[[folder:''Final Fantasy'']]
* The "Compilation of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII''", spearheaded by ''Anime/FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren'', is seen as one for the ''[=FF7=]'' sub-franchise. ''Advent Children'' was met with highly mixed reception, and many fans were not happy with the {{Flanderization}} of various characters, particularly Cloud, who was bashed as the kind of "emo pretty-boy" stereotype that [[NeverLiveItDown eventually became a frequent point of criticism]] for ''Final Fantasy'', and Square Enix, as a whole. As the Compilation continued to build up, ''[=FF7=]'' lost much of its prestige and recognition; most of the other entries were also met with similar criticisms and mixed reception -- barring a few standouts like ''VideoGame/CrisisCoreFinalFantasyVII'', which nonetheless [[ToughActToFollow weren't as prestigious and loved as the original game]]. ''[=FF7's=]'' reputation only started to see a rise again with the announcement of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIIRemake'' and Cloud's addition to ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'', both of which were driven by HolyShitQuotient reactions and drew heavily from the original game while ignoring developments from ''Advent Children'' and the rest of the Compilation.[[note]]However, Cloud's popular ''Advent Children'' costume is an alternate costume in ''Smash''.[[/note]]
* 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''.

* Nintendo has heard accusations of this throughout much of TheNewTens; 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'' and ''Metroid''). This was coupled by the failure of the Wii U due to a poor selection of games and a terrible marketing campaign. Meanwhile, Nintendo of America has come under criticism for its 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) as well as their DMCA takedowns of fangames such as ''[[VideoGame/AnotherMetroid2Remake AM2R]]''. However, with the commercial success of the Wii U's successor, the UsefulNotes/NintendoSwitch, and the widespread critical acclaim of games such as ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'' and ''VideoGame/SuperMarioOdyssey'' in 2017, Nintendo appears to be exiting this notable DorkAge. In addition, they've been cutting back on the censorship, possibly in an attempt to fight the "kid-friendly" image that stuck with them for so long, and ''VideoGame/XenobladeChronicles2'', unlike the [[VideoGame/XenobladeChroniclesX previous installment]] (which had some features cut and some revealing articles of clothing altered to be less revealing), was actually released in America unaltered from the Japanese version (except for some dialog changes in the English voice track), with an option for the original Japanese voice track through free [=DLC=].
* 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.
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' has two:
** The first is the [=GameCube=] / GBA era. The flagship game of this era, ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'', was controversial due to its gameplay and having a criticized voice acting. The rest of the era was dominated with remakes and spinoff entries (''Mario Party'', ''Mario Kart'' and sports titles) with the only other big headers being ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' and ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga''. At least these games have been VindicatedByHistory or become [[CultClassic Cult Classics]].
** The second is the 3DS / Wii U era. Following the highly successful Wii / DS era which had hits such as ''VideoGame/MarioKartDS'', ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' and [[VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2 its sequel]], and ''VideoGame/MarioKartWii'', this era was plagued with accusations that the series was being streamlined to become more like the ''New Super Mario Bros.'' games, themselves controversial due to being [[ItsTheSameSoItSucks unoriginal]]. Additionally, likely due to the ''NSMB'' influence, the ExcusePlot nature of the series became more glaring and egregious than before, with the plot of almost every main ''and'' spinoff game boiling down to the basic "Bowser kidnaps Peach" formula with little variation or creative interpretation. The {{Role Playing Game}}s in particular are hit by this as are some of the sports titles (namely ''Mario Tennis Ultra Smash''). This DorkAge wasn't helped by the Toys/{{amiibo}} craze; while amiibo in general were a success for Nintendo, the overabundance of ''Mario'' character amiibo and shortage of most other characters caused many fans to become even more bitter towards the series, and both the amiibo fiasco and general declining quality of ''Mario'' games made Mario's usual WolverinePublicity more embarrassing and frustrating for some. However, there are several people who point to games like ''VideoGame/SuperMario3DWorld'', ''VideoGame/MarioKart8'' and ''VideoGame/SuperMarioMaker'' as proof the series still has life; and with the Nintendo Switch's stellar launch and the successes of ''VideoGame/MarioPlusRabbidsKingdomBattle'' and ''VideoGame/SuperMarioOdyssey'', the series appears to be exiting this particularly notable Dork Age. Both games were praised for their creativity and for moving things forward.
