Joey MacAdoo in the Backyard Sports series. Saying nothing other than corny jokes ("You gotta MACADOO it!") in his first appearance in Backyard Baseball 2007, he was destined to become The Scrappy. The writers somehow thought he and Ernie Steele (who is also corny, but actually realizes he is making bad jokes) should be the poster boys for the series, evolving into a Creator's Pet. Even worse: In one of the few Backyard Books, Joey is the main character.
Within Crisis Core, we have Genesis. Essentially a Sephiroth knockoff, he acts like a loathsome spoiled child, commits numerous acts of murder and violence for no good reason (not even having the Sephiroth excuse of being Ax-Crazy) and is generally uninteresting. Yet, the major events of the game revolve around him and the events of Final Fantasy VII have been retconned to all revolve around having been kicked off by Genesis. Worst of all, Dirge of Cerberus shows us he somehow survives with no ill effects, making him the FFVII series' Karma Houdini. This might have to do with the fact that Genesis was based on inexplicably popular J-Pop singer Gackt. He only appears to be in Crisis Core to have a Final Boss to fight, since Sephiroth's survival is a Foregone Conclusion.
Final Fantasy XI has Absolute Virtue, a side boss that no one seems able to defeat. Every time someone does manage to find a way, Square Enix goes out of their way to squash those methods to render them useless. It's as if the developers enjoy using the boss character just to piss off their fanbase.
Final Fantasy XIII introduces Lightning who is widely considered a Creator's Pet. The reception of both her and XIIIwere mixed, but Square continued to promote her as the face of the Final Fantasy franchise for several years regardless. Despite not playing a major role in the sequel, XIII-2, much of the dialogue from the characters can be summed up as "Where's Lightning?" Then, when discussing the follow-up game Lightning Returns, her own creator (somewhat conceitedly) spoke about how "unprecedented" Lightning's "popularity" was in reference to all spin-off and guest appearances for her. In the sequel for Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Dissidia 012, the focus of the game's plot was shifted to her, making her out to be the main character for what is meant to be an ensemble Fanservice game. This blatant shilling by the creators and what many fans have perceived as a total halt to the production of other mainline titles from the franchise (including the very much hyped Final Fantasy XV) for more Lightning titles has caused a huge backlash towards her and her titles. The hatred has grown so much that a meme has spawned where the phrase "who is the Lightning of x" is used to point out Creator's Pet characters in other video game franchises.
The character of Mhenlo at times felt more like the hero than the player characters. In the cutscenes, he seemed to do most of the thinking and talking, and he appeared to be..."acquainted"...with most of the female population of Cantha. In addition, that chapter was full of Escort Missions, usually with him as the person who you had to keep alive. (It helped that Mhenlo was actually a healer who was good at keeping himself alive, though.) Fortunately, ArenaNet dialed his importance FAR back in later campaigns and didn't make that mistake again.
Although Lieutenant Thackeray is coming close to taking his place. It's already been revealed that he's going to father an important character in the sequel with fan-favorite Broken Bird, Gwen. However, he was only introduced in the Christmas event, and since then his interactions with her have been seen as ham-handed at best, and outright forced at worst.
Many players take issue with the character of Trahearne in Guild Wars 2, who in a story mode thus far focused around the player character suddenly inserts himself and takes over, becoming the leader of absolutely everything who you are suddenly subordinate to, the Chosen One and so on. Everything revolves around him despite him not having anywhere near the presence or charisma to pull it off.
Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 is largely laid out in a traditional Saturday morning cartoon fashion. Two very cartoony and decidedly fairly nonthreatening villains, Underling (her real name is Linda, but everybody calls her Underling) and Pirachu, hinder our protagonists at every turn as they attempt to accomplish their objectives. The game's creators have since acknowledged that the Saturday morning cartoon atmosphere and Underling were probably mistakes. But what about Pirachu, the less popular of the duo, considered to be obnoxious by many fans, and who scored lower than Underling on the official popularity poll? Oh, he's back for the sequel.
The Lord of the Rings Online has Thrymm Redbeard, an original character not from the books. He is a Rohirrim hero that came with the Wildermore expansion. All of the Rohirrim in the area shill him constantly, and when he apparently dies, they all go into a gloom about how no one else will be able to save them. The main antagonist, Nurzum, defeats Thrymm by grabbing him and throwing him about a mile away. You personally are not really allowed to fight Nurzum the multiple times he appears, because he's too much of a foe for you. Despite all of this, Thrymm's only real accomplishments in the story are somehow surviving being thrown for thousands of feet and defeating Nurzum at the end of the storyline. Yes, the character that you're considered subpar against killsteals the main antagonist of the entire expansion while you sit around debuffing him and playing second fiddle.
