Follow TV Tropes


Executive Meddling / Video Games

Go To

You have to do what the bossman says sometimes or it's Game Over, man.

    open/close all folders 

  • According to ousted creative leads Jason West and Vince Zampella, Activision demanded that Infinity Ward produce another Modern Warfare game. Given eighteen months to work on a title they didn't want to do in the first place, they made Modern Warfare 2. That was supposed to be the full title until Activision forced Call of Duty onto the package to retain brand identity, despite Infinity Ward intending Modern Warfare to be a Spin-Off. Depending on whose story you choose to believe, Zampella and West apparently started talking to other game developers (which Activision frowned upon), which caused their dismissal, or they were held in their offices by security and interrogated (along with their colleagues) because of their refusal to follow Activision's demands. This incident caused a number of major knock on effects:
    • Zampella, West, and roughly three-quarters of IW's staff left the company afterwards (including most of the creative and writing team behind the Modern Warfare series) and went to form Respawn Entertainment, creators of Titanfall and Apex Legends. West left the studio shortly after the founding and went to work for Epic Games in 2019. Although studio was purchased by EA in 2017, the publisher largely avoided interfering with Respawn's projects possibly because EA is afraid of pissing off Zampella again.
    • Activision is as of this writing, still releasing Call of Duty games on an annual basis, rotating between three internal Activision studios: Treyarch, Infinity Ward, and (for a time) Sledgehammer Games.
    • Neversoft, another Activison studio most famous for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was shuttered and merged into Infinity Ward in 2014.
  • On a lighter note, the reason there hasn't been a Call of Duty movie yet is not because no studios want a go at it, but rather because Activision, fearful of the usual reputation video game-based movies have and how that would affect the franchise, has shot down every offer.
  • Brütal Legend was affected by executive meddling quite badly. One of its publishers, Activision, attempted to turn the game into a Guitar Hero sequel, among other things. Brütal Legend was treated so badly by Activision that Double Fine claimed that Activision was purposely sabotaging the game in order to preserve its Guitar Hero franchise, which was on its way out of popularity (Activision, as a response, claimed it was axed because it was over budget and late with everything and what they had, wasn't very good). As a result of this, Tim Schafer estimated that the game was only one third as large as it was intended to be. Activision dropped Brütal Legend entirely, and was later being picked up by Electronic Arts. Naturally, they weren't completely done with some form of meddling after the move - see the EA folder for more.
  • The PlayStation game Spider-Man 2 – Enter: Electro had the final level originally take place on the top of the World Trade Center. This is confirmed by the original level title, "Top of the World", and dialogue spoken by Peter Parker during the original cinematic prior to the final level. After the events of 9/11, the game was pulled from shelves (it had been released in North America in late August) and delayed in territories where it hadn't been released, and the level designers placed a bridge between the two towers to make the comparison to its real life counterpart less obvious. Given the fact that Activision and Vicarious Visions feared the content might have been considered "insensitive", their meddling was obvious.
  • Thankfully, Activision was more or less entirely hands off with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, basically letting FromSoftware do their thing. The only request Activision made was the subtitle - "Shadows Die Twice" was intended to merely be the Tag Line for the teaser trailer.

  • Mega Man X had its share of meddling. First, Keiji Inafune was forced to redesign the character of X because it was feared the drastic changes to the original Mega Man's looks would prevent fans from relating to him (the original concept would later evolve into Zero), and then the series was continued beyond X5, which Inafune had intended to be the definitive end to the X series, causing a bunch of plot holes as a result that the Zero series had to alter its initial plot from to address or reference in very vague terms to avoid total discontinuity.
    • Mega Man was actually plagued with meddling from the get-go. The franchise was originally known as Rockman in Japan and most of East Asia. However, when trying to export the game to the US, the head of Capcom USA vetoed, threatening that he will not allow publishing the game stateside unless the name is changed (and by extension, the music themed naming is removed) over the petty reason that he hates the name Rockman.
    • The villain of the first Zero game was supposed to be the real X. Meddling forced the change to Copy-X because they felt it would have been too dark to have the previous series' hero suddenly turning into a Knight Templar Zero would ultimately put down.
    • It's said Inafune originally planned to use the Zero series to explore Zero's past, using X5 to introduce the idea, and was forced to ditch that outside of Zero 3 with the revelations of Omega's existence, and even that only really explored what went down between the Time Skip of the X and Zero series.
    • Zero 4 was rife with meddling. Inafune intended for Zero 3 to be the finale, but the execs demanded a fourth game. They were able to work with it since Zero 3 still left the unresolved plot point of Dr. Weil in control of Neo Arcadia, and directly set up the ending so that it would be continued into Mega Man ZX without hope of another game. In addition, the original fate of the Guardians was that they would be too busy fighting a three-man war protecting the people of Neo Arcadia from Weil's machinations to be able to aid Zero. It was decided that they were to be killed by Omega's blast, despite having an obvious method of escaping safely and being further away from the source of it than Zero.
    • All this is believed to be the reason why Inafune quit Capcom upon Mega Man Legends 3's announcement. Which was cancelled due to executive meddling too.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Resident Evil originally wasn't going to have much of a story other than "the mansion is haunted and you must find a way out to survive". Shinji Mikami wanted players to be engaged by the horror and fear alone, but Capcom told that he had to include a detailed story to make the game more engaging. The overturned decision paved the way to the Resident Evil franchise everyone knows today.
    • When the first trailer for Resident Evil 5 featured Chris Redfield, a white character, mowing down a sea of black Majini (zombies), cries of racism ensued, led by Newsweek game reviewer N'Gai Croal. While producer Jun Takeuchi and Capcom claimed not to be influenced by the moral panic, the following trailer depicted a more racially diverse Majini, and a female African sidekick.
  • Ace Attorney:
    • If it weren't for those meddlin' executives, we'd be short one poker playin' hobo. After completing work on the original trilogy, the series' creator, Shu Takumi, wanted to make another Ace Attorney game, but with a new cast of characters. Capcom pressured him to keep Phoenix Wright in the game since they believed his name and image alone would sell a ton. Takumi still wanted to go with his image of a new cast, but to make Capcom happy, he threw in Phoenix as a man who got disbarred from court and no longer practices law while newbie defense attorney Apollo Justice replaces Phoenix's role. The meddling may explain why only The Judge, Phoenix, Ema Skye, and Gumshoe and Mike Meekins via flashback case appear in the game while everyone else from the series beforehand are mysteriously missing without any word on what happened to them.
    • The meddling is also the reason why Apollo's history is barely explained while Phoenix still pulls the strings for most of the game, making Apollo look like a big idiot that just yells all the time. Because of this, fans didn't like Apollo's character and wished Phoenix was still the main character. This was made up in later games where Apollo is given a lot more backstory and spotlight to develop his character to the point where he's nearly popular as Phoenix among fans.
    • The series also has an in-universe case of executive meddling where lawmakers pushed for the court system to settle cases within 3 days in order to speed up trials and to prevent them from lingering so long while heavily favoring the prosecution, because it's usually easier to rule guilty than non guilty.
  • For a while, the team that worked on Darkstalkers said that they'd love to make Darkstalkers 4, but Capcom didn't want to work on anything that wasn't a Cash Cow Franchise (e.g. Street Fighter). Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono has been trying to drum up interest in a Darkstalkers sequel in order to prove to Capcom that it would be worth making, starting with Darkstalkers Resurrection, a XBLA/PSN compilation of Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge and Darkstalkers 3. Unfortunately, this didn't work.
  • Ironically, Capcom's been on the receiving end of this, particularly from their crossovers with Marvel Comics
    • Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
      • One of the newly added characters is Doctor Strange. Capcom notes that of all of the Marvel characters they have worked on, Dr. Strange was the only one that Marvel sent a list of specific things they had to do and what they couldn't do with the character. They even dictated what sort of hand gestures Dr. Strange uses. While Capcom managed to get some changes in, citing technical difficulties, most of their creative decisions for Dr. Strange were overruled by Marvel. There is speculation that this had something to do with the then-upcoming Doctor Strange film.
      • During discussions of what characters went into Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Marvel had the final say in what characters of theirs they didn't want in, such as Venom. The only exception is Shuma-Gorath, whom Marvel didn't want in, but Capcom protested, and they agreed he could be in but only as DLC.
      • In a positive example, Capcom wanted to include a Fantastic Four character but had trouble making all of the members viable.note  Marvel stepped in and suggested they use the Super-Skrull, a villain who possesses all of the Fantastic Four's powers at the same time, which handily solved all their earlier issues while streamlining the roster in the process.
      • Another case: Originally Capcom wasn't going to include Deadpool, due to a miscommunication. They thought he was on Marvel's "blacklist" of rejected characters due to being unpopular. When Marvel found out, they explained that Deadpool is actually extremely popular and that he wasn't on the blacklist, but rather on the list of characters that they absolutely wanted to see in the game.
    • Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite:
      • Marvel refused to allow any X-Men characters, forcing Capcom to utilize only characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and X-Men expies instead. This went over about as well as you'd expect. It's theorized this decision has something to do with 20th Century Fox bogarting the X-Men film rights and Marvel wanting the game to promote the MCU.
      • Tying in with the MCU influence, Capcom was instructed by Marvel to adopt a more realistic art style and redone character theme music to evoke the style of the MCU. The game's visuals have been pretty heavily ridiculed by fans, especially the way it clashes with reused character designs and models from the previous game, while the music is more divisive.
      • According to a pro-player who helped create the game's character trailers, Marvel refused to allow their fighters to be beaten up by Capcom's. The only time a Marvel character would get hit is if it was another Marvel character hitting them.
      • When casting voices for the game, characters from the opposing companies were not allowed to be voiced by the same actor. For example, since Laura Bailey was already set to voice Black Widow, she wasn't allowed to reprise her role as Chun-Li.

    Electronic Arts 
The behavior of Electronic Arts over the last two decades reads like a laundry list of what not to do as a video game publisher. Meddling in the affairs of studios it gobbled up in deals with parent companies, executive fiat in several notable franchises and a general lack of regard for anyone besides investors are just the tip of the iceberg. Even the mere mention of their name can act as a Berserk Button for well-known developers.
  • Origin Systems (responsible for the Ultima and Wing Commander franchises) was acquired by the company in 1992. Five years later, the company became an online-only developer that shifted its focus to Ultima Online (to the point that the developers of the then-recently released Ultima IX: Ascension wrote a number of stealth insults into the game as a way to get back at EA for cutting corners, rushing the game for a holiday release and sidetracking the company). As a response to Ascension's poor retail performancenote , the company then cancelled all of Origin's planned projects (including the Ultima Online sequel, Privateer Online and Harry Potter Online). The final nail in the coffin was the development of Ultima X: Odyssey. EA forced relocation of development from Austin, Texas to California, leaving developers who couldn't make the move due to family issues out of work. This subsequently led to the project being scrapped altogether. The Origin trademark was later reintroduced as a digital distribution platform.
  • Westwood Studios was acquired by EA in 1998, which subsequently resulted in at least half of the studio's employees quitting in protest. EA's increased control resulted in restrictive demands on many of the team's projects, and led to rushed and unfinished games, including:
    • Nox (a project three years in the making), which was intended to be a multiplayer fantasy battle game that was taken over by EA and turned into a single player RPG. Despite the game's good reception, the company lost the IP rights to EA, who immediately shut down the game's servers and cancelled plans for an expansion and sequel.
    • The Command & Conquer franchise, which was inexplicably turned into a first-person shooter in 2002's Command & Conquer: Renegade, over the objections of its development staff. The game subsequently missed several shipping dates and was criticized for straying from the series' strategy roots - and when it didn't sell as well as expected, EA promptly shifted all the blame on Westwood and liquidated the company entirely.
      • Tiberium was to be the second FPS set in the C&C universe. It had a solid, original concept at its heart: you play as a GDI Forward Battle Commander, actively leading your AI-controlled troops from the front lines. It had a terrific art style; everything in the game world had a realistic, hard sci-fi look to it. It had the fans of the series salivating with anticipation... and then was suddenly canceled with no reasoning cited other than "failing to meet quality standards." Shortly after the game's cancellation, several disillusioned developers of the game began posting on Gamasutra, and from these testimonies comes a rather depressing tale. It seems that the project was doomed by its leadership, or lack thereof. According to the posters at Gamasutra, many of the lead producers (and there were apparently several) were less experienced than many of their subordinates and were only later promoted to their positions. There was much jockeying for power, with each producer trying to outdo or replace the work done by their predecessors (including gutting the FPS/RTS mechanic at its core). At least one poster claims these managers were actively trying to sabotage the project and thus save face rather than have a broken game released with their names attached. Even if only half of it is true, it's a fact that this game was in development for a good 5 years, got nowhere, and no one seemed to want to save it.
      • Tiberian Twilight was also a huge victim. The game originally started out as a multiplayer-only project, meant for quick, direct matches in cybercafes and for tournaments. It would be set in the Tiberium universe, but the mechanics were revamped for its short-match multiplayer focus, and to be fair, they were good mechanics for the kind of gameplay they were going for. However, executives wanted them to shift the product and expand it into a full, story-integrated sequel to Tiberium Wars. Its progression system was ill-balanced for campaign play, and its mechanics did not give players the kind of single-player mission experience consistent with earlier titles in the series. Moreover was the gameplay itself - despite this being a game in one of the progenitors of the Real-Time Strategy, EA forced the game into riding on the coattails of the then-burgeoning Real-Time Tactics subgenre in the wake of Company of Heroes and Dawn of War. This ended up giving it a Metacritic score of 64, which under the Four Point Scale is one of the lowest a major game can expect to get. The average user review was several times worse than that.
  • Thrill Kill winded up a victim of EA's wrath in 1998. Virgin Interactive was set to release the game in the summer of that year, even after having to make some edits to tone down some of the game's content for an M rating by the ESRB. However, when Virgin was acquired by EA, the latter cancelled Thrill Kill a few weeks before its official release date because they didn't want to be associated with a "senselessly violent game". EA even refused to sell the rights of the game off to another publisher. Fortunately, they did allow the developers to keep the engine, which was used to create Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style.
  • EA generally didn't allow the developers of the Harry Potter licensed games to include events from the books that weren't in the movies, with a few exceptions such as Peeves and Sir Cadogan (who were cut from the first and third movies respectively) and Professor Quirrell and Snape's chambers guarding the Philosopher's Stone. The Game Boy Color games based on Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets were able to be closer to the books, since the publisher paid little attention to them compared to the console and GBA games, and whenever they showed their progress they would just be impressed at what they managed on the GBC hardware. The Prisoner of Azkaban Game Boy Advance game was hit hard by this. EA didn't trust the GBC team at Griptonite Games to create quality GBA art, and ended up forcing them to completely change the art style halfway through development. With only half the time to complete the game, the developers had to cut many features and work crunch mode for the rest of development, including weekends and holidays.
  • As mentioned in the Activision folder, EA acquired the rights to Brütal Legend after Activision dropped the title. EA didn't meddle with the game development like Activision did, but they only advertised the game's action elements, completely obscuring the RTS elements that make up the core of the game's mechanics, leading to the game receiving some undeserved criticism. Then came the patch Double Fine was going to release for the PlayStation 3 version, which would fix the muffled sound effects and the 99% completion glitch, but because EA only likes to support games that sold well, they would not let DF release the patch whatsoever, even though the patch was finished.

