: A work was meant to have something in it, but it never made it to the final release, due to something else.
- Straight: A highly anticipated video game runs into development trouble, causing it to be released before it is really finished.
- Exaggerated: A highly anticipated video game runs into Development Hell, languishing for twenty years before it is released to a tepid response.
- Downplayed: A minor element, such as a couple additional Mons in a game that's already chock-full of them, doesn't make it into the final release.
- Justified: A highly anticipated video game is released before it is really finished because the developers run out of money and the publisher pushes for it to be released as it is.
- Inverted: A video game in development is expected to be a bloated borefest. It runs into development trouble and much of the bloat is left out, resulting in a surprisingly well-liked game.
- Subverted: A highly anticipated video game runs into development trouble, resulting in the belief that it will be bad. Suddenly, an early reviewer raves about it exceeding his wildest expectations...
- Double Subverted: ...but it still turns out to be widely disappointing.
- Parodied: A video game about a struggling video game developer who is forced to release a game early is released.
- Zig Zagged: Articles about an upcoming game are alternatively very positive and very negative. When it is released, it creates a Broken Base between those who think it exceeded their expectations and those who think it could have been much more.
- Averted: A highly anticipated video game has a smooth development. It is released to universal acclaim.
- Enforced: A highly anticipated video game is forced to be released too early by the publisher. It is obvious that the developers are not happy about leaving anything out.
- Lampshaded: A highly anticipated video game runs into development trouble, causing it to be released before it is really finished. A sequence has the player run up to a large fissure, in front of which there is a sign that says, "Area (still) under construction".
- Invoked: A highly anticipated video game turns out to be disappointing. The developers reveal what they wanted to do in an article titled "What Could Have Been".
- A highly anticipated video game runs into development trouble, causing it to be released before it is really finished. The developers put the cut content into DLC that they sell later.
- Capcom Sequel Stagnation.
- Defied: ???
- Discussed: ???
- Conversed: ???
Finally! We can return to What Could Have Been
!... Unfortunately, it's missing a lot of the key features they promised us. *sniff*