"We don't usually keep set release dates. A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad."Christmas Rushed is the practice of rushing a product's development in order to coincide with a major holiday shopping rush (like Christmas, naturally). It often happens to highly hyped products, products made by big-name developers, or products that are part of a Cash Cow Franchise or tie into something already currently successful. It can also apply to any product that is rushed for release by a certain date, or in time for a certain event (such as the deadline for an award nomination or convention appearance). Whatever the case, the fact that the product was rushed often leads to a poorly made product. The Problem with Licensed Games, Obvious Beta, and Porting Disaster usually occurs due to this, as the developers are rushed to have the game released at the same time as the licensed property's premiere/launch/kickoff. Often caused by Executive Meddling, this can often lead to Development Hell. Worse are those products that do manage to be released on time, since it's often obvious that they're rush jobs. On the other hand, if the work is an Ashcan Copy, literally everything is subordinate to getting the thing out quickly and cheaply in order to retain the rights.
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Anime And Manga
- In this modern age of easily-downloadable bootleg fandubs, many American anime licensees will compete with the pirates by rushing out a quick-and-dirty sub-only streaming version on either their own web site or sites like Hulu or Crunchyroll to give fans an official version to watch while they wait for a full-featured, English-dubbed DVD release or TV showing. Depending on just how much of a rush they're in, the streaming version may include translation errors, typos, or Adaptation Induced Plot Holes that are corrected in later releases.
- Each Pokémon anime is out when the games they're representing are released, and must end just before the release of the new generation of games. Because of this, we often got situations such as the incredibly rushed finale for the Sinnoh League. The saga after was more brisk all around, but it was rushed even further with the release of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2.
- When Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann gained a lot of buzz through (bootleg) fansubs, U.S. licensee Bandai made the controversial decision to push out a sub-only DVD release as a stopgap rather than wait for an English dub to be complete and possibly lose business to piracy. They did eventually release a version with a (very well-regarded) English dub some time later.
- The television anime adaptation Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- was a produced with a six month period of development. Typically a series will have a development time of ten or more months. And it showed, to the point that the series eventually got cancelled and the remaining arcs were adapted as OVAs.
- The Warrior Cats OEL manga Graystripe's Adventure - the first of the manga spin-offs of the series - was originally meant to be a single volume manga called The Lost Warrior. Then somebody at HarperCollins had the idea to release it on the same day as The Sight, the first book in the upcoming new arc. The artist was only a third of the way done, so since he was unable to finish it in that amount of time, it ended up being split into three shorter volumes with the first one being released on that day. Later manga in the series followed suit by splitting the story into three parts as well.
- Marvel Star Wars:
- The comic's adaptation of A New Hope included Jabba the Hutt, looking much different from his appearance two films later.
- The weird-looking Yoda in Marvel's adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back, which had to be pencilled before the puppet's look had been finalized. The trade paperback redid the panels to make him closer to the Yoda in the film, but he was still clearly too big.
- The final part to the Knightfall storyline, KnightsEnd, was being released almost on the tails of Zero Hour!, virtually every Batman title was tossed in to complete the storyline, including the usually-not-in-modern-day Legends of the Dark Knight.
- Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem was timed to be released in 2007 on Christmas Day, and had an appropriately-themed marketing campaign ("This Christmas, there will be no peace on earth."). In addition, the film was Not Screened for Critics, and debuted to negative reviews and box office apathy.
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Spielberg had expected the film to be released in the Summer of 1978, but a debt-laden Columbia Pictures insisted he have it ready for Christmas 1977. The film was a success, but Spielberg was unhappy with the way it turned out because of its rushed production. He was given the chance to re-edit the film years later.
- Cloverfield had to be rushed into production (which started in August 2007) to be ready in time for its stone-set date of January 18th, 2008 (the trailer, which was released a month earlier, came out while the film was still in pre-production).
- The Fleischer Studios adaptation of Gulliver's Travels was given less than two years of development, starting May 1938 and with the deadline being Christmas 1939. The result was an enjoyable film that did well at the box office, but it had an obviously rushed, unpolished feel to the animation as a result.
- Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers was rushed through quickly to be released in time for Halloween the year after Halloween 4. As a result, shooting started without a completed script, and numerous re-writes, cuts, and changes were made on the fly during production.
- Last Action Hero was rushed to open for the 1993 big summer movie season, to the point that post-production on the film was only finished a few weeks before its initial release.