** The ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' subseries 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 (suggested by ''Miyamoto'' no less, and not negotiated against at all). 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 later ''Paper Mario'' games, and ''VideoGame/PaperMarioColorSplash'' more-or-less being a straight sequel to ''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]]. There is also a section of fans who believe ''Color Splash'' ended the Dork Age by bring back the humour and characterisation from past titles and fixing most of the problems ''Sticker Star'' is remembered for. Really, the fanbase has been shattered into so many shards over ''Color Splash'', it is hard to tell what they think of it.
** ''VideoGame/MarioParty'' had started out with three well-received games on the UsefulNotes/{{Nintendo 64}}, but has since went on to be mostly considered a FranchiseZombie since, particularly for its LuckBasedMission nature.\\\
The UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube sequels were (generally) considered to be [[StrictlyFormula stale and mediocre]], and ''Mario Party Advance'' released during the same period was considered flat-out bad for its poor multiplayer experience. ''Mario Party 8'', an early Wii title, got mediocre reviews and divisive fan reception, and ''Mario Party DS'', the UsefulNotes/NintendoDS follow-up that was released the same year, was considered SoOkayItsAverage for largely similar reasons, particularly for feeling technologically dated. However, in an ironic twist, when the Mario Party series returned from hibernation, the mixed reception to the newer games invoked a sense of VindicatedByHistory for the Nintendo [=GameCube=] titles as well as ''8'' and ''DS'' from fans who still wish for a return to the old formula.\\\
The series then went into hibernation for several years until Nd Cube made ''Mario Party 9'' came out and tried to WinBackTheCrowd by changing the game mechanics considerably, most notably having all players travel around the board in the same car, and again divided its audience, this time over whether it changed too much rather than changed too little. ''Mario Party 10'' on the Wii U was based on this formula, and got a similar response.\\\
''Island Tour'' on the 3DS was an attempt to tide over those who felt alienated by ''9'' with more traditional gameplay, and ended up being regarded as [[SoOkayItsAverage terminally mediocre]]. ''Star Rush'' for the 3DS tries to mix up the formula once more. While it is considered a decent attempt and [[SurprisinglyImprovedSequel a marked improvement]] over the other ND Cube Mario Party titles, whether or not it pulls the series out of its slump is yet to be seen, and ''Mario Party: The Top 100'' was met with mixed reactions.
* After being revived to universal acclaim through the ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeTrilogy'' by Creator/RetroStudios, the ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' franchise stumbled into one hard with Team Ninja's ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'', which was widely maligned by the fanbase for its more streamlined and linear gameplay, unconventional control scheme, and notorious storyline that many felt ''heavily'' derailed the character of series protagonist Samus Aran, and as well as committing a second major sin of hinting that the ''Prime Trilogy'' might be CanonDiscontinuity. The game was met with middling reviews and by and large alienated the Western fanbase, becoming an outright sales flop on the Western marked. While the game did fare a bit better with the Japanese audience, which it was meant to appeal to in the first place, the sales on that side of the Pacific still ended up falling short of Nintendo's expectations. This resulted in Nintendo letting the Metroid series lie low, with co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto (who was heavily involved in ''Other M'', to the point of [[ExecutiveMeddling being directly responsible for the more controversial design decisions]]) temporarily abandoning the series.\\\
Things went FromBadToWorse when Nintendo followed up ''Other M'' six years later with ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeFederationForce'', a LighterAndSofter spinoff game that took significant steps away from the series (focusing on the Federation instead of Samus, who [[PutOnABus is otherwise hardly in the game]] outside of a few cameos; utilizing a more simplified and deformed artstyle, and being a team co-op shooter, as opposed to being a Metroidvania game, among other things). Fan reaction was predominantly negative, with the fanbase at large accusing Nintendo to being absolutely tone deaf to what they wanted from a new ''Metroid'' game, with some fans even ([[FanDumb infamously]]) going as far to call for the game's cancellation; the backlash culminated in ''Federation Force'', on top of receiving weak reviews from critics, bombing ''even harder'' in sales than ''Other M'' did. Not helping matters was the DMCA takedown of the positively received FanRemake, ''VideoGame/AnotherMetroid2Remake'', which happened right around ''Federation Force''[='=]s release.\\\
Only one year later, interest in the series was revived when not one, [[VideoGame/MetroidPrime4 but]] [[VideoGame/MetroidSamusReturns two]] ''Metroid'' games that had Samus as the lead as well as two ''Metroid'' series {{Toys/Amiibo}} were announced at E3 2017, with the first one --''Samus Returns''-- being released later that September to widespread critical praise.
