This happens all the time, with fans assuming that the publishers were the ones who made the game, often ignoring the developers. Apparently, Square Enix is responsible for the remake of Lufia II, despite that Neverland, the developer of the series, was the one working on it — Square Enix is only publishing it in Japan (with Natsume, the same company that localized the original version, handling localization) and funding it. Also, Square Enix gets yelled at for publishing Modern Warfare 2 in Japan, with people saying it would be tainted with girly men. Game publishing doesn't work that way.
Pokemon gets this a lot as well. Many of the complaints and praises fans make, be it Pokemon designs or contests or broken balancing, are aimed squarely at Nintendo, ignoring the fact that it is Game Freak who actually makes the games (or at least the core handheld ones).
It's really hard to tell how much of this is blame-shifting, though footage of the beta, superior to the final product, supports his claims of a rushed deadline.
The English translation of Castlevania II for the NES is almost infamous for its poor translation, like blatant in-game lies supposedly meant to tell you what your next goal is, how to reach that goal, and other such game-critical information. For years, fans thought the translation was to blame, but the original version was actually just as incomprehensible.
Yes, even the infamous "graveyard duck" is not a mistranslation. As pointed out in a comment on the GameSpite blog, the corresponding line in the Japanese version uses the word "ahiru", which can only refer to the bird.
The apparent idea behind the quotes in the Japanese version was that all the villagers were liars — that is to say, they all said false things that players were supposed to realise were silly. However, when you have no other clues or information to go by, not to mention a lack of grammatical context in such small text boxes, both Japanese and English audiences started to wonder why the game was telling you to shout in front of a church to restore health instead of just going inside to heal. In fact, given that the Famicom controller had a microphone built into it, the Japanese probably had it worse...
Some of the townsfolk tell you things like what Dracula's rib does or where you can find some of the thirteen "scriptures" which explain what to do at the impassable cliffs and lakes etc. One villager tells you how to get through the poison marsh, another that you must get the cross at Laruba's Mansion... Not everything is useless or lies, and the manual does warn you that some of it is. Talking to some of the townspeople is also necessary in order to find out which ones sell you items. The dialogue sets the tone for the atmosphere and type of people you encounter in each town, deepening the game, and some of the utterances are quite funny, adding to the entertainment value. Also you know you're getting nearer the end when the townsfolk are more scared in the towns you come across, which is a useful clue and adds to the ambience as well.
Another interesting thing is that despite how common Bahamut appears in the games, his role is rather limited. There have never really been any stories centered around any character, and he's mostly been a summon. Dungeons & Dragons is more to blame for making Bahamut appear to be a character, listing rules for playing him or using him in campaigns.
A lot of things in Final Fantasy were based off things in Dungeons & Dragons, at least at the start. Bahamut was one of those things. So they probably got the idea from D&D anyway.
When Tales of Phantasia finally got an official English release, many people complained about various edits and changes made to the game script. Actually, many of the differences were a result of an earlier Fan Translation by DeJap of the SNES version being less faithful to the original than the official GBA version. Of course, there still that thing about "Ragnarok" becoming "Kangaroo" (as well as generally being a pretty bland localization and some consistency issues with the Tales of Symphonia translation), but despite what anyone says that's pretty much the only outright mistake.
There was still some sexual humor in the original Japanese (like Arche's infamous sex dream about Cless and Arche admiring Mint's figure in the hot springs,) but DeJap was far less subtle about presenting it, as well as ramping up Arche's pervertedness. (Also, Arche apparently fucks like a tiger.)
The German version of Final Fantasy X (which was the Updated Re-release to boot) was translated from the original Japanese version, omitting most of the changes the US version made. Unfortunately, they threw in the English voice overs instead of the Japanese ones. This triggered one of the most infamous flame wars over how they could subtitle Yuna's "I love you" with "Thank you", when the latter was actually what she said in the original.
It gets worse. Said incident was enough to convince Square Enix to, in the future, translate any and all story parts, even if they're not voiced, from the English version. And sometimes the rest of the game, to boot. Even if they were dubbed (like the Kingdom Hearts series) into German.
Some Super Robot Wars fans get huffy over Atlus's translation of some Original Generation pilot and unit names, specifically regarding "Zengar Zonvolt" becoming "Sanger Zonvolt" and his Infinity Plus One Mech Daizengar becoming the rather silly-looking Dy Gen Guard. These two instances actually make sense: for Sanger's name, Atlus simply left off the umlaut on Sänger, which is a German name and naturally katakana-tized as Zengar due to how it's pronounced. As for Dy Gen Guard, it's short for Dynamic General Guardian. The whole Daizengar ("Great Sänger") bit was an intentional pun, again due to Japanese pronunciation. Atlus's only fault in this was being lazy with their accent marks.
"Latooni Subota", on the other hand, probably ought to be Latune Cybota to stay faithful to typical Cyrillic transliteration (she's Russian. Ish.) Basically, Atlus is perfectly faithful to Japanese. It's European languages that they half-ass.
Meanwhile, strange Romanizations like "Hagwane" were preserved in the official sub of the anime at Bandai's insistence, as was a lengthy joke in the game Original Generation 2 that no longer makes sense when the names are pronounced in the English way. These could be considered cases of a translation being too faithful to the original work.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link features a strange man in a house in Ruto who, when spoken to, says the bizarre phrase "I AM ERROR". It turns out that Error is his actual name, and was spelled phonetically in Japanese; if you talk to another character in Mido, he tells Link to ask Error about how to find the secret entrance to the Island Palace in the graveyard. There's another guy in the game named Bug, but the translators apparently misinterpreted this and translated his name "Bagu" directly from the katakana.