- Mentioned in The Last Starfighter, a movie about an alien race who recruits pilots through video games:
Rylan Bursar: "Return the money, Centauri."Centauri: "Return the money! Are you delirious? Do you know how long it took to invent the games? To merchandise them? To get them in the stores by Christmas?"
- Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III began production in August 1989 in order to make a November 3rd release date (trailers shot before the film was were shipped out with that date before prints of A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child). Despite finishing production just days before the original date, issues with the MPAA forced a delay to January 1990 and the film flopped due to said delays and the cuts to get an R rating being very obvious.
- Steven Spielberg rushed Munich into production and post-production in just five months so he could open it in time for Oscar qualifying. Though the film was a box-office disappointment (due to advertising not being ready until two weeks before opening), it did get some Oscar nominations.
- Muppets from Space was planned for release in early 2000, but Columbia Pictures wanted it to be part of their Summer 1999 lineup, resulting in this trope.
- Justice League was originally on track to meet its November 2017 release date, but things fell apart when the studio demanded extensive reshoots to alter the film in the wake of the disastrous critical reaction to Batman v. Superman. Despite the massive changes made to the film, the WB execs demanded that it still be ready by November, which likely led to the many instances of dodgy, unfinished-looking CGI that critics and viewers pointed out. The real kicker? Apparently, the reason the movie had to be released by November was so the WB execs could get bigger bonuses before the year's end.
- Proving that this trope is Older Than Television, Son Of Kong was put into production immediately after the success of King Kong (1933). Son of Kong was released only nine months after the original and is one of the few Hollywood sequels to be released in the same year as its predecessor. Needless to say, Son of Kong is nowhere near as acclaimed as the original film.
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country was rushed into production for December 1991 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the franchise as a whole. Thanks to its smaller budget the film did relatively well at the box office, it was considered a massive improvement after the lackluster results of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and rivals Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan for many fans as their favorite film in the series, proving that Tropes Are Not Bad.
- The rushed postproduction period may have been the reason the movie was changed slightly for home video. The VHS and laserdisc releases had remade end credits and included some explanatory dialog that was missing from the theatrical release (which wasn't seen again until 2009).
- Oliver Stone had to rush the production of W. (which began development in late 2007 and began filming in April 2008) so he and Lionsgate could have it out before the 2008 election (the original plan was to release it in January 2009 to get more post-production work done but Lionsgate was wanting Oscar nominations so it was moved up).
- One of the many things that went wrong with Street Fighter. Even though filming was way behind schedule, the executives wouldn't delay the movie for fear of missing its lucrative December release date. This is at least in part because the accompanying action figures by Hasbro were due to hit shelves on Black Friday, meaning the movie had to come out just a few weeks later.
- The Little Shop of Horrors has earned recognition for having the shortest production schedule of any major motion picture. Its entire production was squeezed into the last week of December, 1959, with all photography completed within 48 hours. The most likely story for this schedule is that Roger Corman wanted to get one more movie made before a new law on actors' residuals went into effect in the new year.
- Small Soldiers is not itself an example, but features an In-Universe case — the primary cause of the entire mess is the (by the designers' statements) incredibly short development window to get a revolutionary toyline on the shelves (three months). The result of that is that the toyline is made from apparent off-the-shelf parts with the designers too busy to look at the actual source (the Department of Defence), based on sloppily combining two toyline concepts with incompatible backstories and with no time for product testing. The actual mechanical functioning of the toys is surprisingly good for all this. Their programming and how it interacts with their chips' learning ability, on the other hand...
- The Beatles:
- Rubber Soul (according to The Other Wiki, anyway) was rush-produced for Christmas 1965. However, it is commonly thought of as one of their best works.
- The title of Beatles for Sale mockingly hints at the fact that it was rushed, to the point that the band had to fall back on a few covers after the all-original A Hard Day's Night. Something which is lampshaded in the liner notes.
- Part of the tension which led to Roger Waters firing keyboardist Richard Wright during production of Pink Floyd's The Wall was that the band were promised a bonus by Columbia Records to deliver the album on schedule in December 1979 in time for the holiday shopping season, meaning Roger had to ask a uninspired/unreliable/unprofessional Wright (who, granted, was going through marital difficulties) to cut short his vacation in Greece to finish the keyboard parts. Wright was frustrated at the decision, presumably gave Waters a hard time about it, and Waters decided to tell the band and management that either Wright would be fired or Waters would leave, taking The Wall with him. As Pink Floyd were in desperate financial straits at the time, were already a little agitated at Richard's behavior and needed a hit album to restore their fortunes, they fulfilled Waters' wishes and let Wright go note .