* After Nintendo sold off Rare in 2002, the ''Franchise/DonkeyKong'' franchise struggled in finding a new identity for itself. Donkey Kong stopped getting ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry'' games and went into quirky spinoff titles that, while having their share of fans, [[SoOkayItsAverage were unimpressive]] and lacked memorability. These included the ''VideoGame/DonkeyKonga'' series of rhythm games with very few songs actually from previous games, ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongJungleBeat'' which, while a fun platformer with a unique control scheme that works better than it sounds, had nothing to do with ''Donkey Kong Country'' and got a lot of hate for it, and ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongBarrelBlast'', a racing game that was criticized for its poor controls and slow-paced feel compared to other games in the series. It came to an end in 2010, when Creator/RetroStudios took over and developed ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryReturns'', which was released to wide acclaim and brought in a new legion of DK fans, resulting in an equally acclaimed sequel, ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryTropicalFreeze'', being released in 2014.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Wario}}'' series is currently stuck in a bit of a rut. Following the critically-acclaimed but financially middling ''VideoGame/WarioLand: Shake It'' in 2008, Wario stopped getting new platforming adventures while his other series, ''VideoGame/{{WarioWare}}'', saw a steep downturn in popularity with the back-to-back failures of ''Warioware: Snapped!'' (which was critcized for being an obvious TechDemoGame for the DSi camera and not working much at all), ''Warioware: D.I.Y'' (which was [[AcclaimedFlop critically-acclaimed but sold horribly]] and was more divisive among fans due to its focus on user-generated content on a platform that made content sharing inconvenient at best), and ''Game & Wario'', which was an even bigger sales failure than ''D.I.Y'' and whose decision to eschew the fast-paced microgames that had been the series trademark for long-form minigames [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks proved to be controversial]];owever a new [=WarioWare=] game for UsefulNotes/Nintendo3DS entitled ''[=WarioWare=] Gold'' releases August 2018.

[[folder:''Sonic the Hedgehog'']]
* The first one was between 1995 to 1997. 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 2005 to 2007 with the releases of ''VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog'', ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006'', and ''VideoGame/{{Sonic the Hedgehog|1}} Genesis''. 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 ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' crowd using Shadow's ByronicHero characterization to justify some pretty bizarre choices (namely guns and mild swearing) with SoBadItsGood results, plus the game's slippery controls and repetitive mission-based gameplay. ''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 [[ChristmasRushed rushed]] [[ObviousBeta 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 a Game Boy Advance port of [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog1 the original game]], and ended up as ''[[PortingDisaster another]]'' rushed mess that was just salt in the wound after ''[='06=]''. Lastly, ''VideoGame/SonicRiders'', ''VideoGame/SonicRivals'', and ''[[VideoGame/SonicStorybookSeries Sonic and the Secret Rings]]'' were released around this time, and though not as reviled as ''[='06=]'', they were either seen as SoOkayItsAverage at best and/or panned for their controls.