Everyone wants their favorite games to be released on the Virtual Console (especially given that some of the old consoles may have been damaged, games take damage too, etc.). But because the Virtual Console doesn't have every game made prior to the Dreamcast-Nintendo GameCube era, supposedly, this is the fault of Nintendo. Nintendo was not actually responsible for every game released on their systems, not to mention, many of the systems with games available on the Virtual Console weren't even made by Nintendo in the first place. While Nintendo did have some of the games they made and/or published on the Virtual Console, Nintendo still gets people angry at them for not having their favorite game on the Virtual Console, when Nintendo may not have had that much to do with the creation of that game outside of licensing it (if it was on a Nintendo system).
Some games on Nintendo's earlier systems were even released by companies that are now Nintendo's competitors. Rare (which is now owned by Microsoft) and Sony were both third-party developers on the NES and SNES.
Many fans believe that Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was created as an American replacement for Final Fantasy V, which has helped contribute to the unfortunate amounts of hate for Mystic Quest. In truth, the decision not to translate Final Fantasy V was completely unrelated to the creation of Mystic Quest.
Similarly, Square's Secret of Evermore is often despised by fans who believe the urban legend that the U.S. got it instead of Secret of Mana 2. In fact, the development of one had nothing to do with the other. It turns out that the U.S. got Chrono Trigger instead of SoM2.
And speaking of Square, regardless of your opinions on their output, a lot of people seem to believe that artist Tetsuya Nomura not only does 100% character designs, but literally does everything at Square Enix. He is often blamed for character designs on titles he's not involved in, accused of programming decisions, and sometimes even marketing. For the record, he doesn't actually do much for Final Fantasy outside of designs and debugging, and actually didn't serve as a character designer for IX, XI, or XII. (All of which we're told "were all Nomura's".) He also only directs the Kingdom Hearts series, got a side project out of The World Ends with You, and his first effort as a director for the Final Fantasy series is Final Fantasy XV, which is ironically being lauded by many of his detractors as a creative, fresh new direction for the series, unlike that other "Nomura anime crap".
And not to mention, let's not forget that people seem to think he only came around in Final Fantasy VII. Despite somehow coming in Final Fantasy VII...he was a debugger in IV, monster designer in V, and actually designed several characters in VI. This leads to a inversion of this, as people always assume Amano designed every character in games I-IV, and complain about Nomura redesigning Setzer for Kingdom Hearts II because he was an Amano character—while Setzer was actually one of the VI characters that he designed. How 'DARE Nomura redesign his own character?! The BASTARD! (Vivi was the character he had qualms with using — because Nomura didn't even work on IX)
He's also blamed 100% for any story issues with the Kingdom Hearts series, due to his role as director. The other people who have helped write the story for the games (Jun Akiyama, Daisuke Watanabe, Kazushige Nojima, Masaru Oka, Tomoco Kanemaki, etc.) are forgotten.
Nomura is also frequently made a target whenever a Final Mix game is released. While he has gone on record for saying that he believes Final Mix is exclusive to Japan, it's more than just his decision to make it so. The boards at Square Enix don't let any (except for a few) Updated Re-release game come out of Japan, because they believe that it would not be profitable to do so. Despite a petition for Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+ to be released internationally showing otherwise. Sony, the makers of the PS2, also have a strict rule against re-releases. They have to have a certain amount of new content before they are allowed to be released. In short, Nomura is only the director of the games, he alone cannot decide whether or not to release them internationally. And he has also said he'd like to release something like Final Mix internationally, but his hands are tied by the system he works in.
The Hate Dumb hasn't stopped there, either. Final Fantasy XIII's Hatedom has been screaming at stuff that Nomura had absolutely no part in. Yes, he designed the characters for Final Fantasy XIII...but did you know that he's not even the sole artist for that game? Take one look at the credits. You'd be surprised at how little Nomura actually does.
He hasn't helped with a lot of this by somehow managing to have Mis-blamedhimself in various interviews before now, though.
Already in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. There was a change in a scene: Where the Wicked Queen made the mirror attack Terra. In the Japanese version, she shouted at it and her anger possessed the mirror, whereas in the other versions, she throws a potion (off-screen) and that makes the mirror become angry. This may actually be explainable...even when people were showing off the Japanese version on YouTube, 3/5 out of every comment on that Japanese scene was "Wow, she sounds constipated" or "Boy, she sounds like she has to take a dump, doesn't she?" still this hasn't stopped people from assuming they censored a mirror breaking.
While they made the scopes on the Braig fight look more fantastical and didn't show him fusing his gun into a sniper rifle...of all things, the part where you see Braig's bloody cheek was left intact. People already anticipated that scene to have been censored. (Thankfully not his eye damage)
The infamous "laughing scene" in Final Fantasy X, in which Tidus and Yuna laugh like crazy people, is often held up as an example of terrible English dubbing because they sounded "fake". In actuality, not only do they sound just as fake and over the top in the Japanese version, this was the entire point of the laughing scene (specifically, to show that Tidus, at that point in the game, can't feign happiness very well). Note both of the characters laughing (normally) at how ridiculous they sound a second later. The other characters thought they'd gone out of their minds.
