Only the Creator Does It Right

This is Creator Worship taken Up to Eleven. When someone makes a sequel to a popular work which they did not create, and it is completely savaged by fans.

Sometimes a Justified Trope because it may be that the original creator is the only one who knew the work, the world and the characters well enough to "do it right."

Can be considered a form of Jumping the Shark, only with that trope, the creator him/herself can do it. If there's a Franchise Zombie, people may claim this. Despite all this, complaining about the new work solely because it is not by the original team is a fallacy, and can be a form of Fan Myopia.

Bear in mind that in the case of many popular media of a collaborative nature — Theatre, Movies, TV shows and Comic Books — there is often a lack of clear information about how much creative control an artist had towards their work, and what the specific contribution by certain figures were in the making of a given work. A great deal of the fan backlash for and against certain works stems from rumor, dated information and lack of clarity and agreement about what made a work great in the first place. So when this trope is invoked, it is most effective when its done with an awareness of what the original creator brought to the project.

Compare Disowned Adaptation and Scapegoat Creator. Contrast My Real Daddy, where the fandom prefers a version of a work or character not made by the original creator.


    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga 
  • Gundam has some fans who insist that the Alternate Universe shows are all crap because Yoshiyuki Tomino had nothing to do with them (ignoring the fact that Turn A Gundam was not only his baby, but acknowledges everything that came before). Some take it a step further and say The Creator Does It Right Only When He's Depressed, savaging Gundam ZZ (made to clear up the gloom from Zeta Gundam).
  • The 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist series has gotten hit with this with the conclusion of the manga and the second anime adaptation. The first anime series split off from the manga half way through and ended up creating its own original storyline. This storyline took the Character Development of several of the main characters in a different direction than the manga. As a result... Some fans of the manga have now adopted this mindset. Interestingly, the original manga author not only approved of the different direction, but actually encouraged it.
  • One could perhaps say this about anime Filler in general. No matter what the series, it's exceptionally rare for fans to feel that a filler arc is as good as the original manga.
    • To say nothing of non-canon anime movies. For example, the non-canon movies from the One Piece franchise are barely acknowledged by parts of the fandom, the exceptions being the fourth and sixth movies which are considered some of the best movies in the franchise with movie six especially being a fan favorite. The eighth and ninth movies are usually not counting because they are compressed retellings of previous arcs, although the ninth movie gets a lot of praise for being a good compress retelling. When Oda actually penned a movie himself (One Piece Film: Strong World), it was regarded as the best One Piece movie ever and universally praised by the fandom (it also helped that it was canon). The next movie he wrote, One Piece Film: Z, was similarly praised, though it wasn't canon (it was supposed to be, but the story would cause too many plot holes in the main canon timeline, so Oda decided not to include it).
    • Dragon Ball gets the same sentiment. The Dragon Ball movies are considered subpar to good, with a few fan-favorites like the Cooler and Broly movies, except movie 11 which is considered the worst, along with movies 1, 9, and 13. The two movies with direct input from Toriyama, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods and Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, are universally consider the best movies with rave reviews. They are also canon and been adapted into Dragon Ball Super. Dragon Ball GT is often use as case study of what happens when Toriyama has little to no involvement. And let's not even get started on Dragonball Evolution.
  • Boruto, the sequel to Naruto, has been getting this sentiment since Masashi Kishimoto only has a supervising role in it, while his former assistants, Ukyō Kodachi and Mikio Ikemoto, handle the writing and drawing respectively. This was especially noticeable with the initial reaction to the different art style; although in later chapters this has been lessened somewhat thanks to Ikemoto's Art Evolution making it closer to Kishimoto's own style, in addition to the latter's announcement that he'll become more involved with the new manga.

     Comic Books 
  • This is the general opinion about The Spirit comics not written and drawn by Will Eisner. There's some conflict about whether the strips drawn under Eisner's supervision but not personally by him are up to standard, but much less about the several attempts to revive the character after his death.
  • There are some, namely Alan Moore, who argue that Spider-Man declined greatly after Steve Ditko's departure and that the art style and quality was greatly softened by later writers. While there are quite a lot of prominent Spider-Man elements and stories that succeeded Ditko's run, in terms of consistency and artistic quality it remains the Glory Days of the comic.
  • Alan Moore's work offers a nice series of contrasts:
    • Moore has often drastically reinvented pre-existing creations such as Swamp Thing, Miracleman, Supreme and likewise written what many consider the definitive Joker story in The Killing Joke. All of them are generally regarded as the best runs of the respective comic books and none of them were created by Moore. On the other hand, none of the later attempts and runs at the respective titles (with the exception of Neil Gaiman's run on Miracleman) have matched Moore's stories in impact, acclaim and esteem.
    • Some of the Before Watchmen miniseries might be considered exceptions - Minute Men and Silk Spectre were fairly well-received by critics. (Interestingly, both were done by Darwyn Cooke, who also did some acclaimed work on the Spirit as well.) However, everyone agrees that all of it falls short of Moore and Dave Gibbons' original, but then considering that Watchmen is an all-time classic, it was a tall order anyway.
  • Steve Gerber's comic, Howard the Duck, is considered a classic. Howard comics not made by Gerber? Not so much.
  • Brian K. Vaughan and Runaways. As soon as he left, it went downhill.