* After this, the fanbase became even more fractured than before, with differing opinions on when the DorkAge even started and when (if at all) it 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 was largely criticized by fans as [[{{Sequelitis}} a terrible sequel that missed the point]] of the original games ([[CriticalDissonance though the game's sales and critic reviews at the time were actually decent]]).
** 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 widely praised for their gameplay, they have attracted some bile over the increased [[DenserAndWackier silliness]] of the cutscenes, corny dialogue, and general [[PutOnABus disregard for characters]] outside of the Sonic/Tails/Eggman trio.
* There's been a ''third'' Dork Age for the franchise, which began in some time after the release of ''Sonic Generations'' and may or may not have ended by now; marked by a slew of releases of surprisingly middling quality after it was believed Sonic Team had finally gotten back on track. ''Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II'' became a [[ContestedSequel contested followup]] within a sequel series that was controversial to begin with, and its sales and reviews were so middling that it caused [[CutShort plans for future episodes to the saga to be quietly dismissed]]. Following that was ''VideoGame/SonicLostWorld'', which brought upon [[AndNowForSomethingCompletelyDifferent a myriad of changes from the past titles]] --most notoriously the gameplay and level design, the artstyle, and the narrative/characterization in the story-- that [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks weren't accepted by several]] and were considered heavily flawed by those who did give it a chance; and was widely perceived as the first real stumble. ''Lost World'' also established the beginning of an unpopular and unsuccessful partnership forged between Sega and Nintendo, which restricted a trilogy of ''Sonic'' games as exclusive to the {{Wii U}} console, which turned out to be a commercial disappointment. ''Then'' came the infamous ''VideoGame/SonicBoom'' spinoff games (''Rise of Lyric'' and ''Shattered Crystal''), which already riding off the controversy of being [[TheProblemWithLicensedGames licensed games to]] a ''new'' brand of Sonic fans criticized as unnecessary and at risk of further fracturing the fanbase. With both games criticized as repetitive and dull in their design, and ''Rise of Lyric'' in particular turning out to be '''''[[HereWeGoAgain yet another]]''''' ''[[ObviousBeta rushed mess]]'' of a game (with many likening ''Rise of Lyric'' to the aforementioned ''Sonic '06''); the Boom games proved themselves as a new low point for the series as both critical and commercial failures. Unsurprisingly, they were credited to Sega undergoing restructuring and dozens of employee layoffs shortly after their release, and Sega later apologizing for betraying the trust of their consumers.\\
While the Boom games would mark the absolute nadir of the third Dork Age, attempts to move on from it haven't been smooth sailing. Sonic Team's attempt at getting into the mobile gaming space with ''VideoGame/SonicRunners'' started out promising (if still not without problems) with its soft launch...only for the game to go offline [[ShortRunners barely a year later]] thanks to the [[SarcasmMode well-received]] [[BadExportForYou "official" worldwide launch of the game]], which took the game's existing issues and turned them UpToEleven while adding more issues onto the pile. A third ''Sonic Boom'' game, ''Fire and Ice'', sank without a trace; despite [[AuthorsSavingThrow being delayed by Sega for over a year for quality control reasons]] and commended as [[SurprisinglyImprovedSequel a superior effort]] over the past ''Boom'' games by the few who decided to pick it up. The [[ScrewedByTheLawyers legal pileup]] caused by Creator/KenPenders[='=]s lawsuits and Creator{{Archie}}'s shifted focus to other properties resulted in Sega and Archie abruptly cancelling the [[ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog latter's famed comic series about the mascot]]. Despite the comic [[LongRunners having run for 24 years up to that point]], the cancellation was announced with minimal fanfare and after a startlingly long period of radio silence from both parties after release of issues came to an unannounced (and permanent) hiatus. Sonic Team's long-awaited followup to ''Lost World'', multiplatform debut for the generation, ''and'' [[MilestoneCelebration tie-in game for the series' 25th anniversary]], ''VideoGame/SonicForces'', only continued the streak of lukewarm reception. Despite garnering interest for returning to the Boost gameplay, gunning for a more serious story and tone (in contrast to past titles), and premise (Dr. Eggman [[TheBadGuyWins having succeeded in taking over the world]]); the gameplay and level design was panned as a lackluster step back from previous ''Boost'' titles and its story was considered [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot a disappointment]], with the game largely considered unambitious outside of its "[[CharacterCustomization Custom Hero]]" playstyle (which ever since its reveal has remained a ''major'' [[BrokenBase topic of great debate]] between fans).\\