While Capcom does have a well-earned reputation for bad translations of games in the '90s, they are sometimes blamed for some they didn't do. In the case of the Breath of Fire series, they are often accused of creating an Inconsistent Dub due to certain names in the first game being altered in later entries. This was actually the result of the first game being localized in the US by Squaresoft, who changed names with little rhyme or reason. The later games were handled by Capcom and they usually reverted to the Japanese names in future titles.
One has to consider that some of the Street Fighter games from the mid-to-late 1990s had American staff members working on them, so they had more input. However, most of the quotes and endings in the games, while a bit embellished sometimes (Guile never mentions Cambodia in the Japanese version), had mostly accurate translations. Endings that were truly different, like Cammy's and Fei Long's, were often the exceptions rather than the rule.
The Angry Video Game Nerd's review of the NESport of Metal Gear involved him complaining about butchery of a 'great game'. Among the features he complained about were the fact that you can't open a door and wear your gas mask at the same time, forcing you to sacrifice some health when you enter or leave a gassy room, which was a design flaw of the original game fixed in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (and even in Snake's Revenge). He also complained about Big Boss prefacing his misleading hints with the phrase 'I forgot to tell you...', claming it was a terrible translation — not only was this a better translation than the one in the European MSX version of the game, but Big Boss's hints really were supposed to be useless and annoying for plot reasons, similar to the Castlevania "graveyard duck".
Again, one of the many complaints lodged against Snake's Revenge is that the translation tells you the opposite of what you have to do during the train level ("THERE IS NO TRAP ON THE TRAIN" has become a semi-meme). Of course, the sequence was a deliberate callback to Metal Gear since it happens immediately before the person giving you the hints turns out to be a spy trying to make you fail, who you then fight in a boss battle.
Also, a lot of Metal Gear fans who never actually play the NES version of the game accuse it of having a silly plot in comparison to the "serious" storyline in the original MSX2 version, replacing the original Big Bad of Big Boss, an American soldier turned renegade mercenary, with Vermon CaTaffy, a pastiche of real-life dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi. In truth, Konami's American manuals back in the day tended to feature weird plot changes (as evident by the American manuals for the early Castlevania, Contra, and Gradius games) that thankfully did not affect the games themselves. The NES version of Metal Gear, despite its "Blind Idiot" Translation quality, is almost identical to the MSX2 version in terms of plot aside for a few minor differences and Big Boss is still the Big Bad in the NES version. The non-canon Snake's Revenge also featured a similar discrepancy between the game and its manual, with the manual identifying the bad guy as Higharolla Kockamamie (another pastiche, this time of Ayatollah Khomeini), but the actual villain of the game is revealed to be a cyborg Big Boss.
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes often gets a lot of scorn for its cutscenes, most of the blame is directed towards Ryuhei Kitimura, who directed the scenes. However, every scene that Kitimura included was approved by Hideo Kojima, and Kitimura was chosen specifically for his over-the-top nature.
Continuing on with Metal Gear, for a case of character misblaming, whenever anyone brings up why Metal Gear Solid 2 was the weakest in the series, it is always attributed to one thing — Raiden. While Raiden's involvement does weaken things considerably, the shameless backtracking, lack of great boss fights and ditching of any sense of coherence all had nothing to do with him.
Many people who played the fan-translated version of Metal Gear 2 assumed that the name of the enemy boss "Black Color", a misromanization of "Blackcollar", was a mistake by the fan translators. In reality, that's how it was spelled in the actual Japanese version (all of the bosses' names in the game were written in roman script).
Metal Gear Solid 2 also gets a lot of blame for its rather absurd storyline placed on the translator/localizer, Agness Kaku. As this interview reveals, saying that Konami was very unhelpful with regards to translation and localization is a huge understatement.
Electronic Arts receives a lot of flak for their exclusive license to make games with National Football League players and teams, with many gamers believing that EA simply threw a lot of money at the NFL to get the license. In fact, the NFL took bids from a number of video game companies before awarding the contract to EA. Gamers, however, deny this, believing that the league would never willingly enter such anti-competitive agreements — never mind that the NFL's own actions in regards to television distribution and apparel licensing indicates that they not only willingly agree to, but also encourage these kinds of licensing deals.
EA still may not be totally blameless in this area, as their similarly exclusive deals with the NCAA and Arena Football League seem to indicate they have no problem pursuing exclusive rights (these and the NFL deal are all part of a California-based class action suit against the company). Of course, it may be possible that the AFL and NCAA simply follow the same hardball tactics as the NFL.
And let's not even get started on the fans of BioWare games who are convinced that any "dumbing down" of RPG mechanics or DLC offers are all the nefarious influence of EA having bought them, and might not just be BioWare themselves trying to streamline their games and give the players more content that might not have been available otherwise.
Speaking of BioWare, EA was one of the major suspects to blame for Mass Effect 3 ending that almost unanimously considered as terrible in the fandom. This despite the fact that EA had little to do with the creative process and it was mostly BioWare's work to begin with. At worst EA may have indirectly been responsible for the implementation of the ending (in particular how rushed and perfunctory it seemed prior to the Extended Cut DLC), but the fact that Shepard dies in nearly every ending variation was entirely the choice of the lead developers.
EA in general catches a lot of flack for "ruining" companies they buy up, but in many cases, prior to the purchase said companies weren't all that profitable, and in some cases they couldn't do what they did without EA's money. Full Motion VideoWing Commander and Ultima Online were feasible only with financial support from EA, as Origin prior to being bought by EAnote around the time of the release of WC2: Secret Operations 1; EA involvement with Origin is, in other words, older than the fandom thinks was, at best, "holding on", financially, in spite of the critical acclaim of their games.
