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.

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 adapted this mindset.
  • 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 the fandom, the exceptions only being the fourth and sixth movies, with the seventh and eighth not counting because they were compressed retellings of previous arcs. 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).

     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.
  • 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.)
  • 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.

  • Jurassic Park III is held by some to be the worst film in the Jurassic Park franchise. Incidentally, it was the one film Steven Spielberg did not direct, as well as the first not even nominally based on a Michael Crichton novel.
  • 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. Add that the next X-Men movie which didn't divide opinions was produced and co-written by Singer...
    • 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. Its success has reinforced the sentiment among a lot of fans that Singer is the Team Dad of the movie series (with X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn as the Cool Uncle, and the aforementioned Brett Ratner as the Babysitter from Hell).
      • Subsequently, any non-Marvel Studios film featuring Marvel characters are regarded as inferior and bastardizations of the source material, and that only Marvel Studios can treat them right. This has been retroactively applied to works like all the X-Men films, which have been declared to have always been of poor quality.
  • 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 and a bit of a Jerk Ass, 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.
  • Richard Donner directed Superman, 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. Many fans believe that The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were much better films than A New Hope in part because George Lucas took a more hands-off approach and left them in the hands of other writers and directors. These fans believe that the prequels would have been much better off if Lucas hadn't insisted on writing/directing all of them, in a case of We Love the Creator, but He Doesn't Do It as Well as Others Do. The now famous internet reviews of Red Letter Media go into this in detail, talking about how Lucas actually didn't have complete creative control over A New Hope and that this was a good thing; the original iconic Star Destroyer opening scene of A New Hope is jokingly speculated by the reviewer to be something that George Lucas probably opposed to putting in the film.
  • The first Die Hard film is directed by John McTiernan. All of the sequels are contested, to some extent. 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.

  • The James Bond novels written after Ian Fleming's death are nowhere near as famous as the ones Ian Fleming wrote (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, curiously, don't receive nearly as much backlash.)
  • HP 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.
  • 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 abhorred the idea of anyone else writing canonical stories in the Amber 'verse.

     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 of a Base Breaker 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.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: A reboot without Joss Whedon's involvement has been discussed, and fans are already rejecting it. And so are many of the original actors!
  • 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.

    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.

     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 created a studio for making new Halo games called 343 Industries, and Broken Base ensued.
    • The Broken Base was very much there the moment Bungie itself was brought out by Microsoft. There are those that complain that Microsoft restricted Bungie and forced them to crank out the Halo series. On the other hand, there is also an equally vocal side saying that Microsoft rescued Bungie from bankruptcy and gave them needed kicks in the ass whenever delays occured in the development of the Halo games.
  • 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 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.
  • 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).
  • 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 may 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.
  • 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 is regarded by many as the worst of the Arkham series, and is the only game so far not made by Rocksteady. These views may be justified.
  • This trope is pretty much exemplified perfectly by the later Yoshis 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. Since Miyazaki Hidetaka, the producer of both its prequel Dark Souls and its spiritual pre-prequel Demons Souls is no longer the producer for Dark Souls 2, nearly every fault that Dark Souls 2 has is often blamed on Miyazaki's lack of hands-on influence (whether that is true or not is another matter entirely, considering Miyazaki does have supervisory duty).
  • 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.

     Western Animation