  • The Astérix books written by Albert Uderzo after the death of René Goscinny have been less well received.
  • This trope was invoked on the 90s-era Superboy books. After sales dropped substantially during the run of Ron Marz and Ramon Bernado, the character's original creators (Karl Kesel and Tom Grummett) returned to the title in an attempt to recapture the magic the book once had. However, the new stories featured a radically different direction and despite the original team, never truly recovered.
  • Most Jack Kirby fans agree that nobody else has ever had a really good grasp of the New Gods characters and their universe but Jack himself. The series left a lot of unanswered questions, so inevitably every new writer ends up filling in the blanks with his own ideas, which usually feel at least a little "off." The most well-regarded version of the characters after Kirby are not the comics so much as the DCAU animated series by Bruce Timm.
  • Similarly, many Thanos fans tend to dislike depictions not written by Jim Starlin, as the character tends to devolve from a complex, multifaceted villain into a generic Evil Overlord under most other writers.

  • A.I.: Artificial Intelligence was originally a Stanley Kubrick project which he shelved in favor of other projects. Spielberg directed the film after Kubrick's death and many critics and Kubrick fans attacked the film and Spielberg for ruining a Kubrick masterpiece (which he consciously shelved and handed to Spielberg anyway). Weirdly enough, the elements of the film that are most attacked, namely the ending weren't Spielberg inventions at all, but created by Kubrick himself.
    • This trope was invoked from the moment the movie was conceived by Spielberg and Kubrick towards each other. Kubrick didn't think he had the heart to pull it off and believed Spielberg was the better man for the job, while Spielberg didn't think he had the artistic finesse and insisted Kubrick should direct. The two might still be volleying the idea back and forth to this day if Kubrick hadn't passed away.
  • Jurassic Park III is held by some to be the worst film in the Jurassic Park franchise. Incidentally, it was the one film of the original trilogy Steven Spielberg did not direct, as well as the first not even nominally based on a Michael Crichton novel. That said Jurassic World was far better received, and it was likewise not directed by Spielberg (but he apparently was more present this time around).
  • Out of the four Batman films released from 1989 to 1997, the first two directed by Tim Burton were considered the best. And for very good reasons.
  • The first two X-Men films were directed by Bryan Singer, while the third one, X-Men: The Last Stand, was helmed by Brett Ratner, and is considered by many fans to be a huge step down in quality. X-Men: First Class, which was produced and co-written by Singer, was much better received. Ultimately cemented with X-Men: Days of Future Past by having Singer back in the director's chair and getting an overwhelmingly positive reception, with many calling it the best in the franchise so far. X-Men: Apocalypse, however, proved to be much more divisive in comparison to Singer's previous efforts. Matthew Vaughn also gets a share of credit for directing First Class.
  • On a related note, any non-Marvel Studios films featuring Marvel characters are regarded by most supporters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as inferior and bastardizations of the source material, and that only Marvel Studios can treat them right:
    • There are mixed opinions regarding this when it comes to the X-Men films. On the one hand, Marvel has done well with the MCU and having the X-Men film rights would open them up to crossovers that both sides could benefit from. On the other hand, some feel that Fox (or at least Singer and Vaughn) hasn't done badly with their X-Men films, and that the franchise's "oppressed minority" metaphor works better when there aren't a bunch of other superhumans running around.
    • Zigzagged with Spider-Man, as the first two films of the original trilogy are well-regarded but the third is divisive; and the following reboot suffered some from being a Franchise Zombie, and both cases had Executive Meddling to blame for most of their problems. Sony since struck a deal to reboot Spider-Man again with Marvel co-producing, and his debut in Captain America: Civil War was seen by many as a highlight of the film.
    • In the case of Daredevil, its MCU revival as a Netflix TV series was received much better than the Fox movie, reinforcing the view. The same goes for Season Two's reinvention of the Punisher, with Jon Bernthal's portrayal receiving high praise when previous incarnations failed; even earning him his own spinoff show. Elektra Natchios, also added in season 2, didn't quite the same universal praise as the Punisher, but still was a much better response than her own movie got.
    • Averted by Deadpool. Not only was it successful without Marvel's involvement, but there are fears that Deadpool being part of the MCU would require a tonal shift away from what helped make his movie a success - it's filled to the brim with profanity, gore, sex jokes, and Black Comedy; having too much adult content for a family-friendly franchise and being too wacky for the MCU's serious, mature-audiences Netflix arm.
    • The one franchise that almost everyone agrees would be better back at Marvel is Fantastic Four, as the 2005 film and its sequel were below-average and the 2015 reboot bombed outright.
  • Steven Spielberg turned down offers to direct Jaws 2. Most people feel that the sequels get worse with each subsequent film.
  • Several people in the Godzilla fandom find any of the movies not directed by Ishiro Honda to be inferior.
    • Similarly, some fans automatically dismiss the 2014 Godzilla, not on the grounds of its own merits or flaws, but because it is not from Toho.
  • Became an issue on the set of Aliens. In addition to being a perfectionist, James Cameron was also hated by the British crew for not being Ridley Scott. Fan reaction to the film, however, was more enthusiastic.
  • Cameron ended up on the opposite side of this trope after Terminator 2: Judgment Day. None of the following Terminator films (each done by a different director) has earned the respect that the first two had even if Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared in two of the non-Cameron films.