They are often criticized for releasing essentially the same Madden game with updated rosters year after year. While this is arguably true, football itself doesn't really change from year to year.
It's common knowledge that the game released as Final Fantasy Adventure in America was in fact known as Seiken Densetsu in Japan, and was the first entry in what's now known as the Mana series in America. It's also "common knowledge" that the name was only given the Final Fantasy title in America to make it more marketable. Except that the game's Japanese name was actually Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden. All the localization really did to the name was drop the subtitle (or is it "supertitle"?) and change "Sidestory" into "Adventure".
Since Final Fantasy Adventure contains Moogles, chocobos, an airship, the four elemental Fiends, main villains who's visual designs are BOTH based off Garland (both his overworld and his battle screen sprite, which in FF 1 looked radically different from each other) and one NPC that looks a lot like a Red Mage, either this is a Final Fantasy game or the designers changed a lot more than just the title.
Some people thought that Loom was uncompleted for several reasons...either a), They Just Didn't Care for it because Star Wars games made more money, or b) nobody bought it. The actual reason for not finishing Loom is way different. No, Lucas Arts didn't abandon it in favour of Star Wars...this was in the early 90s when point and click adventure games (Similar to Loom) were all the rage and cash cows, especially when the Nostalgia Filter kicked in about 10 years later. And the sale figures certainly were not showing lack of a public interest...Even one of the developers said it wasn't. Loom sold over 500,000 copies at the time of the interview. (At a time when that was impressive) But why was there no Loom 2: Forge despite that Lucas Arts would only benefit from another one, and fans would support it? The Developers all got caught-up in different projects.
While it is true that MLB, NFL, and the other leagues forced Backyard Sports to keep going, some reviewers put the blame on the leagues for making the series Jump the Shark by taking the games in a different direction. It wasn't even Atari, the publishing company, who did it. The real culprit is Humongous, Inc., a company formed out of the last remnants of Humongous Entertainment (who started the series); an employee said so in an interview.
Similarly, a lot of people like to blame Atari for the two 2003 Junior Adventures being unfaithful to the predecessors and being plagued with certain faults. The truth of the matter here is Atari was only their parent company at the time, and Humongous hadn't even gone bankrupt yet — that happened two years later. They were actually made after half of the Humongous workforce was laid off, and they still had yet to recover from deep financial trouble, this the reason the voice acting was subpar.
Yahtzee is guilty of this in his review for The Conduit. He blamed all his issues with the game, such as the default control scheme on Nintendo — when they didn't even make the game in the first place!
He also made this mistake in reverse in his Metroid: Other M review. He blamed Team Ninja rather than Nintendo, who were responsible for everything he criticized.
Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 caused a ton of backlash among its fans. When Left 4 Dead 2 was made and released, people whined that Valve "broke its promise" of supporting Left 4 Dead and how almost everything the sequel had should have been in the first game. What people fail to realize is that Left 4 Dead is simply not balanced for L4D2's features (Most of the maps in the first game are narrow and small, which would make it heaven for Spitters and Chargers. Weapons like the Grenade Launcher and Chainsaw are also not suited for the close quarters style L4D had). Along with that, to add another batch of 25+ maps and new characters with dialogue would start to get close to download sizes matching a full game. Many people also assume that since L4D2 is out and Valve is making a DLC campaign that has the old survivors meet the new ones in the sequel, L4D is now dead. Keep in mind that Valve has a history of still updating their older games when the sequels for them have come out.
And to further prove this point, The Sacrifice DLC came out for L4D as well as the sequel in order to please both fan bases. Of course, this still backfired since the sequel also got a port of No Mercy, a campaign from the first game and people are now crying that Valve is trying to kill off L4D, even though they have been updating the game with patches and other features.
The Cold Stream DLC had been delayed for several months, causing Xbox 360 players to blame Valve for delaying the DLC for so long and demand that they should be allowed to help in testing the beta for free or release the DLC for free. Valve isn't entirely at fault, but the rest of the blame falls on Microsoft. Not only Valve has to make sure Cold Stream can run on the Xbox 360 without trouble, but Microsoft's DLC policies prevent Valve from giving Xbox 360 owners constant updates for a beta product and it is Microsoft that determines the pricing for DLC, not Valve.
The fact that Conker's Bad Fur Day (amongst other demanded games) isn't on the Wii's Virtual Console seems to lead to people pointing fingers at Nintendo. One would honestly think that fans would actually be bothered to look at the developer and publishers for the Nintendo 64 game...Rare. Sure, they were second-party at the time of Conker's Bad Fur Day, but since 2002, they were actually bought out by Microsoft (Which is why there is a Conker game on the Xbox, not to mention Kameo and Perfect Dark. Nintendo had no or negligible involvement with Conker's Bad Fur Day, and they likely won't be able to put it on without getting legal permission to do so from Microsoft.
And to make matters worse, some people actually said Nintendo was responsible for the censorship done to the Xbox version, Conker: Live and Reloaded, with obscenities that were in the Nintendo 64 version bleeped out in the Xbox version. Gaming does not work that way; why would Nintendo be allowed to have any say over something released on a competitor's system, the original version of which they never even worked on or published?
The licensing issues for GoldenEye are...complicated. Activision may hold the James Bond license now, but Nintendo held it when the game was originally released (obviously), so do they retain the publishing rights for the Nintendo 64 GoldenEye or have they gone to Activision? Does Rare retain the rights to the source code? If they do, since they're now owned my Microsoft they're not going to hand it over to Nintendo to be released on Virtual Console. These questions ownership could theoretically be cleared up if the matter was ever taken to court, but that would be so expensive that none of the parties involved would think that it's worth it.