    Executive meddling was also the reason the game did not get a PC port until early 2013. Schafer originally made the game for consoles in mind, but was willing to port it to PC. EA, however, would not allow this due to poor sales. It wasn't until EA dropped all publishing rights to the title that DF was finally allowed to port it to PC.
  • Several of Bullfrog Productions' (led by Peter Molyneux) games were rushed to stores in an unfinished state by EA in order to meet the season, including Magic Carpet, which went to stores over Molyneux's repeated objections that the game wasn't finished yet.
  • Maxis was bought by EA in 1997, and the publisher slowly exerted control over the developer in the ensuing years. It has been said that the company was only saved from being destroyed outright initially by the success of SimCity 3000 (which was expected to be a flop). The company subsequently had its offices shut and its employees moved to EA's offices, where they commenced work on The Sims, which (as even the Wikipedia article for the company says) had its company logo superseded by EA's as more expansions and DLC packs (mandated by the publisher) were released.
    • EA put the restrictive Securom DRM on all retail copies of Spore (which had a maximum number of "activations" and a litany of security holes) against creator Will Wright's wishes. The game was subsequently pirated more than 500,000 times in protest after advance copies leaked, and it became one of the most pirated games in history.
    • The development team for The Sims 2 complained about how EA executives pressured the team to use more particle effects in the game so they could put that as a bullet point on the box. So, we got people walking around with green smoke coming out of their arms when low on hygiene, green smoke coming out of food that had gone bad, and so forth. Unrealistic it may be, it at least came in handy as a visual aid. Ironically, many users also found such effects "annoying", and there are multiple user-made hacks available to eliminate them.
    • The "always-on" internet connectivity required to play SimCity (2013) was thrown into the game by EA to force players to stay online, despite company representatives claiming otherwise. This connectivity issue led to a truly disastrous launch for the game - many review outlets and fans were unable to play during launch week, Amazon temporarily suspended sales of the game, and EA ended up issuing a patch that cut core features like achievements and the "fast-forward mode" to decrease the pressure on their servers. It is also believed that the debacle, in part, led to EA CEO John Riccitello resigning from the company in March 2013 and Maxis' eventual shutdown in 2015.
  • In 2004, the publisher was sued in two separate class-action lawsuits by designers and employees in the parent company who alleged that they were forced to work extremely long hours without overtime benefits. This resulted in a $30 million-plus judgement against EA.
  • TimeSplitters: Future Perfect was published by EA after the previous two games were handled by Eidos Interactive. As part of the deal, EA wanted a game that played like a more typical first-person shooter, which resulted in a game that was slower paced and less indebited to Goldeneye and Perfect Dark like the earlier TimeSplitters games were. EA also wasn't enthusiastic about the game as a whole, and placed most of their marketing focus on 007: From Russia with Love instead. It wasn't all bad however; EA also requested that the game feature a story mode more involving than the Excuse Plots of the previous two games. The result was a hilarious romp through time that is often seen as the game's strongest element.
  • After the success of Dragon Age: Origins, EA pushed BioWare to release Dragon Age II much sooner than the game's development team expected, in order to capitalize on its predecessor's success. The game's composer, Inon Zur, later admitted in an interview that the score was a rush job and that the game was pushed hard for a March 2011 release, while BioWare lead designer Brent Knowles (who had been with the company for over a decade) quit the company over the decision to rush development. There have also been rumors that the game was released in an "alpha" version, and that the game was a standalone title for a completely different concept that was repurposed as the sequel due to production problems. Later on, a planned expansion pack for the sequel (that apparently resolved the story arc set up by the game itself) was cancelled unceremoniously.
  • According to Chris "Stormwaltz" L'Etoile, who wrote for Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, Legion's fascination with Shepard as well as its salvaged N7 armor was a decision imposed upon him by "someone who got paid a lot more money than him" after he saw the concept art. L'Etoile said that he didn't want AI to have Pinocchio Syndrome and that they should want to better themselves rather than change themselves (and that Legion's "obsession" would require emotion, something Geth weren't supposed to have in his words). He was later reassigned, and a plot point he wrote about the Reapers trying to forcibly upload the memories of sapient species into their memory banks rather than harvesting their DNA was dropped.
  • Mass Effect 3:
    • According to since-deleted forum posts on the Penny Arcade forums posted by the account of Patrick Weekes (writer of the Tuchanka arc and Blasto trailers), executive producer Casey Hudson and lead writer Mac Walters went behind the writing team's back and rewrote the controversial ending of the game by themselves.
    • The lead writer of the first two games in the series (Drew Karpyshyn) was reassigned to another BioWare project (Star Wars: The Old Republic), during development of the third game. This led to an original major plot point (about dark energy) being dropped and eventually replaced with the more controversial one.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda got hit with this even worse. EA, in all their wisdom, mandated that BioWare Montreal use the Frostbite engine for the game, an engine designed for FPS and having no real support for any other type of game. This, along with the inexperienced dev team wasting several years and millions of dollars attempting to implement No Man's Sky-style procedural generation to no success, led to the disastrous launch that would kill BioWare Montreal.
  • Then there's Star Wars: The Old Republic, which itself was targeted for a March 2012 release and instead got forced out the door early in December 2011. Predictably, the chief complaint was the lack of endgame content for the MMO.
  • Suda51 and Shinji Mikami went to EA to work on Suda's game idea, Kurayami, an adventure game based on the works of Franz Kafka. EA agreed to produce the game, but then they decided that Suda's proposal wasn't profitable enough by itself, so they had their own people retool Kurayami into a horror-themed third-person shooter that barely resembled what Suda had in mind. The resulting product, Shadows of the Damned, ended up being disowned by Suda. The game sold terribly thanks to EA refusing to actually market it.
  • Since 2013, EA has mandated that all of its major studios must use the Frostbite Engine. In an unusual case, this decision reflects both the positives and negatives of executive meddling. On one hand, not only does the engine provide the best graphics on the market, but the universal adoption of a single proprietary game engine allows the company to avoid the licensing fees and legal hassles from using third-party engines while also letting the different EA subsidiary studios easily exchange ideas, mechanics, and assets with one other. On the other hand, the Frostbite Engine suffered from Crippling Overspecialization as, since it was originally designed for shooters and racers, it lacked many of the necessary tools for other genres like RPGs and third-person action games, forcing several studios to design their own components. Sometimes everything works out as seen with Dragon Age: Inquisition while other times things mess up as seen with Mass Effect: Andromeda.
  • Anthem (2019).
    • After the success of Bioware's Dragon Age: Inquisition, EA mandated that Bioware continue using the aforementioned Frostbite Game Engine. However, the engine's over-specialization and lack of technical support contributed to the game's tumultuous development cycle. Not helping matters is that the Bioware management and leadership gave conflicting direction and a lack of vision for the final product.
    • In a strangely positive example, EA executive Patrick Söderlund essentially got Bioware to actually get to work. After Bioware's leadership squandered years of development time, he personally stepped in to offer feedback and input. Söderlund's request for a demo led to Bioware creating one that was not well-received. He apparently tore it apart, and on Bioware's second attempt, his previous feedback made them actually stick with some design ideas (which the Bioware leaders were apparently not doing at all) — flying in particular. Flying is the one aspect of Anthem to be generally positively received.
  • Ironically, EA itself has been on the receiving end of meddling from other companies, namely media giants like that licensed out their properties for game development. Their deal with Disney to make Star Wars games has led to many instances of Disney and Lucasfilm executives stepping in during game development.
    • According to this article, Disney and Lucasfilm warned EA about screwing with Star Wars canon, hence why Star Wars Battlefront (2015) lacked anything related to the prequel trilogy or The Force Awakens, aside from a single Jakku map for the latter. In all fairness, this is rather standard practice among licensed movie tie-ins as most video game and toy companies could only create content based on initial concept art to avoid spoilers.
    • Another article revealed that what led to the death of Ragtag was the constant demands made by EA and Lucasfilm. EA demanded that the game should reach a 90% aggregate score on Metacritic and be comparable to Knights of the Old Republic in quality. Lucasfilm representatives had to approve every single creative decision made by the team; notably, finalizing costume designs took months to complete due to the constant demands.
    • In response to the microtransactions controversy surrounding Star Wars Battlefront II (2017), Disney executive James Pitaro personally contacted EA CEO Andrew Wilson and demanded that the game's microtransactions be disabled at launch. Disney apparently didn't want the game's fiasco to overshadow the release of The Last Jedi and the then-recent announcement of a new Star Wars trilogy.
    • Respawn Entertainment's Senior Designer Justin Perez revealed that people can't be dismembered in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order due to interference from Disney, despite it being a relatively frequent occurrence in the movies and previous games. However, since this mandate only applies to human enemies, droids, animals, and cyborgs are still dismembered in rather spectacular ways.
  • After Electronic Arts acquired Criterion Games prior to the release of Burnout 3: Takedown, they mandated that the game feature EA Trax, their branding for licenced music as also used in their sports titles as well as the Need for Speed series. This resulted in the composed soundtrack being jettisoned and replaced with a very 2004 licensed Pop Punk soundtrack. This is generally considered to be a positive change; while the replacement soundtrack is not without its detractors, many consider it a massive part of the game's nostalgic charm, either legitimately or with begrudging admiration. The original soundtrack would later be featured uncut in Burnout Paradise, for those who prefer it.

