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B Team Sequel / Video Games

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  • Assassin's Creed:
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
    • After Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, A-team developer Rocksteady wanted plenty of time to create the last game in the trilogy, Batman: Arkham Knight. To keep the series going, WB Games Montreal was given a turn at the wheel with the prequel Batman: Arkham Origins, using modified assets from the previous games. note  General consensus is the gameplay is too derivative of Arkham City but the story takes the series in an interesting direction.
    • Paul Dini wrote the first two games, but not the latter two.
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, the fourth game in the series, was developed by Sanzaru Games, the company that handled the HD Trilogy re-release, rather than Sucker Punch.
  • Dark Souls II falls square into this. Series creator Hidetaka Miyazaki supervised the production of the game, but most of his attention and that the original Dark Souls team was on making Bloodborne, which was in development around the same time. To add to this, the original director, Tomohiro Shibuya, left the project under uncertain circumstances (though it's been alleged that the original version didn't feel very much like a Souls game) and a new director took over from there, around the halfway point in production. This goes some way toward explaining why Dark Souls II is considered the weakest game of the franchise by many, though it still has it’ fans.
  • The original Luigi's Mansion was developed in-house at Nintendo while its two sequels, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon and Luigi's Mansion 3, were handed off to Next Level Games. Both games are considered excellent on their own right, though Dark Moon is a Contested Sequel due to its mission-based structure while 3 is seen as at least on par, if not better than the original due to combining the best of both games while ditching their flaws. Both losing the spooky atmosphere and having a more wacky and cartoonish artstyle is divisive though.
  • Metroid:
    • Downplayed by the mainline 2D (and 2˝D) games. Due to restructuring of Nintendo's internal development studios, the group that developed Metroid (among other series) was now mainly responsible for overseeing the production of games made with external partners rather than making their own. As such, after the release of Metroid: Zero Mission, every non-Prime entry in the franchise has been a co-production between what remains of the core Metroid design team and whatever external studio is open to working them. Namely, Metroid: Samus Returns and Metroid Dread are co-productions between the 2D Metroid team at Nintendo EPD Production Group No. 7 (Nintendo had restructured their studios yet again by this point) and Spanish developer MercurySteam.
    • Metroid: Other M is a three-way collaboration between the 2D Metroid team at Nintendo SPD Production Group No. 1, Team Ninja of Dead or Alive fame, and animation studio D-Rockets under the name "Project M".
    • Metroid Prime Trilogy:
      • Metroid Prime was the first Metroid game that wasn't developed by any of Nintendo's internal teams in Japan, instead being made by then-young American developer Retro Studios. Once the game came out, it received high praise from both fans and critics, and Retro would go on to produce more Prime games, which would go on to not only be a major pillar of the franchise alongside the 2D sidescrollers, but also come to overshadow them as the defining image of the series to the wider gaming public.
      • The multiplayer-focused handheld entries of the sub-series were in turn outsourced to different developers, with Metroid Prime: Hunters being developed by Nintendo Software Technology and Metroid Prime: Federation Force being handled by Next Level Games.
      • Metroid Prime 4 was going to be an example of this, as it was initially announced as being developed by a new, unknown development team. However, development was going so poorly that Nintendo publicly revealed that they'd be rebooting the project entirely and giving the reins back to Retro Studios.

  • When Dizzy creators Philip and Andrew Oliver decided to concentrate on developing games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Codemasters sought another developer to continue the series on home computers. Big Red Software's Magicland Dizzy went over well enough that Codemasters made Big Red their new A-team, and let them develop almost all subsequent Dizzy games aside from the few that the Oliver Twins coded for the NES. Crystal Kingdom Dizzy, however, was assigned to another B-team, Visual Impact.

