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- Assassin's Creed:
- Assassin's Creed Syndicate: The game was made by Ubisoft Quebec after Ubisoft Montreal took a break following the infamous Assassin's Creed: Unity, making them rethink the future of the series.
- Assassin's Creed: Odyssey was also made by Ubisoft Quebec, following the footsteps of Ubisoft Montreal's Assassin's Creed Origins.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lunar: Dragon Song: Primary development duties were outsourced by Game Arts to Japan Art Media, the same company that developed Lunar: Silver Star Story.
- The first five games in the Sakura Wars series were first developed by Red Entertainment and Sega. Sakura Wars (2019) is the first game not to involve Red Entertainment; instead, it was developed by Sega in their first solo outing.
- In general, ever since the Persona series rose to fame, the mainline Shin Megami Tensei series fell to this with most of the recognized and talented names either working on the Persona series or stepped down to let others forward. During the development of Shin Megami Tensei IV, Team Maniax was undergoing a shift in their workforce, and when Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse began development, practically the entire team was now new people.
- After Kingdom Hearts II, all future development for the Kingdom Hearts series save for the DS games was handed off from Square Enix's main studio in Tokyo to a secondary studio in Osaka (the developers of Einhänder, Parasite Eve 2, Brave Fencer Musashi and Musashi Samurai Legend). For the record, these games are: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] and Kingdom Hearts III.
- Monster Hunter: The mainline installments and expansions, which are those developed for home systems, were created by a primary team at Capcom; the oddballs are Monster Hunter 4 and the expansions 3 Ultimate and 4 Ultimate, which were released on the Nintendo 3DSnote but also developed by them. The handheld installments and expansions (with the aforementioned exceptions), as well as Monster Hunter: Rise which was released on the hybrid Nintendo Switch and later on PC, were developed by a secondary team (usually led by Yasunori Ichinose). Some of the most beloved games in the series are in fact from the second group. Lastly, Monster Hunter Frontier was handled by yet another development team, and ran the game until the shutdown of their servers at the end of 2019.
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Zig-Zagged. While the game's development was still handled by series creator Tetsuya Takahashi, the majority of the gameplay choices by newer members of Monolithsoft, who took more inspiration from modern JRPGs at the time as opposed to the "western" style of the first game which drew from western MMOs like World of Warcraft, while the main developers were busy under Eiji Aonuma to help with the development of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
- Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl were the first mainline Pokémon games to not be developed by Game Freak. As they were busy producing both Pokémon Legends: Arceus and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet for release the following year, these remakes were developed externally by ILCA; a Japanese developer better known for support work who had also previously created the Pokémon HOME cloud storage app.
- Tales of Legendia was this in a series that (at the time) had two development teams that were both the "A" team". (Depending which side of the Broken Base you fell on at the time) Specifically, Tales of Legendia was actually developed primarily by the Tekken team.
- Falcom did not develop the original versions of Ys IV beyond providing a basic scenario and a soundtrack. Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys and Ys IV: Mask of the Sun were primarily developed outside the company and have considerable differences from each other. Falcom decided to canonize Mask of the Sun and later remade it in-house as Memories of Celceta.
- 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.
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- The aborted Sega Saturn game Sonic X-treme, which was intended as the Sonic series' major leap into the third dimension, was developed by the Western-based Sega Technical Institute and was made with no involvement by Sonic Team at all, who were burned out on the series after making a quadrology of games for it, and were wrapped up working on the games Ristar, NiGHTS into Dreams… and Burning Rangers anyway. After X-Treme went through a disastrous production that ended with both its cancellation and the dissolution of the Sega Technical Institute, Sega used NiGHTS and an upgraded port of the Traveller's Tales spin-off game Sonic 3D Blast to fill in as the Killer App for the Saturn while Sonic Team were forced to take the reigns back on the series, beginning work on a prototype 3D engine (later used for the Sonic World hub of Sonic Jam) that would end up becoming the basis for Sonic's real 3D debut, Sonic Adventure.
- Starting in 1999, Sega started commissioning a series of handheld 2D Sonic platformers developed by Dimps. They got their start as the B-team of Sonic with Sonic Advance for the GBA, leading to a string of successful 2D Sonic games from 2001 to 2007 (quite notable in that the main Sonic Team-developed games were going through a notorious Audience-Alienating Era towards the end of this period). However, this string ended with the underperformance of Sonic Rush Adventure on the DS, and Sega relegated Dimps to making adaptations of Sonic Team's games for handhelds. Dimps was also tasked with creating Sonic the Hedgehog 4, which sadly turned out to be one of the most divisive 2D games in the series.
- Sonic Mania was created by PagodaWest Games and Headcannon, including experienced Sonic fangame creators and with a soundtrack by Tee Lopes, well known for his Sonic remixes. The result is one of the most well-received Sonic games.
- Donkey Kong Country Returns: After finishing their work on the Metroid Prime Trilogy, Retro Studios were tasked with reviving yet another Nintendo series, Donkey Kong Country, which again received high approval from fans, with their follow-up Tropical Freeze dethroning DKC2 as the best entry in the franchise for many. This was also a case of the original creators being unavailable to take the job, as Rare (developers of the SNES DKC games and Donkey Kong 64) had left Nintendo to be a first-party developer under Microsoft years prior.