  • Alfred Hitchcock directed Psycho and died before the sequels were released and the critically derided 90s remake. The universal opinion is that the first film was undoubtedly the best and only Hitchcock understood the subject and execution.
  • Richard Donner directed Superman: The Movie, and got fired halfway through Superman II. His cut of the sequel, which emerged in 2006, is generally considered better than the theatrical cut by Richard Lester. Of course, in this case it wasn't the name. There was a push to go Lighter and Softer that would culminate in the now disowned Superman III, and the Donner cut has less of the slapstick that was forced upon them.
  • The planned new Buffy the Vampire Slayer Reboot film without Joss Whedon is starting to receive this. Ironically, the TV show embraced this trope, as it was much, much better than the movie, which messily chopped up Whedon's original script.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street is a good example, since the best-regarded installments have Wes Craven's involvement (the original and Wes Craven's New Nightmare are written/directed by Craven, while Dream Warriors was co-written by him).
  • The Saw sequels since the departure of creators Leigh Whannell and James Wan are highly regarded as significantly inferior to the original trilogy, with the frequent exception of Saw VI.
  • Highly debated among fans of Star Wars:
    • The very first film, A New Hope, is highly beloved, but many fans believe that Lucas is a better writer and producer than a director (or vice-versa). They argue that The Empire Strikes Back was much better than A New Hope in part because George Lucas took a more hands-off approach and left it in the hands of other writers and directors, and the weaknesses of Return of the Jedi stem from the fact that Lucas was too involved in the production. Likewise, the prequels suffer from the absence of many of the key collaborators in the original films. In the case of Star Wars, it takes the form of We Love the Creation, but He Doesn't Do It as Well as Others Do. Bear in mind that Lucas was always involved with Star Wars. The famous plot twist of The Empire Strikes Back was exclusively Lucas' own invention and the first Star Wars film was entirely his vision, which he had to fight to convince his cast and crew to believe in.
    • With the release of The Force Awakens this trope is now being played totally straight by fans who feel profoundly insulted by the very existence of the film because Lucas wasn't involved with it at all and thought it borrowed too much from the original trilogy. J. J. Abrams is being painted as a pretender to the throne who mistakenly believes his fan fiction could ever "count" the way the Lucas-made films do.
  • The first Die Hard film is directed by John McTiernan. All of the sequels are contested, to some extent. Die Hard with a Vengeance, again directed by McTiernan, is the least contested.
  • The Bourne Series: Zig-Zagged with My Real Daddy, as one may argue that the Bourne series has two daddies with directors Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass. With The Bourne Identity, Liman gave the film a unique style, but it was Greengrass who would flesh it out in its sequels The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, with Liman still involved as executive producer, garnering even greater acclaim. But when Greengrass turned down the offer to direct The Bourne Legacy, Matt Damon left with him, saying he wouldn't do any more movies without him, and Liman left too. This is part of why Legacy hasn't been as well-received as its predecessors. Though it should be noted that Tony Gilroy wrote all four films (and directed Legacy). Damon and Greengrass finally reunited to make Jason Bourne, which received mixed reviews, as well.
  • Fans of the Scream series view Kevin Williamson, the writer of the first two films, as the only person who can get the characters right. Scream 3 was written by Ehren Kruger due to Williamson having commitments to other projects, and is nowadays seen as the worst film in the series, and while Scream 4 saw Williamson come back to the series, Kruger was also credited for rewrites, and many fans blame the film's weaker moments on him. Worst of all was the TV adaptation, which neither Williamson, Kruger, nor the films' director Wes Craven had any creative involvement in (barring a producer credit for Craven), and which has been lambasted by fans.
  • Ridley Scott himself has expressed this sentiment regarding the Alien series, saying he now regrets his departure from it and intends to assume full creative control to prevent films that contradict the new post-Prometheus canon, like Alien vs. Predator, from being made.

  • The James Bond novels written after Ian Fleming's death are nowhere near as famous as the ones written by him (nor as typically well-received). Of course, there wasn't really any other way around the Author Existence Failure.
  • Frank Herbert's Dune series was taken over by his son after the former's death, based on his father's notes. Despite this, many fans suggest stopping after Chapterhouse: Dune, Frank's final Dune work (other fans suggest stopping after the original Dune).
  • This was one of the reasons The Dresden Files failed compared to the books. Most fans did not see the show as good without Jim Butcher.
  • At least a significant portion of the Douglas Adams fans out there were not at all satisfied with And Another Thing..., which was written by Eoin Colfer several years after Adams' death.
  • Conan the Barbarian. To the most visible portion of the fanbase, the true Conan stories are the ones written by Howard and only by Howard. The post-Howard writers are referred to as "Conantics," and Internet Backdraft ensues if you admit to liking any of the books by Lin Carter or the others. The films largely have a separate fanbase, and fans of one are usually civil to the other.
  • H.P. Lovecraft is often seen as the best writer of the Cthulhu Mythos literature. Fellow authors like August Derleth who carried on writing literature based on the mythos are derided by some as missing the point of the bleak, hopeless outlook on the universe that Lovecraft conveyed.
  • Fans generally don't like the Dragonriders of Pern books written after Anne McCaffrey died.
  • Books that get turned into movies are nearly 100% this.