- Caribou by Elton John was rushed into production in six days in an experimental mountaintop studio of the same name in Colorado owned by Chicago svengali James William Guercio, in a very brief window of time off between tours. The result was not one of Elton's more consistent albums, partly as a result, and was a bit of a disappointment coming on the heels of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, but its slapdash charm has its fans, and "The Bitch Is Back" and "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" remain favorites in the Elton catalogue. As Tantrums And Tiaras pointed out, though, when Elton's much younger future husband David Furnish was invited to Elton's mansion as a first date, he broke the ice with the singer by telling him he grew up listening to Caribou!
- This happens often with reality show winners. They will often re-record the covers they performed on the show they were competing in, and maybe add a new song/their winning single. However, Guy Sebastian, a winner of the first ever Australian Idol, recorded an originals album in just six and a half days.
- Beach Boys' Party! was rush-recorded in September 1965 and released in November of that year. Their label, Capitol Records, had requested from the band that they release something for the holiday season and this was the result. While the album did very well in sales and spawned a hit in "Barbara Ann", modern fans tend to dismiss it as quickly-tossed filler made to buy time to finish Pet Sounds.
- Innuendo by Queen was originally supposed to be this for the Christmas season of 1990 but instead got pushed back to the February of 1991 due to issues Freddie Mercury's health, despite the famous story behind the one-take vocals for "The Show Must Go On" on that album.
- Companies that manufacture board games and role-playing games often have to rush to get them out in time for major conventions such as GenCon, Origins Game Fair and SPIEL in Essen, Germany. The latter is big date, because it starts Christmas shopping season in Europe, and a game not in Essen has little chance of making it big in Christmas sales.
- Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition's extremely rushed release schedule meant that the developers wouldn't, or couldn't, playtest most of what they published, making gameplay either trivial or tedious at high levels. The core math was overhauled repeatedly with each new Monster Manual, and then rebooted completely after two years with the "Essentials" series. When 4e was finally abandoned, it had 140 pages of errata for published and printed material.
- The Pathfinder Advanced Class Guide was very obviously GenCon rushed, with references to class abilities that don't exist, incredibly poor balance between classes, feedback from the playtest phase ignored, and most tellingly, a Tyop on the Cover.
- Exalted second edition was mostly written at a stage where making the ship date was a really high priority and making the content not suck wasn't, leading to many, many miscommunications, inconsistent fluff, and terrible mechanics. Since the passing of the torch after Return of the Scarlet Empress it has gone quite far the other way.
- In 1960, the chief of the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces demanded that the new missile prototype is to be launched by November 7th (the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution). He died in the explosion along with at least seventy three other people, and the missile wasn't ready until a year later.
- A famous Aversion was the 1977 Star Wars Early Bird Certificate, which was basically a cardboard display and a ticket with the promise of getting Star Wars action figures. Surprisingly, this worked—it allowed time to develop quality action figures, and Star Wars was so blindingly popular that no one seemed to mind.
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600 is an infamous example; the game was made in only six weeks so it could be released on time for the holidays and tie in with the then-popular movie. The result was a game so bad it is often cited as the worst to ever be released, and it became one factor behind The Great Video Game Crash of 1983.
- The Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man suffered the same problem; the programmer was only given six weeks to write the game. At the end of those six weeks, all he had to offer was an unfinished alpha -- and they released it as it was.
- It is presumed that this is why Natsume's translation of Harvest Moon 64 was released at the end of November, with so many on-screen typos in the in-game English-language text.
- Batman: Arkham Origins had a very tight schedule, and the game was released only 8 months after it's announcement. Even though it re-used the engine, gameplay, props and even a portion of the map from Arkham City, it was very glitchy when it was released. Although it did receive multiple patches, and is generally considered to be a bit better now, it didn't help that the developers outright stated that they would stop patching minor bugs in favor of developing the story DLC.
- Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords suffered this fate, with a horrible ending that tied up very few loose ends capping off a game that could have been Legendary Good. LucasArts just needed it to be out by Christmas, and damn the players' satisfaction with the game. Obsidian has stated that they were under the impression that they were to be given more time by Lucas Arts but unfortunately they didn't get it in writing and still had to release the game by the end of 2004 which led to even more rushing, and even with the rush, it didn't reach Europe until February. And the worst part about this example is that LucasArts then specifically told Obsidian they couldn't restore the cut content in a patch. After years of effort in pulling the unused audio and video files and rendering their own gameplay and animation to fill in the gaps, some fan groups have finally created their own mods so that a "complete" game can be played (on the PC version, at least).
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was rushed, causing the loss of five planned Zones (one, Genocide City, was turned into a third act for Metropolis Zone), and a time-travel feature that was implemented into Sonic the Hedgehog CD instead. Despite that, it wound up on the opposite end of the spectrum and is considered one of the best Sonic games produced.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 3. The developers were simply too ambitious for both their time limits and the limitations of the system they were making the game for, so the game had to be split into two, the first part being released on February 2nd, 1994, or "Hedgehog Day", and the second part, Sonic & Knuckles, released eight months later, allowing players to combine the two parts to play the two back-to-back (with a few added features) as Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
- Sonic Spinball was a holdover until Sonic 3 was released.
- In Japan, Sonic Adventure was rushed out to meet the high demand and capitalize on the 1998 holiday season. Sonic Team USA then spent an additional year polishing it and fixing various bugs and glitches for its Western release, and this version was also re-released in Japan as "Sonic Adventure International" in October 1999.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) was rushed: A.) for a Christmas release, and B.) to mark it as the 15th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog. The result was an Obvious Beta, widely considered as one of the worst entries in the entire Sonic franchise.
- The 3DS version of Sonic Generations, which was rushed out in about 6 months or so, compared to the console versions which were in concept since at least 2008. While the final product certainly wasn't a disaster by any stretch, it lacks content compared to the console versions and it's obvious that some corners were cut (including the rival races, which take place on improbable stages).
- Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, which suffered, among other things, from underpowered hardware, trouble with Cry Engine 3, and limited development time. To say that the game had a turbulent production period is an understatement. It was released mid-November 2014 (reports say it went gold in Mid-July) and since it's obvious the game wasn't finished, gamers and fans have already been calling it the next Sonic 2006. It was critically trashed; it currently has the worst Metacritic score for any Sonic game (even trumping the infamous Sonic 2006), and it was a total flop at retail, outsold by Sega's own Alien: Isolation and Football Manager 2015, and not even breaking into the top 40 sales chart in the UK.
- Averted with Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice. It was originally scheduled for a holiday 2015 release, but Sega decided to delay the game to a 2016 release, likely not wanting to repeat the same mistakes they made with Rise of Lyric.
- Also averted with Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania, which almost fell victim to the same problems '06 had. Having learned from their mistakes, Sega delayed both games, so that, instead of debuting in 2016 for Sonic's 25th anniversary, they came out the following year (Mania in mid-August, Forces in early November).
- Enter the Matrix was rushed so that the release would coincide with The Matrix Reloaded.note
- Word of God is that Epic Mickey was rushed to reach store shelves by the 2010 holiday season, which explains a few of the game's rougher edges. Even with the rush, it missed the "Black Friday" after-Thanksgiving shopping weekend.
- Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly is to the Spyro the Dragon fandom what Sonic 2006 would become to the Sonic fandom years later, with the added issue it was the first console game not done by Insomniac. The game was supposed to have 120 dragonflies instead of 90, feature both Gnasty Gnorc along Ripto as villains, over 25 levels with several homeworlds (instead of 9 levels and 1 home world), high framerates and low loading-times. It was rushed for Christmas and all we got was a glitchy mess with Loads and Loads of Loading (the loading screens have loading screens), bad animation, and tons of lag.
- SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny is considered to be Summer Holiday Rushed as it is severely lacking in modes and unlockable items. It even advertised itself as a simpler version of Soul Calibur 4 for players new to the game, which is a way of the makers admitting they couldn't make it as good as they wanted to.
- An odd example occurs with the Call of Duty series, as Activision orders their various studios to have games ready by Veterans Day. That the series has two different developers making every other new game in the series means nothing truly game-breaking slips through - but once the newest game is out, the other team basically have to drop their previous game entirely to start on their next one, so any glitches that aren't patched within a year of release will never be patched. As of 2014, the situation is lessened, now that three different studios are rotating development of new games in the series.
- Car Tycoon was literally Christmas Rushed for Christmas 2001. It ended up not simply having a few bugs, but being borderline unplayable, something that even two bugfixes couldn't repair. For example, the cars sold by the competing companies clogged the streets so it became impossible to even deliver new cars to the stores because the number of cars in the game, their lifespan, and the overall length of the streets were badly balanced.
- Final Fantasy XV was released worldwide on November 29th, and a week later the Director Hajime Tabata announced an unprecedented series of updates, intended to improve the game. These include event scenes that should make the story and characters more coherent “What happened to Ravus?”
- Golden Sun: Dark Dawn's questionable writing quality is blamed by several fans on the game being Christmas Rushed. This is supported by the later-released European version clearing up several awkward comments compared to the American version.
- Mario Kart 7 was released as an emergency to improve the catalogue of the Nintendo 3DS for Christmas 2011. (So much that they had to request a company which Nintendo frequently gave tight deadlines on their own games to complete it.) Surprisingly, the game received very positive reception and only had one flagrant bug, and five months later Nintendo introduced a new patching system for 3DS hardware just to fix it.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was hit by this, with the game rushed out for Christmas 2002 in Japan and some important content cut out to reach the deadline; namely, two whole dungeons were cut out and replaced with the Triforce Hunt (fortunately, according to Aonuma, the dungeons found their place in later titles). Also very uncharacteristic of Nintendo is the sheer amount of unused content left on the disc, probably due to not having enough time to wipe it before sending it in for production; notably, there are more unused rooms than there are islands on the entire Great Sea.
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Put out for the 25th anniversary of the series, but arrived with a nasty surprise: a Game-Breaking Bug located during one of the last segments of the game. Nintendo later released a free downloadable patch to fix it.
- Tomb Raider:
- Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness was in Development Hell for a while, and then ironically rushed out for the Christmas season, which was one of the reasons the game had a ton of cut content and bugs up the wazoo. To get a sense of the sheer amount of content cut, the final game only included 2 stripped-down versions of locations, of which 4 were meant to be in the game. In other words, over 50% of the original concept was cut. To make matters worse, the game didn't make it since it wasn't released until February of 2003.
- Tomb Raider Chronicles was shoved out to meet Christmas sales at the end of 2000. While the game itself wasn't terrible, it was considered to be short and mediocre and the writing was questionable due to plot inconsistencies when compared to the previous games. Chronicles wasn't even supposed to exist since Lara's apparent death in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, but Executive Meddling forced the developers to pump out another game.
- Inverted by Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. It was scheduled for a November 2012 release, then was pushed back to March 2013 for The Year of Luigi.
- The Virtual Boy was rushed for different reasons, as Nintendo didn't want to waste anymore resources with further development with them wanting to focus on the Nintendo 64. It was released far before its creator, Gunpei Yokoi, felt it was ready. The system flopped, though Yokoi nonetheless stayed longer than he was planning on so it didn't look like he was admitting defeat by the system's failure (he was planning on leaving Nintendo anyway, and had planned the Virtual Boy to be a parting gift).
- The Xbox 360 was rushed to market to give it a year's head start on the PS3 and Wii. Reports are conflicting, but it seems clear that its hardware problems were known (although their full scope might not have been) and it was pushed out the door anyway on the theory that a year unopposed would balance out the cost of manufacturer-warranty repairs. There was also the issue of nVidia's contract to produce the original Xbox's graphics chip expiring, so Microsoft had to rush its next-gen console or else go an entire year without any console on the market.
- ICO was Christmas rushed, but curiously only in the NTSC region. The end result was Yorda's AI being much worse (very bad considering that the whole game is essentially an escort mission with her being escorted) to the point of fan hatred at her stupidity and being considered The Scrappy, various bonuses and features being missing, puzzles being altered and made too easy, and truly awful cover art. Compare this to the un-rushed PAL region release, with much better AI for Yorda, a secret bonus ending along with other Easter Eggs and a very beautiful and distinct cover made by the lead designer of ICO based of the painting "Nostalgia of the Infinite". Because of the huge backlash from the NTSC version, the HD re-release was a port of the PAL version, but with the aspect ratio modified so it would fit NTSC TVs.
- The Sega Saturn release was pushed forward in an attempt to get a lead on Sony's (then) new console; the PlayStation. This however backfired as developers weren't told (or weren't told soon enough), leaving pretty much nothing (at least, nothing that also wasn't rushed) to actually play on it until four months later, when it was supposed to launch.
Seanbaby: "History has shown that a blind rush to be first is a great way to send confused monkeys and dogs into space, but it's not always the best marketing strategy. First of all, it meant that only six Saturn games were available at launch, and all of them were made by Sega. When Sega told everyone the thing was coming out in September, that included the developers making video games for it."
- An aversion: SWAT 3 was to suffer this, but the devs demanded more time to properly finish the game or else they'd cancel the project outright. Thankfully, Sierra budged and was lenient enough to give them a few months more to properly finish the game. In the end, it was a good decision, since the game became one of the most critically praised FPSs of the late 1990s.
- Inverted with Gears of War 3, which was complete in April 2011 but was deliberately delayed until fall to release around the holiday season.
- It's commonly believed that this is the reason why Dragon Age II was released pretty much unfinished (game-breaking bugs, recycled maps, overreliance on fetch quests, etc.) and had such divisive reviews—the game had a nine-month development cycle. Presumably the fallout this caused and the reputation hit caused to EA, BioWare, and the Dragon Age franchise is (one of) the reason(s) why Dragon Age: Inquisition was delayed to autumn 2014.
- According to some of the developers themselves, this was why Mass Effect 3 seemed to lack the depth of story that was present in the other games of the franchise, and why the ending of the game seems so arbitrary. Electronic Arts wanted their cash cow, and they wanted it now, instead of the months it would have taken to wrap everything up properly. The irony here is that the game's March 2012 release date was already a delay: it was originally scheduled to be part of the 2011 holiday season. Apparently even this wasn't enough to truly polish the game up, however the game did have the most content-filled DLC of all three games to help bolster it post-release.
- Inverted when Nintendo delayed two major Wii U releases (Wii Fit U and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze), originally planned for the 2013 holiday season, to instead be released in the first few months of 2014. The official reason was for the games to have more time to be polished up, but gaming journalists and commentators have speculated that it was more so they wouldn't be overshadowed by Super Mario 3D World and so there wouldn't be a first-half-of-the-year game drought like in 2013 that would once again kill momentum for hardware sales (indeed, sales analysts have noted that February 2014 hardware sales for Wii U were significantly up over February 2013 thanks to Tropical Freeze).
- Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash. After Nintendo delayed two of their most anticipated 2015 Wii U releases, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Star Fox Zero, to 2016, they were left with only a small amount of Wii U games for the holiday 2015 season (like Yoshi's Woolly World and Xenoblade Chronicles X). As such they pushed to get Ultra Smash out before Black Friday 2015, which resulted in a game many consider So Okay, It's Average on the basis that, while a functional game and fun in short bursts, it is severely lacking in content (the fact the eShop download isn't even one whole gigabyte, which is smaller than a Gamecube game, raised some flags about this early on).
- Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! on the Game Boy Advance. Released in November 2005 - but the all new soundtrack was unfinished (the final boss used the standard boss theme, the secret area used the main map theme, unlike on SNES, the various Kong and Bear buildings shared one theme instead of having one each) and the character roll call was removed from the ending.
- Sensible World of Soccer was rushed out for Christmas 1994 after its release had already been postponed several times. Despite not being finished, the game received rave reviews and immediately became a top seller. A bug-fix patch was quickly produced, and the first Updated Re-release was sent out for free to registered users.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic released in a fairly decent state at first glance with quality voice acting and story writing, but being rushed to the market (against both a World of Warcraft expansion and Christmas selling season) released it with poor optimization that meant that powerful computers had trouble with it even on low graphics. The game was also released with a noticeably barren (that is to say, three dungeons and a raid) endgame. After a year, Bioware was forced to try to recoup the money they lost on keeping the project going by announcing their failure in all but name.
- The Tales Series have had this happen before.
- Tales of the Abyss was the series' 10th anniversary title and it's implied that parts of it were rushed, as some things were left out in the original Japanese PS2 release. When the game was localized, these things were added into the English version, including extensions to certain Mystic Artes, an extra Mystic Arte for certain characters and Luke's ability to use Radiant Howl while still sporting long hair, with vocal footage for these attacks in the game. The 3DS version included these things.
- Tales of Xillia was rushed to be the 15th anniversary title. As a result of this, many things that were to be in the game, such as unique port areas, a hot springs scene and a section where you would play as the Big Bad, were ultimately left out. These missing events would eventually make it into the sequel, Tales of Xillia 2. The sequel is often accused of being little more than an overpriced DLC pack for the first game for that and a few other reasons.
- Ultima IX was given a Christmas release date by EA while still in development, with missing content that would have made it in if they had waited the following Christmas.
- When first announced, the developers of Defiance made a lot of pie-in-the-sky promises that unfortunately they were not able to implement because they were under a deadline to launch the game at the same exact moment the show began broadcasting. The developers have been open about this happening, and are trying to add the promised features and content to the game as quickly as they can through updates and downloadable content.
- Super Double Dragon was Christmas Rushed by the series' North American publisher Tradewest, who released an Obvious Beta with such features as knives that dealt excessive damage, boomerangs that couldn't be caught, and the inability to switch weapons after picking one up. The Japanese release, Return of Double Dragon, is a more complete game but has no proper ending.
- Phoenix, a very small video game company that was founded in the United Kingdom did this to nearly all their games, rushing the development to 3-5 months rather than 18 months just to give them an edge towards their competitors. The result are some of the worst games ever made in Europe. This video shows off how bad they are.
- Two FPS sequels released in November 2004, Halo 2 and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. The former even had the added bonus that Microsoft knew it would be the Xbox's last blockbuster given the 360 was coming the following year. Both had the developer getting ambitious (Retro Studios refused to just recycle the features from Metroid Prime, and Bungie had to discard the engine used for a Halo trailer because they discovered the Xbox couldn't handle it!) and choking on time constraints (Retro had only 30% of the game ready by June, Bungie cut so many features the Dummied Out list on a whiteboard ran out of space and the single player campaign ends in an abrupt Cliffhanger).
- The Sega Genesis version of the The Jungle Book video game averts this. According to the holiday 1993 episode of the British video game review series, Bad Influence! note , it was scheduled for a 1993 holiday release. However, due to programming problems, the game was delayed until June 1994. Thanks to this decision, the game is a fun, polished platformer, with sprites looking just like the movie, as with many of Disney's licensed games.
- It is very possible that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim suffers from this. When fans looked at the game-files with the Level Editor, it was revealed the creators planned to implement complex quests and scripts that sadly did not make the final cut. Examples are a dynamic civil war, an arena in Windhelm and quest to kill one of the Jarls. This is probably cut because the game had to be released on November the 11th 2011, so the creators did not have enough time to implement all of their plans. As a result, many of the storylines in the game feel rushed when compared to earlier installments of the franchise.
- While Bethesda was busy with Skyrim, they commissioned Obsidian Entertainment (a company composed of many of the original Fallout's developers) to make Fallout: New Vegas. The game clearly suffered from a lack of time as it recycled a lot of assets from Fallout 3, reused a lot of Fallout and Fallout 2 music, and with a ton of planned content cut out and plenty of bugs to go around. Even the part which shined the most- the story- was hurt by the rush as some storylines couldn't be fleshed out in time and were left rather simplistic. Fans didn't look kindly on the game recycling so many assets while critics were more positive- though not enough to earn a bonus for receiving a specific score from Metacritic. New Vegas was ultimately Vindicated by History thanks to Fallout 4's much divisive reception which established an undeniable pattern of Bethesda rushing games out the gate before they were ready. As such, many fans look back on New Vegas with more appreciation.
- Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven wasn't quite Christmas rushed, but the second half of the game was hastily put together because of difficulties with making the game itself and the future of the studio. They figured it would be better to release the game in such a state than risk not releasing it at all.
- Street Fighter V wasn't rushed for Christmas (or any holiday, really), but was pushed out early in February 2016 to get the basic multiplayer in the hands of players to practice for EVO and other tournaments in the summer. This came at the cost of various features not being available in the game until Marchnote , and the game's story mode not being available until June. And this is not even getting into Arcade Mode and endings, which wouldn't see the light of the day until Arcade Edition arrived in January 2018.
- The Super Nintendo Entertainment System version of Final Fight came out in Japan exactly one month after the console's 1990 launch and just four days before Christmas. The Co-Op Multiplayer mode, one of the stages and one of the three playable characters were lamentably removed, but such compromises probably helped Capcom achieve their release date.
- The infamously Troubled Production of Star Wars: Galaxies resulted in numerous delays before LucasArts finally put their foot down and demanded that Sony Online Entertainment release the game in summer of 2003. Unfortunately, the game was nowhere near ready and the lead developer later described frantically removing reams of incomplete code, to the point where the only incomplete code he wasn't removing was things that the game actually needed to run. With the benefit of hindsight, the end result of this rush could charitably be described as disastrous. The game was bug-ridden and largely devoid of content on launch, numerous promised features - like space travel, player-owned towns, and vehicles - had to be delayed to later patches and most of the underlying systems of the game were horrendously imbalanced and broken. Despite the best efforts of the developers, the game never truly recovered from the problems created by its early launch and most of the game's subsequent problems had their roots in the decision to gun for a Summer '03 launch window.
Apparently not learning their lesson, SOE wound up doing this a second time in 2005 with the New Game Enhancements (NGE), a particularly reviled update that completely rewrote the game code from the ground up and dramatically changed the way the game was designed and played. A long-awaited Combat Upgrade launched in May of that year had gone over poorly with the community and the developers decided they needed something bigger to draw in more players. A conceptual mock-up of what would become the NGE was created and shared amongst the developers and producers. SOE gave the project a tentative go-ahead and the devs were given a mere six months to put together a complete rewrite of all of the game's core systems, all while putting together the game's third expansion pack AND maintaining the current code with regular updates. Several of the developers would later claim that those six months involved some of the highest workload they'd ever had to deal with and because SOE still hadn't fully decided to use the new system, they had to effectively code for two different game systems at once. The NGE was finally launched with two weeks warning to the players and managed to turn the game into an even buggier mess than it was at launch, resulting in an enormous exodus of players.
- According to president Tatsumi Kimishima, Nintendo is attempting to avert this with the Switch in order to give it a stronger/more consistent lineup following launch.
- A couple of the Ratchet & Clank games have gone through this:
- Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal only had a year of development time (3 months preproduction, 9 months of actual production) and a good chunk of its development was spent on the new online multiplayer mode and getting the Galactic Rangers AI to work at all, and while the final game is far from unpolished, its obvious that they cut quite a few corners in design. The levels are much shorter and have fewer branching paths, the enemy variety was extremely downsized to save on art and animation time, several assets from the previous games (i.e. enemies, vehicles and music) are recycled, and a lot of content from the previous games (i.e. racing or fighting tournaments, space travel, grinding on rails, Giant Clank) got heavily scaled down or axed altogether. A few of the levels just flat out recycle the multiplayer maps to pad out the games length.
- Initially invoked with the 2016 reimagining of Ratchet & Clank, which was given a meager 10 months to so that it could coincide with the release of the film it tied into during the holidays (most games take two years these days). In the end the game turned out great and its production was surprisingly smooth (thanks to access to the original PS2 assets), and it became a critically acclaimed title and the fastest selling game in the series. Averted twice thanks to the movie's release being a few months later than anticipated, giving a skeleton crew extra time to patch bugs and add in new features.
- Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle, in celebration 200 million downloads, decided to push out two new characters for both the Japanese and Global versions of the game - Omega Shenron and Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta from Dragon Ball GT. However, Global players discovered that their Omega and Gogeta were broken - they did not come with Leader skills as the Japanese version used a system that hadn't been released on Global. Players were angry and memes were born.
- Fictosophy: "The Best Case Scenario" was made in less than a week just to have something for April Fools Day.
- Sword Art Online Abridged has an in-universe case of this, in that the eponymous game was hurried out as a launch title and thus has its share of bugs, from missing sound files for monsters, to tutorial NPCs that are able to wander off and get roped into player guilds, to Game Breaking Bugs like a boss monster glitching out and dying without unlocking the door out of its boss room. Even the "if you die in the game you die in real life" aspect is a glitch that the lead programmer decided to double down on. But SAO was released anyway because it had already been delayed twice, and the publisher decided "It's a big open world, no one's gonna notice a few glitches!"
- While it would eventually get 52 episodes, the production of the first three episodes of the Nicktoon Speed Racer: The Next Generation were rushed heavily in order to be released at nearly the same week as the release of the live-action movie, and the franchise's 40th anniversary. It didn't hinder the quality of it compared to the rest of the show, but the characters' shading was scrapped except for scenes with dramatic lighting, and there are a few Aftereffects layering errors.
- Charles Schulz & Bill Melendez were given only six months to complete A Charlie Brown Christmas in time for the holiday season, and Melendez couldn't start animating it until the third. As a result, the special is rife with stiff animation that goes Off-Model several times (most notably Lucy phasing through her phsychiatric booth and Linus's head vanishing in one frame) and stilted voice acting that was very clearly stitched together from numerous takes (remember that it was almost entirely done by real children at a time when child voice actors didn't exist, meaning that these kids lacked any professional experience). Luckily, the special was appealing enough to remain a holiday classic since it premiered; in fact, the shoddy quality of the special was able to gather a certain appeal that permanently stuck with the Peanuts franchise.
- Not only was Total Drama Pahkitew Island produced at the same time as All-Stars, the season never went through any revisions or rewrites. Some questionable things were left in, including how Sugar managed to get Jasmine eliminated.