The third Dork Age, however, isn't without its few diamonds in the rough. Despite the poor reception of the tie-in games, the ''Sonic Boom'' [[WesternAnimation/SonicBoom animated series]] has generally been considered a genuinely enjoyable show, and has largely shaken off the stigma caused by the tie-in games. The end of the ''Archie Sonic'' comic was shortly followed by Sega announcing they had given Creator/IDWPublishing the rights to make [[ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehogIDW a new comic about the series]] set for 2018, emphasizing the series as a fresh start from the ''Archie'' continuity. Sega taking a chance on getting the fans to make an official ''Sonic'' game resulted in their other 25th anniversary project in ''VideoGame/SonicMania'', a successor to the Genesis Sonic games developed ''by'' [[PromotedFanboy high-profile members from the community]] that was praised by reviewers and fans alike as not only a proper follow up to the Genesis Sonic titles, but as one of the best Sonic games in years.

* ''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. Players felt themselves at a loss for what to do after hitting the level cap besides raiding and the population shrank to 5.5 million in September 2015, which turned out to be the last ever sub announcement as Blizzard announced in the following November they would no long announce sub numbers.
* 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.

[[folder:Other games]]
* 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.
* ''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.\\\
The first non-Team Silent game, ''VideoGame/SilentHillOrigins'', a {{prequel}} by the British developer, Climax Studios, was seen as a rather meager entry for having a main character who's own motivation and goal was rather vague at best and outright filmsy at worst, and having some rather glaring {{Series Continuity Error}}s. ''VideoGame/SilentHillHomecoming'', developed by the American developer, Double Helix, was met with some degree of skepticism, as some fans felt that it was too slanted towards being an ActionizedSequel, amongst other criticisms like the game being too "Americanized", taking too many cues from the somewhat controversial ''Film/SilentHill'' film, and favoring PanderingToTheBase over actual symbolism, but on the whole the game ended up being mostly seen as SoOkayItsAverage. ''VideoGame/SilentHillShatteredMemories'' 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.
* 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 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 done 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 a holocron and master whatever class tree it said to master, then the player may luck out and become a Jedi, or would receive another holocron and continue the cycle until they eventually became a Jedi. 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 running around in the open 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 to justify letting everyone be a Jedi, has since came along.
* 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.
* Fans of the ''VideoGame/CrashBandicoot'' series generally consider the departure of series creator Creator/NaughtyDog in 2000 to be the start of the series' descent into mediocrity, with ''VideoGame/CrashBandicootTheWrathOfCortex'' and ''VideoGame/CrashNitroKart'' being seen as uninspired copies of ''VideoGame/CrashBandicoot3Warped'' and ''VideoGame/CrashTeamRacing'' respectively. An attempt was made to freshen up the series with ''VideoGame/CrashTwinsanity'', but the ObviousBeta status of the game led to the game selling poorly. Creator/RadicalEntertainment would proceed to release ''VideoGame/CrashOfTheTitans'' and ''VideoGame/CrashMindOverMutant'', which received a mixed reception and led to the series going into hibernation for 8 years until the ''VideoGame/CrashBandicootNSaneTrilogy'' was released, marking the end of Crash's Dork Age for the time being.