Coming back to Rare now being owned by Microsoft, it should also be pointed out that some of Rare's N64 games are available on Xbox Live Arcade instead.
Except for Conker, which still leaves the fans of the game pissed off at Microsoft for not releasing it on Xbox Live Arcade and canceling the sequel.
Some people seem to think that Mallow and Geno, characters from Super Mario RPG should have been in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and that Nintendo was stupid for not putting them in and instead using "X retarded character" (R.O.B. being the favorite target). This would probably have had some merit... had they actually been owned by Nintendo. They were, like Super Mario RPG, created by Squaresoft (now Square Enix). Even when Geno made a Cameo appearance in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, they stated that Geno was copyright Square Enix.
In a similar method, Chrono Trigger's Fan Dumb is angered upon several things... one was that apparently, the DS Translation was less faithful to the original. Maybe the SNES, but it's actually closer to the Japanese Script... namely Frog didn't speak in Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe when absolutely nobody else in that time frame did so. And another was that it wasn't on the Virtual Console... Apparently, Square Enix wouldn't have a say at all about what games were released on there, despite making it.
A variation/mixture of types 3 and 4 happened with Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier. A different company was responsible for developing it, which is why it (the plot, mostly) gained so much ire from the fans. However, if one would take time to watch the credits, one would find that those responsible for the story were the series' original creators. However, the same original creator had already worked on the title 3-4 years before its eventual release, before scrapping the project. Clearly someone realised their efforts would be best spent elsewhere.
Shigeru Miyamoto (Yes, even him) is blamed for the lack of Donkey Kong Country characters in Jungle Beat and the general sorry state of the franchise based on an old interview where he bashed the first DKC. That despite that he later apologized for the outburst in a later interview, saying that Executive Meddling pressured him into putting 3D graphics in Yoshi's Island and that he also produced and supervised the two King of Swing games and Barrel Blast, all of which features DKC characters. For example, the Canon Discontinuity page for video games credited the infamous "DKC characters aren't fresh enough" line to him even though it was actually Yoshiaki Koizumi (one of Jungle Beat's two director) who said that.
As if all the prior evidence wasn't enough, after the reveal of Donkey Kong Country Returns, Miyamoto finally addressed that the idea of him hating DKC was nothing but a rumor. In fact, what he's controlled in the development of DKCR (like demanding that the music emulates the original tunes) seems to indicate that he loved it.
Talking of that series, a lot of people seem to misblame Rare for no Kremlings in some games (aka Donkey Kong Country Returns), mistakenly thinking Rare still owns them or something. No they don't, Kremlings and many other enemy characters have been in Konga, King of Swing, Jungle Climber, Barrel Blast and every rerelease of the original trilogy known to man, and they got sent to Nintendo with everything else in the Donkey Kong Country series. No, they just wanted a bit of a change to try something new.
Any game that is released is treated as if the publisher actually made everything. Probably because some publishers actually do or have at least been known to make games themselves (Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Square-Enix, Activision, Ubisoft), any game that has their logo or name on it is assumed to have been all their doing. No matter how many logos of companies that worked on the game come up, it is automatically assumed to be "all Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft/Square-Enix/Namco-Bandai/Ubisoft/whoever's doing". This leads to people making all sorts of accusations, such as blaming Pokémon designs on Nintendo (ignoring poor GameFreak) or saying Nomura rushed games that were made by tri-Ace or more by former Enix employees, and Sony/Nintendo/Microsoft mysteriously being responsible for mediocre games made by EA.
Pokémon is a big victim of this trope. Every time the people who stop playing after a certain generation complain of a new Pokémon design or spinoff they don't like, they blame Nintendo for designing the Pokémon, or even making the games. Uh...then what's that Game Freak Logo doing in front of nearly every mainstream Pokémon game? You know...they doMAKE the games, after all....
Oddly enough, Vanilluxe, a Pokémon that wasn't designed by Ken Sugimori, is sometimes considered good. Others often say "See? That's proof they're running out of designs by having someone else design it" like Ken Sugimori is the only one allowed to design Pokémon. (Ken can't live forever, folks.)
Related, in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, there is a line that many people interpreted as a Never Say "Die"Bowdlerization. Because it happens at the climax of the Plasma arc, it's best to just put it into spoilers. When Ghetsis orders Kyurem to use Glaciate to freeze the protagonist solid, many people assumed in the Japanese version, he ordered Kyurem to outright kill the protagonist, causing people to assume that it was bowdlerized by TPCi. However, Japanese-speaking players confirmed that Ghetsis never actually does order Kyurem to kill the protagonist; he only orders the dragon to freeze them solid so they can watch him take over Unova... which is arguably far far worse than if he outright killed them.
A common complaint about Capcom's localization of the Ace Attorney series is the claim that despite the games being centered around murder mysteries and not shy about depicting brutal killings (including one impalement), there are frequent references to "grape juice" which appear to be an obvious Bowdlerization of wine. Oddly enough, it's grape juice in the Japanese version as well.
In fact, the localisers who worked on Ace Attorney have turned out some of the best work in recent years.