  • This is usually averted in the case of less-than-great books, which have often made great movies. The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Godfather, Touch of Evil and The Searchers for four noteworthy examples.
  • The sequel series to The Chronicles of Amber written after Roger Zelazny's death is universally regarded as Fanon Discontinuity. This stance is considerably helped by the fact that several of Zelazny's friends have publicly stated that he abhorred the idea of anyone else writing canonical stories in the Amber 'verse.
  • Certain V. C. Andrews fans feel this way after her death and Andrew Neiderman took over the name. In terms of series that she actually started, the last three Casteel books had this response.

     Live Action Television 
  • Supernatural. Many fans blamed the seasons 6 & 7 showrunner Sera Gamble for the show's less-than-stellar state after Eric Kripke, the creator and original showrunner, stepped down (though Kripke still had some input on the show). After season 7, Gamble also stepped down and was replaced by Jeremy Carver. Whether or not he's doing better than her is a bit divisive amongst the fandom, but both are generally seen as inferior to Kripke.
  • Arguably also true of Smallville. After the departure of co-creators and original show runners Alfred Gough and Miles Millar at the end of Season 7, the show seemed to end up in something of a Running the Asylum state with what was originally conceived as an accessible story about the future Superman with a loose approach to the mythology degenerating into DC Continuity Porn.
  • The West Wing. Creator and showrunner Aaron Sorkin left the show at the end of the fourth season; the fifth season was savaged by critics and fans alike, and while the sixth and seventh were generally accepted as being an improvement, there are many fans of the Sorkin era who simply ignore everything after season four.
  • Gossip Girl. When Joshua Safran took over as showrunner the quality of the show went drastically downhill and the ratings followed, which led to the majority of the fans complaining about him. It did not help matters that Safran frequently argued with the fans on twitter and that one of the show's directors stated that people who didn't like the changes were not real fans. He left the show after the fifth season, but the damage was done (the next season was its last, and its lowest-rated, and Cut Short to boot. And as for the Series Finale...).
  • A widespread perception of the fourth season of Community, made after creator Dan Harmon was fired by the network.
  • Played straight by Star Trek: The Original Series, where the Gene Roddenberry produced Seasons 1 and 2 are regarded as being way better than Season 3, where Fred Freiberger took over. Inverted by the following Star Trek shows however, which are widely regarded to have hit their strides after the original creators stepped down from the showrunner role (see My Real Daddy for more info). There are also some fans who regard only the Roddenberry-produced episodes and film as genuine Star Trek, and everything else as brainless trash, though this is very much a minority viewpoint.
  • The first two seasons of Charmed, where creator Constance M. Burge acted as the show's creative lead while Brad Kern handled the showrunning duties, are usually regarded as being by far and away better than the rest of the show's run, where Kern alone was in charge of things.
  • Gilmore Girls. Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband Daniel left the show after season 6. Opinions on the following season 7 differ but it's generally acknowledged that the show just wasn't the same afterwards.
  • Inverted with Hannibal, which does not have Thomas Harris attached, but is much better received than Harris' Hannibal Lecter continuation (Hannibal) and the prequel he was basically forced to do (Hannibal Rising).

    Multiple Media 
  • BIONICLE, as far as the story goes, zig-zags this. The Direct-to-Video movies were bashed due not not having been written by Greg Farshtey, but after he took over from Bob Thompson as Story Team leader, Farshtey became something of a Scapegoat Creator, with some fans complaining that he had too much influence on the story. As another inversion, the early Mata Nui Online Game, which was handled almost entirely by an outside-group (Templar Studios), is often seen as the franchise's best piece of media, so many fans are of the opinion that none of the actual creators "got it right" either. And as for the DVD movies themselves, most of the fourth's problems were often attributed to not having been made by the creators of the much more popular (if still not well-loved) first three.
    • With the reboot, the absence of the original creators is felt by older fans. In particular, Christian Faber, who conceptualized the original line's mythology, symbolism and its early forms of storytelling, as well as directed several well-received commercials. This even happened retroactively to the original line, as now several fans are hailing Faber as the one who "got it right".

    Professional Wrestling 

     Video Games 
  • Most infamous example: The Legend Of Zelda C Di Games and Hotel Mario, produced by Phillips. As Nintendo Power put it, these games taught us that "nobody should make Nintendo games except Nintendo."
  • The Halo franchise ended up being sold to Microsoft in return for Bungie being able to split from them. Microsoft Studios created a studio for making new Halo games called 343 Industries, and an already Broken Base split even further.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution was starting to receive this... until the beta was leaked. Of course, Deus Ex fans should be reminded that the original creators brought us the divisive Deus Ex: Invisible War.
  • Fallout 3 is hated by some of the more die-hard fans of the first two games because it was created by Bethesda Softworks and not (the defunct) Black Isle Studios. Especially noticeable when you consider that Fallout: New Vegas was given a more accepting reception and that some of the old employees of Black Isle incidentally worked on it.
    • Fans of the original games often point out that the storytelling and roleplay is less interesting in the games made by Bethesda. This is more or less true - Black Isle were renowned for their writing and would later go on to produce Baldur's Gate and the monumentally verbose Planescape: Torment, whereas Bethesda arguably have a more action-oriented approach to game design.