    Driving Game 
  • Stuntman is an interesting double example in that the sequel had both a different developer and publisher. The original was developed by Reflections and published by Infogrames under the Atari brand name. The sequel, Stuntman: Ignition, was developed by Paradigm Entertainment and published by THQ. Also interesting is that the companies that worked on the first game outlasted the companies that worked on the sequel.
  • Test Drive
    • Ferrari Racing Legends was published by Rombax Games, under license from Atari.
    • Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown is the first Test Drive game to be developed and published entirely by Nacon (with a new development team in their subsidiary Kylotonn), after obtaining the rights from Atari.

    Eastern RPG 

    First-Person Shooter 
  • After the success of BioShock, creator Ken Levine and developer Irrational's ambitious plans for what eventually became BioShock Infinite made for a six-year wait. In the meantime, publisher 2K tasked B-team 2K Marin with creating BioShock 2, which turned out to be a Contested Sequel. Detractors criticized the recycled setting, derivative premise, slow start, and shoehorned multiplayer; proponents cite the improved gameplay and mechanics and excellent third act, and even the solid-but-forgettable multiplayer found an audience. The Minerva's Den add-on is lauded as one of the best pieces of DLC ever made by those who actually played it, although a late PC release doomed it to relative obscurity.
  • After "finishing the fight" with Halo 3 and performing a few victory laps with Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach, A-team Bungie officially handed the Halo franchise over to B-team 343 Industries starting with Halo 4. 343 was spun off from Microsoft Studios specifically to shepherd the franchise after Bungie's departure from Microsoft in 2007.
  • The Call of Duty series was created by developer Infinity Ward. However, after the success of the second game, Activision tasked developer Treyarch and later developer Sledgehammer Games to make their own installments so that a Call of Duty game could be released every year. After Jason West and Vince Zampella were fired from Infinity Ward in 2010, which studio is the A-Team became a lot more arguable.


  • After A-team Harmonix was purchased by Viacom and left to develop Rock Band, the Guitar Hero franchise was purchased by Activision and given to B-team Neversoft starting with Guitar Hero III.

  • A-team Neversoft handed the keys to the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series over to B-team Robomodo in 2007. The series was already the poster child for Sequelitis, but Robomodo managed to make it even worse by tying their debut effort, Tony Hawk Ride, to a barely-functional skateboard peripheral, resulting in record lows for the series in both review scores and sales. Ironically, Neversoft left its signature franchise to itself become a B-team, first for Guitar Hero and then briefly for Call of Duty before being absorbed into Infinity Ward.

  • Just Cause 3 was developed by a new American branch of Avalanche Studios, as the Swedish studio responsible for the previous game was busy with a Mad Max game adaptation.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Homeworld received a very literal Mission-Pack Sequel in the form of Homeworld: Cataclysm; it was allegedly supposed to be an expansion pack but the new visual effects and game mechanics that B-team developers Barking Dog wanted to add required some major modifications to the game engine. Gameplay-wise it was quite well-received but the Genre Shift into Cosmic Horror was not universally popular with the fans, to put it mildly.
  • Another Relic example: Dawn of War's third expansion pack, Soulstorm, was developed by Iron Lore Entertainment, whose previous credentials included the Titan Quest series, as Relic themselves had moved on to development of Dawn of War II. The end result produced enough backlash after Soulstorm was filled with bugs and had very Narmy dialogue, even by 40k standards. It proved enough to shutter Iron Lore.
  • Age of Empires III's second expansion, The Asian Dynasties, was developed by Big Huge Games (known for Rise of Nations and Rise of Legends) as Ensemble Studios was busy with Halo Wars at the time.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • A-team Epic Games handed the Gears of War franchise over to B-team People Can Fly for the fourth installment, Gears Of War: Judgment. PCF's previous effort, Bulletstorm, could almost be seen as an elaborate application for the job.
  • Played With regarding Postal III: while it was supposedly co-developed by franchise creator Running With Scissors and Russian developer Akella, RWS later distanced themselves from it due to the game turning out as an utter trainwreck.

    Western RPG