* ''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 ''[[VideoGame/MortalKombatDeadlyAlliance Deadly Alliance]]'', ''[[VideoGame/MortalKombatDeception Deception]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/MortalKombatArmageddon Armageddon]]'' 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 [[DreamMatchGame all the characters]] [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters 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. There's a (mostly-joking) conspiracy theory that WB deliberately gimped ''MK vs. DC'' in order to facilitate their buyout of Midway.
* ''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 most other developer/producers in the same situation have been able to do (anyone remember what Creator/JohnRomero has been up to since ''VideoGame/{{Daikatana}}''?) 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.
%%* Creator/{{Electronic Arts}} experienced its Dork Age during the tenure of CEO John Riccitello from 2008 to 2013. While EA had previously dabbled in dubious practices like including DRM in its games, restricting content behind online passes, and rushing games out in buggy unpolished builds, EA's bad decisions were turned UpToEleven under his leadership with even predominantly single-player games like ''VideoGame/SimCity2013'' requiring a 24-hour online connection. His tenure also saw the demise of many beloved franchises such as ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'', ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'', ''VideoGame/MedalOfHonor'', and ''VideoGame/SimCity'' mostly resulting from the dubious company decisions that he oversaw. Things only improved for EA when Andrew Wilson became the new CEO in 2013 who managed to secure a exclusive licensing deal to make ''Star Wars'' games from Disney and implemented more consumer-friendly decisions like discontinuing online passes and allowing full refunds for digital downloaded games.
* Infinity Ward, one of the studios behind ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'', seems to be stuck in one since 2010. When the studio released the first ''Call of Duty'' in 2001, the studio was universally praised for the game's quality and for popularizing the World War 2 military shooter genre. Infinity Ward's reputation only grew when it moved the Call of Duty franchise into the modern day setting with the [[VideoGame/ModernWarfare ''Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare'']]. However, after the release of ''Modern Warfare 2'', the company has been entering a gradual downward spiral. In 2010, many of its staff left or were forced out by parent company Activision over payment issues, leaving the studio without many of its original creative minds. Subsequently, the following Infinity Ward games ''Call of Duty Ghosts'' and ''Call of Duty Infinite Warfare'' were seen as inferior installments in the franchise; ''Ghosts'' was disliked for its weak story and rehashed ''Modern Warfare'' gameplay, and ''Infinite Warfare'' was criticized for copying the sci-fi aesthetics and gameplay of ''VideoGame/{{Halo}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Titanfall}}''. In more recent years, the fanbase consider studios Treyarch and Sledgehammer to be the best developers of ''Call of Duty'' for at least willing to innovate and update their games. In the eyes of the public, Infinity Ward is a hollow shell of its former self now overshadowed by other studios in the shooter market.
* While ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''-based games made by Relic Entertainment (''VideoGame/DawnOfWar 1'' and ''2'', ''Space Marine'', etc.) have been generally well-received, the ''Dawn of War'' expansion that was farmed out to Iron Lore, ''Soulstorm'', 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. Even ''Dawn of War II'' takes multiple jabs at ''Soulstorm'', with the disastrous Kaurava campaign referred to as "a mistake" that should not be spoken of again, which seriously depleted the chapter's manpower, and [[spoiler:ends up being part of Cyrus' reason for betrayal if he ends up as the traitor in ''Chaos Rising'']].