  • Most of the Legacy of Kain series is considered inferior to the original Blood Omen, since its designers - Silicon Knights - were cut out of the loop, the trademark essentially stolen by the publisher.
    • And even among fans of the sequels Blood Omen 2 (actually the 4th game in the series) is widely considered the worst. This is also the only game Amy Hennig had no involvement in.
  • Many fans of the original Mafia dislike Mafia II particularly because very few of the original staff were on the Mafia II team, and most of them left during production.
  • Some fans / tropers think the Fire Emblem series has never been the same since the fifth entry, Thracia 776. The reason is due to the departure of series creator Shouzou Kaga.
  • Some people felt this way with both the newer Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon games.
  • Long-time Command & Conquer fans have this in spades. Electronic Arts bought out the original creators of the series, Westwood Studios, and they have responded extremely negatively to almost all of the changes made to the series. While at times justified, such as the Tiberian Twilight example, a lot of the time one gets the feeling most of the negative criticism can be cited down to "it's not made by Westwood, therefore it sucks; EA wants to ruin the series and they must be stopped before they do so, because stupid kids who don't know what they're playing keep buying the games and supporting them."
  • Although they did get lots of positive reviews, Obsidian Entertainment's sequels to two of BioWare's games, Neverwinter Nights 2 and Knights of the Old Republic II, still aren't ranked as highly as their predecessors—although this has more to do with them being horribly buggy (or, in KotOR II's case, unfinished due to Executive Meddling forcing a premature release).
  • The Dawn of War expansion Soulstorm was not made by Relic, and is coincidentally considered to be So Bad, It's Good.
  • Max Payne 3 is getting quite a bit of this, due to Remedy having no real involvement with the series.
  • The Mega Man series gets this as well. First there were the official-but-subpar games for the PC and the Game Gear that were not developed by Capcom. Most of the later Mega Man X games also tend to receive this treatment, since Keiji Inafune intended to end the series after X5 but it was continued without his knowledge or input. And now that Inafune has left Capcom, faith in the series has now dropped to an all-time low; though that may have less to do with Capcom's potential ability to do the series justice, and more to do with the fact the company seems like it's trying to bury the series.
    • Averted however with Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge and Mega Man III-V for the Game Boy, and the Mega Man Zero series on the Game Boy Advance; while they were outsourced to other developers, the developers in question (Minakuchi Engineering for the Game Boy games and Inti Creates for the Zero series) actually understood the series, ensuring that the games were well-received by fans.
    • And then played straight again with the Game Boy Mega Man II, which was not only wasn't made by Capcom, but wasn't made by Minakuchi Engineering either. Instead it was farmed out to Biox, who didn't understand the series at all and ended up producing what is pretty unanimously regarded as the worst 8-bit Mega Man game. Fortunately, Capcom were smart enough to go back to the original developers for the next three games.
  • What many fans think about the modern Ninja Gaiden games, and one of the reasons there was so much skepticism about Ninja Gaiden III— now led by Yosuke Hayashi, also director of the first two game's PS3 releases and of the Nintendo DS episode Dragon Sword. Any game not directed by Tomonobu Itagaki can only be a pale imitation. It doesn't help that before leaving Tecmo, Itagaki himself said that he didn't like Sigma, that NG2 was the definitive version of the game and that he was the only one legitimate to continue the series.
  • Silent Hill, which has become a Broken Base since the breakup of Team Silent and the series being outsourced to Western development teams. The absence of Akira Yamaoka's soundtrack work on Downpour is already getting this reaction from some.
  • Some of the fans of the first three Heroes of Might and Magic games, developed by New World Computing, aren't too thrilled about the fully-3D Heroes V (Nival Interactive) and Heroes VI (Black Hole Entertainment). Of course, there's also Heroes IV, the last game to be developed by NWC, which many fans simply ignore. The biggest complaint is not with the gameplay changes but with the fact that the storylines of the last two games have nothing to do with The Verse of the first four games (and first nine games in the series Heroes was a spin-off of).
  • When Konami outsourced the development of the two Playstation Contra games, Contra: Legacy of War and C: The Contra Adventure, to Appaloosa, the results were universally regarded as a disaster, mainly due to poor gameplay. Konami realized their mistake, took Contra: Shattered Soldier into their own hands, and denied the PS games' existence. The fans were pleased with the results.
  • U.S. Gold and Tiertex, who had licensed Strider and other Capcom arcade games for European home computer ports, went on to produce a sequel known as Strider II or Strider Returns. Fans were underwhelmed by the colors, controls, level design, and Strider Hiryu being renamed Strider Hinjo for no reason. It was known in some circles as "spectacular crapfest" for these reasons. When Capcom decided to make a sequel themselves, they denied Returns' existence, which they weren't even involved with anyway, and simply titled the game Strider 2.
  • Metroid: Some feel this way about certain games that were made after the death of Gunpei Yokoi. Yokoi himself originally wanted the series to be a nice contained trilogy, so the main series games which were made after (Fusion and Other M) received this sentiment.
    • The same sentiment was common prior to the release of Metroid Prime, not helped that it was being made by a seemingly failing studio that had released a grand total of zero games. But the game came through, and the rest is history.
  • Out of all the Age of Empires games, the latest, Age of Empires Online was developed after Ensemble Studios was closed down. Much Broken Base ensued.