LJN Toys has taken a lot of bad reaction (such as from The Angry Video Game Nerd) for the terrible video games that they've put their name on, but in reality the number of games they developed in-house can probably be counted on one hand. While they were clearly doing something wrong (likely forcing development schedules that were way too short) to have such a large amount of bad licensed games in their catalogue, according to Lord Kat in his video on the Who Framed Roger RabbitNES game, the actual main culprit may be surprising:
Xbox Live's userbase has been misblamed for the creation of the "juvenile and unfriendly" gamer. Apparently people haven't heard of the theory of GIFT, which has been in existence long before the Xbox. Live just brought the issue to light if anything.
And when it's not Xbox Live that gets all the criticism for this, it's always something like Counter-Strike or Quake.
Not to mention within Xbox Live, games like Halo and Call of Duty get the distinction of the problem child to this. Remember folks, when it comes to this, Blame the Player...or more specifically the Vocal Minority, not the Game.
It hasn't helped that some gamers use a No True Scotsman type fallacy that their favorite service or game (that is not any of the above) is immune to this (Playstation Network or some very hardcore PC game are common examples). For example: Griefer on Xbox Live? That's clearly all of them. Griefer on PlayStation Network? They don't represent all gamers on PSN. Remember, GIFT can happen anywhere on the internet, so don't be surprised that in any game, a Jerk AssTroll will try and ruin your fun. Your best thing to do is just ignore them, leave, or kick them out.
Related to the above, whenever you mention Gold-selling in-game advertisements or gold farmers, most people often think it's exclusive to World of Warcraft, or that it actually started that practice. No, the practice didn't start in that game, it's been around since Ultima Online, for that matter, gold farming and people buying gold was present in the original EverQuest and Ragnarok Online. The only reason you hear about it in World of Warcraft so much is because the game has millions of players.
Class nerfs are always a source of utmost ire in any MMO, but among the World of Warcraft fanbase, most nerfs are usually directly blamed towards Greg "Ghostcrawler" or a few other choice devs, when in fact the changes are discussed in advance by a group of all the devs well in advance.
the C Ms (community managers) also get a ton of hate for said nerfs, while ghostcrawler is at least a dev, most of the C Ms are just forum moderators (trying) to keep the boards a place of intelligent discussion and not constant flaming and fighting.
The start of Cataclysm was plagued by all sorts of bugs and glitches, among them a near ridiculous respawn rate where a mob you just killed would respawn while you were looting it or suddenly reappear attacking you while you were walking away. This was apparently Blizzard's intention; but in actuality it was a programming oversight made to avert one of the things that had happened around Burning Crusade where the mob respawn rates were actually too high and people would camp required mobs.
Game Masters/Moderators in almost any online game tend to get blamed for every single occurrence that rubs any player the wrong way and are expected to fix every technical problem and rectify every balance issue on their own.
Tim Schafer is a Type 5 and Type 2 for Brütal Legend. Double Fine has recieved nearly all the blame for "falsely advertising" Brütal Legend and hiding the hybrid of Action and Real Time Strategy. One angry player messaged Tim Schafer directly on Twitter and called him a liar publicly. He told the complainer that was all he talked about for months. It was Electronic Arts advertising that mislead consumers (and reviewers) that it was single player focused, to the point that it drowned out the voice of Double Fine. To this day, Tim Schafer says that the reviews remain high on Metacritic, and can be divided between those who ATTEMPTED multiplayer, and those who didn't even touch it.
Richard Garriott gets Mis-blamed for a lot of things surrounding "Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa", despite his role merely being Executive Producer. It's often claimed that he arrogantly decided to plaster his name on the box, when it was more likely a marketing decision to hype up a game that wasn't very famous and had been sitting in Development Hell for some years. He's often insulted and blamed for many of game's problems due to him going to space during the game's life. Not only did he pay for the flight with his own money, but his Executive Producer role was probably hardly missed during the trip, and the trip ended up being tied into a marketing campagin anyway, which arguably did help the game (though clearly not enough). Finally, Richard Garriott ended up suing the publisher, NC Soft themselves, after a letter of resignation came out that he claim he didn't write and was forged by them to pressure him into leaving without an investment he was due. He won the case.
Hideaki Itsuno, who is credited as director in all the Devil May Cry sequels, is often seen as the quintessential example of a game designer redeeming himself in the eyes of his fans due to how he seemingly recovered from the failure of DMC2 by working on its two surprisingly improved sequels. In reality, Itsuno had little involvement with DMC2, as he was assigned to the project late during development to salvage what he could after the previous director was fired by Capcom.
The much reviled redesign of Dante in DmC: Devil May Cry has caused a lot fan outrage. Nearly all of it was directed at Ninja Theory (who Capcom handed the series for said reboot's production), but Ninja Theory is only partly responsible, as the redesign was done at Capcom's request and approval. Sadly, lead designer Tameem Antoniades' responseto the fans has done little to diffuse this situation.
Team Ninja is solely blamed for how Samus' personality is and how the game is totally different from the rest of the games in the Metroid games in Metroid: Other M. Team Ninja just did the programming and combat system design. It was the co-creator of Metroid, Yoshio Sakamoto, who wanted to apply all the changes and personally wrote the scenario.
Similarly, critics have tended to attribute Samus' lack of emotion in her voice to Jessica Martin's poor acting skills, when it was actually Yoshio Sakamoto who specifically asked for Samus to sound robotic in order to reflect the effects her tragic past and occupation have had on her personality. Contrast the majority of the narration with the scenes where Samus gets emotional over Ian's imminent death, Ridley's appearance, and Adam's sacrifice, and you'll see that Jessica Martin's acting covers more than just Dull Surprise.