  • The story goes that one of the designers of Full Throttle—a game about a biker who kicked the crap out of people and was investigating the brutal bludgeoning murder of an old man by a ruthless corrupt corporate executive who had also ordered the old man's daughter killed, and had further framed him and his gang for the foul deed—had an idea where the lead goes on a peyote-fueled quasi-dream sequence that took place inside his own head. The executives at LucasArts said no, as that would be "inappropriate" material. That designer nonetheless held onto the seed of the idea, and eventually created Psychonauts.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords was meddled rather thoroughly by LucasArts. First they rushed the development to make a Christmas release date, meaning quite a lot of stuff (including the actual ending) got Dummied Out due to time constraints. Then it turned into straight-up Screwed by the Network when Obsidian offered to put together a patch to restore the missing content and LucasArts refused on the grounds that the Xbox version wasn't Xbox Live-enabled and couldn't be patched. Fortunately, the modding community has managed to fix most of it, and the Steam release of the game now has Workshop support primarily to allow players easy access to the content-restoration mod.
  • The third game of the Star Wars: Battlefront series, developed by Free Radical Designs, was pretty far into its development cycle. A leaked trailer showcased impressive features at the time such as being able to jump into a fighter and fly from a ground battle into space, all in real time. At some point during development, the management at LucasArts changed hands. The new CEO, Darrel Rodriguez, made it a point to cut costs as much as possible, and Battlefront 3 was costing money. This ended up being another kick in the long series of such events that eventually led to Free Radical closing its doors.
  • The cancelled Star Wars 1313 was plagued by development issues when overseen by George Lucas himself. Originally envisioned as a tie-in to a TV series, the game was delayed repeatedly and only became greenlit after said series was cancelled. Lucas initially wanted the game to star an original character as the main bounty hunter protagonist only to later demand that the Boba Fett be the main star. Of course, these demands proved to be frustrating to the developers who had to scrap entire assets just to accommodate Lucas's demands. Even after Lucas departed the company following its sale to Disney, the 1313 project was ultimately cancelled and the development staff laid off.

  • When online gaming was starting to pick up in the early 2000s, Sony jumped on board a bit later with Final Fantasy XI which made the PlayStation 2 the first console for Sony to have online capabilities. The Dreamcast and the Xbox incorporated online gaming long before Sony. The Nintendo GameCube was designed for online play, but very few games were made with this feature in mind and Nintendo had openly stated that they thought that online gaming would be just a passing fad. This resulted in the GameCube having an Internet connection that would never be used except for as LAN in a couple games.
  • The Wii was originally going to have the controllers built with a more complex and accurate motion sensor, but Nintendo ordered that they be simplified to make the controllers cheaper. Cue thousands of complaints from gamers and even developers about how inaccurate and annoying the Wii's motion controls were. Eventually Nintendo released an add-on, the Wii MotionPlus, that restored the original capabilities, but only during the console's final years, resulting in only a handful of Wii games that support it.
  • Star Fox Adventures is the result of this. Originally, the game was to be titled Dinosaur Planet and had no ties whatsoever with the Star Fox franchise. Krystal and a male wolf named Sabre were the main characters. However, after Star Fox creator and Nintendo's creative head Shigeru Miyamoto saw a likeness between Sabre and Fox McCloud, he gave the idea to Rare of turning it into a Star Fox title, despite the game and its gameplay having no relation or similarities with the series beyond that and some scifi elements, with Rare ultimately agreeing because of the increased sales potential of using the Star Fox brand. Sabre was axed, with his role being given to Fox. Also, a rushed release date due to Microsoft buying out Rare during production caused characters and plot to be changed around to get the game out before the deadline, including Krystal to become aged up and a Distressed Damsel instead of a Deuteragonist and what could have been a climactic boss fight with General Scales to be completely cut.
  • Diddy Kong Racing was originally going to be a new IP with original characters, but Miyamoto randomly decided to make Rare put Diddy Kong in it, which resulted in the game becoming a Donkey Kong title. According to an interview with the lead composer, it was because Nintendo wouldn't have a release ready in time for Christmas and pressed Rare to slap established characters into the existing project to ensure sales. Another reason might be the fact that Miyamoto doesn't like Nintendo starting new franchises or making original games without old Nintendo characters, as evidenced in interviews. Rare did have an N64 game slated for the holiday 1997 release date that Nintendo was seeking, but it was decided that it wouldn't be able to meet that release date, and was delayed to a summer 1998 release. Diddy Kong Racing ending up having to be rushed to release in its place, and this is reflected in the final version, which has content not properly implementednote .
  • Continuing the trend, Kirby's Epic Yarn was originally going to be an original title starring Prince Fluff, but the execs noticed that the player character looked similar to Kirby and made the developers turn it into a Kirby game. Similarly to Krystal in the Star Fox example, Prince Fluff was still kept, but demoted to a secondary character. This is why the title plays so differently from the rest of the games in the series, with Kirby even missing his signature ability of sucking enemies and stealing their powers.
  • The notorious Legend of Zelda and Hotel Mario games on the Phillips CD-i system were a result of several years' worth of executive meddling. During the early '90s, just as NEC and Sega were coming out with CD-ROM add-ons for their consoles, Nintendo decided to develop one for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System with Sony, one that would be able to play new, 32-bit CD-based games in addition to the original SNES library. A while into their co-operation, however, Nintendo realized that letting just anyone develop games for the CD add-on meant that Nintendo would lose their absolute control over the games released on their systems. More importantly, they also realized that the contract with Sony contained a clause that the latter would own the rights to all games developed for the add-on. Nintendo decided to give Sony the cold shoulder and, completely by surprise, announced that they were going to work with Phillips on the CD add-on from there on. Nintendo's CD add-on never saw the light of day. To compensate Phillips, Nintendo gave the former the rights to publish four games based on Nintendo characters for the CD-i. The worst part for Nintendo? Sony continued the project by themselves, eventually creating the PlayStation. This would put Nintendo into a slump from which they wouldn't completely recover from until the Wii was released.

    Furthermore, both this specific event and executive meddling in general had everything to do with Square's falling out with Nintendo, as well. Square was a huge supporter of the CD peripheral, as they had plans to use it, and loudly criticized Nintendo's decision to drop the project. As a result, Nintendo punished Square by refusing to allow expanded ROM sizes for some of their ambitious projects late in the Super Famicom's life cycle, like Bahamut Lagoon and Rudra No Hihou. Furthermore, Nintendo was convinced that disc-based game systems were a fad, since the SNES did better than its competitors without one, leading to their next game console, the Nintendo 64, being cartridge-based as well. Square quickly realized that the N64 and its cartridges weren't capable of running the games they wanted to make, so they decided to develop games for the PlayStation instead.
  • Super Mario Bros. 2 came into being because Nintendo of America didn't think the original Japanese game of that title was different enough from the first one, as well as considering it too hard for American audiences. But the result paid off, with the game selling very well and many foreign elements, such as Shy-Guys, Bob-Ombs and Birdo, all originally SMB2-specific characters, have since become staples of the Marioverse ensemble. Also, The Lost Levels got a Western release some years later anyway.
  • Nintendo of America in the early '90s with their heavy censorship:
    • The original North American release of Final Fantasy IV had several important scenes inexplicably removed, a falling blade trap changed to a falling metal ball trap (apparently it's ok to get squished to death, but not sliced in half); Final Fantasy VI had a couple of female summoned creatures' sprites altered to show less skin, and both games had religious references removed (changing "Holy" to "Pearl", etc.). In addition, the porno magazines in Final Fantasy IV and VI were also both edited out in their initial Western releases.note 
    • Mortal Kombat received a neutering from Nintendo of America. The SNES version of Mortal Kombat had the blood changed to sweat, and the fatalities were severely weakened.note  The Sega Genesis port was technically inferior, but ended up being the most popular because it contained all the gore that made the game popular in the first place. Realizing this, Nintendo of America released Mortal Kombat II on the SNES in all its gory glory.
    • With the release of the Switch, Nintendo seems to have quietly adopted a "hands off" policy for censorship. While their first and second-party games are still mostly family friendly fare, a number of games that could be considered "adult" such as Gal*Gun 2 and the 18+ rated Waifu Uncovered have been released uncensored on the Switch. There have even been cases where games released on the Playstation 4 were censored, but the same game was uncensored on the Switch.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day was a rather infamous example of executive meddling:
    • Originally, the premise of the N64 Conker game was supposed to be vastly different: playing out to be like a more childish Banjo-Kazooie, or in-series, Conker's Pocket Tales. However, the executives at Rare started to become fearful that fans may not like the platformer because it was too childish, and after a very negative critique during the testing stages, Rare retooled the game, causing it to be aimed at a more mature crowd, including sex references, alcoholic beverages, and lewd behavior - which resulted in poor sales. This was not at all helped by Nintendo of America's response to the change, either, refusing to advertise it (outside of men's magazines) and outright refusing to let Nintendo Power even admit the game existed.
    • The Updated Re-release, Conker: Live and Reloaded heavily censored a significantly larger portion of the game's foul language (as mentioned above, combined with the gore, the foul language was the entire point of the game, though by this point it had actually become less taboo; also, despite Nintendo being perceived as a more family-friendly company, the Nintendo 64 version was less censored in comparison).
    • Originally, the "It's War!" chapter was to feature a scene where a captured soldier would appear going through live surgery at the hands of the Tediz, akin to the human experimentation performed by the Germans and Japanese during WW2. Nintendo themselves stepped in and requested that this scene be taken out upon finding out about it, as they apparently felt it was too grim even by the game's standards (on a lesser note, a brief Take That! at the Pokémon series was also removed, although the Pikachu tail used therein remains in the code).
  • Super Mario Galaxy had a story built around the game that didn't interfere with the gameplay and gave players an insight on Rosalina's history. Most players liked the concept. However, when the developers tried to do it again for Super Mario Galaxy 2, Shigeru Miyamoto himself stepped in and wanted the story aspect to be scrapped because he wanted the game to be more focused on the gameplay itself like the NES games had done.
  • This happened again with Paper Mario: Sticker Star, with Miyamoto saying a deep story wasn't needed and requesting that they only use existing Mario characters, albeit "as much as possible" rather than coming up with new ones. He also felt the demo played too much like Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, which led to the battle system being completely revamped. After the divisive Super Paper Mario, many fans were hoping for a game that returned to the style of the first two games, so Sticker Star was met with cries of They Changed It, Now It Sucks!. Paper Mario: Color Splash had similar issues, though not as much. The restrictions were felt by the developers just like it was by the players, which makes it a big deal when Paper Mario: The Origami King makes the sheer volume of near-identical Toad NPCs in the series an actual plot point.
  • According to an interview with director Masahiko Nagaya released the day before the Paper Mario: The Origami King came out, as well as various other interviews, from Sticker Star on, Intelligent Systems was no longer allowed to "modify Mario characters or to create original characters that touch on the Mario universe". This means they could no longer make Toads/Goombas/Bob-ombs with alternate proportions like most characters in the first two games (though mainline species “characters” can still wear outfits). There is also no exceptions for classic Paper Mario characters of mainline species created prior to Sticker Star, so characters like Kammy and Goombario cannot return as long as the mandates are in place.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • From The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on, the developers have tried to include more complex and detailed stories in Zelda games, only to be forced to backpedal and simplify the plot, even excluding major plot points in some cases that were only elaborated on through an official timeline.
    • The original The Legend of Zelda was supposed to feature a dual sci-fi/fantasy setting, where you would time travel between a technological future and a magical medieval past, and the Triforce were electronic chips that would form a supercomputer. Nintendo thought this was too complex for an 8-bit Famicom title, so they axed the concept in favor of a simple fantasy setting.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past also was originally going to feature this setting, but Nintendo again axed it in favor of the Light World/Dark World mechanic the game has instead. Miyamoto lamented in an interview in the Japanese ALTTP strategy guide that Zelda was forced to have a purely fantasy setting, thinking it was hindering the franchise. Nintendo also axed his plans to have multiple playable characters in ALTTP. The recurring theme of Advanced Ancient Humans in later games, particularly in the Genre Throwback The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, may be remnants of this idea.
  • The NES version of Maniac Mansion went through a number of changes at the request of Nintendo of America. To mention a few: A statue of a classical reclining nude was removed, because hey, no nudity allowed in Nintendo games. A scrawling on a wall says "For a good time" followed by a name and a phone number. NoA felt that was offensive... somehow. Their objection was specifically that it was offensive, not that it had sexual connotations. The end credits of the game originally mentioned "NES SCUMM system", which stands for the NES version of Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion, the game engine that LucasArts used for their adventures. Apparently the people at NoA felt this could be understood as calling the NES "scum", so that was also removed. As for what got into the finished product... Either they did not care or somehow completely missed the fact that in the game you can kill a pet hamster with a microwave oven. If you want more details, the person who headed the porting on LucasArts side has written an article about it titled The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion. Some versions go the extra mile and remove nuking the hamster as well, complete with custom responses from Razor and Syd ("No way, man. Too much cholesterol."). All versions leave behind the useless and game-ending keypad on the second floor for no good reasonnote , as it ends your game since there's no valid combination.
  • This was what killed the Clayfighter series. Clayfighter 63 1/3 had a long and troubled development history, with the biggest issue being an abrupt porting from the Vapor Ware M2 gaming system to the Nintendo 64. Since the N64's cartridge limitations couldn't handle fluid 2D animation very well (mind you, this is when an N64 cartridge was typically only 64 or 96 Megs), many corners were cut: the animation was stripped down, many of the game's planned fighters were cut from the final game, etc. Plus, Interplay was rushed to get the game out in time for the 1997 holiday season, resulting in a clearly unfinished game with numerous glitches and undercooked gameplay mechanics. Meanwhile, the PlayStation was supposed to have its own Clayfighter game called Clayfighter X-Treme, but it was scrapped at the last minute for being behind schedule. The Clayfighter 63 1/3 debacle was so bad that, about six months later, Interplay released a rental-only update titled Clayfighter: Sculptor's Cut that addressed some of 63 1/3's problems but wasn't enough to save the series from becoming the laughingstock of the fighting game genre (and not in the way Interplay intended).
  • Nintendo and YouTube subscribers have quite a history. For years, Nintendo didn't say or do anything in regards to people using Nintendo's IPs in their own videos nor was anything said about making money off of them. Around 2014, Nintendo decided to claim the rights to any video that contains Nintendo's properties, but they also chose to simply just take the ad revenue from the user rather than completely block the video in order to have some good faith with the community. The YouTube community was extremely livid and many popular YouTubers stated their incomes would be in jeopardy due to the loss of funds while other users refused to create any more videos with Nintendo's products out of protest. Nintendo eventually backed down, but not before they created a program where anyone who signs up for it can still make money off of Nintendo's games in their videos, except Nintendo would still take a cut of the revenue as stated in the agreement. People didn't like the program, stating that they would still be losing quite a bit of money since YouTube already takes a cut of the revenue. It wasn't until near the end of 2018 that Nintendo finally gave up on that program, implicitly recognizing it would impede the launch of the newest Super Smash Bros. title.
  • A positive example with the Wii U port of Bayonetta: when PlatinumGames was designing a Link costume for the heroine, their first draft was uncharacteristically modest out of fear that Nintendo would see something Hotter and Sexier as disrespectful. However, when Nintendo sent the design back to be revised, their comments were ironically along the lines of "There's no way Bayonetta would wear an undershirt with something like this!"
  • Do you know why the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive port of Street Fighter II: Turbo is called Street Fighter II: Special Championship Edition, and has different box art too? It's because of the famous Nintendo and Sega rivalry that was going on back then. Nintendo ordered Capcom to name both versions differently (and give them different box art) so that gamers would think Turbo was the superior game and buy that one instead, even though they're both the same game.

