a series of [[HGame H-Games]] titled ''Valis X'', which Telenet Japan published in a desperate and failed attempt to avoid bankruptcy.
* ''VideoGame/RockBand'''s "hardcore" fan base often think 2012 is a dork age for their DownloadableContent. Most of the new releases now come in threes and with only one Pro Guitar/Bass upgrade, and a not insignificant amount of them are from the (often late) TurnOfTheMillennium and TheNewTens which they stereotypically consider "crappy." (Nothing really exciting for them was released minus an Music/IronMaiden 6-pack and a Music/{{Slayer}} pack.) Plus, they are often considered "too easy."
* ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' had very tight and involved lore development for a MOBA, to the point where it even had its own subsection in the main client (the "Journal of Justice"). However, around 2012, the lore team switched hands, and much of their narrative philosophy changed, causing them to throw out a lot of old lore and start again. Newer heroes were considered uninspiring and bland, with little to no motivation to join the League, while some old characters had their entire backstories changed to very mixed reception. Eventually Riot decided to retcon the whole Institute of War in an attempt to appeal to the e-sports scene, angering lore fans even more.
** However, the dork age for the lore finally ended when the Bilgewater event was released. While some decisions were mixed at best (such as Gangplank's disable from all queues to coincide with his 'death'), the following events and champion updates started to make the champions interact with each other ''even more''; although infrequent, the new lores are actually being more well-received each passing rework/addition.
* ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' has fallen into one in the wake of the poor reception of ''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvilOperationRaccoonCity Operation Raccoon City]]'' and the mixed reception of ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6'' in 2012. While the 3DS title ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilRevelations'' was much better received and is canonically a main series title, it was a portable game on a Nintendo handheld and received a much smaller marketing push than ''ORC'' and ''[=RE6=]'' did. Some would argue that the Dork Age began with ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5'' in 2009, though that game, while [[BrokenBase divisive among fans]], received fairly positive reviews at the time. The main complaint is that the series has veered too far from its SurvivalHorror roots and is attempting to [[FollowTheLeader me-too]] shooters like ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'' and ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare''.
** ''Revelations'' was eventually ported to [=PS3=], Xbox 360, Wii U, and [=PCs=], giving the game more mainstream exposure, followed by the release of [[VideoGame/ResidentEvilRevelations2 a sequel]] that also took a crack at RevisitingTheRoots. Then came the announcement of ''Umbrella Corps'', another co-op/competitive multiplayer shooter, making fans wonder if Capcom learned ''anything'' from ''ORC''. [[ZigZaggingTrope On the other hand]], ''VideoGame/{{Resident Evil 7|Biohazard}}'', which had been announced long before either ''Revelations 2'' or ''Umbrella Corps'' but suffered from a drought of information following said announcement, was fully unveiled at E3 2016, showing that the series is pushing further towards the style of the pre-''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvil4 RE4]]'' era games. [[WinBackTheCrowd Reactions to Capcom's efforts have been generally positive]], so the end of this troubling period may finally be in sight.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Lunar}}'' series started to slide in early 2000s, with the installments developed for Nintendo portable systems. First ''VideoGame/LunarTheSilverStar'' was remade for the UsefulNots/GameBoyAdvance as ''Lunar Legend'', with shallower characterizations, a point-and-click map replacing the once large overworld, and different and simpler combat. Then came the prequel ''VideoGame/LunarDragonSong'', the first non-remake ''Lunar'' game in a decade, which in a bid to attract new players to the franchise dumbed down the gameplay and story even more, but also added annoying new mechanics like having to choose between fighting for experience and fighting for items (which in this game are mostly VendorTrash), taking damage while running, and repetitive {{Fetch Quest}}s. The localizations of these two games published by Creator/{{Ubisoft}} also compared poorly with the painstaking effort Creator/WorkingDesigns put into localizing previous installments.
* ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' is often considered to have gone through this after the game's creators, the Gower brothers, handed off its reigns to Mark Gerhard, one of the senior mods. This is mostly related to two controversial gameplay changes Gerhard introduced: first, the implementation of {{microtransactions}}, something the Gowers promised they would never do, and second, a complete overhaul of the combat system which was seen by numerous fans as [[FollowTheLeader a cynical attempt to ape]] ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''. Jagex heard the criticisms of the combat system and as a result introduced both "Old School" worlds that allow players to experience the game as it was in 2007, and a poll wherein players voted to introduce the option to toggle between the old and new combat systems on the main worlds, as well. On the plus side, Gerhard's tenure also coincided with some very well-received advances to the game's MythArc, including tying up plot points that had been dangling for nearly a decade.
* The ''VideoGame/TetrisTheGrandMaster'' series got better with each new release for its first three installments. Then came the very un-TGM-like {{Xbox 360}} title ''Tetris: The Grand Master ACE'', the tragic byproduct of The Tetris Company's and Microsoft's ExecutiveMeddling. Most of the trademark ''TGM'' gameplay mechanics have been stripped (including Master Mode, and by extension the unique ''TGM''-style leveling up and grade system), you get a variation of [[GameBreaker infinite spin]] (limit of 128 rotations and 128 movements) as opposed to ''TGM'''s "step reset" lock delay, and you need an Xbox Live Gold membership to unlock proper ''TGM'' rotation. It's considered an okay ''Tetris'' game, but a bad ''TGM'' game.