- Mega Man:
- While Keiji Inafune and his team at Capcom created the story and characters for Mega Man X3, most of the actual game development was palmed off to Minakuchi Engineering — who had previously handled the line of Mega Man (Classic) games on the Game Boy — as Capcom were in the process of transitioning their development systems from 16-bit to 32-bit. The end result was generally considered to be fairly mediocre, though still better than the later, Capcom-developed X7.
- The Game Boy Mega Man (Classic) games (otherwise known as the Rockman/Mega Man World series) qualifies on its own, with I and III through V being developed by the aforementioned Minakuchi Engineering. While these games turned out to be respectable in their own right since the director assigned to them was a fan of the series and wanted to do it justice, the second game was developed by a B-team of the B-team—Biox (then Japan System House), whose programmers were used to working on the Game Gear and were relatively unaccustomed to the Game Boy's hardware, and on top of that knew very little about what makes the Mega Man series fun to play. The results show badly, and Mega Man II is generally viewed as the weakest of the Game Boy titles by far.
- Mega Man 11 zig-zags with this trope. While development for it moved back to in-house at Capcom (9 and 10 were both made by Inti Creates), it's the first main entry in the classic timeline to not be made with Keiji Inafune's involvement due to him leaving the company, instead being made by those who worked on Mega Man Star Force.
- Super Mario Land and Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins were both helmed during development by the mentor of Shigeru Miyamoto, Gunpei Yokoi, instead of Miyamoto himself. New Super Mario Bros. 2 was developed by a younger team, as the veterans were working on New Super Mario Bros. U at the time. While the former two games were very well-received, the latter one garnered mixed reactions (though all of them have been commercial successes).
- Switch Blade was developed over several years as almost a solo project for Simon Phipps. Having left Gremlin Graphics for Core Design before the game was released, Phipps had no involvement with the sequel, which Gremlin assigned to the team previously responsible for the Platform Game Venus the Flytrap.
- Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters and Secret Agent Clank were developed by High Impact Games instead of Insomniac Games, who worked on the Ratchet & Clank Future trilogy during this period.
- Crash Bandicoot started at Naughty Dog for the first four games, then switched hands numerous times. Crash Bash was developed by Eurocom. Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex and Crash Twinsanity were developed by Traveller's Tales. Crash Nitro Kart was by Vicarious Visions. Crash Tag Team Racing, Crash of the Titans and Crash: Mind Over Mutant were by Radical Entertainment. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy brought development back to Vicarious Visions, followed by Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled by Beenox, and now Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time by Toys for Bob. And that's not even getting into the various handheld games.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Zig-zagged by the Fallout series. It's a little difficult to tell who exactly is the A-team and who's the B-team. Fallout and Fallout 2 were created by Black Isle Studios, which had dissolved by the time Bethesda bought the rights and released Fallout 3, which is almost more of a reboot than a sequel. The follow-up, the Obsidian-made Fallout: New Vegas, would be a straight example, filling a blank spot on the release schedule until Bethesda could get done with Skyrim and move onto the long-rumored Fallout 4... except that Obsidian hired several ex–Black Isle creators to make it, and they reused several concepts from Black Isle's cancelled version, codenamed Van Buren. Whether Only the Creator Does It Right or My Real Daddy is just as good or better, or even who the "creator" and "my new daddy" ARE at this point, are points of debate among the fandom.
- Obsidian Entertainment started off by making sequels to two BioWare games: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, sequel to Knights of the Old Republic, and Neverwinter Nights 2, sequel to Neverwinter Nights. Both games are regarded as Cult Classics, with KOTORII commonly being considered an Even Better Sequel. They later picked up the Dungeon Siege series from Gas Powered Games and created its third installment. Then, with both Bioware and Obsidian out of the picture, the Video Game Remake for Knights of the Old Republic fell to Aspyr Media, a studio who only ported games up to that point. However, it was found that several Bioware developers, including some who had worked on the original game and others who worked on Star Wars: The Old Republic, left the company in 2019 to join Aspyr. Midway through production Aspyr's parent company Saber Interactive took over development.
- Gothic: due to some misunderstandings between the creators (Piranha Bytes) and the publisher (JoWood Productions), the latter ended up taking away the rights to the series from the creators and gave them to two different studios: Spellbound Studios was to make the actual fourth installment of the series, whereas Trine Games was to quickly whip up an expansion pack to the third game. While it's a point of debate whether Arcania (the fourth installment by Spellbound) is good or not, the results of Trine Games working under unrealistic time constraints were... not pretty.
- The first Marvel Ultimate Alliance game was published by Activision and developed by Raven Software, with Vicarious Visions helping with the PSP and Wii versions. For the second game, it was more complicated: while all versions were once again published by Activision, the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions were developed by Vicarious Visions, while the Wii, PS2 and DS ones were handled by N-Space, and the PSP one by Savage Entertainment.
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order not only changed developer once again but publisher as well. The game was published by Nintendo and developed by Team Ninja for a Nintendo Switch-exclusive release.
- Mass Effect: Andromeda was developed by BioWare Montreal, a team that only previously developed multiplayer components and DLC content. The game proved to be a Creator Killer for the studio.