Many poor decisions made by Sega executives in the '90s are what led to its downfall as a console maker.
  • The Sega Saturn was plagued with executive meddling that in the end, majorly screwed it over outside Japan and was a major player to Sega leaving the console business:
    • The most infamous example of executive meddling in all of video game history was the botched surprise launch date for North America, moving the Sega Saturn's original release date from September 9, 1995 in North America (dubbed as "Saturnday") to May 11, 1995, announcing the switch that very day at their E3 1995 conference. This heavily backfired on Sega for several reasons, some listed below, and played a giant role in the failure of the Saturn.
      • Many companies were left out of the loop, and were unsurprisingly pissed off as a result. This included most (American based) third-party developers, who were still developing Saturn games at the time, intended to be released on the original release date; and large retailers such as Wal-Mart and KB Toys, who felt excluded by Sega from the launch of the console (four other major competing retailers had the console at launch). This caused developers and the aforementioned retailers to retaliate by supporting Sega's rivals as a result.
      • Because of the lack of available third-party software and in addition to that a lack of imported Japanese games, only six titles (all of them first-party titles) were available at launch as a result.
      • The Saturn was released at a staggering price point of $399, which coupled with the small number of games doesn't really give one much of a reason to buy a Saturn right then and there. This also gave Sony the benefit to upstage the Saturn at their conference later by doing nothing more than announcing "$299".
    • A main reason why many high-quality Japanese Saturn games never saw release in the U.S. and why many American third-party developers avoided the system like the plague was specifically because Bernie Stolar, then newly-installed CEO of Sega of America, blocked any game he personally did not want on the system with his "five-star game" policies. This blacklisted most 2D games, despite them consisting of 90% of what was worth playing on the Saturn, Japanese RPGs at a time when they were starting to break out of their niche, and miscellaneous third-party titles from appearing in the console's lineup, in favor of first-party and sports titles. A very odd CEO choice considering that he just got fired from Sony over similar circumstances. To this day, Stolar is still largely derided by Sega fans for almost single-handedly screwing the console over in North America by himself.
  • Although it's a lot less known than Nintendo's aforementioned ordeal with the company, Sega of America held a short-lived yet strong partnership with Sony when the latter, after being left at the wayside by Nintendo, approached the former to help each other develop a CD-based video game console. This partnership culminated in Sony proposing the jointly-marketed "Sega/Sony hardware system" that presumably would have gotten off the ground had it not been for the head of Sega of Japan, who outright said partnering with Sony, who he believed was incapable of producing video game-related software or hardware, was a stupid idea. Hilarious in Hindsight doesn't even begin to describe the aftermath: Sony's PlayStation not only bested their own effort at a CD-based console and dominated the fifth video game generation, but also laid the foundation of Sega admitting defeat and pulling out of the console wars at the start of the next generation - despite Sega trying their best to Win Back the Crowd with the Dreamcast, distrusting gamers reserved their cash for the highly anticipated PlayStation 2, leading to the Dreamcast underperforming and Sega, in order to stay in business, discontinuing the Dreamcast and going third party well before Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox hit shelves!
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • This was the reason Sonic the Hedgehog was made. The executives understood that Mario became one of the video game characters with which video games would become associated. In the hope of having their own Mario, Sega decided to hold an internal design contest to see if there was a character they could use as someone to compete with Mario. In the end, Naota Ohshima won the contest with his design of a hedgehog character named Mr. Needlemouse. After some minor changes were made, Sega turned to Yuji Naka, who was best known for working on Phantasy Star at the time. Along with Hirokazu Yasuhara, they begun developing the project into what later would become Sonic the Hedgehog as we know him now. This is also the reason why the franchise had so many characters. There were many mascots to choose from and Sega gave some of them appearances in the series because they thought they were too good to go to waste, but not good enough for their own game.
    • All the name changes and alterations to the storylines of the classic games were a result of executive meddling on Sega of America's part. The developers were completely against them, feeling that franchise didn't need to be "Americanized" to appeal to Western audiences, as it had been specifically designed to cater to them from the beginning. This was why the original Japanese names and storyline were adopted globally following the release of Sonic Adventure, with some handwaving being used to explain the inconsistency regarding the villain's name.
    • Sonic X-treme is notorious for its executive meddling. First, the main game and boss levels were broken up and given to two different teams, which ended up building them into essentially two completely different games. At some point after the main engine had been developed to fairly advanced state, Sega of America ordered the team to write a whole new one from scratch for some unexplained reason, despite the game nearing the deadline. Then, when the Sega of Japan execs came over to check up on the progress, they were appalled by how primitive the current main engine was (which is to be expected, seeing how work on it had just began; not that they had been informed of this), so they demanded that the entire game be made with the more advanced boss engine, even though the team was dangerously close to deadline and short on men due to arguments about the game's direction. As a last resort, the team making the boss levels, after being shown a demo of the then-in production NiGHTS into Dreams... game, requested for the engine NiGHTS ran on so they could use it for X-treme and finish the game in time for the deadline. Sega complied only to take the engine back a couple of weeks later because they didn't ask NiGHTS/Sonic creator Yuji Naka if they could use it.note  It finally took the remaining programmer for the game coming down with pneumonia before the plug was finally pulled.
    • Sega replaced the voice cast of the Sonic games with their Sonic X counterparts without telling the original cast. Reportedly, Sonic's original voice actor Ryan Drummond actually had to call Sega to find out when he needed to be back in for recording for Shadow the Hedgehog before he found out about the switch. Similarly, the 4Kids voice actors were also uninformed when they were replaced in turn, as Jason Griffith tweeted that he had no idea about Sonic Colors when it was announced and hadn't been contacted at all.
    • Sega decided that it was a good idea to release Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) without thoroughly bug testing itnote  and not editing the manual to remove mentions of half-finished game mechanics they had taken out so that the game could be released around Christmas (and in time for the series's 15th Anniversary) and make a profit (not that there weren't other problems with the game. But making it work right when you made the characters do something could have taken the sting off a little). Say, didn't Sonic X-treme have the same deadline problem?
    • Sonic 06 was originally going to be released on the Wii as well, with Sega expecting the Wii to be on par with the PlayStation 3 and Xbox360 in terms of technology. But when Sega learned about the Wii's limitations compared to the other two consoles and the Wii Remote controller's capabilities, they instead decided to make an original title for the Wii based on the Wii controller's capabilities. This resulted in Sonic Team being split up in two groups, with the newly formed group starting work on what would become Sonic and the Secret Rings and the other group continuing work on Sonic 06. So Sonic 06 and X-treme also shared the same team management problem in a sense-though at least in X-treme's case, the two teams were still working on the same project from the start-Sonic 06 saw half of its development team yanked from the project well into the game's development.
    • And then there's the NiGHTS sequel NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, which Sonic Team originally wanted to develop on the Xbox 360, until Sega came butting in and decided that the game would be shoehorned onto the Wii with its brand-new motion controls.
    • The notorious "Werehog" nighttime gameplay of Sonic Unleashed was created by Yoshihisa Hashimoto, the game's director and game designer. Hashimoto is on record for explicitly stating that he was aware of the potential backlash its presence would generate with fans, yet decided to implement them into the game anyway. The result was a game fans and reviewers claim could had been excellent had the Werehog aspect of the game never made its inclusion.
    • The fragments of known history behind the beleaguered development process for Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric indicates that the game's development ended up being thrown under the bus so the game could be released in time for the holiday season and so that Sega could quickly fulfill the Sonic-exclusive Nintendo contract they revealed in 2013 note . This is notable due to the game running on CryEngine 3, an engine that isn't officially optimized for the Wii U console. Developer videos have shown development kits of the PS3 and 360 in the background-which may have been the originally intended platform development for the game. Despite Rise of Lyric reportedly going gold in July, the final release most certainly indicates it wasn't ready to see release.
  • Streets of Rage 3 had many changes applied in the North American and PAL versions. The game's story was changed to the point where it made little sense; the Japanese version had the story involve Mr. X's henchmen planting nuclear bombs throughout the city and then capturing a general while replacing him with a robot duplicate in order to initiate a war between the United States and a fictional country. Level 7 on the bad ending route takes place at the White House. Sega of America and Europe decided that the story wasn't in good taste, so they changed the story to have Mr. X planting bombs throughout the city in an attempt to take over and captured the Chief of Police to while replacing him with a robot copy in order to further the agenda. The White House backdrop in Level 7 is still there, but now the sign says City Hall, despite the fact that the background is clearly the White House. Some of the dialogue was changed as well, but it also created inconsistencies and plotholes. One example of this is at the end of the first level where Blaze hints towards the group that she knows where to go next, but doesn't say what gives her that intuition. The Japanese version explained the party's path choice much better. On top of all this, the color palettes for Axel, Blaze, and Skate got changed overseas in order for the characters' clothing to look more "gender neutral", which makes little sense to begin with considering the characters had their color schemes in every appearance before the game.
    • Miniboss Ash was also cut out from the game and was replaced with The Dragon from the previous game (who also reappears as a boss later) due to Ash's character being a gay stereotype (though a positive of this decision was that the secret that the first boss was playable after beating him was retained). The female mooks in the Japanese version wore revealing clothing, but their sprites were edited overseas to cover them up. Many fans consider the Japanese version of the game to be the superior version due to the story making more sense and having less content cut or censored.
  • The cancellation of Phantasy Star Universe for the PC and PS2 is one of the many nails in the coffin for fans of the series. Sega cited the lack of subscribers... after the PSU team did everything possible to ensure that the developers outside of Japan received no support, no updates, and so on...even their paychecks would likely have been slashed, if it were legal. This is similar to the PSO: Blue Burst closings two or three years prior, too. First off, "adding new content" for the North American/international server was months behind the Japanese server... when all of the content already existed on the game's disk. Secondly, Sega of Japan had to approve every thing Sega of America did with the server, including vital technical fixes. When the billing server went haywire in the middle of a major, limited-time event and started locking players out, Sega of America immediately put out a notice saying "don't worry, we'll fix the billing server and extend the event to make up for it!" because they'd get quick permission to fix such a huge issue, right? Wrong. Due to SoJ taking their time giving SoA the thumbs-up to take action, about a month went by (and the event ended) before fixing even began, and the fix was "just turn the billing server off and let anyone play for free." Only months later was the billing issue truly fixed and the promo event re-run so finally everyone got to play.
  • Fans of the Streets of Rage series got together to create a remake called Streets of Rage Remake that would faithfully include characters and elements from all three games, along with new gameplay concepts. The project started in 2003 and was finally finished in April 2011, eight years later. During development, the developers supposedly contacted Sega about the project and were given the green light to proceed since the game wasn't being made for a profit. Days after the final version was released, Sega ordered a cease and desist on the developers, forcing them to yank the download link off their site. This mirrors a similar case years back where Square Enix issued a cease and desist to a fan who finished developing a remake of Chrono Trigger. Luckily, fans who had downloaded the Streets of Rage remake have uploaded the game to various sites for all to obtain.