* 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, albeit one that had severe issues with staying within the established continuity (in a world where WorldWarIII was brought on by a crippling energy crisis, many bases have full drums of fuel just lying around more than a hundred years later, et cetera). The same cannot be said of ''Brotherhood'', a second-rate ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' clone with a paper-thin ''Fallout'' veneer and MAJOR continuity errors. Bethesda has proclaimed ''Tactics'' to be 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.\\\
Since then, however, a BrokenBase has emerged between "exotic" fans, who prefer the games when they're focused on supercars and exotic locales, and "tuner" fans, who prefer car customization and city racing. This produced a case of CriticalDissonance on the 2013 ''Most Wanted'' and 2014's ''Rivals'' as fans of exotics (which included the majority of critics) loved these games but fans of tuners hated them. When the 2015 entry (titled simply ''Need for Speed'') tried to go back to the tuner well in response to these complaints, it was seen as having put the series into a second Dork Age, which wasn't helped by a number of genuinely controversial design decisions that both exotic fans and tuner fans hated, such as the driving physics, the RubberBandAI (a long-standing problem with the series, but one that was especially glaring here), and the game requiring online connectivity for seemingly no reason.
* 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'' fell into one in the wake of the poor reception of ''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvilOperationRaccoonCity Operation Raccoon City]]'' and the mixed reception of ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6'' in 2012, the main complaint being that the series veered too far from its SurvivalHorror roots in an attempt to [[FollowTheLeader me-too]] shooters like ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'' and ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare''. 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.\\\
''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, leading many to tentatively declare that the Dork Age was over. Then came the announcement of ''VideoGame/UmbrellaCorps'', 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]]'' games, and was eventually released in early 2017. While several fans felt the game went too far in the horror direction and [[FollowTheLeader aped]] first-person horror games like ''[[VideoGame/SilentHills P.T.]]'', ''VideoGame/{{Outlast}}'', ''VideoGame/{{Condemned|CriminalOrigins}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Amnesia|TheDarkDescent}}''; the game was otherwise [[WinBackTheCrowd widely well-received by reviewers and many fans]], 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 UsefulNotes/{{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). [[ZigZaggingTrope Unfortunately]], the remake of ''Double Dragon II'' that followed (''not'' developed by Creator/{{WayForward|Technologies}}) proceeded to extinguish that goodwill. Then, that got followed up by ''VideoGame/DoubleDragonIV'', a divisive sequel to the original games from [[Creator/ArcSystemWorks a developer with an usually good track record]].
* 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 have not only [[WesternAnimation/RabbidsInvasion an animated series on]] Creator/{{Nickelodeon}} but [[VideoGame/MarioPlusRabbidsKingdomBattle a crossover with]] (of all series) ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'', which ended up winning critical acclaim against all odds.
* ''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.
* After several years of no activity in the franchise, the ''VideoGame/DungeonKeeper'' mobile "game" (in quotes because it neatly encapsules [[BribingYourWayToVictory every stereotypical flaw of mobile games]]) 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.
* For many ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'' fans, they consider ''VideoGame/SpongebobSquarepantsCreatureFromTheKrustyKrab'' to be the last good [=SpongeBob=] LicensedGame. After that, the dork age began when Creator/{{THQ}} focused on creating more tie-in titles to cash in on the special episodes that were airing at the time, such as ''Atlantis Squarepantis'' and ''Truth or Square'', which were either mediocre at best or just poor at worst. However, many agree that the dork age reached its ugly peak when THQ went bankrupt in 2013 and the license was handed over to Creator/{{Activision}}, which resulted in poorly-made [=SpongeBob=] games such as ''Plankton's Robotic Revenge'' and ''[=SpongeBob=] Heropants''.
* Creator/SonicTeam, developers of the ''Sonic The Hedgehog'' series mentioned above, went into a ''studio-wide'' dork age starting with the release of ''VideoGame/BillyHatcherAndTheGiantEgg'' in 2003, a mediocre kid's game nowhere near the quality of ''VideoGame/NightsIntoDreams'' or even ''VideoGame/BurningRangers''. A slew of generic ''VideoGame/PuyoPuyo'' titles that aren't as well-liked as the ''Creator/{{Compile}}''-era games are ([[NoExportForYou most of which were not even released outside of Japan]]) and the SoOkayItsAverage ''[=NiGHTS=]: Journey Of Dreams'' did little to soften the blow. Nowadays, the company no longer makes original [=IPs=] and solely produces ''Sonic'' titles, most of which have been poorly received.