On the other hand, Ai Kobayashi doesn't nearly receive such a huge Internet Backdraft in the Japanese version, which most fans consider to be an appropriate approach to the character.
Also, Team Ninja's director, despite getting alot of the blame, is in fact a Metroid fan (even contributing along side Jessica in celebrating the series' 25th Anniversary) and in an interview criticized Sakamoto, by pointing out that anyone who said something else would be more effective (most notably, they were against the controversial control scheme) were shot down instantly by him.
Reggie, president of Nintendo of America, is a mix of type 2 and 5. Reggie is blamed for not improving the Wii's infrastructure, for withholding potentially good games for the Wii, and is also blamed for not releasing EarthBound on the virtual console. Reggie hardly has any influence over what he can do to Nintendo as a whole since the true big boss of Nintendo is the people over at Nintendo of Japan, where they can decide on what to do with the Wii and what games other regions can receive (while Reggie can have a say on whether or not consumers in his region can get a certain game, he does not have a say for every game). As for Earthbound's case, there's several works within the game that are borderline copyright infringement and is a big legal mess.
Not to mention, a lot of people hate on Nintendo for Mother 3 not having an international release. The results of the second game probably left a bad taste in peoples' mouths, as it was met with poor sales reception initially and didn't gain Immunity To Criticism until about 5-6 years after its release. That wasn't going to help the case. On top of the other issues such as the AC-DC riffraffs and mentions of other shows creating a legal mess, there was also the issue that it was released in 2006. By that point in time, the DS had already been established on the market and stores were phasing out new Game Boy Advance games to make more space for the DS's growing roster. (Which was also a rumour for the first game, which also would have been released for the NES at a time when the SNES was out and most people would have shelved it.) In all, it was Saved from Development Hell a tad too late.
It also did not help that the sales of Mother 3 in Japan wasn't as high as people thought it was, which probably convinced Nintendo that the series in general is just not popular enough to warrant a release overseas.
The late Gunpei Yokoi, famous for creating the Nintendo Game and Watch, Famicom/NES, the Game Boy/Game Boy Pocket, and the Metroid series, was solely blamed for the failure of his last Nintendo creation, the Virtual Boy. Yokoi wanted to wait until technology improved before releasing the Virtual Boy, namely the addition of color screens, but Nintendo pulled the project out of his hands and rushed the product to store shelves before it was complete, to fill the gap between the end of the SNES, and the beginnings of the Nintendo 64. After its failure, Yokoi was blamed for the entire fiasco, which partially led to his forced resignation by Nintendo.
The translators of Ōkami are often blamed for the bizarre dichotomy that the manual for the game treats Amaterasu as genderless, while the actual game makes her fairly clearly female. Apparently, this was also the case in the Japanese version.
The 4Kids voice actors were mainly trashed for the crappy scripts, story-lines and general badness of the Sonic games from 2005 to 2010. This, however, is an extremely unfair judgement seeing as how Jason Griffith and the other actors only provided the voices for these parts and never even involved in writing the stories or scripts. All they did was voice the lines they were given.
A key example of this the the infamous line: "It looks like being a princess isn't that easy" from Sonic 2006. Jason was trashed like hell for this god awful line. While it's true that the line wasn't well delivered, the fact that people were actually blaming the line itself on him was taking things to far.
Sega themselves even stated once that they blame previous voice actor of Sonic, Ryan Drummond, for the fact that fans were complaining...Seriously. That's like firing a clerk then blaming them when the replacement turns out to be crap.
Another example: Now retired voice actor to Tails, Amy Palant, was reported to have been sent death threats after her performance in Sonic 06. She apparently stated that the threats were based around the poor story and how Tails plays a crap role to which she stated she had no part in. Seriously, if your gonna threaten someone then at least know who to threaten.
A non-dialogue related example is the creation of "Mobius". Many blame Sega of America for making such a place instead of staying true to the Japanese continuation, but the Sonic games were written with the intent of having a loose storyline; so that different regions can make their own versions of the story.
Contrary to popular belief, League of Legends actually does have different people working on different aspects of the game — most notably the champion designers, maintenance people, and the map designers. Whenever Riot announces a new champion, the cries are often "Why can't you fix the lag/servers?" or "Where's the Magma Chamber?".
Ted Woolsey got a lot of crap for his ridiculous translations, but most people don't realize that he did the best he could with Nintendo's censorship policies, and he didn't have the horrible grammar problems that later translations did. Thankfully, he's starting to get some credit.
In a spectacularly brutal inversion of this, Capcom's European branch has blamedMega Man Legends 3's cancellation on the fans, for not giving enough support on the devroom. Despite the fact that Capcom didn't even release the prototype (which was supposed to get made for obtaining fan response) in the first place. Needless to say, no one in the fanbase was fooled. Things only got worse, when they tried to clear confusion over the actual statement...
Harvest Moon fans often blame Natsume, who are simply the localizers and translators in the Americans, for certain problems that were present in the Japanese versions. However Natsume has such a bad rep because they've caused so many glitches with the games, they change parts of the games, and their translations are often butchered.
Many of the "new" script for Final Fantasy IV actually is Older Than They Think — the game was released with 75% of the intended script cut. Subsequent remakes have decided to restore some of the cuts.