  • It is widely believed that Sony Computer Entertainment America had a policy of rejecting licenses for 2D-based titles on grounds of "low quality", as the head executive there wanted only 3D titles. This in fact was the case in the PS1 era, due to the head at the time being the notorious Bernie Stolar (who refused to publish Japanese RPGs at all until Final Fantasy VII came out and made a lot of money; he was later fired, and took his brain-dead policies to Sega and onto the Sega Saturn when they hired him fresh from being fired from Sony - and we all know how well that went), and is part of the reason that Capcom made Mega Man Legends; Sony would only let them make the 2D Mega Man games they wanted if they made a 3D installment.
    • In addition to the "3D titles only" rule, Sony also has a standing rule that requires all games released in North America have to an English voice track. Because of this, many popular low-budget games like parts of the Super Robot Wars Original Generation franchise will never see the light of day in North America. Sony seems to have lightened up on this though, with Yakuza 2 being in Japanese with subtitles, and no English voice work in sight.
    • Sony's stance on 2D games changed (though not fully) when Capcom threatened to not release Resident Evil 2 on the PlayStation if Sony didn't allow them to release a 2D Mega Man game on the console.
    • The anti-2D policy is still in slight effect to this day. Not as bad as it was in the 1990s, but Sony will still implement it time to time. Rumor has it that this is one of the reasons the Xbox Live ports of Garou: Mark of the Wolves, The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match, The King of Fighters 2002: Ultimate Match and SNK's other 2D fighters never made it to the PS3.
  • When Factor 5 developed their PS3 launch title Lair, just before release, it was mandated that since the PS3's Sixaxis controller had motion controls, they therefore had to be shoehorned into the game at all costs. This resulted in a near-uncontrollable game which, by the time the option to use the actual controller part of the controller was given to players, had already done all the damage it needed to do.
  • Something similar happened to Warhawk on the PS3. Motion control was forced in at the last minute which resulted in an embarrassing showing at E3 for an otherwise very good game. According to this article, it was the moment that Shuhei Yoshida, now President of Sony's Worldwide Studios, realized that things needed to change.
  • When Sony announced trophy support for the PS3, there were cries that they'd be just like achievements. Not so, cried Sony: trophies were entirely optional for the developer. Fast forward to 2009, and trophies are now required in all new PS3 games. Although they lack gamer points (trophies are instead merely ranked as Bronze, Silver or Gold depending on difficulty in obtaining them), games that are released on the Xbox 360 and PS3 at the same time (or on the Xbox first) are exactly the same, requirements and all, with the only difference being that PS3 versions tend to have a Platinum "complete all achievements" trophy that the 360 versions lack due to the way they work.
  • SCEA has a bad history of refusing to localize video game remakes and re-releases unless they have a certain amount of new content added. Such was the case of the PSP version of Breath of Fire III. There is a full English version of the game, but it was released only in Europe.
  • Meta example: when the Sony PSP's firmware updated to 6.31, all instances of the PSP Action Replay vanished, it was removed from its homepage, and the AR devices themselves have been pulled from every distributor (such as GameStop) that had supplied them.
  • Lammy, a character from the PaRappa the Rapper universe, was originally meant to be younger and actually resemble a lamb/sheep. Sony's higher-ups did not approve, so they forced the developers to radically alter her design to make her sexy and older, and remove all sheep-like traits except for the antlers, pointy ears, and round nose. The end result turned out to be a success, as her final design got lots of praise from critics, gamers, and the Furry Fandom.
  • Naughty Dog cooperated with Sony of Japan in many areas when making early installments of the Crash Bandicoot series, which was incredibly popular in that region. A positive and negative example came during the production of the second game. The Japan unit objected to Tawna, Crash's girlfriend, not keen on having an oversexualized female as Crash's sidekick, requesting a more innocent alternative. The result was Tawna being "retired", though series regular Coco Bandicoot was created in her place.
  • When Sony allowed NetherRealm Studios to include Kratos in the PlayStation 3 and Play Station Vita versions of Mortal Kombat 9, it came with the mandate that Kratos could never appear cowardly. This became a positive example, as Kratos' unique reactions to Fatalities, such as swiping at Freddy when shoved into a furnace, or challenging Ermac when reduced to mouse-sized instead of running away, made him stand out from the crowd.
  • Starting around the late 2010s, it's been revealed that Sony has adopted a policy of censoring (or "toning down" as they put it) violence and sexual content in games released on their platform, both in the United States as well as Japan. While they still aren't anywhere near as censorious as Nintendo was in the 90's (see their folder above), it's still ironic considering A) Sony made their name with a "come one, come all" licensing policy back in the 90's/2000's, which led to a lot of adult/older teen content being released on their consoles specifically to differentiate themselves from Nintendo, and B) a number of games that have been censored on the PlayStation 4 have been released uncensored...on the Nintendo Switch!