* Many ''VideoGame/Dota2'' players criticize versions 6.81 and 6.83 for having strategically one-dimensional [[MetaGame metagame]]. 6.81 is known as "The Deathball Patch" because winning a few early-game fights gave such a huge advantage that the team could simply proceed to move as five and completely [[CurbStompBattle steamroll the enemy]]. This led to [[ComplacentGamingSyndrome very predictable picks]] (you were lucky to have a single match without Death Prophet, Faceless Void, Razor or Brewmaster) and matches were considered rather boring in general because the end result was usually determined before the 15 minute mark. 6.82 aimed to rectify these issues by granting bonus gold and XP for killing players with an advantage, thus giving the losing team a chance to make a comeback, but 6.83 (often called "The Rubber Band/Comeback Patch") went right into the opposite extreme by further increasing those bonuses. Gaining early-game dominance was effectively meaningless because certain carry heroes such as Sniper, Juggernaut and Troll Warlord (needless to say, you saw these heroes in almost every match) could easily turn the entire match around after scoring couple of inevitable kills and assists during high-ground defense and gaining enough gold to buy their core items.
* This can befall a franchise when moving to a new games system on their first next gen iteration while developers come to grips with the new technology. Specific examples include:
** ''VideoGame/MaddenNFL,'' with Creator/ElectronicArts themselves admitting that bringing the series to seventh gen was a struggle and certain issues and restructuring of features was due to the core game mechanics not translating over well.
** ''NBA Live 96'' was essentially just a graphic improvement over the 16 bit era, with the PC being a more PolishedPort. Later games would include better graphics, gameplay and features.
** ''VideoGame/WWEVideoGames'' would generally have most all of the features on their first next gen game gone (this would carry over to {{CAW}} mode being gutted in their off shoot ''Raw'' or ''Day or Reckoning'' games, most moves being removed, three match season mode, extremely long loading times, etc.) while the next year there would be more options, features, moves and wrestlers, with the game being far more polished.
* ''VideoGame/PacMan'' is believed to be in one by a lot of his hardcore fans, especially those of the "adventure" titles such as the ''VideoGame/PacManWorld'' games. Fans of his adventure and higher budget games believe it to have started with ''World 3'' 's lukewarm reception and entered full-force with the release of ''WesternAnimation/PacManAndTheGhostlyAdventures'' and its tie-in games. Ever since the failure of the entire ''Ghostly Adventures'' branch being an attempted reboot, some people even now go as far as to believe the IP and mascot should just be dropped as he is too outdated, claiming the only good game he had was his original arcade outing. Needless to say, saying this around some fans [[FandomBerserkButton doesn't go down well.]]
* The three fully-3D ''VideoGame/{{Worms}}'' games -- ''Worms 3D'', ''Worms Forts'' and ''Worms 4: Mayhem'' -- are widely seen as the nadir of the series, with fans pretty unanimously agreeing that the series' gameplay did not translate at all well to the third dimension, and even creators Team 17 reportedly regarding the games as an OldShame. As a result, the next couple of games went back to a similar graphical style to ''Worms 2'' and its follow-ups, before adopting a TwoPointFiveD style that really got the series back on-track.
* ''Franchise/MegaMan'' became notorious for this during TheNewTens, after the departure of series co-creator Keiji Inafune seemingly left Capcom with no clear idea of where to take the franchise. Between ''Mega Man 10'' in 2010 and the announcement of ''Mega Man 11'' in late 2017, the series mostly lay dormant aside from [[ComicBook/MegaMan the Archie comics]], a handful of cameos, some figurines, and appearances in crossover fighting games, with the only game releases during this period being several mobile phone ports [[PortingDisaster of dubious quality]] and the [[AllegedlyFreeGame allegedly free]] "social RPG" ''VideoGame/RockmanXover'', which was utterly savaged by critics and fans alike and is widely agreed to be the nadir of the franchise as a whole.