The Sims fans generally try to avert this by refering to "E Axis", when it's not known if a problem is EA's fault or Maxis'.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is sometimes blamed for changing a bizarre Tamriel into a Medieval European Fantasy. Much of these complaints stem from the fact that the elven provinces, as well as Cyrodiil, had quite a few un-European traits that originated in older games like Redguard or Morrowind. For example, Cyrodiil was a jungle, had large rice fields, had a vaguely Tenochtitlan like capital, and had a strong tattoo culture. While those complaints may be justified, some seem to think that all of Tamriel lacked traits from Medieval European Fantasy.
Bethesda took a bit of heat during the Nude Mod debacle... despite it being a fan-produced mod that manipulated textures rather than exploiting some hidden feature as some commentators claimed.
Morrowind fans often call out Oblivion and Skyrim for being "dumbed down for casual gamers" because they don't have as many features as Morrowind (never mind that those removed features tended to be Game Breakers, awkward to use, or both)...when, in actuality, Morrowind was a vastly less complex game than Daggerfall. Chalk it up to Nostalgia Filter.
Castle Shikigami 2 was released in the US with notoriously bad translation. Turns out that although the translation wasn't great, the original was incomprehensible as well.
While Konami has displayed their fair share of incompetence in handling Bemani games outside of East Asia, they also tend to get blamed for things that weren't actually their fault — many of the screwups with Dance Dance Revolution series from DDR SuperNOVA onwards in the US are the fault of Betson, which Konami contracted to handle distribution of the series stateside. Others were because they were Screwed by the Lawyers of the music industry. Then there was the disastrous attempt at a nationwide official DDR tournament in 2009, where they made the mistake of partnering with GameWorks, which then proceeded to screw up the tournament in every way imaginable and then some.
Jack Thompson attacked Take-Two on two occasions for content in games it published. Both times he insisted that Take-Two was the company to create the content, rather than the independent publishers.
Rockstar itself was hit with this for the same thing - they were forced to rerelease the game with the "Hot Coffee" content completely removed, despite the content having already been Dummied Out, only becoming public knowledge by way of a Game Mod that nobody would be forced to download.
The second incident was the less famous "Nude Mod" for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The game was developed by Bethesda Softworks and, as mentioned previously, it was the product of a fan, not the studio.
SNK and other associated companies aren't exempt from this, either. As one of the chara designes for The King of Fighters, Nona often flak for the most recent entries in the series, due to their new art designs. While he was the art director for XII (and draws for the pre-fight exchanges in XIII), it's actually Ogura Eisuke, the artist for Neo Geo Battle Coliseum, who handled the artwork. For some odd reason, Nona is also being blamed for the story developments, an area that he has minimal influence in at best.
Overkill Software is heavily blamed for removing some musical pieces in the game PAYDAY: The Heist and how they should have just paid the music composer of those tracks when it came to the release of the game's soundtrack. In actuality, the 2nd music composer in question is most likely already compensated for his work and the game's main music composer himself had to step in and say that in order for him to release the soundtrack, they had to have all the music be under his name in order to simplify the legal stuff surrounding the soundtrack release since the 2nd composer is not affiliated with Overkill anymore. People still demand for the old tracks to return.
Playstation 3 players that own the game also blame Overkill Software for dragging their feet with updates and patches for the system. While Overkill had promised in the past to try and get the updates out, many players don't realize that Sony charges a lot of money to developers that wish to update their game on the Playstation 3 (Microsoft has a similar policy with the Xbox 360) and Overkill Software isn't a big budget developer like other game studios such as Valve. Since Overkill was also developing Payday 2 at the same time, it's easy to see where the resources went.
Final Fantasy VII gets blamed a lot for making Cloud a whiny emo since it's all people remembered him for apparently. The Cloud character rarely broods over his past problems in the game and he gains a ton of confidence in himself by the end of the game and makes peace with Tifa and Aerith. It was Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children that depicted Cloud as gloomy and depressed because Square-Enix believed that is what the fans remembered him as, despite the fact that it wasn't even part of Cloud's character in the original game! To give Cloud some slack, he was infected with a disease that affected his emotional state.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Nintendo of America was heavily known for forcing censorship onto many games published in their name, which had dubbed Nintendo as a company that only makes "kiddy" games. One of the most common things that got censored was religion, but this was due to potential backlash from parents who would have thought that Nintendo was forcing religion down their kids' throats and religious groups that would have found the content in the games offensive. The religious concerns popped up in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time where the Fire Temple had Muslim chanting in the background music while the symbols around Gerudo Fortress and on Link's Mirror Shield were also related. People complained about it, which forced Nintendo to remove the chanting and replace the symbols in later versions of the game. The true blame behind some of Nintendo's censorship were the people outside of Nintendo.
Considering that during The Eighties, the US Congress held hearings debating whether or not to impose government censorship on music, an art form Older Than Dirt, Nintendo was rightfully afraid that overzealous Moral Guardians could and would impose restrictions on a new medium like video games. And in the the following decade it turned out that Nintendo was Properly Paranoid when games like Doom and Night Trap prompted congress to hold yet another set of hearings about explicit content in video games, which ultimately resulted in the creation of the ESRB. Heck, even 20-30 years later politicians and talking heads still occasionally talk about banning violent video games.
Minecraft is widely known as Notch's creation. He did a lot of things to the game, but hasn't gotten involved with the game at all after the game went gold in 2011. Despite Jeb taking charge of the game and Notch stepping down, many people still think Notch runs the game and blame him if there's a change they don't like.
The color of Chain Chomp's mouth in Super Mario 64 was changed from red to purple on the Virtual Console. Many people blamed Nintendo for "censorship", but it turns out that the color change was due to an emulation quirk that affected the mouth texture.