  • BMX XXX was originally intended to be the third game in the Dave Mirra BMX series, until Acclaim decided to go risqué and controversial by adding nudity and crude sexual humor, which instantly put Mirra off of the project. He demanded, possibly influenced by his corporate sponsors, that his name not be used to advertise the game. Acclaim did it anyway, and was forced to stop via a court order. Adding insult to injury, Toys 'R Us and Wal-Mart, two of the biggest game sellers in the U.S., refused to stock it. The poor sales of BMX XXX contributed hugely to Acclaim's bankruptcy. There are other theories about how this game came to be.
  • There've been way too many movie-based games reduced in quality due to a rush to release them in synch with the release of the actual movie, and video games in general being rushed to meet the holiday shopping crunch. The most memorable has to be E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, whose final fate in a New Mexico landfill and subsequent contribution to The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 resulted from such a push. Atari previously produced several times too many cartridges, even for a successful game.note 
  • The Atari 2600 port of Pac-Man:
    • Atari produced 12 million copies, 2 million more than copies sold of the 2600 itself. They thought the game would help sell more consoles, but that's still stupid, especially in hindsight. Even if the game ended up being as amazing as Super Mario Bros. 3, there was no way it would push that many consoles out of shelves.
    • The infamous color palette and blue background of the Atari 2600 port was a result of them forcing all games that weren't set in space to not use black backgrounds in order to showcase the color capabilities of the system.
  • The end result from Inherit the Earth was defined by executive meddling. Originally intended to be a mature game, the publishers saw that the main character was a fox and forced the developers to cater to the 8-12 market at every turn (Because every Funny Animal story is kid-friendly, right?). Then they refused to let the developers create a sequel.
  • Whether it was a more executive decision or not is unknown, but apparently the 'Meat Flag' multiplayer game mode for Gears of War 2 by Epic Games was renamed 'Submission' at the behest of the PR team at Microsoft.
  • For its North American release, the European game Fahrenheit had its title changed to Indigo Prophecy to avoid confusion with the Michael Moore film Fahrenheit 911, and to avoid the dreaded "Adults Only" rating, they excised the game's two sex scenes. Apparently, the cinematic, subdued sex is adults-only material, but opening the game with the main character hiding his tracks after unwittingly committing murder is just Rated M for Money! Interestingly enough, the game's director has said on occasion that he actually likes Indigo Prophecy better as a title, and wishes every region carried it (and the game continuously uses centigrade to signify temperature; in either case, rereleases have used the Indigo Prophecy name in some form). As for the sex scenes compared to the violence, that's a case of Values Dissonance. On a different note, the apparent reason for the game's story taking a nosedive into Crazyland is that the developers ran out of time and money before the could finish it the way they wanted. The remastered version of the game is uncut, but only carries a "Mature" rating this time around.
  • Tetris the Grand Master ACE, as well as the TGM series in general, was a major victim of executive meddling. Since mid-2005, Henk Rogers of The Tetris Company mandated that to be licensed, all Tetris games must have certain gameplay aspects, including infinite rotation and the (extremely complex and unwieldy) "Super Rotation System". As a result, what was supposed to be a console port of the most challenging commercial Tetris game ever made ended up in a Porting Disaster that required developers to completely rewrite the engine to accommodate the Super Rotation System, resulting in a much easier, watered-down game that lacked virtually all the staples of the TGM series, including the famed difficulty that made it so popular in the first place.
    Conversely, Arika is very stingy about fans making clones of their games to counteract the lack of a proper console TGM port, due to blaming clones for the cancellation of at least two TGM games (TGM for PlayStation 2 and TGM4). If you decide to upload a video of yourself playing the clones Heboris or Texmaster on YouTube, prepare to remove all references to TGM and either game's title unless you want Arika to have your video taken down. This video sums up Arika's and the TTC's meddling, and, as a Take That! to said meddling, showcases a variety of Tetris clones in a catchy music video. Ironically, people playing Tetris clones have since then put "this fan game video will be flagged" in their videos' tags as a Shout-Out to that video and as a secret handshake to other fans looking for TGM videos. In May of 2009, Arika asked Youtube to wipe out videos of Lockjaw, another Tetris clone. Even if said videos are of people playing the "40 Lines" mode, which has almost nothing to do with Arika or TGM.
  • Tomb Raider:
    • The series had some meddling in its early life. After the huge success of the first Tomb Raider game, producers wanted to make Lara Croft more appealing to the male demographic and they also allowed many magazines to publish issues with the Lara Croft character in provocative poses while advertisements for products with Lara endorsing them followed a similar suit. Toby Gard, the game and character's creator, hated the idea of changing Lara just to appeal to the fans and he felt like he had less control over his creative ideas. His only other option Eidos Interactive gave him was to port the original Tomb Raider to the Nintendo 64, which Gard did not agree with either. He wound up leaving Core Design in disgust. He would later return to aid in the development of Legend and Anniversary, both of which saw drastic modification in Lara's character from the previous games. What made the whole thing ironic is Eidos decided to have more control over the use of the Lara character in various media and were very selective on what products she could be plastered onto in order to preserve the character. They outright objected to the idea of having Lara in underwear and they also issued a cease and desist on a magazine that published images of Lara in the nude.
    • Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation was supposed to be the final game in the series, signified by Lara's supposed death in the collapsing tomb at the end of the game. Core Design was done with the series, but Eidos still saw the series as a moneymaker and pushed Core to pump out another Tomb Raider game afterwards called Tomb Raider Chronicles. This may explain why the appearance of Larson and Pierre and the time period they appeared in with Lara confused many fans on the continuity.
    • The entire franchise under Eidos's control was completely rife with meddling from them. Ever since the first game became a huge hit, Eidos demanded that a new game had to be made every year, which gave the team very little time to rest since they had to spend the majority of the year to produce just one game. While most of the games in the classic timeline were considered good, the rush jobs became more apparent with each game released; common criticisms were dated game mechanics, nothing new being added to the gameplay, and the stories become more ridiculous. Chronicles was considered to be the weakest game in the series due to a nonsensical story and the game feeling more like a cheap expansion pack instead of a sequel. Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness was delayed due to massive problems with the game and then Eidos had the game Christmas Rushed with the threat of firing Core Design if they missed the release window again. The game was released with bugs and glitches up the wazoo, and Core Design was fired anyway.
    • Anniversary had some meddling from the ESRB during development. Originally, Lara was supposed to be impaled if she fell in a pit of spikes, but due to the game having much more realistic graphics compared to the original 1996 game, the impalement would have been seen as too graphic and wouldn't be suited for a T (Teen) rating. In order to keep the game rated T, the developers had to make Lara rag doll upon death, which meant she would bounce off the spikes as if they were made out of rubber.
    • Anniversary was originally made by Core Design as their bid to get at least part of the franchise back and was entirely their own project to cash on the 10th anniversary of the franchise. Eidos seized all the assets, citing copyright infringement (never mind Core Design was the studio responsible for creation of the franchise) and... passed said assets to Crystal Dynamics, which joined the bid for the rights to make the anniversary game, even if most of the programmers were busy making Tomb Raider: Underworld at that moment. This all led to the game being postponed so much it missed the anniversary by almost a year, extremely rushed production with sizable part of work done by out-sourced studio (but not Core, even if it was more than eager to participate in the project) and marketing so badly misaimed it managed to turn a highly-anticipated 10th anniversary project into a complete financial bomb barely making production costs back. To date, it's the lowest selling title in the franchise.
  • Microsoft:
    • This is the reason for the original Xbox's infamously over-large "Duke" controller. Higher-ups at Microsoft outsourced the design for controller's internal circuitry before they even hired the designer for the exterior. The resulting interior electronics consisted of one big circuit board instead of multiple smaller ones like other controllers used, which necessitated that the exterior casing be extra large in order to accommodate it. The Duke controller was poorly received upon release, especially in Asian countries like Japan where it played a large part in contributing to the brand's Americans Hate Tingle reception therenote .
    • Microsoft requires all Xbox 360 games to have a list of achievements for the players to unlock. This may explain why some achievements are a waste of time or are super easy to get. In addition, any out-of-the-box game has to have exactly 1000 gamer points, though add-on content can up this.
    • Ostensibly, this is a way for Microsoft to give gamers a permanent sense of achievement (no pun intended) in playing the games, though it's also become like leaderboards, where they matter mostly for bragging rights. Some games have well thought out achievements that are unlocked when you complete a certain section of the game or reach a certain story event, while some don't. And then some games have intentionally ludicrous ones, such as the achievement you get in The Simpsons Game for pressing the Start button (though the game itself is an Affectionate Parody of the entire video game medium and industry).
    • Or the game of Avatar: The Last Airbender, in which all of the achievements, for the full 1000 gamer points, can be completed in the first 15 minutes in the tutorial mission.
    • Some horribly cynical people have suggested that some developers put ridiculously easy achievements in games as a marketing tactic, as there's a small but obsessed group of gamers out there who will buy the game just for a quick boost to their gamerscore. If it's a crappy licensed game that'll sell like hot cakes with kids but otherwise hold no appeal to the "hardcore", then it might just be a worthwhile ploy.
      • Which eventually did end up exploding in popularity, at least with the Playstation 4. Where there are countless examples of this and multiple serial abusers now, the biggest example is Little Adventure on the Prairie. It has an insane number of owners on trophy tracking sites despite being a zero-effort indie with no advertising, and is universally considered one of the worst games of the generation by people who played it, yet it sold extremely well because it doesn't require any effort to get the platinum trophy on.
  • Xenosaga had heavy meddling done to the series. Xenosaga II where Ziggy's back story was removed and made into a cell phone game that was only available in Japan. Plus the strange decision on Namco/Bandai of America's part to remove blood in Xenosaga III despite the previous games having had blood with the same T rating.
  • Fallout 2's Temple of Trials, a Forced Tutorial that is infamously long, rather difficult for certain builds, does a garbage job of teaching the player, and makes little sense from a story perspective, was added at the demand of the marketing department. Most of the developers hated it and it was clearly created in a hurry.
  • Beyond Good & Evil:
    • The title has little to do with the actual game (in which good and evil are pretty obviously defined, and there's nary a dying god or abyss gazing also in sight). The title, however, was a result of meddling. The game was originally announced as "Project BG&E", with the "BG&E" standing for "Between Good and Evil". The title was originally meant to be a reference to the way a photograph can fall anywhere on the sliding scale of character alignments. The higher-ups didn't like it, and the Nietzsche reference was shoehorned in.
    • The actual gameplay got meddled, too. The game was trapped in a mild Development Hell, and was originally intended to be much longer. It was intended to stretch to cover other planets, instead of the one planet and its moon in the final game. Concerns over development time cut the whole game short, so that the brand-new IP that no one knew how to handle could be released right alongside the highly-anticipated Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
  • Perfect Dark Zero started out on the GameCube, then Microsoft bought Rare from Nintendo in 2002 so they had to restart the development of the game for the Xbox. When they were almost done, Microsoft asked them to transfer development to the Xbox 360, and they wanted it to be a launch title. So, Rare was rushed while they were making the game, and they had to have 700,000 discs ready before the Microsoft certification was complete, to meet the Xbox 360 launch date. Rare also did not have the full development kits for the 360, and the one they had was only capable of around 1/3rd of the 360's graphical capabilities. Overall, because of all of this it took Rare five years to make this game.
  • DJMAX games from DJMAX Portable Black Square onwards (save for DJMAX Technika) have an "auto-correct" feature that will hit the correct note for you if you hit the wrong button. It's speculated that Pentavision implemented this feature to avoid legal issues with Konami.
  • At some point after releasing Tales of Eternia, Namco (and after the merge, Bandai Namco) decided not to localize any other 2D Tales game. For that reason, many great Tales games never got to North America (except for Tales of Phantasia due to special reasons), such as Tales of Destiny 2, Tales of Rebirth, and Tales of Hearts. Tales of Eternia even got a PSP port in 2005, but despite the fact that said port was released in Europe no North American version is in sight.
    • Tales of Vesperia itself is likely a major source of a lot of meddling. When the PS3 version was announced, even before the European version for the 360 was released, with abnormally high amounts of new content, a lot of Japanese fans decided to poke about the DVD and discovered traces of these "added" contents were present in the code already. Then there is the ingame remarks like this... and the new character having identifying marks all over the 360 source code. All fingers are pointing at Sony and Namco for this one.
    • Regarding Tales of Eternia, there's actually a different reason for that. It was originally changed to Tales of Destiny II because of potential copyright infringements with the Masters of the Universe toy line. Some have suspected this was the reason for the PSP port not getting a North American release, but on the plus side, at least the PSP is region-free; and it's possible to get an English version.
  • Back in 2001, there were Pajama Sam, Freddi Fish, and Spy Fox remakes in development which looked promising. You know what the Humongous Entertainment executives did with them? The games were cancelled. The rights to the three series were sold off to Majesco, which eventually published them to commercial success. In fact, Humongous wanted to sell all the franchises... but the MLB, MLS, NHL, NBA, and NFL did not let the Backyard Sports series get away.
  • A case of good executive meddling: Disney wanted to reinvent Mickey Mouse, so they asked Warren Spector to make a game with him in it. The result? Epic Mickey, which aside from some problems, is otherwise Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • There is a negative example too. One highly-touted mechanic was Mickey changing appearance depending on his Karma Meter, changing him into the old-school prankster or the modern heroic Mickey if the player is bad or good respectively. Several test players were upset by early images of an angry-looking, rat-like "Scrapper" Mickey, and in order to not alienate them, Disney asked that Spector remove this aspect of the game.
  • Mortal Kombat:
  • Dynasty Warriors: This is why the series (and in fact all of the KOEI Warriors games) have their infamous voice acting; the localizations have to be done on schedule regardless of quality, and the international subsidiaries need the permission of KOEI Japan to use the original voice acting; that hasn't been the case in America since Samurai Warriors in 2004, and Dynasty Warriors 3 before it.
  • Dynasty Warriors Online, after being in "No Export for You" mode, not for bad reasons mind you, for 5 years finally got translated to English but with undubbed voices, averting the above, however there still is an issue. For some reason the game is updated with all weapon in the original version, but what weapons are available for players is cut back, presumably to keep players hooked waiting for their wanted weapons like the Japanese gamers were. The original release had a very messed up schedule for weapons trying to balance "fixed releases" with "giving players verity", quite a few solutions passing through. Eventually they settled on releasing one new weapon every so often after the players got about half, which is still plenty mind you, of the weapons released. The English version is still behind the original noticeably, though.
    • The game had been closed down due to a large number of problems. Obvious bugs, constant disconnection problems, and lag being a normal thing all heavily hurt the game. The localizers, Aeria, claim it was cause Koei simply wouldn't send the fixes for the bug. Few people actually believe this due to the companies history of this happening with almost every game they've dealt with, and Koei saying they were never made aware of the bugs does not help their case.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker was subject to executive meddling both in Japan and countries outside of Japan: for Japan, it ended up having to edit the torture scene so Strangelove would use a device called "laughing rods" that would essentially tickle the victim in order to keep its rating in Japan, and future references to the torture were either omitted or just vaguely referenced for the same reason as well, to which Hideo Kojima expressed disappointment in his Twitter account. This actually leads to an interesting role reversal, as the countries outside Japan actually get the torture scene unedited. Countries outside of Japan also have similar cuts due to executives, although nowhere near as drastic. You know the Tortilla Chips, Lime Soda, Zero-Calorie Soda, Spicy/Great/Future Curry, and Men's Cologne recovery items as well as the Solid, Liquid, Solidus, and Super Magazines? Well, in the Japanese version, those were actually real life products (namely Doritos, Mountain Dew, Pepsi NEX, Bon-Curry/Bon-Curry Gold, AXE Body Spray, and various Japanese magazines, respectively), but their names were changed because of the strict trademark laws outside Japan.
    • Peace Walker actually has actual executive meddling in-game (or rather: executive branch meddling). In both EVA's discussion tapes and Strangelove's memories, it delves quite a bit into the Mercury Project that The Boss participated in. For one thing: things were going smoothly for the project up until the Department of Defense, primarily out of fear and an extreme sense of competition against Soviet Russia due to recent intelligence suggesting that they actually will send a man into space, had the Mercury team install a window into the spacecraft that she was going to be launched in at the last moment (well, close to it anyway), using the whole "She's been irradiated once, and thus she will be immune to the radiation in space" to justify their decision, to which Strangelove never bought since she knew due to her rational and logical nature that her being irradiated once would actually achieve the exact opposite effect. Turns out that the entire thing ended in complete disaster. While The Boss did end up seeing the Earth and ultimately spawned her will, the spacecraft, due to their rushing the project to beat Yuri Gagarin into space, ended up crash-landing far beyond the recovery point, nearly causing her death, and frying her a lot in the process. She ended up in a coma for six whole months. Also, thanks to the DOD's failure, Yuri Gagarin was officially the first man in space, even though The Boss beat him by a few seconds, and as a result, the DOD and everyone else in the military brass/government started hating her despite the fact that the whole failure was their fault.