* The first two games in the ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'' series were pretty successful at the arcade and on consoles. The first NES game even sold out on the day of its release. But then came ''Double Dragon 3'', which was farmed out to an external developer, featured a poorly-thought out plot involving {{Mineral MacGuffin}}s, flat level designs, fewer moves than its predecessors, and an [[BribingYourWayToVictory ill-conceived shopping gimmick]] obviously added as a transparent means of [[RevenueEnhancingDevices inserting more tokens into the machine]]. There were a couple more ''Double Dragon'' sequels after the third game, but the series never quite recovered from there: the NES version of the third game (while considered to be an improvement from the arcade version) is [[NintendoHard ridiculously hard]], the SNES-exclusive fourth game was an ObviousBeta, and the last two games made before Technos went out of business were standard [[FightingGame competitive fighting games]] that did nothing to stand out from [[FollowTheLeader an already overcrowded market]]. The [[Film/DoubleDragon movie "adaptation" of the series]] [[VideoGameMoviesSuck wasn't helping matters either...]] Thankfully, [[VideoGame/DoubleDragonNeon WayForward's 2012 reimagining]] is commonly seen as having done justice to the ''Double Dragon'' name (while not being afraid to [[AffectionateParody make some jokes at its expense]] either).
* The ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon'' fandom is torn on what time period their Dork Age spans but it's generally thought to have began around ''Magical Melody'' and ''DS''. The characters are seen as shallower, several disliked mechanics have been tried out, and the series as a whole got LighterAndSofter. It got worse when Marvelous said they were focusing on handhelds instead of consoles; and it shows as they released six DS games but [[VideoGame/HarvestMoonTreeOfTranquility only two]], [[VideoGame/HarvestMoonAnimalParade near identical Wii games]]. Even [[CreatorBacklash Yasuhiro Wada]] has shown dislike to the way the games have gotten; he especially dislikes how much focus romance is given within the series. That said, the Wii games were acclaimed (though they still weren't perfect) and the 3DS game, ''[[VideoGame/HarvestMoonANewBeginning A New Beginning]]'', is seen as an improvement over the past handheld installments.
* The ''Franchise/{{Rayman}}'' series has the infamous Rabbid era from 2006 to 2008. The fourth game in the series introduced [[CreatorsPet Rabbids]], one-joke characters who don't do anything but scream [[MostAnnoyingSound "DAAAAAAAAAAAH"]] at the top of their lungs. Due to ExecutiveMeddling, the game, originally planned as a platformer like its predecessors, shifted into a party game (though the Game Boy Advance version was still made a platformer). In the next two games, the Rabbids ended up [[SpotlightStealingSquad stealing the entire show]] and the eponymous hero was demoted to ButtMonkey. Fortunately, ''Rabbids Go Home'', the final game involving the Rabbids, removed Rayman entirely, while Rayman himself came back in force in his own adventure in ''VideoGame/RaymanOrigins'', though interestingly the Rabbids themselves now have [[WesternAnimation/RabbidsInvasion an animated series on]] Creator/{{Nickelodeon}}, though the entire show is pretty much the Minions from ''WesternAnimation/DespicableMe'' on crack.
* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'', if what has been said on the official forums is true, has been in this position since Season 8.5. 8.5 saw the removal of the Hourly Events in favor of weekend events, which cheesed off players due to the fact that players used the Bonus Marks 3-hour event to grind marks for their Fleets. The start of this season also gave out a special event ship for the 4th anniversary, only to have it put behind a time gate due to the extra bells and whistles that went with it, a major deviation from year 2 and 3's ships. It got worse come Season 9, when it was revealed that the Reputation Powers players could get no longer stacked and that they were limited to 8 passives -- four space and four ground -- in an attempt to curb PowerCreep before it got way out of hand. It also infuriated certain players because of the usage of Undine ships for Lockbox prizes and Lobi offerings, as many players felt that doing so broke canon and that Cryptic had promised them that they would never use the Undine as Lockbox prizes.
* While mobile versions of many games have been met with constant dislike due to the perceived nature of watching classic series reduced to simplistic skinner boxes, perhaps the standout case was the ''VideoGame/DungeonKeeper'' mobile "game", as the huge flaws found within it managed to not only anger fans but also created a media fallout that ended in Mythic Games' death.
* Originally a popular mobile game, Supercell's ''VideoGame/ClashOfClans'' began suffering from a severe drop in both playerbase and ratings as a result of releasing a very poorly received Town Hall 11 update by December 2015. Common complaints include the severely increasing difficulty of finding loot due to shield changes, the complete and total nerf to Town Hall sniping due to them giving no shield at all that upsets a lot of players along with the Personal Break Timer that punishes players just for having a successful defense. Given Supercell's ignorance to such complaints, time will tell if the game will either recover with another update or it will be reduced to a shell of its former self if the company continues to ignore such complaints.
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