The Mario franchise has Bowser Jr. In Super Mario Sunshine, he seen as an annoying Replacement Scrappy for the Koopalings by the fans, but despite overwhelmingly negative fan reaction (particularly in the West), he has since reappeared in five subsequent installments of the main series (something not even true of beloved characters like Yoshi), always having a very prominent role in the plot. The Koopalings were brought back in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but Bowser Jr. was made their leader, and Miyamoto stated that he's Bowser's only biological son, enforcing Nintendo's favoritism for him. Nintendo seems to have caught on to the criticism by the time of Super Mario 3D Land, New Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario 3D World, as he was Put on a Bus for those games.
Kurtis Stryker looked incredibly out of place in the Mortal Kombat universe, as he was a plainclothes cop in a video game world filled with demons, cyborgs and palette swap "ninjas." From his initial appearance in Mortal Kombat 3, the developers figured that he would become one of the series' new favorite characters and tried to elevate his power to near-Game Breaker status, but only made him a Tier-Induced Scrappy. Thanks to his new design in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, he's been Rescued from the Scrappy Heap. The backwards baseball cap is gone, at least... And then, when Mortal Kombat 9 came by, he was given a much better personality and a simpler, yet cooler outfit, making the fanbase warm up to him a lot more. As in MK3, his character still comes a bit out of the blue in the storyline and no explanation for him being there is ever given other than "Raiden has chosen you to defend Earthrealm" (that is the actual word for word quote as said by Nightwolf, by the way), which was actually true of several of Raiden's chosen originally, but the vastly improved characterization, writing, and badassery did wonders for what was one of the series' most widely-hated characters.
Quan Chi, while one of the creators' favorite characters and an overall fan-fave in general, doubles as a bad example of what happens when you let a Canon Immigrantascendtoo far. The groundwork for this was laid in his debut as Shinnok's Dragon in Mortal Kombat 4 and Mythologies, where Quan Chi proved so Dangerously Genre Savvy he was able to dupe both Raiden and Shinnok with a duplicate of Shinnok's amulet, allowing him to successfully backstab his boss, an immortal fallen Elder God, in his non-canon ending. Then, he manages to escape getting some long overdue retribution at Scorpion's hands and forms the eponymous duo of Deadly Alliance with Shang Tsung, which leads to the death of several characters (including Liu Kang) and Raiden's defeat. As the intro to Deception shows, Quan Chi was poised to win it all had Onaga not shown up. These cases, while eye-rolling, weren't too bad on their own, but then Quan Chi started to appear in games where, due to the timeline, he shouldn't have even been present (Shaolin Monks, vs. DCU, MK9), was able to effortlessly manipulate both sides of the conflict to his advantage (vs. DCU, MK9), and began to usurp the importance of other, more-established villains like Shang Tsung (vs. DCU, MK9). 9, in particular, gave reason for many to slap the Villain Sue label on him, and while The Stinger establishes his messing with the timeline (which disastrously derailed Raiden's efforts) was due to Shinnok's crafty plans and not his own, fans are already expecting Quan Chi to somehow overtake the plot from Shinnok again in the next game.
During the fourth generation of Pokémon, the Spiky-Eared Pichu was one. Although Pichu had long been the favorite Pokémon of series director Junichi Masuda, and it had always had a place in marketing and promotions, it wasn't until the creation of this particular character that Pichu was aggressively pushed into the spotlight. The Spiky-Eared Pichu was created as a character for the then-newest anime movie and became the focus of all kinds of merchandise, culminating in both an anime ending that featured her and an appearance in HeartGold and SoulSilver, all for the purposes of promoting the movie. Despite the big deal made about her in the film's trailers, her actions in the movie weren't that major, and her role could have been performed by plenty of other Pokémon. The fans' hatred for her grew even further when it was discovered that she wasn't even useful in the games, due to Pichu's innate low base stats and the Spiky-Eared one's inability to evolve. When Pokémon Black and White were released, it was discovered that she couldn't be transferred forward to these games; while this did make a few people even angrier about the whole thing, it did at least indicate that her days as a Creator's Pet were ending.
Rayman: Some older members of the fandom absolutely deplore the Raving Rabbids. There can be little debate about their forcibly changing the Rayman series from adventure platformers to collections of short, bizarre mini-games, pushing all of Rayman's previous supporting cast out of the spotlight, and carrying on their franchise hijack for a large number of games in a short amount of time. Their Creator's Pet status only became more apparent when two or three of them got a playable role in, of all places, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtlesgame. Thankfully, the Rabbids eventually split completely from their parent franchise and Rayman's started going on adventureswithout them again.
The Squeal of Fortune definitely fits here. It's a simple wheel-spin mini-game where you can win items. The items scale by level, but the more common ones are generally junk. Players earn spins several ways: they receive spins daily (free players get one, members get two), they can earn them through quests, or they can purchase them. From day one, the fandom hated this thing for a myriad of reasons (the common prizes clutter up bank space, it dumps lots of free cash into the economy, frequent Lost Forever cosmetic items, the ability to essentially pay to level up, the fact that Jagex had previously promised never to do something like this, the blatant attempts to encourage membership, the questionable legality of encouraging underage gambling, and thehideously annoying goblin mascot), but the developers have fallen in love with it. Hardly a week goes by without some mention of the Squeal from the devs, and most of the actual content updates (you know, the stuff people actually play the game for) gets second billing next to the new Squeal updates.
Joining the Squeal is Solomon's General Store, which offers cosmetic items and animations in exchange for Runecoins — which have to be bought with money. While the items sold from the store don't affect gameplay, it still gets a good deal of hatred because Jagex relentlessly updates it, prioritizes it over actual content, and refuses to acknowledge the feedback. And then Jagex released an update that allowed players to purchase bank space through Solomon's General Store. Players were outraged, with many of them calling it a huge sellout move. Jagex's attempt at damage control, claiming that 'it doesn't technically affect gameplay', just made them angrier.
Aya Shameimaru has long flirted with Creator's Pet status. She made her first appearance in Phantasmagoria of Flower View as a tengu reporter who was investigating the incidents going on at the time. Oh, and she also "accidentally" beat up everyone along the way because she was "holding back" and "not actually trying to fight." This would have been one thing, but she would, in some form, go on to appear in the next four Touhou games, including a Gaiden Game with her as the main character. Her appearance in Mountain of Faith was particularly infuriating because most of the old cast, Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame notwithstanding, made no appearance in this game... except for Aya, who not only ended up being the level four boss, but was explicitly stated by Touhou creator ZUN himself to have lost to the heroine on purpose.
Sanae as of late is on the verge of coming off as this as she's been getting many starring roles and generally being shown as the same level as the other two heroines. She has also been getting some polarizing character development as some like the new quirky zealous Sanae while others prefer her earlier personality. A sign this may be wearing on the Japanese is that she's started to slip in popularity in Japan. It remains to be seen if her absence in the last two games will change this.
The player base is split about the leaders of their respective factions being this.
On the Horde side, Thrall has generally been accepted as Chris Metzen's pet. To his credit, he was made popular by the fans for being the in-universe reason for Blizzard Orcs, reigning in the bloody thirsty Horde and bringing them back to their shaman roots. Then under him however, the Forsaken (a Base Breaker in their own right) has pretty much been able to get away with practically anything they wanted. Most of the faction skirmishes that occurred during the first three expansions were not done with his blessing, but he himself did very little to stop them, yet continued to advocate peace, and was seen as the more leveled headed of the faction leaders during the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Then he gave up the title of Warchief, and he stood on the forefront of the entire Cataclysm expansion. Cries were the loudest that the Horde leader (former or no) was shoehorned into the Alliance story when other, more acceptable characters would have worked, for example Malfurion Stormrage, who until this expansion was not in game, was only relevant for one major patch. Meanwhile, Thrall would eventually stand with the Dragon Aspects as a replacement for Deathwing and was essential to the end of the conflict.
For the Alliance, in response to the Alliance not actually having a leader, Blizzard brought back Varian Wrynn. However, to fit him in the game, they stuffed him in just before Wrath of the Lich King, through the use of a comic, with very little in game explanation. In the comic, it was he who took down Onyxia and revealed her conspiracy, negating all the work the actual Alliance players had in the event. Things went downhill from there because, again in response to the Alliance also feeling like they were the Butt Monkey to the Horde, made Varian a Jerkass king opposed to any type of peace with the Horde, making him the Hot-Blooded jerk next to Thrall's levelheadedness. Despite this, Varian has personally been in the middle of almost every successful Alliance campaign throughout the expansion and subsequent books, even leading a joint army in a dream world against the Emerald Nightmare. His character calmed down considerably during the Mists of Pandaria expansion, but he was still noticeably at the forefront, gaining the title "High King of the Alliance" and making more and more decisions without (noticeable) input from the other members. For added fun, quite a few characters had their actions and personalities tweaked in an effort to make Varian look good. A strange example being Tyrande, who had herself been criticized for being nothing like she was in Warcraft III, was about to rush into combat and get all of her soldiers killed until Varian told her about patience and saved the day.
Going back to the Horde, in order to justify Varian's jerkassness, the Horde needed a jerkass just as big, and they received Garrosh Hellscream. Originally a minor character whose whole story was a Call Back to Warcraft III, Garrosh came into Wrath of the Lich King as a top dog within the Horde, with a personality every bit like the father who had originally been ashamed of. He gained an irrational hatred for the Alliance and began to think little of Thrall for being open to peace, howling that a "true Warchief" would destroy the Alliance if they stood in Horde's way. While he spent the entirety of Wrath of the Lich King being verbally smacked down by everybody, the fact that the fanbase hated him didn't stop him from appearing in almost every Horde storyline in some way, ending with him being given the title of Warchief in Cataclysm. Unlike Varian however, who mellowed out as a character, Blizzard saw the hate Garrosh had and ran with it, ending with him being the Big Bad in the Mists of Pandaria expansion and subsequently being ousted as leader of the Horde. Yet they did a about-face and got him to stand trial instead of killing him off (an option more sympathetic villains, such as Malygos, were never given), then had him escape and become the villain of Warlords of Draenor, decided they went too far in making him villainous in MoP and want to portray him in a more positive light.
Lead quest designer Dave "Fargo" Kosak's pet seems to be Sylvanas Windrunner. From Cataclysm on, she takes an active role in her quest for world domination, which by itself wasn't the issue. The problem fans saw was that no matter what she did, she always won. The revamped quest lines involved the Forsaken basically destroying every and all Alliance forces in Lordaeron, they won the Battle of Andorhol, after losing most of it, at the last minute because Sylvanas brought in Val'kyr. They killed the Prince of Stromgarde and now have a strong foothold in the Arathi Highlands (while the Alliance remain in unaltered hole). The real point of contention is that the Forsaken had the end of the Worgen storyline (in Silverpine) instead of the actual Worgen players (who were merged with the night elves). Her methods of victory is always "Throw plague at it, raise the remains," an action many, including Garrosh, call her out on. And she has suffered literally no consequences, the only one really being that Lor'themar distancing the blood elves from the Forsaken, and even that doesn't count for much because by this point nothing has been seen to actually work on Sylvanas so it's unlikely she even needs the blood elves (who need her support to keep the plaguelands away from Silvermoon).
Thrall excluded, the above points could be summed up as Blizzard's attempts to give the playerbase the War in "Warcraft." The creators passed the Conflict Ball to whomever they needed (Varian in Lich King, Garrosh in Cataclysm and Mists) to justify having a war when almost all the current faction leaders would have very logical reasons for advocating peace. This trope comes into play because of how shoehorned said conflict was, and that whenever the chance presented themselves, the players were bombarded with how awesome their leaders was and that they should be ecstatic about it.
Some of Richard Knaak's characters for the tie-in novels.
Rhonin becomes leader of the Kirin Tor, marries the unknown-until-now youngest Windrunner sister and gets to go back in time and altering history in the War of the Ancients. Of course his name is a slightly altered version of the word "Ronin", in an obvious attempt to sound cool. He has recently been killed off. The reasons for this were a combination of soothing over the fan backlash and to try and make the next expansion come across as having Anyone Can Die. Krasus, Knaak's other favorite character, previously died in another recent book.
Jarod Shadowsong. In the novel introducing him to setting he's shown to be Maiev's brother, Shandris' (Tyrande's adopted daughter) love interest, and otherwise good friends with most major Night Elf characters. At his wife's funeral (making him available for Shandris), the Night Elf goddess Elune blesses him with a vision that even Tyrande, THE HIGH PRIESTESS OF ELUNE'S RELIGION, is denied. He's naturally a good commander, without having to work at it, and such a brilliant tactician that even demigods such as Cenarius place themselves under his command, and he saves Furion's life when Maiev betrays him. Seriously, this character reads like one from overindulgent fanfiction.
In Ratchet: Deadlocked, Ace Hardlight serves as the Creator's Pet for Gleeman Vox, being over-promoted and having tons of merchandise based on him, even though it's very clear that the audience hates him. After his defeat near the end of the game by Ratchet, the audience celebrated, despite Vox trying to make the defeat look like a tragedy.