    • In March 2015, Konami underwent an inexplicable change in brand management policy, with all indications pointing to the higher-ups becoming frustrated with games becoming associated with the studios and certain people, especially Kojima, who actually developed the games rather than the Konami brand. As a result, they started to remove all mention of studio and director names from advertising and the front of game boxes.note  Kojima Productions was affected the most by this change. Naturally, this clashed violently with Kojima's Auteur License, which led to a fallout. Kojima left Konami a month after Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was released and Kojima Productions was disbanded entirely and renamed into a generic "Konami" studio. Konami has stated that they will continue to develop Metal Gear games.
  • Konami and Capcom refused to license out Solid Snake and classic Dante, respectively, for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Which is how the game got both the rebooted Dante and Raiden instead.
  • The Xbox 360 itself suffered meddling from Microsoft during the manufacturing period in late 2005. Microsoft pressured builders to cut corners and skimp on parts in order to rush the console onto the market in time for the Christmas season and to get ahead of Sony's plans to release the PlayStation 3 in 2006. This would bite Microsoft back hard a year or two later since the infamous Red Ring of Death plagued around 20%-30% of people who owned the console. As a result of the aforementioned corner-cutting and Microsoft's focus on making the outer shell of the console slimmer than the famously bulky Xbox, the initial design of the 360 had a poorly made heatsink and its outer shell couldn't release heat quickly enough, which caused the CPU to quickly fry and cause 3 red rings to light up by the power button to signify there was a hardware error. This particular configuration of lights meant the console couldn't be turned on again without being repaired. Microsoft lost around a billion US dollars replacing all the fried consoles, giving consumers an extended warranty on their new consoles, and then having to manufacture a new design that fixed the issues. The final estimate of affected consoles came to around 50%, indicating that essentially half their first run of Xbox 360 consoles were unintentionally built to last little more than a year, if that. That number got pushed to 64% later on according to Microsoft, as apparently refurbished consoles would fail just as easily.
  • The Witcher video game, under the hands of publisher Atari, was heavily meddled to the point of being unacceptable (even developer CD Projekt Red thinks so). The North American version got a "Blind Idiot" Translation script, removed adult content and a DRM scheme that CD Projekt Red never intended to put in. Not until the Enhanced Edition and 1.5 patch released by the original developer were things fixed: it reworked the entire script, removed the DRM scheme, and many other fixes to make the game the way it was intended to be, helping make CD Projekt a well-known and well-regarded name and leading to a well-beloved franchise.
  • CD Projekt Red themselves came under fire after the disastrous launch of Cyberpunk 2077. The developers shifted blame to the board of directors for setting unrealistic deadlines and spreading the lie that the game was "complete and playable" back in January when it was far from true.
  • Originally, the villains for Homefront would have been the Chinese. However, due to fears of offending China (specifically, the Chinese Ministry of Culture), the villains were instead changed to a North Korea where absolutely everything went in their favor to make them a threat comparable to China. This led to the game being banned in Korea, one of the most gaming-addicted nations on Earth - it's debatable whether this outbalances being legal in China.
  • The unfortunate case of the fan game My Little Pony: Fighting Is Magic is a perfect example. In 2013, the EVO fighting game tournament held a "charity poll" to determine the 8th official game.note  When Fighting is Magic was nominated, the game's development team begged fans to support Skullgirls instead since Fighting Is Magic was still an incomplete alpha; EVO's staff made a similar request, adding that they didn't want the developers to feel pressured into rushing the game just to get it out in time for the tournament. Fans didn't listen and continued voting in record numbers, which forced EVO to just outright disqualify the game from the polling. Unfortunately, this incident drew the attention of Hasbro, the owners of the My Little Pony franchise, who shut down Fighting Is Magic with a cease and desist order because they had to protect their copyrights. It's even been suggested that Hasbro was perfectly content with letting Fighting Is Magic exist until it got nominated for EVO.
  • According to internal sources, L.A. Noire was fraught with executive meddling when Rockstar Games joined Team Bondi to help get the game out of Development Hell. Rockstar executives would constantly veto Bondi's ideas, citing them as "insane". This battle for creative control poisoned relations between the two companies to the point that they essentially cut ties with one another. However, since the game was Saved from Development Hell and received positive reviews shortly after Rockstar's intervention, opinion varies on whether this is a case of good or bad meddling. It should be noted that there were already problems in Team Bondi even before Rockstar's intervention which is why the game was under development for seven years.
    • From Rockstar's perspective, it worked out great as the game was a huge success and they retained the rights to the series, so they ended up with another Cash Cow Franchise. For Team Bondi, things didn't work out quite as well and the studio closed its doors mere months after the game was released.
  • In an interview two months after the release of the Silent Hill HD Collection for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Tomm Hulett (the producer) explained that the source code Konami gave to the team wasn't from the final version of the game, as Konami had apparently lost the source code from the original release at some point. Despite that, the team was forced to recompile many source files and work around issues that had already been solved by the time the game was originally launched in order to release the new edition.
  • Oh, Tabula Rasa, how shall we count the ways? From the revamps of the game before to the total reset to the back-and-forth switch between free to play and subscription, with servers which wouldn't hold a connection for more than an hour... well, eventually, the whole multi-million dollar MMO, right when it was finally getting off its feet, was shut down when NCSoft forged a resignation letter from Richard Garriott. Evidently the Lord British Postulate applies to the real man's career, now, too. For added chutzpah, they revealed this particular claim while he was in space. Additional points: His space trip was being used to advertise the game! However, considering that Garriot managed to win $28 million from NCSoft in a wrongful termination lawsuit, he didn't come out of this situation all that badly.
  • Master of Orion 3 was considered hit extremely hard by this. There was an interior clash between two developers, one who worked on the two highly-successful games, and a new developer. Eventually, the old face was worked out of the equation of development, resulting in his work being destroyed. The new changes were designed to create more realism in the game, however resulting in Game Breaking Bugs and why you shouldn't design a game that at one point had over 100 GUIs. The development itself was best described as "doing taxes", but then things went downhill. DRM was introduced to combat piracy of the game, but was designed in such a manner than any CD drive that could burn CDs wouldn't read it, resulting in many legitimate users from not being able to play. Finally, the support for the game was bare bones, as most developers had moved on...resulting in bringing in employees with no knowledge of code to determine where bugs were occuring.
  • Postal III was affected badly by this. When Running With Scissors partnered with Akella for development and production, Akella immediately began meddling, forcing a Russian release to take priority over western release, demanding that the much touted Free Roam mode be axed (only allowing it to be put back in via patch after a lot of back and forth), and cutting corners at every chance they got, most infamously refusing to let the ESRB rate the game, just to save money (this consequently meant they also refused to let it be sold anywhere outside of Russia except through the RWS website until three months after it had actually come out). Running With Scissors has even apologized to the fans over this, now referring to the game as "Russian Postal" or "Akella's Postal spin-off" and disowning it.
  • Porsche had to be removed from Forza Motorsport 4; in the middle of development, EA, who holds the rights to use Porsche in their games, told Turn 10 (the developers) that they couldn't use Porsche in Forza 4, despite the cars being in Forza 3. Surprise, surprise, EA was coming out with yet another Need for Speed game, featuring Porsche. Instead of featuring Porsche, Forza 4 uses Ruf cars, which are Porsches with bigger spoilers and some extra stuff bolted on to the engine; like what Saleen is to Ford's Mustangs. This resulted in the number of Porsches effectively going down form a couple dozen down to a pathetic 3 cars, all of which are souped up 911 Turbos.
    • DMC were irked by Clarkson's comments regarding the DeLorean in the Autovista mode, and an update caused it to be mysteriously removed without mention. The commentary still exists in print in the booklet shipped with the Forza 4 collector's editions, however. You can also still view it on YouTube, though note that, as with anything people actually want to watch on YouTube, they tend to disappear without warning.
  • Solatorobo spent 10 years in Development Hell due to Namco Bandai insisting that, if CyberConnect2 wanted to release a Spiritual Sequel to Tail Concerto (which did not sell as well as they'd have liked), then they had to polish and refine the world and gameplay. Thankfully, CyberConnect2 has a bit of a reputation for Doing It for the Art, and the result truly shines, even if it is late.
  • Superman 64 is known for its reputation as a horrible game with glitches and bugs up the ass, but most of the problems didn't come from the developers themselves; the beta version was notoriously better than the final product. The people that held the license, DC Comics and Warner Bros., kept interfering with the development on the game for "political reasons". They wouldn't allow Superman to have his powers naturally (making them have limited use instead of having it all the time and at will) nor did they allow Superman to attack people, so they limited his moves to just silly looking punches and granted invincibility to NPCs. The last part is also why the game takes place in a virtual world Lex Luthor created, instead of the "real" Metropolis. The developers of the game were extremely frustrated by the higher ups meddling in their project and stated that the final version does not even come close to what they had originally envisioned the game to be.
  • Atari insisted that Neverwinter Nights 2's first and only DLC, Mysteries of Westgate, ship with a DRM scheme. This caused the adventure pack to be delayed almost two years. By the time it finally came out people had lost interest. A few months later, Atari took the DRM off the game, expansions, and Mysteries. The original campaign was hit pretty hard by this too. Atari demanded that the game have a Christmas release, forcing Obsidian to rush to a finish, cutting out a lot of characterization for your party members and two romance arcs in the process. The worst part, though, was that they hadn't finished working all the kinks out, so when the game was released it was horribly buggy and hindered by bad gameplay. Later patches fixed that problem, but the fandom is still seething.
  • Super Robot Wars:
    • Over time, the franchise hasn't been allowed to use Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ because Namco Bandai reportedly had "big plans" for it, which has led to fans speculating that it'll make its grand return in the finale of the Super Robot Wars Z series alongside the second half of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. This is no longer the case: fans have suggested that ZZ might be sidelined because Kazuki Yao, who voices ZZ protagonist Judau Ashta, has been having vocal problems of late, which caused his character Franky to have a reduced role in current One Piece adaptations.
    • It's commonly believed that Bandai pre-merger with Namco forced developer Banpresto to include the then-popular Mobile Suit Gundam SEED into the final Super Robot Wars Alpha game, scrapping the original plan to feature the full Gundam Sentinel storyline for the first time. While current series producer Takanobu Terada has all but confirmed that SEED was put into the lineup by executive order, incomplete Sentinel sprites found on the Alpha 3 disc were also present in Alpha 2, suggesting that its removal from the former had nothing to do with it being "bumped" by SEED.
    • Banpresto originally planned on bringing back Giant Robo (which previously appeared in the first Alpha) and averting the anime's infamous Gecko Ending with an all-new storyline, which saw Big Fire managing to usurp the Final Boss of Alpha 2. However, the death of Giant Robo creator Mitsuteru Yokoyama caused his estate to raise the licensing fees on his work by an astronomical level, shelving the plans; while Yokoyama's Tetsujin 28 later appeared in the Super Robot Wars Z series, Giant Robo is unlikely to ever return because it's a Massive Multiplayer Crossover between practically all of Yokoyama's works, meaning Banpresto would have to pay licensing fees for all those works on top of the core Giant Robo license.
    • Atlus stated that the main reason they didn't do a translation of Super Robot Wars Original Generations was that Sony was demanding that all PS2 games come with an English voice track, which they couldn't afford to do with OGs' Loads and Loads of Characters.
  • For a game that was born from executive meddling, we have the Spyro the Dragon franchise in all its glory. In order to compete with the companies of Mario and Sonic, Sony realized that they needed to appeal to the "kids market" in gaming, considering most of the games in the late '90s for the PlayStation were teen and adult oriented. So with the aid of Insomniac Games, they created a game with a cute dragon. Funny thing is, Insomniac never had the full rights to the franchise, in which it was sold off to Universal Interactive Studios after the release of Year of the Dragon. Only then did it become a franchise zombie. After the release of A Hero's Tail, Sierra bought the franchise, and gave it a severe continuity reboot (The Legend of Spyro series), which due to insufficient man power and funds, created a controversy of the quality of the games. Needless to say, Activision bought out Sierra and let them keep the franchise in hopes "to have promising results," which costs Sierra its better, older franchises like King's Quest and Space Quest.
  • When the developers (Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III, these days running their own development house Toys for Bob) and publisher (Accolade) of the first two Star Control games parted ways, Accolade retained rights to the name, while the developers held the rights to all of the actual creative content. A few years later, Accolade wanted to squeeze out Star Control 3, but Ford and Reiche were unwilling to allow their creations to be used. Accolade stated that the game was going to be made under the Star Control name regardless of them. If they had to create new content with zero ties to the preceding games, then so be it. In the end Ford and Reiche relented, figuring that at least allowing continuity was the lesser of two evils.
  • Secret of Mana had a very convoluted history surrounding its release, all of which is better detailed on its page. The game still went on to being considered one of the greatest action-RPGs of all time, but there are still some things that could've been improved.
  • Sierra. A series of buy-outs, a massive financial controversy by Cendant, the forcing out of company founder Ken Williams, and then Vivendi. Vivendi closed Dynamix, the studio that developed all of Sierra's simulator titles, (including the highly-regarded Aces series) and essentially forced the company to abandon the development of Adventure Games. Two of its last adventure titles of the '90s era, King's Quest: Mask of Eternity and Quest for Glory V, were both severely affected by Executive Meddling individually (suffering rushed productions and game-breaking bugs) and the lukewarm reception to both was part of the justification for shutting down adventure game production entering the 2000s.
    • The same happened with Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude; according to the game's lead designer, they were ordered to "make Larry relevant to the 19-22-year-old set" by executives who called adventure games "old-fashioned" and "dead". The team did the best that they could within these constraints, but MCL is still considered an In Name Only Larry game at best...though that's still better than the reception its sequel, Box Office Bust received.
  • Rayman Legends was to be set for a late Feburary release date until Ubisoft decided to push the game back until September 2013, a year after its intended release date, and make it multiplatform.
  • Showing that Tropes Are Not Bad, the original X-COM was planned to be a Lazer Squad sequel. The publisher, Microprose, wanted a game on a grander scale, so they asked that the game incorporate elements from Civilization like research and the UFOPaedia, requested the addition of the game's overarching planetwide strategic gameplay and a number of additional layers to the tactical gameplay and, because Pete Moreland was a huge fan of UFO, change the setting to an alien invasion.
    • Played straight with (probably) Enforcer and definitely Apocalypse. Microprose had at this point been bought up by Hasbro, who decided to kill the franchise to not draw attention from their core product line. Microsoft bought the IP and attempted to revive it with Interceptor which was... not good either as a strategy game or a space sim, to put it mildly, and changed the lore around enough to alienate the existing fan base.
  • BioShock was originally planned to have a single, ambiguous ending, and expected the player to infer what happened based on their actions. However, higher-ups didn't like this and pushed for the developers to include a good and a bad ending. This is actually an example of executive meddling being a good thing, as many players like the good ending.
  • Star Trek Online
    • Cryptic Studios is not allowed to include things to the game without CBS's explicit go-ahead. These include the Tier 5 refit ships (modeled after legendary ships such as the Enterprise-D). As well, while many of the franchise's classes could be altered to make new ships, a number of them are explicitly off limits, the biggest one being the TOS Constitution Class.
    • Because of the strange rights problems between CBS and Paramount, the game is explicitly forbidden to reference anything from J.J. Abrams' Star Trek (2009) series with the sole exceptions of the destruction of Romulus and Spock Prime and Nero's disappearance.
    • Cryptic held a fan design competition to design the USS Enterprise-F, but CBS vetoed the winner in favor of the Odyssey-class cruiser, which wasn't even in the top 20. This, among other things, understandably led to a massive backlash that made certain it would be the last time such a contest would be held.
  • Sony and Microsoft have a policy for patches on games where developers have to pay a fee to be allowed to upload a patch for everyone to download. The cost ranges in the tens of thousands of dollars, so constant patching can get very expensive very quickly. On top of that, it is said that Microsoft also restricts how large a patch can be, which means developers are either forced to cut back on what they can push out for patches or don't bother patching at all. The patch fees are likely the reason why many games go unpatched for years and are left in a broken mess while their PC counterparts don't have to jump through the patch fee hurdles. Sony is attempting to avert this by removing patch fees for all developers with the PlayStation 4.
  • While the details are unknown, the infamously despised Batman: Dark Tomorrow was originally going to be an open world sandbox game with Batman interacting with the environment like Spider-Man in the Spider-Man 2 movie-licensed game and be released on the GameCube. Then Microsoft expressed interest in releasing the game on the Xbox and stated they were going to make needed changes to the game, including fixing the "broken combat". A brief trip to development hell later and the final version became known as the worst Batman game ever, with several issues regarding linearity, combat, platforming and the lack of clues to get the real ending.
  • OVERKILL Software, the developers who made PAYDAY 2, had some internal meddling due to the then director David Goldfarb. Goldfarb wanted to make PAYDAY 2 an first person shooter with RPG elements (different skills, stats for guns, etc). While the rest of the team didn't exactly disagree with Goldfarb's decisions, Goldfarb was proud at the fact that he'd get the rest of the devs to see his side and have his ideas be used no matter what. Later on, Goldfarb did a revamp to the game's stealth mechanics, which caused a big backlash from the player base since most felt it was a major nerf.note  Not only did Goldfarb not care about the criticism he was given, but he also went out of his way to block anyone who even remotely annoyed him on Twitter. After a while, Goldfarb left OVERKILL to create his own game and his departure allowed the rest of the team to update and make the game the way they wanted it to.