  • The 989 Studios-developed Twisted Metal III and 4 received a very mixed reception among the fandom, compared to the SingleTrac-developed (and their successor companies, Incog Inc. and Eat Sleep Play) games. David Jaffe said that while the 989 games were good games on their own, they were just bad Twisted Metal games.
    • One of the slogans for 1997's Critical Depth was, "From the Developers Who Know Vehicular Combat!", referring to SingleTrac, the developers of the game.
  • Langrisser Millennium was developed without the team that had worked on all previous installments of the series. Hardcore Gaming 101 describes it as "a filthy charlatan, masquerading as an installment in one of strategy gaming's finest series."
  • Freespace fans have been known to do this pre-emptively. As it stands there is little chance of the series being continued, but if it did it would probably not be by the original developers (Volition). Some fans have taken the mantra "If it ain't V, it ain't Freespace 3!", as they believe that no one else would ever be able to continue the series satisfactorily.
  • After the release of the third Mass Effect game and the resulting controversy regarding the endings, many fans were saying that the fault was with Mac Walters, and that Drew Karpyshan, who was the lead writer on the first game and co-lead with Walters for the second but worked on Star Wars: The Old Republic instead of Mass Effect 3, would have presented a more satisfying conclusion.
    • The same goes for the music, the first two games were scored by Jack Wall which fans unanimously agreed that he made a fantastic job; the third game on the other hand, although it featured a few original pieces from Clint Mansell which the fanbase says they're quite good in their own right, most fans agree that the old recycled music from the previous games and the new pieces from their supporting composer, Sam Hulick, overall don't quite reach the quality of Jack Wall.
  • BioShock 2 Fans and critics alike concluded that it wasn't quite as good as the original, with many attributing this to the fact that it was developed by 2K Marin instead of Irrational Games. Irrational returned to develop BioShock Infinite, which has gained acclaim equal to if not greater than the original.
  • While the Ace Attorney games directed by Takeshi Yamazaki — namely Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies and the two Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth entries — have been reasonably well-received, you'd be very hard-pressed to find any fans who prefer his work over that of the series' creator, Shu Takumi.
  • Anco's Kick Off series of soccer games for the Amiga dropped dramatically in quality when programmer Dino Dini left the company after the second game.
  • Batman: Arkham Origins was well received overall, but is regarded by many as the worst of the Arkham series because it was filled with problematic bugs and was made by a different developer, WB Games Montreal. The games made by the creators of the series, Rocksteady, were renowned for how polished they were. With the release of Batman: Arkham Knight made by Rocksteady having a disastrous PC port (actually being taken down from online stores) and the industry having an unfortunate trend of buggy games, Origins is being looked upon a little more fondly, though detractors argue that unlike Knight it did not have the excuse of releasing for the very difficult-to-code PlayStation 4.
    • Arkham Knight fell prey to this in a different way. Because of prior commitments, the writer of the first two games Paul Dini was unable to return for Arkham Knight. A lot of people have found the story to be weaker than the previous entries. Notably, for all it was criticized for, Arkham Origins is considered to have a very strong story even without Rocksteady's influence.
  • This trope is pretty much exemplified perfectly by the later Yoshi's Island games, all of which were made by Artoon/Arzest instead of Nintendo. None of these games are considered anywhere near as good as the SNES original by Nintendo themselves, partly due to Artoon's staff not really knowing about good game/level design in general.
  • A common criticism leveled against Dark Souls II. The director of the first game and its spiritual prequel Demon's Souls, Hidetaka Miyazaki, had only a minor supervisory role in Dark Souls 2, as he was busy directing Bloodborne (which would eventually become acclaimed in its own right). Many fans attribute Miyazaki's absence as one of the main causes behind the game's many shortcomings, though an interview that clarified that the game had a Troubled Production lessened this a bit. Even with the DLC content, which is considered superior to the main game, many fans denounce it and DS2 as a whole to be inferior to the Miyazaki-helmed games.
  • While each Umihara Kawase game has been developed by an at least nominally different company, the only one made without the participation of original programmer and game designer Kiyoshi Sakai was Umihara Kawase Portable, which fans of the series have widely denounced as a Porting Disaster.
  • Blaster Master 2, outsourced to British developer Software Creations, is a pale shadow of the original game, despite being made for a more powerful console. Sunsoft returned to develop the next two Blaster Master games, which were better received.
  • The Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series is a Neversoft creation. However, the company would relegate other companies to work on the various ports of the series, and said ports are nowhere near as high quality as the ones done by Neversoft. For many fans, 'Shaba Games' brings to mind cheapness, poor graphics and glitches, most notably in the PS1 port of Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4. Neversoft pulled out of the series entirely after Proving Ground, and Activision gave the following installments to other subsidiaries to the point Ride and Shred killed the series - aside from a remake of the original and a phone-only game.
    • Neversoft was on the other side of the spectrum with Guitar Hero, which they inherited from Harmonix once it was sold to Viacom and went on to create Rock Band. Their games, which started with Guitar Hero III, had many good reviews and even better sales, but are still divisive exactly for turning the series into a Cash Cow Franchise that Activision ran to the ground.
  • Monkey Island - Ron Gilbert worked on the first two games, which are beloved by fans, after which he left Lucasarts. The first game he didn't work on, The Curse Of Monkey Island, was well received and even Gilbert says he enjoyed it, though noting he had a different plan for Monkey Island 3. The fourth game, Escape From Monkey Island, however, was a disaster, and had many fans feeling that Lucasarts were doing a disservice to Gilbert's creation. This was largely due to the glitchiness of the game (which was ironed out somewhat in the PS2 port), the non-point and click controls, Polygon Ceiling graphics, the retconning, the unfunny and stereotypical humor, the reliance on time and memory based puzzles, and nonsensical portions like Monkey Kombat. Ron Gilbert was involved with the first two games' remakes and oversaw some of Tales of Monkey Island (which was a step up from Escape, though not to the degree most fans wanted), but doesn't have particular interest in working on the next parts.
  • Duke Nukem 3D's Nuclear Winter expansion pack is generally considered the worst, and is also the only one 3D Realms didn't work on. Though it's not without reason - the first two levels are just slight rehashes of the first two levels in the base game in reverse order, and the music for every stage is Christmas carols. The level designs are also fairly boring in comparison to the other packs, and some parts are fairly similar to other levels from the original game.
  • In 2014, Natsume developed and released Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, as they lost the rights to import future Bokujō Monogatari titles from the original developer Marvelous to XSEED Games, but still having the rights to the Harvest Moon name (this meant that Connect to the New World and subsequent titles are now under a new name,Story of Seasons.) However reception for The Lost Valley had been met with negative reception compared to Story of Seasons.
    • That said, it's not without reason. While some of the hate is because Natsume developed it, the game is of noticeably lower quality compared to the games made by Marvelous. While there are many complaints, the largest of them are the lower quality and super deformed art (and using 3D models instead of hand-drawn portraits for conversations), and that the three (compared to the typical five/six) bachelors/bachelorettes are blatant copies of ones from previous Harvest Moon games.
  • Metal Gear combines this trope with the fact that Hideo Kojima says he is never making another one after making every single game from Metal Gear Solid 2 onwards. His eccentric design philosophy and personality is a very strong influence on Metal Gear, and attempts to imitate it by committee tend to come off poorly.
    • Metal Gear for the NES, on which Kojima did not work, was a complete mess. Snake's Revenge, on which Kojima also did not work, was somewhat less of a mess but the team developing it felt guilty enough about it to ask Kojima to develop his own Metal Gear sequel. Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, which he did develop in response to this request, is a known classic.
    • Metal Gear Ac!d goes for its own brand of Campy madness unique to director Shinta Nojiri, but a quirky and overcomplicated game system and a bizarre Gothic Horror plot did little to endear it to most players. While its sequel was better received, Nojiri was being groomed by Kojima as a potential replacement on Metal Gear, but left Kojima Productions rather than accept the poison chalice.
    • Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (on which Kojima did not work) was a solid, well-received game, but with some questionable design decisions and a Strictly Formula plot which Retconned the backstory of a very popular character to shoehorn him into the game, and much of the reason Kojima made Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker was to push it out of the canon and into Broad Strokes. Portable Ops was considered a really good game at the time of release and had glowing reviews, but once Peace Walker came out it started to be remembered much more negatively. Few will defend it now.
    • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is the most generally successful non-Kojima Metal Gear game and is praised by most Metal Gear fans and Kojima himself, but is still somewhat controversial due to the fact Kojima didn't make it (with some fans feeling its tone and gameplay misses the point of the series). Game critics didn't review it as highly as Kojima's games, but still gave it positive reviews.
    • Metal Gear Survive was met with near-universal mockery and disdain when it was announced. The first Metal Gear game developed after Hideo Kojima's sacking from Konami, even the fans who might have liked the premise were unwilling to give it any good faith.
  • The first two Star Control games were well-received and beloved by fans. The third, developed with no involvement from the original creators was... not.
  • The Resident Evil games made after Shinji Mikami's departure have continued to receive divisive reception. A common complaint in these later games has been the focus on action, mainly turning the series into a shoot'em up with only a few horror elements. While the more action-heavy elements did start with Resident Evil 4 (the last game Mikami oversaw), it still managed to keep a heavy horror atmosphere.
  • Many fans of Drakengard reject the second game, on the basis of Taro Yoko not being involved, claiming that his absence led to the game's story and characters being much more irritating and uninteresting. Subsequent games in the series, including the Gaiden Game NieR and Drakengard3, have been much more well-received (although Drakengard 3 is in itself somewhat divisive).
  • An odd variation happened with the Wing Commander series, where the fifth game, the only one to be made without any involvement from series creator Chris Roberts, is usually considered the worst game in the series by far (not counting spin-off titles). However, Roberts was responsible for the Wing Commander movie, which got a reception even worse than that of the fifth game.
  • The HD version of Age of Empires II and its expansions were made without any involvement from Ensemble Studios. This leads to some of the changes being done out of favouritism (or lack thereof).
  • Possibly the reason why Insomniac Games made Ratchet & Clank (2016). From a broader perspective, most non-Insomniac depictions of the title characters, such as PlayStation Move Heroes and Playstation All Stars Battle Royale don't quite nail the look, including Clank in the movie.
  • According to Polygon's oral history of Final Fantasy VII, many within Square Enix believe that the soul of the series was lost after original creator Hironobu Sakaguchi's departure, due to his uniquely visionary approach (which eventually became too visionary for him to not bankrupt his company). Tetsuya Nomura has stated that he feels the V writer and VI-through-VIII director Yoshinori Kitase is the person who most understood Sakaguchi's vision, but also that replacing Sakaguchi is impossible.
  • Many fans of the Destroy All Humans! series pinpoint the Franchise Killer to when the third and fourth games, Big Willy Unleashed and Path of the Furon, were developed by two separate studios other than Pandemic Studios (who went defunct around 2007). The drastic style changes and Flanderization of the main cast didn't help either. These may be the reasons why THQ Nordic (the current owner of the series) have not ported the aforementioned two games to the Playstation 4.

     Western Animation 
  • There's a subset of animation fans who feel this way about Disney after Walt and Roy died, particularly about the films released between the early '70s and the mid '80s before the older, Walt-era management was shown the door and the new, outside management took over the studio. Anything made from the late '80s on tends to get mixed reactions, with the general consensus seeming to be that the work overall is an improvement over the early '70s to mid '80s films, but it just "isn't Disney".
  • Similarly, not many fans cared for the subsequent incarnations of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (by Charles Mintz and Walter Lantz), preferring the originals done by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks.
  • Gargoyles fans got this attitude after Disney tried to do a season without Greg Weisman and botched it up.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show after John Kricfalusi was sacked.
  • Only the original Ben 10 series involved Man of Action Studios. The sequels, Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien are usually held to be of lower quality thanks to Dwayne McDuffie not really getting the series, despite the high quality of his previous work. Ben 10: Omniverse tried to go back to the original's style and quality, but fans are perpetually divided as to how well that succeeded and it ended up being something of a Franchise Killer. Somewhat toned down in that when Man of Action did come back for the reboot, the result was overall not that well-received.
  • This is most people's reactions to sequels to Don Bluth movies. An American Tail: Fievel Goes West is still considered a classic as well, but notably Steven Spielberg was still involved in the production as he was with the first movie.
  • After Lauren Faust lessened her role on the show, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic got its fair share of criticism as she was only indirectly supervising season 2's production and left the show entirely by season 3. However, now that the show has far more seasons that didn't have Faust's involvement, fans debate whether the show was better under her or current showrunner Meghan McCarthy.
  • The 1990s Tintin cartoon produced by the Canadian animation studio Nelvana is a curious variant in that it was created long after creator Herge died. However, the cartoon is still much better received by fans than earlier adaptations, in no small part because it generally stuck to adapting Herge's original comic albums instead of coming up with its own plots the way other adaptations have done.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! fans rarely think highly of episodes written by Man of Action Studios instead of the usual Marvel Animation writers.
  • The Superman Theatrical Cartoons produced and directed by Max and Dave Fleischer, respectively, broke new ground for the Superman mythos and provided strong inspiration to other animators. The cartoons produced by Famous Studios don't have as high a reputation.
    • To only a slightly lesser extent, the Fleischers' Popeye cartoons. Many of those are considered to be among the created classic cartoons even made, while the cartoons produced by Famous Studios are notorious for being Strictly Formula and heavy use of Recycled In SPACE.
  • The consensus on The Boondocks Season 4 is that the show only works when Aaron McGruder is at the helm.
  • In an interesting case that actually does mix in a bit of My Real Daddy, while Ciro Nieli has remained on the new Ninja Turtles cartoon, Joshua Sternin and Jennifer Ventimilia, who were also heavily involved with its development as well as the original head writers for the series, both took off after the first season was over. Opinions on seasons two and onward have notably been much more divided between fans.
  • Many fans of the original Teen Titans feel this way about Teen Titans Go!, as very few involved with the well-regarded former series worked on the divisive latter series.
  • Fans of Code Lyoko when comparing it to Code Lyoko: Evolution, which had very limited input from the original showrunners.
  • The two best-received Astérix animated films, Asterix and Cleopatra and The Twelve Tasks of Asterix, are also the ones that were written and directed by series creators Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. None of the other ones are generally considered that bad, but the only two to be up near the ones that Goscinny and Uderzo themselves directed were Asterix vs. Caesar and Asterix in Britain, which lacked any hands-on involvement from Uderzo (Goscinny had died by this point), but were written by Pierre Tchernia, who was involved in making Cleopatra and Twelve Tasks.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (2016) is this for many fans of the original series since Craig McCracken was nowhere involved in this version (heck he even stated in an interview he didn't want the series to be rebooted). In a related vein, the original series was also guilty of this, as he left the show after the fourth season to focus on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and the episodes in the following seasons declined in quality.
  • Likewise fellow Cartoon Network series Dexter's Laboratory was this following the Ego Trip movie, as Genndy Tartakovsky had moved on to make Samurai Jack. Not only did the show suffer an unpleasant redesign but fans felt they largely flanderized a lot of the characters. Notably, Chris Savino, the producer of both the later seasons of this and Powerpuff Girls, would go on to make The Loud House.
  • Johnny Test is an interesting case in that its first season (produced by Warner Bros. Animation) is considered average at best rather than being a great show. Regardless, everything after that first season (produced by Cookie Jar/DHX) is considered some of the worst Seasonal Rot to ever befall a show, to the point of rendering it one of the most hated cartoons of all time to many (though people have started to lighten up on it since it got cancelled).