    However, things didn't exactly go well for OVERKILL in the next two years. The number of weapon pack DLCs became more and more frequent, causing the community to worry that the game would start using microtransactions or even go free-to-play like Team Fortress 2. During the Crimefest 2015 event, one of the rewards was microtransaction styled weapon skins where players could find a safe in the game and then use real money for a drill to unlock the safe and get a random weapon skin for it. Some weapon skins could also have stat boosts as well. The community exploded in fury due to Almir Listo, the head producer, stating previously that the game wouldn't have microtransactions, only to go back on his word years later. Almir later stated that the DLC packs weren't exactly making the company enough money, which would also mean that the game would have less support unless they did something to change that. Almir then said that microtransactions were here to stay and there would be more coming in the future to keep the game running. The backlash from the community grew so huge that they dropped the game's review scores to low numbers and contacted several video game media outlets to spread the news further. Almir eventually apologized for his and the company's actions (though he never exactly said he was sorry about putting in microtransactions) and vowed to be more open with the community. For most, the apology was too little too late.

    Later on when the 100th update came out, Almir released another apology video with him stating that the microtransactions were Overkill's ideas alone and thought said ideas would be something the community would've liked. In response to the overwhelmingly negative reception of the microtransactions, Almir stated that all safes would be completely free and can be opened without a drill, though the old generation safes would still require drills. He also announced more developers would be joining the forums to answer questions and concerns the players had and had other developers dedicated to bug report forum to help get bugs fixed quicker. On top of this, the developers also revamped the skill trees to make it more fun to use and create different builds, released a heist that lets players rob a train, released modding tools to let players create custom weapon skins, rebalanced all the guns, added more graphical options, released more weapons as community items instead of paid DLC, and made the 2016 Crimefest event purely free content instead of having to do insane challenges to unlock each reward. The long awaited customized safe house was also finally released during Crimefest. For all the meddling that was done to the game, the developers seem to be trying very hard to keep their promise on turning a new leaf.
  • In the early 1980s, Nintendo was poised to bring their new video game console over to the United States but were not willing to do it themselves, as they felt it was too risky a venture, so they sought out an established American company to provide support. Enter Atari. By 1983, everything was in place and Nintendo sent a team of representatives to the Consumer Electronics Show with contracts in-hand to be signed.

    During their tour of the show floor and its exhibits with Atari execs, the group came across Coleco demonstrating a prototype of Donkey Kong for the Coleco Adam computer. The Atari reps were furious, claiming there was an arrangement in place where the only version of Donkey Kong that was to be shown at CES was theirs, and accused Nintendo of doubledealing.note  Shouting and cursing ensued (this was later recalled as one of the few times then-Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, normally a very stoic man, completely lost his cool, tearing into both Atari CEO Ray Kassar and the Coleco delegation for their accusation and breach of contract, respectively) and the Nintendo group, shocked at what was happening, quietly left the show. Nintendo would attempt to keep the deal afloat, but - even if Atari hadn't been trying to tie up the deal in red tape for as long as possible to save face rather than admit they didn't have the money for it, as was later revealed - by that point Atari's president was ousted and Atari itself, along with the rest of the American industry, was in free-fall. Nintendo would go on to release the Nintendo Entertainment System in America themselves, and the rest is history.
  • Touhou Hisoutensoku was originally intended to have a roster consisting of stage 1 to 3 bosses, such as Wriggle, Cirno, and Nitori, but Tasofro, the company helping ZUN (creator of the series) produce the game, felt that such a roster was boring to work with, so the latter replaced some of them with higher level bosses like Sanae, Utsuho, and Suwako.
  • One of the artists working on Battle Chess found a way around this — he knew that the executive would feel obligated to do some meddling no matter what, so when he was animating the Queen, he added a completely superfluous pet duck. The executive looked at the final product and declared that the duck had to go.
  • The Lion King was infamous for its unreasonably difficult second level. That level was originally planned to be all puzzles and no actual danger, but a mandate from above declared that the game needed to be hard enough that renters wouldn't be able to complete it before the return date, giving them an incentive to buy it instead.
  • The second South Park RPG was to be subtitled "The Butthole of Time," but due to retailers refusing the sell a game with such a moniker, Trey Parker was forced to contemplate an alternate name, innuendo still being on his mind, and the result being The Fractured but Whole.
  • The developers of BlazBlue weren't planning to bring back either Nu-13 or Lambda-11, but had to due to fan demand. Interestingly, this did then lead to them both getting larger character arcs showing how they each Became A Real Girl in their own way. Unfortunately, this also resulted in half of Nu's Stance System moveset being gutted so Lambda could have her old one back.
  • On September 21, 2018, Telltale Games ended up suddenly and unexpectedly folding up, firing all but 25 members without severance. As it turns out, that was against the law, leading to a class-action lawsuit against what's left.
  • The Blood games have both suffered this pretty badly.
    • The first game was originally set to be published by 3D Realms, but their time at the helm saw problems such as a limited budget ($15,000 a month at best) and 3D Realms leaving the team be for months on end before suddenly showing up to look over what the team had and demanding arbitrary changes. Monolith would eventually split with them and move on to GT Interactive to publish the game.
    • Blood II: The Chosen would suffer even worse under GT Interactive. For starters, the team didn't even want to make the game - they were more interested in making a new 3D game engine and already had a game in mind to introduce it - but they were forced into making a second Blood at GT's behest. This ended up with the developer effectively split in half, one team working on the game they wanted while the other tried to work on Blood II. It got so bad that their official game plan was to push out Shogo as quickly as possible so its team could fold back into the Blood II team and help finish it by the deadline - a plan which backfired catastrophically due to Shogo only coming out two months before Blood II. Several story and gameplay elements had to be altered or cut to meet the deadline, and then GT being bought out by Infogrames meant that the developers were only able to patch the game by bundling patches with an expansion pack.
    • In the years after, the first Blood would become a Cult Classic in the vein of several other Build-engine games of its time - and it would stay that way for a very long time, as Infogrames' (now Atari) hold on the series would see them actively stymieing efforts to get a proper rerelease. In particular are their iron grip on the rights - Devolver Digital and Night Dive Studios both approached them with offers to buy the series, but were quoted a ridiculously-overinflated cost for no particular reason - and their strange refusal to release the source code, meaning source ports have to rebuild the code from ports of other Build engine games and even Night Dive, when they were finally allowed to remaster the game in 2019, having to rebuild the game from the ground up on their proprietary Kex engine rather than work with the original code.
  • A positive example of this trope happened in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV. The developers of the game wanted for the players to do all of the sidequests in order to obtain the Golden Ending. Toshihiro Kondo, president of Falcom vetoed that idea, citing experiences the players had in Ys Origin where players couldn't get to the third route unless the first two routes were finished. He and the staff then compromised where the players will have to view the normal ending first before they're allowed to obtain the Golden Ending. The end result: massive speculation in the Trails Series lore on why this happens.
  • A minor example: Cities: Skylines was initially going to be named "Colossal Cities" by its developers, Colossal Order, but Paradox Interactive, their publisher, wanted to name it "Cities: Skylines". It's impossible to say how much, if any, influence this had on the popularity of the game, but Colossal Order themselves agreed that the name change was a good idea.
  • The dating sim Summertime Saga is an independent production that relies on Patreon subscriptions to support its ongoing production and development. However, its original conception, that went on until well into the development and release history of the game, involved elements Patreon decided they were not at all happy with and which the company considered were bringing Patreon's reputation into disrepute/ note  Several female characters originally designed as family members were hastily rescripted so they were no relation whatsoever - in the text, at least. Visibly, however, the PC lives in a house with an older woman who has a physical resemblance suggesting she could be his mother, and a girl a couple of years older who also has a physical similarity but is also completely unrelated. How this bizarre coincidence came about is hand-waved in the game notes and is treated as One Of Those Things.
  • One of the things that infamous PlayStation dud Rascal was most criticized for were its cumbersome Tank Controls and poor level design. However, the game was never originally meant to have tank controls, and prototypes of the game show that the game originally had normal directional controls, so what happened? It turns out the executives saw how successful the Tomb Raider games were with their tank controls and coaxed the developers of Rascal into implementing them into this game as well, apparently thinking that the series' success was solely due to its control scheme. The problem was that Rascal was a 3D platformer whose game engine and level design were not designed to feature tank controls or a fixed camera, nor was there any time left to redesign the game to compliment tank controls either. So in the end, what was originally a very promising-looking game with some good ideas was turned into a clunky, poorly-controlling, and frustrating mess due to executives desperately wanting to Follow the Leader by cherry picking one thing that leader did.
  • Descendent Studios successfully crowdfunded a new Descent game. However, they encountered some problems during Early Access on Steam and made a deal with a game publisher named Little Orbit. Two years later, Little Orbit demanded some massive changes to the gameplay, turning it more into an arcade game, because of low sales of a similar six-degrees of freedom game. Descendent Studios refused to comply because it will betray their playerbase and vision for the game. Little Orbit retaliated by refusing to publish the game. Descendent Studios website was shut down leaving fans in the dark. One year, Little Orbit has launched a lawsuit on Descendent Studios, citing "breach of contract".
  • League of Legends:
    • Many pieces of champion art were changed to their Chinese counterparts, including removing Graves' cigar from his champion art due to China being tough on smoking being presented in games marketed towards children. Fans protested for a long while, which had the cigar returned in North America and Europe.
    • Taliyah was originally intended to be the game's first transgender champion. However, this was scrapped when higher-ups were warned by Tencent that a transgender champion would likely be Banned in China.
    • Writer Runaan revealed she wrote Twisted Fate and Graves as a married couple in the cinematic Double Double Cross, but this was also rejected by higher-ups. To Runaan's frustration, the same higher-ups were glad to claim the Homoerotic Subtext of the pair's closeness was "intentional", suggesting Riot deliberately went for a bait-and-switch to court the LGBT community, but actually including a gay couple was too far.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: