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Christmas Rushed

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"We don't usually keep set release dates. A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad."
Shigeru Miyamotonote 

Christmas Rushed is the practice of rushing a product's development in order to coincide with a major holiday shopping rush (like Christmas, naturally). It often happens to highly hyped products, products made by big-name developers, or products that are part of a Cash-Cow Franchise or tied into something already currently successful.

It can also apply to any product that is rushed for release by a certain date such as a Milestone Celebration, or in time for a certain event (such as the deadline for an award nomination or convention appearance). Whatever the case, the fact that the product was rushed often leads to it being poorly made. The Problem with Licensed Games, Obvious Beta, and Porting Disaster usually occurs due to this, as the developers are rushed to have the game released at the same time as the licensed property's premiere/launch/kickoff.

Often caused by Executive Meddling, this can often lead to Development Hell or Troubled Production. Worse are those products that do manage to be released on time, since it's often obvious that they're rush jobs. On the other hand, if the work is an Ashcan Copy, literally everything is subordinate to getting the thing out quickly and cheaply in order to retain the rights. Compare and contrast the Dump Months. Sometimes leads to movies being released Direct to Video. Fortunately, with the advent of the Internet age, this is becoming increasingly rare now that games can be fixed, patched, and made in portions such as add-ons or DLC at any time. Sometimes the cause of an Absurdly Short Production Time.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In this modern age of easily downloadable bootleg fansubs, many American anime licensees will compete with the pirates with "simulcasts": A quick-and-dirty sub-only streaming version released at the same time as the episode's Japanese airing to give fans an official version to watch while they wait for a full-featured, English-dub release. Depending on just how much of a rush they're in, the streaming version may include translation errors, typos, or Adaptation-Induced Plot Holes that are corrected in later releases.
  • Dragon Ball Super was rushed out to capitalize on the newfound popularity of the franchise after the release of Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F', as well as replace Dragon Ball Z Kai's timeslot in Japan. This resulted in little over two months to prepare episodes, which alongside the shortage of animators at Toei Animation thanks to them working on other projects, resulted in production collapsing by the fifth episode, with subsequent episodes continuing to suffer as outsourcing and larger crews were needed to catch up for what little time they had.
  • Inazuma Eleven: Ares: The first season was originally supposed to be 50 episodes long and follow a Rotating Protagonist scheme. However, Akihiro Hino wanted the premiere of the following season, Orion, to coincide with the start of the 2018 World Cup. Because of this, Ares was reduced to 25 episodes and the plot was rushed.
  • Chapter 182 of My Hero Academia was a rush order before Golden Week of 2018, which didn't give time for Kōhei Horikoshi and his assistants to do touch up on the artwork. So when it was released, a few of the panels were still in their sketch phases.
  • Pokémon is a multi-media franchise where the anime, manga, trading cards, etc. must release when the games they're representing are released and must end just before the release of the new generation of games. Because of this, we often got situations with the anime such as the incredibly rushed finale for the Sinnoh League, where, to prevent Ash from winning, the writers made him fight a Trainer who used exclusively legendaries. The saga after was more brisk all around, but it was rushed even further with the release of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2.
  • Sailor Moon: The original dub by DiC declined to license more episodes, so Toei's then-North American branch Cloverway stepped in to license S and SuperS after YTV and Cartoon Network ordered more episodes. Cloverway gave Optimum almost complete creative freedom as long as 77 episodes were recorded in four months. This resulted in many voice actors not returning (including Terri Hawkes, who went on maternity leave) and replaced with substitutes.
  • When Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann gained a lot of buzz through (bootleg) fansubs, U.S. licensee Bandai made the controversial decision to push out a sub-only DVD release as a stopgap rather than wait for an English dub to be complete and lose business to piracy. They did eventually release a version with a (very well-regarded) English dub sometime later.
  • The television anime adaptation Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- was produced with a six-month period of development. Typically, a series will have a development time of ten or more months. And it showed, to the point that the series eventually got cancelled and the remaining arcs were adapted as OVAs.
  • Transformers: Armada had numerous frequent dubbing errors due to rushed production. There are several conversations that don't flow properly, or clash with what's happening onscreen. Many characters have their names mixed up with other characters, such as pretty much everyone being referred to as Leader-1.
  • The Warrior Cats OEL manga Graystripe's Adventure — the first of the manga spin-offs of the series — was originally meant to be a single volume manga called The Lost Warrior. Then somebody at HarperCollins had the idea to release it on the same day as The Sight, the first book in the upcoming new arc. The artist was only a third of the way done, so since he was unable to finish it in that amount of time, it ended up being split into three shorter volumes with the first one being released on that day. Later manga in the series followed suit by splitting the story into three parts as well.

    Comic Books 
  • As the third part to the Knightfall storyline, KnightsEnd, was beginning right before Zero Hour: Crisis in Time!, virtually every Batman title was tossed in to complete the storyline, including the usually-not-in-modern-day Legends of the Dark Knight just so the Bat-titles could be involved in Zero Hour.
  • Star Wars (Marvel 1977): The weird-looking Yoda in Marvel's adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back, which had to be penciled before the puppet's look had been finalized. The trade paperback redid the panels to make him closer to the Yoda in the film, but he was still clearly too big.

  • Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem was timed to be released in 2007 on Christmas Day and had an appropriately themed marketing campaign. ("This Christmas, there will be no peace on earth.") In addition, the film was Not Screened for Critics, and debuted to negative reviews and box office apathy.
  • Beach Party was hurriedly shot in three weeks, with Frankie Avalon claiming they did "28 set-ups a day."
  • The 2019 Cats film adaptation was rushed to be released just before Christmas, which resulted in unsatisfactory or downright incomplete visual effects such as Judi Dench's human hand being visible in one shot. This prompted the studio and the director to re-release the film to correct some of these issues, an unprecedented move for a movie so soon after its initial release.
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Steven Spielberg had expected the film to be released in the Summer of 1978, but a debt-laden Columbia Pictures insisted he have it ready for Christmas 1977. The film was a success, but Spielberg was unhappy with the way it turned out because of its rushed production. He was given the chance to re-edit the film years later.
  • Cloverfield had to be rushed into production (which started in August 2007) to be ready in time for its stone-set date of January 18th, 2008 (the trailer, which was released a month earlier, came out while the film was still in pre-production).
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • The writing process for Suicide Squad was very rushed, with writer-director David Ayer completing the screenplay in just six weeks. The backlash against Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice then rattled the executives at Warner Bros., who were now worried that Suicide Squad would meet with a similar response due to not reflecting the "fun and edgy" feel of the trailers. They hired Trailer Park, the company behind the teaser, to edit an alternate cut of the film.
    • Justice League was originally on track to meet its November 2017 release date, but things fell apart when the studio demanded extensive reshoots after Zack Snyder's departure, to alter the film in the wake of the disastrous critical reaction to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. There was talk of pushing it back to Spring 2018 to accommodate the massive changes made to the film, but Warner Bros. execs demanded that it still be ready by November, which directly led to the many instances of dodgy, unfinished-looking CGI that critics and viewers pointed out. The real kicker? The reason the movie had to be released by November was so WB execs could get bigger bonuses before the year's end. To compare, the work on the special effects of the unaltered version, Zack Snyder's Justice League, had a leisurely pace before release, though it was also due to the VFX people having to work from home because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
    • In an inversion, Wonder Woman 1984 was going to be rushed to meet a November 2019 release against the creative team's wishes. They wanted more time to polish the project and felt like they might run out of time. When a new studio head came on board, he agreed to give the time they wanted and pushed the movie back seven months to June 2020 (although it was later pushed back again a further four months due to the coronavirus pandemic).
  • The Emperor's New Groove was firmly set for a 2000 date. The reason wasn't Christmas, though — it was rushed due to a Happy Meal deal with McDonald's.
  • The Fly (1986) had an August 1986 release date locked in by 20th Century Fox; principal photography didn't begin until December 1985. The visual effects team thus had to create makeups, animatronics, etc. within two months rather than the usual six this kind of production would receive. Luckily, David Cronenberg's Production Posse had years of experience working together and the actors and visual effects artists were there because they really wanted to be there, so everyone pulled together and pulled it off. The rush may or may not have helped its box office prospects because it was able to take advantage of the wake left by Fox's biggest release for Summer '86, Aliens, which appealed to a similar demographic. In any case, The Fly ended up a major Sleeper Hit.
  • Used In-Universe in Free Guy: It's blatantly obvious that Free City 2 is heading in this direction, with the game developers having their concerns about the time crunch and the bugginess of the game getting dismissed by Corrupt Corporate Executive Antwan, to the point that he outright lies about the game's features in advertising. Sure enough, it's panned on release for being an unplayable glitchy mess, and this (combined with the reveal that the original Free City was based on stolen code) leads to his reputation taking a massive hit.
  • Ghostbusters (1984) had an early script treatment by Dan Aykroyd, Ivan Reitman saw potential but wanted it more grounded and suggested a massive rewrite. From there he pitched the idea to Columbia Pictures, who really like working with him and gave it the greenlight but set a due date 13 months away without a page of a shooting script. Reitman, Aykroyd and Harold Ramis locked themselves in a cabin for two weeks to put together something plausible, but they were storyboarding and rewriting all through production to make their deadline.
  • Godzilla (1998) was fast tracked with just a yearlong production cycle, in part because Roland Emmerich promised the studio he could have it done by the summer of '98. This contributes largely to his own misfeelings about the movie, thinking they didn't fully develop Godzilla as a character (hero, villain or Gaia's Vengeance) and that contributed to its lackluster reception.
  • The Fleischer Studios adaptation of Gulliver's Travels was given less than two years of development, starting May 1938 and with the deadline being Christmas 1939. The result was an enjoyable film that did well at the box office, but it had an obviously rushed, unpolished feel to the animation as a result.
  • Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers was rushed through quickly to be released in time for Halloween the year after Halloween 4. As a result, shooting started without a completed script, and numerous re-writes, cuts, and changes were made on the fly during production.
  • A Hard Day's Night: Rushed to capitalize on what was assumed to be a passing fad. It was filmed quickly and on the cheap, but has aged surprisingly well and is considered a classic in its own right.
  • Last Action Hero was rushed to open for the 1993 big summer movie season, to the point that post-production on the film was only finished a few weeks before its initial release because early test screenings went much worse than expected, requiring reshoots. To make matters worse, Columbia Pictures execs refused to change the release date under any circumstances, even when it became clear that Universal's Jurassic Park was scheduled to open the weekend before their film, figuring that the latest Arnold Schwarzenegger movie could easily draw audiences away from it in its second weekend. Instead, Jurassic Park proved too big to dethrone that soon.
  • The post-production on The Last Airbender was rushed so the film could be converted to 3-D in time to meet an Independence Day weekend release.
  • Mentioned in The Last Starfighter, a movie about an alien race who recruits pilots through video games:
    Rylan Bursar: Return the money, Centauri.
    Centauri: Return the money! Are you delirious? Do you know how long it took to invent the games? To merchandise them? To get them in the stores by Christmas?
  • Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III began production in August 1989 to make a November 3rd release date (trailers shot before the film was shipped out with that date before prints of A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child). Despite finishing production just days before the original date, issues with the MPAA forced a delay to January 1990 and the film flopped due to said delays and the cuts to get an R rating being obvious.
  • The Little Shop of Horrors has earned recognition for having the shortest production schedule of any major motion picture. Its entire production was squeezed into the last week of December, 1959, with all photography completed within 48 hours. The most likely story for this schedule is that Roger Corman wanted to get one more movie made before a new law on actors' residuals went into effect in the new year.
  • The Magical Christmas Special produced by Mariah Carey released on Apple TV+ was made in 9-10 months. For the record, the story of the special is loosely based around the COVID-19 Pandemic that began in March 2020 (which is also blatant as one of the lines says "Twas the night before Christmas, and 2020 had been rough..."), and the special was released on December 4, 2020. Nevertheless, it got positive reception and overall has pretty good production value.
  • Steven Spielberg rushed Munich into production and post-production in just five months so he could open it in time for Oscar qualifying. Though the film was a box-office disappointment (due to advertising not being ready until two weeks before opening), it did get some Oscar nominations.
  • Muppets from Space was planned for release in early 2000, but Sony Pictures wanted it to be part of their summer 1999 lineup, which only had Big Daddy as their other headliner. The decision ended up being made so late that the advertising budget was slashed, which may explain the film's poor box office figures.
  • The James Bond films are usually given release dates even before production starts, starting right with the first sequel, From Russia with Love, whose Troubled Production lasted only four months (getting behind schedule and over budget) to be completed by the already set October 1963 premiere.
  • Small Soldiers is not itself an example but features an In-Universe case — the primary cause of the entire mess is the (by the designers' statements) incredibly short development window to get a revolutionary toy line on the shelves (three months). The result of that is that the toy line is made from apparent off-the-shelf parts with the designers too busy to look at the actual source (the Department of Defense), based on sloppily combining two toy line concepts with incompatible backstories and with no time for product testing. The actual mechanical functioning of the toys is surprisingly good for all this. Their programming and how it interacts with their chips' learning ability, on the other hand...
  • Proving that this trope is Older Than Television, The Son of Kong was put into production immediately after the success of King Kong (1933). Movie sequels were still a new concept at the time and the studio wanted the sequel fast-tracked so the first movie would still be fresh in the public's mind, and before competitors could swoop in. Son of Kong was released only nine months after the original, recycled many of the same props as the first film, and is one of the few Hollywood sequels to be released in the same year as its predecessor. Needless to say, Son of Kong is nowhere near as acclaimed as the original film, being considered So Okay, It's Average at best.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Motion Picture had a non-negotiable December 1979 release date and was still being edited and re-edited up to the very day it was due to premiere. For the Director's Edition in 2001, Robert Wise stated that they were simply completing a movie that had gone unfinished for decades.
    • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country was rushed into production for December 1991 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the franchise. Thanks to its smaller budget the film did well at the box office, and it was considered a massive improvement after the lackluster results of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and rivals Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan for many fans as their favorite film in the series, proving that Tropes Are Not Bad. The rushed post-production period may have been the reason the movie was changed slightly for home video. The VHS and Laserdisc releases had remade end credits and included some explanatory dialog that was missing from the theatrical release (which wasn't seen again until 2009).
  • Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker has claims that the production team lost three months of time to work on the film and ended up having to rush it through since Disney insisted on the December 20th release date. This was later given credence with editor Maryann Brandon saying the film's editing process was a rush job that affected the entire production.
  • One of the many things that went wrong with Street Fighter. Even though filming was way behind schedule, the executives wouldn't delay the movie for fear of missing its lucrative December release date. This is at least in part because the accompanying action figures by Hasbro were due to hit shelves on Black Friday, meaning the movie had to come out just a few weeks later.
  • Toy Story 2 was unexpectedly given a November 1999 theatrical release date after Pixar fashioned it as a Direct to Video movie. Horrified, Pixar asked and was granted permission to completely redo the film from scratch to make it more suitable for the silver screen. However, Disney refused to budge on the date, resulting in what is usually a year's work of production being crammed into nine months. The grueling workload and mental toll it took on the animators led to Pixar splitting its animators up into teams so that it would reduce the risk of crunching. It should be noted that John Lasseter was not supposed to be involved in the film's production, as he was planning to take a break after directing A Bug's Life, but agreed to join once he heard just how bad things were going with the film.
  • Oliver Stone had to rush the production of W. (which began development in late 2007 and began filming in April 2008) so he and Lionsgate could have it out before the 2008 election (the original plan was to release it in January 2009 to get more post-production work done but Lionsgate was wanting Oscar nominations so it was moved up).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: The animated reconstruction of "The Power of the Daleks" was rushed so that it could be released for the original's 50th anniversary. As a result, Power's animation is noticeably more basic than any other Doctor Who animation. Years later, the team would get a second chance to animate the serial, in celebration of Patrick Troughton's hundredth birthday, and massively improved the animation.

  • This happens often with reality show winners. They will often re-record the covers they performed on the show they were competing in, and add a new song/their winning single. However, Guy Sebastian, a winner of the first ever Australian Idol, recorded an originals album in just six and a half days.
  • Beach Boys' Party! was rush-recorded in September 1965 during the early Pet Sounds sessions and released in November of that year. Their label, Capitol Records, had requested from the band that they release something for the holiday season and this was the result. While the album did very well in sales and spawned a hit in "Barbara Ann", modern fans tend to dismiss it as quickly-tossed filler made to buy time to finish Pet Sounds.
  • The Beatles:
  • The Title Track to David Bowie's Space Oddity was put together in just a month, at the request of Mercury Records, so that it could be released in time for the Apollo 11 moon landing.
  • Caribou by Elton John was rushed into production in six days in an experimental mountaintop studio of the same name in Colorado owned by Chicago svengali James William Guercio, in a very brief window of time off between tours. The result was not one of Elton's more consistent albums, partly as a result, and was a bit of a disappointment coming on the heels of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, but its slapdash charm has its fans, and "The Bitch Is Back" and "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" remain favorites in the Elton catalogue. As Tantrums And Tiaras pointed out, though, when Elton's much younger future husband David Furnish was invited to Elton's mansion as a first date, he broke the ice with the singer by telling him he grew up listening to Caribou!
  • Part of the tension which led to Roger Waters firing keyboardist Richard Wright during production of Pink Floyd's The Wall was that the band were promised a bonus by Columbia Records, the band's American label at the time, to deliver the album on schedule in December 1979 in time for the holiday shopping season, meaning Roger had to ask an uninspired/unreliable/unprofessional Wright (who, granted, was going through marital difficulties) to cut short his vacation in Greece to finish the keyboard parts. Wright was frustrated at the decision, presumably gave Waters a hard time about it, and Waters decided to tell the band and management that either Wright would be fired or Waters would leave, taking The Wall with him. As Pink Floyd were in desperate financial straits at the time, were already a little agitated at Richard's behavior and needed a hit album to restore their fortunes, they fulfilled Waters' wishes and let Wright go note .
  • Innuendo by Queen was originally supposed to be this for the Christmas season of 1990 but instead got pushed back to the February of 1991 due to issues Freddie Mercury's health, despite the famous story behind the one-take vocals for "The Show Must Go On" on that album.
  • Taylor Swift made "Christmas Tree Farm" in the span of nearly a week back in 2019. She wrote the song that Thanksgiving weekend, proceeded to record it on December 1st, additional work was done the following two days, and the song was later released on that Friday, December 6th.
  • The patriotic album Til Dovre Faller by Norwegian folk metal band Glittertind was intended to be a full-length album, but ended up only having seven tracks because it needed to meet the Meaningful Release Date of 17 May 2005 (which marks both the Norwegian Constitution Day and the 100-year anniversary after Norway's independence from Sweden, although Norway didn't gain its independence on 17 May 1905). Something good came out of it, however: the album's runtime ended up being exactly 18:14, a nod to the year Norway got its constitution.

  • The original Amiga version of Pinball Fantasies was rushed to avoid missing the Christmas 1992 shopping season, and ended up with numerous bugs as a result.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Companies that manufacture board games and role-playing games often have to rush to get them out in time for major conventions such as GenCon, Origins Game Fair and SPIEL in Essen, Germany. The latter is big date, because it starts Christmas shopping season in Europe, and a game not in Essen has little chance of making it big in Christmas sales.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition's extremely rushed release schedule meant that the developers wouldn't, or couldn't, playtest most of what they published, making gameplay either trivial or tedious at high levels. The core math was overhauled repeatedly with each new Monster Manual, and then rebooted completely after two years with the "Essentials" series. When 4e was finally abandoned, it had 140 pages of errata for published and printed material.
  • Exalted second edition was mostly written at a stage where making the ship date was a really high priority and making the content not suck wasn't, leading to many, many miscommunications, inconsistent fluff, and terrible mechanics. Since the passing of the torch after Return of the Scarlet Empress it has gone quite far the other way.
  • The Pathfinder Advanced Class Guide was very obviously GenCon rushed, with references to class abilities that don't exist, incredibly poor balance between classes, feedback from the playtest phase ignored, and most tellingly, a Tyop on the Cover.

    Theme Parks 

  • A famous aversion was the 1977 Star Wars Early Bird Certificate, which was basically a cardboard display and a ticket with the promise of getting Star Wars action figures. Surprisingly, this worked—it allowed time to develop quality action figures, and Star Wars was so blindingly popular that no one seemed to mind.

    Video Games 
  • Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis was heavily rushed for the game's release to be coincided with a launching volume of the Aquaman series from DC Comics, and its final results definitely show.
  • Batman: Arkham Origins had a very tight schedule, and the game was released only 8 months after its announcement. Even though it re-used the engine, gameplay, props and even a portion of the map from Arkham City, it was very glitchy when it was released. Although it did receive multiple patches, and is generally considered to be a bit better now, it didn't help that the developers outright stated that they would stop patching minor bugs in favor of developing the story DLC.
  • Battlefield 2042 was hit with this reality at the tail end of 2021. Leaks and internal reports later revealed that most of the development time had been focused on revamping the already finnicky Frostbite engine while working through the COVID-19 Pandemic. Even with a one-month delay from October to November 2021, it didn't prevent the launch being an obvious rush job that had to be out the door before December. The bugs, design changes and being viewed as "incomplete" resulted in the game being savaged critically with an even worse reaction from the player base, despite selling over 4 million copies in the first week. As a result, it's playerbase dropped to a mere 4-digit low just three months after the release. With their late-January 2022 announcement that the first official Season 1 content would be delayed to summer 2022, most observers have come to an agreement that the game had needed at least another full year of development to avoid such a catastrophic release of a game.
  • The English localization of Breath of Fire IV was rushed (read: only took seven months) to make it into the 2000 holiday season. Not helping things was Capcom's American branch facing financial difficulties at the start of that year. The result? An untranslated title screen and credits sequence, among others (at least the official English logo was implemented in the European PS1 and PC releases).
  • An odd example occurs with the Call of Duty series, as Activision orders their various studios to have games ready by Veterans Day. That the series has two different developers making every other new game in the series means nothing truly game-breaking slips through — but once the newest game is out, the other team basically have to drop their previous game entirely to shift focus entirely on their next one, so any glitches that aren't patched within a year of release will never be patched. As of 2014, the situation was lessened... now that three different studios are rotating development of new games in the series.
  • Car Tycoon was literally Christmas Rushed for Christmas 2001. It ended up not simply having a few bugs, but being borderline unplayable, something that even two bugfixes couldn't repair. For example, the cars sold by the four companies clogged the streets to the point of total gridlocks so it became impossible to even deliver new cars to the stores because the number of cars in the game, their lifespan, and the overall length of the streets were badly balanced. And if new cars couldn't get to the stores, they couldn't be sold, and you didn't make any money anymore.
  • Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex was originally a project headed by Mark Cerny. After Cerny left however, Universal instead handed the game over to Traveller's Tales, giving them less than a year to make a Crash platformer for the Christmas 2001. This was Naughty Dog's pace for the PlayStation 1 games, but the higher complexity of PlayStation 2 made this unfeasable, not to mention it was Travellers Tales' first PS2 game. While it's reasonably complete and playable, several extra levels and features were planned that didn't make the cut, and it is often considered to lack the polish of previous entries in the series that were on the previous gen console (exposing that just being on a next-gen system doesn't automatically make a game superior).
  • Cyberpunk 2077 after numerous delays and cut features, CD Projekt Red's developers faced intense executive and shareholder pressure to release the game by the end of 2020. The game had to contend with the board of directors setting unrealistic deadlines and spreading lies about the development progress. Even with the eight month delay from the initial release date of April 2020, the game's December release was plagued with bugs and glitches to the point where Sony pulled it from the PlayStation Store for six months in response to a flood of refund requests and the game demonstrably failing their certification agreement.note .
  • Dead Rising 4 got Christmas Rushed (weirdly appropriate considering its setting) in a mad scramble to make deadlines, though it was less to do with unrealistic publisher expectations and more a handful of catastrophic developer-led errors during production. Initially, the game — produced by Capcom's Vancouver branch — was meant to take the series in a vastly different direction inspired by The Last of Us, a choice motivated by dev disillusionment in the increasingly dense and wacky tone of the franchise and enabled by a belief that they had the clout to do so; Capcom Japan had generally let the Vancouver branch work on Dead Rising autonomously, and while Vancouver never received permission from Japan for the retool, they believed it would go over well. Once the Japan branch caught wind over half a year into development, the executives were furious, resulting in the firing of several key, long-term devs and a hard reboot of the game, losing the remaining team a large chunk of their available schedule and budget. The game was criticized on release for a significant lack of technical polish and very conspicuous omission of several key gameplay elements like the countdown and Psychopath fights, a direct result of the massive crunch Capcom Vancouver were left in just to get anything resembling a finished product out.
  • When first announced, the developers of Defiance made a lot of pie-in-the-sky promises that unfortunately they were not able to implement because they were under a deadline to launch the game at the same exact moment the show began broadcasting. The developers had been open about this happening, and tried to add the promised features and content to the game as quickly as they could through updates and downloadable content.
  • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! on the Game Boy Advance. Released in November 2005 — but the all new soundtrack was unfinished (the final boss used the standard boss theme; the secret area used the main map theme; unlike on the SNES, the various Kong and Bear buildings shared one theme instead of having one each, etc.) and the character roll call was removed from the ending.
  • The infamous and self-admitted 3DO Porting Disaster of the original Doom, released in December 1995, was written from the ground up in ten weeks by one person, who had to live in her office to get it done in time for mastering, as a result of her being lied to about the state of its development when she took the job. It was so rushed that she had no time to properly port the music, and instead had the development company's CEO record covers with his garage band so she could just call audio streams to play them, resulting in the port's only acclaimed feature.
  • Super Double Dragon was Christmas Rushed by the series' North American publisher Tradewest, who released an Obvious Beta with such features as knives that dealt excessive damage, boomerangs that couldn't be caught, and the inability to switch weapons after picking one up. The Japanese release, Return of Double Dragon, is a more complete game but has no proper ending.
  • Dragon Age II was released unfinished (game-breaking bugs, recycled maps, overreliance on fetch quests, etc.) to very mixed reviews... because it had a nine-months development cycle. Originally, BioWare was working on a more direct sequel to Dragon Age: Origins, but due to the development of Star Wars: The Old Republic taking way more time than expected, EA demanded BioWare to release a major game for early 2011. BioWare then was forced to scrap the Dragon Age: Origins sequel and started working on the smaller, Gaiden Game-like Dragon Age: Exodus, EA then demanded the game to be renamed to Dragon Age II and to advertise it as a sequel to Origins against BioWare's wishes. The reputation damaged suffered by EA, BioWare, and the Dragon Age franchise as a result was among the many reasons why Dragon Age: Inquisition had been delayed until Autumn 2014.
  • Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle, to celebrate 200 million downloads, decided to push out two new characters for both the Japanese and Global versions of the game — Omega Shenron and Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta from Dragon Ball GT. However, Global players discovered that their Omega and Gogeta were broken — they did not come with Leader skills as the Japanese version used a system that hadn't been released on Global. Players were angry and memes were born.
  • EarthBound Beginnings: Mt. Itoi, The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, is infamously known for being the hardest part of the entire game (which itself isn't easy by any means), thanks to the maze-like structure and the high amount of Demonic Spiders that hit like a truck and which don't even give enough EXP in order for the heroes to stand a chance against them. The reason for this is because deadlines were aproaching and the developers forewent any sort of playtesting for the area and left it unbalanced as a result.
  • It is very possible that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim suffers from this. When fans looked at the game-files with the Level Editor, it was revealed the creators planned to implement complex quests and scripts that sadly did not make the final cut. Examples are a dynamic civil war, an arena in Windhelm and quest to kill one of the Jarls. This is probably cut because the game had to be released on November the 11th 2011, so the creators did not have enough time to implement all of their plans. As a result, many of the storylines in the game feel rushed when compared to earlier installments of the franchise.
  • Enter the Matrix was rushed so that the release would coincide with The Matrix Reloaded. note 
  • Word of God is that Epic Mickey was rushed to reach store shelves by the 2010 holiday season, which explains a few of the game's rougher edges. Even with the rush, it missed the "Black Friday" after-Thanksgiving shopping weekend.
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600 is an infamous example; the game was made in only six weeks so it could be released on time for the holidays and tie in with the then-popular movie. The result was a game so bad it is often cited as the worst to ever be released, and it became one factor behind The Great Video Game Crash of 1983.
  • While Bethesda was busy with Skyrim, they commissioned Obsidian Entertainment (a company composed of many of the original Fallouts developers) to make Fallout: New Vegas. The game clearly suffered from a lack of time (Obsidian had originally been given a somewhat loose promise of two years of development time, but Bethesda eventually cut it down to 18 months) as it recycled a lot of assets from Fallout 3, reused a lot of Fallout and Fallout 2 music, and with a ton of planned content cut out and plenty of bugs to go around. Even the part which shined the most — the story — was hurt by the rush as some storylines couldn't be fleshed out in time and were left rather simplistic. Fans didn't look kindly on the game recycling so many assets while critics were more positive- though not enough for the game's developers to earn a bonus from Bethesda for receiving a specific score from Metacritic. New Vegas was ultimately Vindicated by History thanks to a combination of comprehensive bug-fixing patches and a whopping four amazing story DLCs from the Obsidian team, an incredibly dedicated and creative modding community, as well as Fallout 4's much divisive reception which established an undeniable pattern of Bethesda rushing games out the gate before they were ready. As such, many fans look back on New Vegas with more appreciation, with many clamoring for Bethesda to allow Obsidian another crack at the Fallout license (in spite of the fact that many of the individuals responsible for the game's success are no longer with the company).
  • The infamous Sega Genesis platformer based on Fantasia was rushed for a Christmas 1991 release, and Sega's head of product development at the time regrets the decision, admitting the result was unfinished bordering on unplayable.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy was rushed in time for the holiday season in Japan of 1987, being released a week before Christmas. Because of it being an Obvious Beta, it had quite a bit of bugs related to it, such as spells running off of the strength stat instead of intelligence. The North American release attempted to fix some of the bugs, but practically every non-major mechanic is still broken.
    • Final Fantasy II fared no better. It was also rushed for the 1988 holiday season. It was also an Obvious Beta with a lot of bugs, specifically with calculation errors, balance woes and stat issues. Some content and songs were also cut out. By the time the developers found out the game's issues, it was too late to fix them. To their credit, Square did not rush the next game in the series.
    • The original (1.0/Legacy) version of Final Fantasy XIV is rumored to have been rushed to beat the next expansion of that other big MMO to release. If this is true, this would be only one of the many mistakes made during its production.
    • Final Fantasy XV was released worldwide on November 29th, 2016, and a week later, director Hajime Tabata announced an unprecedented series of updates, intended to improve the game. These include event scenes that should make the story and characters more coherent as well as answering questions like "What happened to Ravus?"
  • The Super Nintendo Entertainment System version of Final Fight came out in Japan exactly one month after the console's 1990 launch and just four days before Christmas. The Co-Op Multiplayer mode, one of the stages and one of the three playable characters were lamentably removed, but such compromises probably helped Capcom achieve their release date.
  • Two FPS sequels released in November 2004, Halo 2 and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. The former even had the added bonus that Microsoft knew it would be the Xbox's last blockbuster given the 360 was coming the following year. Both had the developer getting ambitious (Retro Studios refused to just recycle the features from Metroid Prime, and Bungie had to discard the engine used for a Halo trailer because they discovered the Xbox couldn't handle it!) and choking on time constraints (Retro had only 30% of the game ready by June, Bungie cut so many features the Dummied Out list on a whiteboard ran out of space and the single player campaign ends in an abrupt Cliffhanger).
  • Inverted with Gears of War 3, which was complete in April 2011 but was deliberately delayed until fall to release around the holiday season.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn's questionable writing quality is blamed by several fans on the game being rushed. This is supported by the later-released European version clearing up several awkward comments compared to the American version.
  • Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy — The Definitive Edition was an absolute disaster of a launch, with clear signs it was pushed out for the holidays. The game was officially announced on October 22nd, 2021 for release on November 11th — a mere three-week gap. The first trailer did not bode well for some fans as it showed subpar updates to the character models. When the game launched, players found it was absolutely riddled with bugs and glitches, many of which weren't in the original PS2 games. The use of machine-learning A.I. to uprez the games led to spelling errors on signs, and removing the fog in San Andreas led to increased draw distance and revealing that the game was a lot smaller than believed. Dataminers also looked in the files and found that music that wasn't "approved" was still in it, merely given a command to be "off", as well as the files for the Hot Coffee mini-game in San Andreas still being present, despite the massive legal trouble that caused back in 2004-05.
  • The Gran Turismo series experienced this with its second installment. As a result, Gran Turismo 2 shipped with a large number of bugs that severely impeded gameplay. These included, but were not limited to, only allowing 98.2% completion, and most notoriously of all, deleting your garage if you set too many performance test records. Subsequent installments were delayed multiple times to prevent a repeat.
  • It is presumed that this is why Natsume's translation of Harvest Moon 64 was released at the end of November, with so many on-screen typos in the in-game English-language text.
  • The video game adaptation of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys was incredibly rushed and suffered from a Troubled Production, resulting in the game being mostly Fetch Quests and a lot of empty areas and reused assets and mechanics. It's even lampshaded when you find a village of identical siblings whose father passed away some time ago. One uses some... specific wording when talking about her father's death:
    Father passed away some time ago. He simply ran out of time. He was released from the hospital way before he should have. The whole process was incredibly rushed.
  • ICO was Christmas rushed, but curiously only for the North American release. The end result was Yorda's A.I. being much worse (very bad considering that the whole game is essentially an Escort Mission with her being escorted) to the point of fan hatred at her stupidity and being considered The Scrappy, various bonuses and features being missing, and puzzles being altered and made too easy. Compare this to the un-rushed European and Australian releases, with much better A.I. for Yorda, a secret bonus ending along with other Easter Eggs and a very beautiful and distinct cover made by the lead designer of ICO based of the painting The Nostalgia of the Infinite. Because of the huge backlash from the original American version, the HD re-release was a port of the European version, but with the aspect ratio modified so it would fit American TVs. So if you ever wonder why ICO's infamous North American box cover was made, now you know the whole story.
  • One of the many issues facing The King of Fighters XII was that it got rushed to meet a 2009 deadline to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the series as a whole. Needless to say, the game was released with a severe lack of content for the series's standards, and indirectly led to its Surprisingly Improved Sequel The King of Fighters XIII underperforming as well due to consumer wariness.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time suffered from this in Spain. The Spanish translation for the game wasn't going to make it in time, so to avoid having to delay the release date for all Europe (and miss the holiday season at it), it was not programmed into the game. Instead, a 150-page guide was printed and bundled with all copies of the game in Spain, which included all the English lines of text with their respective Spanish translations. While a creative workaround, the guide was certainly not handy to use for the players, especially with how non-linear the storyline is.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was hit by this, with the game rushed out for Christmas 2002 in Japan and some important content cut out to reach the deadline; namely, two whole dungeons were cut out and replaced with the Triforce Hunt (fortunately, according to Aonuma, the dungeons found their place in later titles). Also very uncharacteristic of Nintendo was the sheer amount of unused content left on the disc, probably due to not having enough time to wipe it before sending it in for production; notably, there are more unused rooms than there are islands on the entire Great Sea.
  • Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven wasn't quite Christmas rushed, but the second half of the game was hastily put together because of difficulties with making the game itself and the future of the studio. They figured it would be better to release the game in such a state than risk not releasing it at all.
  • According to some of the developers themselves, this was why Mass Effect 3 seemed to lack the depth of story that was present in the other games of the franchise, and why the ending of the game seems so arbitrary. Electronic Arts wanted their cash cow, and they wanted it now, instead of the months it would have taken to wrap everything up properly. The irony here is that the game's March 2012 release date was already a delay: it was originally scheduled to be part of the 2011 holiday season. Apparently even this wasn't enough to truly polish the game up; however, the game did have the most content-filled DLC of all three games to help bolster it post-release.
  • Mega Man:
    • Mega Man 7 spent a whopping three months in development due to "bad timing" on Capcom's part, and had to be partially outsourced to avoid crunching their developers to death. That the resulting game not only lacks any major glitches but is viewed as one of the better games in the classic series is a minor miracle.
    • Mega Man X6 was rushed out barely 10 months after Mega Man X5 was released in North America, against the plans of Keiji Inafune, all just to squeeze out some extra cash from the PS1 before it went off the market, and it shows in the game's very sloppy design. The English translation was so badly rushed (the North American version hit the stores mere days after the Japanese version — December 4, 2001 and November 29, 2001; respectively), that not only was it a garbled mess, they didn't even have time to remove the original Japanese voice acting.
  • The NES port of Metal Gear was released in time for Christmas 1987 in Japan. It had some noticeable bugs due to them rushing to get it done before the holiday season. It's no surprise this port is commonly called a Porting Disaster in hindsight compared to the MSX2 original.
  • The Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man, like the aforementioned E.T., had the programmer being only given six weeks to write the game. At the end of those six weeks, all he had to offer was an unfinished alpha — and they released it as it was. And like E.T., the shoddy result eroded Atari's reputation and helped bring down the whole industry with it.
  • A minor example in Parasite Eve. One of the best weapons is changed from the FN MAG (a machine gun) to a Steyr AUG HBAR-T (a designated marksman rifle) late into post production when the weapons researcher decided to include another "ultimate rifle" since there's only one by that point (the AK-47) while there were already three machine guns (including the FN P90 and PPSh-41, both of which are retained in the final product). He then learns of the AUG and its then up and coming new variant that will be introduced around the same time as the game's release period and decided to use that instead, resulting in the rifle having the machine gun's name. It unintentionally helped them having to pay off royalties, though.
  • Phoenix Games, a very small video game company that was founded in the United Kingdom did this to nearly all their games, rushing the development to 3-5 months rather than 18 months just to give them an edge towards their competitors. The result are some of the worst games ever made in Europe. This video shows off how bad they are.
  • The PlayStation Classic was announced in September 2018 and was pushed out in December of the same year, and was all around bombarded for its design choices that many felt could have only resulted from Sony wanting to due a quick Follow the Leader in relation to Nintendo's NES and SNES Classics. Most notably, nine of the games in the European release solely used the 50Hz PAL versions, with no option to switch to 60Hz, and the emulator in general suffered from shaky performance for a number of titles (especially the PAL versions).
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, the remakes of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, have various signs of being rushed out for the holiday season. The most telling is that the Day 1 patch; without it, the game lacked the opening and ending cutscenes, as well as several music tracks reserved for special Trainers, and had various areas locked off. Even after the patch was applied, the game was incredibly glitchy — to the point that players could speedrun the game in under 30 minutes just by messing around with the menus. The fact that the game only allowed Gen IV or older Pokémon and was all but a Shot for Shot Remake that lacked any of the content that was in Platinum signaled to fans that ILCA was put to work making a traditional remake just so The Pokémon Company would have something for Holiday 2021, as Game Freak's own release (Pokémon Legends: Arceus) slipped into January.
    • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet suffered from poor optimization upon release, resulting in a large amount of lag, pop-in, occasional graphical glitches, and memory leakage that forced players to reset the game every few hours just to make it playable. Part of this comes from the fact that in order to facilitate the new co-op function, the entire game world is rendered at once with Game Freak having a history of sloppy code to begin with on top of never making an open-world title before. The issues were so great in fact, that Nintendo made the rare move of apologizing and offering refunds, with the various patches and updates in the months following dedicated to not only fixing these issues, but also adding features that missed launch (such as Pokémon Boxes).
  • A couple of the Ratchet & Clank games have gone through this:
    • Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal only had a year of development time (three months preproduction, six months of actual production) and a good chunk of its development was spent on the new online multiplayer mode and getting the Galactic Rangers' A.I. to work at all, and while the final game is far from unpolished, it's obvious that they cut quite a few corners in design. The levels are much shorter and have fewer branching paths, the enemy variety was extremely downsized to save on art and animation time, several assets from the previous games (i.e. enemies, vehicles and music) are recycled, and a lot of content from the previous games (i.e. racing or fighting tournaments, space travel, grinding on rails, Giant Clank) was heavily scaled down or axed altogether. A few of the levels just flat-out recycle the multiplayer maps to pad out the game's length.
    • Initially invoked with the 2016 reimagining of Ratchet & Clank, which was given a meager 10 months to so that it could coincide with the release of the film it tied into during the holidays (most games take two years these days). In the end, the game turned out great and its production was surprisingly smooth (thanks to access to the original PS2 assets), and it became a critically acclaimed title and the fastest-selling game in the series (likely due to not too many great exclusives on PS4 at the time). Averted twice thanks to the movie's release being a few months later than anticipated, giving a skeleton crew extra time to patch bugs and add in new features.
  • The Sega Saturn's North American release was pushed forward in an attempt to get a lead on Sony's then-new console; the PlayStation. This however backfired as most developers weren't told, leaving little that wasn't also rushed to actually play on it until four months later, when it was supposed to launch. In addition, the early launch was limited to select retailers, which led the ones who weren't included refusing to carry any Sega products for the next few years.
    Seanbaby: "History has shown that a blind rush to be first is a great way to send confused monkeys and dogs into space, but it's not always the best marketing strategy. First of all, it meant that only six Saturn games were available at launch, and all of them were made by Sega. When Sega told everyone the thing was coming out in September, that included the developers making video games for it."
  • Sensible World of Soccer was rushed out for Christmas 1994 after its release had already been postponed several times. Despite not being finished, the game received rave reviews and immediately became a top seller. A bug-fix patch was quickly produced, and the first Updated Re-release was sent out for free to registered users.
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog games have a very bad problem with this, with games being released to varying quality:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was rushed, causing the loss of half its planned Zones (one, Genocide City, was turned into a third act for Metropolis Zone), and a time-travel feature that was implemented into Sonic the Hedgehog CD instead. Despite that, it wound up at the opposite end of the spectrum and is considered one of the best Sonic games produced.
    • With Sonic the Hedgehog 3, the developers were simply too ambitious for both their time limits and the limitations of the system they were making the game for, so the game had to be split into two, the first part being released on February 2nd, 1994, or "Hedgehog Day", and the second part, Sonic & Knuckles, released eight months later, allowing players to combine the two parts to play the two back-to-back (with a few added features) as Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball was a holdover until Sonic 3 was released. It was completed in six months and had a distinctly unpolished feel to it, but was well-received nonetheless.
    • Originally, Sonic 3D Blast was going to be a title exclusive to the Sega Genesis, but due in part to the delay and eventual cancellation of Sonic Xtreme, which was meant to be Sonic's mainstream game on the Sega Saturn, Sega scrambled an enhanced port of 3D Blast for the Saturn in four months. Although the port still shows a few signs of being rushednote , it still ended up being a surprisingly good port.
    • In Japan, Sonic Adventure was rushed out to meet the high demand and capitalize on the 1998 holiday season. Sonic Team USA then spent an additional year polishing it and fixing various bugs and glitches for its Western release, and this version was also re-released in Japan as "Sonic Adventure International" in October 1999.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) was rushed: A.) for a Christmas release, and B.) to mark the 15th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog. The result was an Obvious Beta, widely considered among the worst entries in the entire Sonic franchise next to Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric.
    • The Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations, which was rushed out in about 6 months or so, compared to the home console versions which were in concept since at least 2008. While the final product certainly wasn't a disaster by any stretch, it lacks content compared to the home console versions and it's obvious that some corners were cut (including the rival races, which take place on improbable stages, and the lack of the GBA stages mentioned in pre-release interviews).
    • Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, which suffered, among other things, from underpowered hardware, trouble with CryEngine 3, and limited development time. To say that the game had a turbulent production period is an understatement. It was released mid-November 2014 (reports say it went gold in Mid-July) and since it's obvious the game wasn't finished, gamers and fans have already been calling it the next Sonic 2006. It was critically trashed; it currently has the worst Metacritic score for any Sonic game (even trumping the infamous Sonic 2006), and it was a total flop at retail, outsold by Sega's own Alien: Isolation and Football Manager 2015, and not even breaking into the top forty sales chart in the UK.
    • Inverted with Sonic Boom: Fire and Ice. It was originally scheduled for a holiday 2015 release, but Sega decided to delay the game to a 2016 release, likely not wanting to repeat the same mistakes they made with Rise of Lyric.
    • Inverted with Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania, which almost fell victim to the same problems '06 had. Having learned from their mistakes, Sega delayed both games so that instead of debuting in 2016 for Sonic's 25th anniversary, they came out the following year (Mania in mid-August, Forces in early November).
    • Compilation Rerelease Sonic Origins was rushed to come out in time for the series' 30th anniversary in 2022. This is notable because while most compilations of this nature wouldn't require much development time at all, all four games included in Origins were recoded from the ground up on Headcannon Games' Retro Engine (used for the previous iOS releases of Sonic 1, 2, and CD), and the remake of Sonic 3 & Knuckles was commissioned specifically for it. The final product is very playable but suffers from a few notable physics bugs and other oversights and is viewed as quite lacking compared to previous Sonic collections.
  • Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny is considered to be Summer Holiday Rushed as it was severely lacking in modes and unlockable items. It even advertised itself as a simpler version of Soulcalibur IV for players new to the game, which was a way of the makers admitting they couldn't make it as good as they wanted to.
  • Spyro the Dragon:
    • Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly is to the Spyro fandom what Sonic '06 would become to the Sonic fandom years later, with the added issue it was the first home console game not done by Insomniac Games. The game was supposed to have 120 dragonflies instead of 90, feature both Gnasty Gnorc along Ripto as villains, over 25 levels with several homeworlds (instead of 9 levels and 1 home world), high framerates and low loading-times. The game actually had an excruciatingly long development time at almost two and a half years, but the problem was the constant Executive Meddling (plus, the fact it was being made by a start-up company with little experience didn't help matters) that caused the game to change design direction constantly and led to a product that was never close to finished. Ultimately, Universal finally set a strict deadline in stone, which meant the final bits and pieces cobbled together were rushed for Christmas and all we got was a glitchy mess with Loads and Loads of Loading (the loading screens have loading screens), bad animation, and tons of lag.
    • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night was revealed a few months before Christmas originally, and was released shortly before Christmas Day. Thankfully, it didn't end up as bad as Enter the Dragonfly, but it still shows at points, most notably with how the plot of it is quickly paced, it's length, and especially when it came to enemy balance.
    • Played with for the Spyro Reignited Trilogy. The game was originally intended to be released in September 2018 to coincide with the franchise's 20th anniversary. However, the news that only the first game would be on the disk, with the other two games having to be downloaded from online stores made the developers convince Activision to delay the game's release to November to polish the game a bit more. To clarify, up until nearly a year after the PC and Switch release where new prints of the discs were released, you still required downloading two out of the three games on PS4 and Xbox One. Even the Switch port requires a patch to download the games's cinematics. So what was the delay in service of? Well, it was never found out, and the only port to escape this criticism was the PC port, which was digital only. Sanzaru Games was eventually brought on to work on Year of the Dragon while Toys for Bob worked on Ripto's Rage — and as revealed in 2020, while they were working on Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time as well.
  • Star Wars:
    • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords suffered this fate, with a horrible ending that tied up very few loose ends capping off a game that could have been Legendary Good. LucasArts just needed it to be out by Christmas, and damn the players' satisfaction with the game. Obsidian has stated that they were under the impression that they were to be given more time by LucasArts but unfortunately they didn't get it in writing and still had to release the game by the end of 2004 which led to even more rushing, and even with the rush, it didn't reach Europe until February. And the worst part about this example is that LucasArts then specifically told Obsidian they couldn't restore the cut content in a patch. After years of effort in pulling the unused audio and video files and rendering their own gameplay and animation to fill in the gaps, the Restored Content Game Mod was created so that a "complete" game can be played. In 2022, Aspyr Media created a Nintendo Switch port incorporating the Dummied Out content, finally bringing it full circle and creating an official complete version.
    • The infamously Troubled Production of Star Wars: Galaxies resulted in numerous delays before LucasArts finally put their foot down and demanded that Sony Online Entertainment release the game in summer of 2003. Unfortunately, the game was nowhere near ready and the lead developer later described frantically removing reams of incomplete code, to the point where the only incomplete code he wasn't removing was things that the game actually needed to run. With the benefit of hindsight, the end result of this rush could charitably be described as disastrous. The game was bug-ridden and largely devoid of content on launch, numerous promised features — like space travel, player-owned towns, and vehicles — had to be delayed to later patches and most of the underlying systems of the game were horrendously imbalanced and broken. Despite the best efforts of the developers, the game never truly recovered from the problems created by its early launch and most of the game's subsequent problems had their roots in the decision to gun for a Summer '03 launch window.
      Apparently not learning their lesson, SOE wound up doing this a second time in 2005 with the New Game Enhancements (NGE), a particularly reviled update that completely rewrote the game code from the ground up and dramatically changed the way the game was designed and played. A long-awaited Combat Upgrade launched in May of that year had gone over poorly with the community and the developers decided they needed something bigger to draw in more players. A conceptual mock-up of what would become the NGE was created and shared amongst the developers and producers. SOE gave the project a tentative go-ahead and the devs were given a mere six months to put together a complete rewrite of all of the game's core systems, all while putting together the game's third expansion pack AND maintaining the current code with regular updates. Several of the developers would later claim that those six months involved some of the highest workload they'd ever had to deal with and because SOE still hadn't fully decided to use the new system, they had to effectively code for two different game systems at once. The NGE was finally launched with two weeks warning to the players and managed to turn the game into an even buggier mess than it was at launch, resulting in an enormous exodus of players.
    • Star Wars: The Old Republic released in a fairly decent state at first glance with quality voice acting and story writing, but being rushed to the market (against both a World of Warcraft expansion and Christmas selling season) released it with poor optimization that meant that powerful computers had trouble with it even on low graphics. The game was also released with a noticeably barren (that is to say, three dungeons and a raid) endgame. After a year, BioWare was forced to try to recoup the money they lost on keeping the project going by announcing their failure in all but name.
    • Star Wars Battlefront (2015) was rushed to release in order for it to tie-in with The Force Awakens, which is evident from its lack of content such as a campaign. Likewise, Star Wars Battlefront II (2017) was rushed to be released to tie into The Last Jedi, and soon became infamous for its heavy use of microtransactions and a loot boxes-based character progression.
  • Street Fighter V wasn't rushed for Christmas (or any holiday, really), but was pushed out early in February 2016 to get the basic multiplayer in the hands of players to practice for EVO and other tournaments in the summer. This came at the cost of various features not being available in the game until Marchnote , and the game's story mode not being available until June. And this is not even getting into Arcade Mode and endings, which wouldn't see the light of the day until Arcade Edition arrived in January 2018.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • An aversion: SWAT 3 was to suffer this, but the devs demanded more time to properly finish the game or else they'd cancel the project outright. Thankfully, Sierra budged and was lenient enough to give them a few months more to properly finish the game. In the end, it was a good decision, since the game became one of the most critically praised FPSs of the late 1990s.
  • The Tales series had this happen a few times.
    • Tales of the Abyss was the series' 10th anniversary title and it's implied that parts of it were rushed, as some things were left out in the original Japanese PS2 release. It also had some gameplay wises such as the framerate on the overworld, and a few infamous exploits/bugs. When the game was localized, these things were added into the English version, including extensions to certain Mystic Artes, an extra Mystic Arte for certain characters and Luke's ability to use Radiant Howl while still sporting long hair, with vocal footage for these attacks in the game. The 3DS version included these things.
    • Tales of Xillia was rushed to be the 15th anniversary title, something the team admitted after release. As a result of this, many things that were to be in the game, such as unique port areas, a hot springs scene and a section where you would play as the Big Bad, were ultimately left out. These missing events would eventually make it into the sequel, Tales of Xillia 2. The sequel has been accused by some of being little more than an overpriced DLC pack for the first game for that and a few other reasons.
    • Tales of Zestiria has been heavily implied to have been rushed to meet the series 20th anniversary, but also suffered a Troubled Production at the same time. The rushed nature caused it to garner immense criticism, and a minor controversy in Japan occurred because of the handling of some of its characters.
  • Ultima IX was given a Christmas release date by EA while still in development, with missing content that would have made it in if they had waited at least the following Christmas.
  • Tomb Raider:
    • Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness was in Development Hell for a while, and then ironically rushed out for the Christmas season, which was one of the reasons the game had a ton of cut content and bugs up the wazoo. To get a sense of the sheer amount of content cut, the final game only included two stripped-down versions of locations, of which four were meant to be in the game. In other words, over 50% of the original concept was cut. To make matters worse, the game didn't make it since it wasn't released until February of 2003.
    • Tomb Raider Chronicles was shoved out to meet Christmas sales at the end of 2000. While the game itself wasn't terrible, it was considered to be short and mediocre and the writing was questionable due to plot inconsistencies when compared to the previous games. Chronicles wasn't even supposed to exist since Lara's apparent death in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, but Executive Meddling forced the developers to pump out another game.
    • Shadow of the Tomb Raider was announced quietly in 2017, and barely a year later just a month after the Tomb Raider film was released, footage of the game was shown and came out on September 2018 around the same exact time as Spider-Man (PS4). Although critics and its fanbase praised the game, the general consensus gave negative opinions due to its forced graphics (since Crystal Dynamics had little to do with it this time around; Eidos Montreal had full control), the questionable storyline that ties up various loose ends abruptly, Lara's whiny (albeit more biased) attitude and bizarre revelations about the Trinity corporation. Once again, consider this another case of Executive Meddling from Square Enix.
  • The Virtual Boy was rushed for a few different reasons, but namely because Nintendo didn't want to waste any more resources with further development. While Gunpei Yokoi had planned the system as a parting gift of sorts before he left the company, with the hopes that it would create a third pillar of hardware for Nintendo alongside home consoles and handhelds, upper management saw it more as a stop-gap until the Nintendo 64 was completed by the other R&D department. As such, the Virtual Boy was released far before it was ready and quickly became the biggest hardware flop the company has ever had. Yokoi delayed his retirement so it wouldn't seem like he was leaving out of embarrassment, spending those additional months creating the Game Boy Light.
  • A very infamous example is Warcraft III: Reforged. While Activision and even Blizzard itself gained criticism due to rushing game releases even when they were not ready, no other game unleashed backlash for it on the same level as Reforged. The game was supposed to launch somewhere in late 2019, but the year passed by with no word from Blizzard on the release date, only for them to quickly come out in December to delay it to January 2020... only for the game to be released in an egregiously unfinished state with an alarming amount of bugs that made it past beta, and despite being a remaster of the original, it was missing about half of the online features the original game had since Day 1 (clan support, ladders, profiles, automated tournament, custom campaigns, being able to play offline and save the game in that case, and more) and the rush was so blatant that the game still said Warcraft III Reforged Beta in many parts of the menu/UI on release, no real keybinding support via the menu (you had to edit the controls by going to a TXT file in the game folder), and the game would disconnect or crash players at random, on top of placeholder models and being met with instant defeat screens on campaign mode. The backlash was so severe that Blizzard allowed refunds in less than a week since the game release. This also proved to be the swan song for the classic game's team within Blizzard (Team 1), who were quietly dissolved in fall of 2020.
  • Inverted when Nintendo delayed two major Wii U releases (Wii Fit U and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze), originally planned for the 2013 holiday season, to instead be released in the first few months of 2014. The official reason was for the games to have more time to be polished up, but gaming journalists and commentators have speculated that it was more so they wouldn't be overshadowed by Super Mario 3D World and so there wouldn't be a first-half-of-the-year game drought like in 2013 that would once again kill momentum for hardware sales (indeed, sales analysts noted that February 2014 hardware sales for Wii U were significantly up over February 2014 thanks to Tropical Freeze). It also helped that 2014 was coincidentially the 20th anniversary of the original Donkey Kong Country.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt suffered this years after being released. Developer CD Projekt Red released a next gen update for the 2015 game just ahead of Christmas 2022 for Playstation 5, Xbox Series X, and PC. This "upgrade," left the game unplayably plagued with performance issues, especially on PC. Video quickly surfaced of the game struggling to run at 1080p on an RTX 4090, the most powerful consumer graphics card in the world at the time and considered overkill for most games in 4K. The console versions were fixed relatively quickly, but the PC version was still struggling months later. Ironically, this free upgrade seems to have been intended to win back some goodwill after the embarrassing launch of Cyberpunk 2077, detailed above.
  • The Xbox 360 was rushed to market to give it a year's head start on the PS3 and Wii. Reports are conflicting, but it seems clear that its hardware problems were known (although their full scope might not have been) and it was pushed out the door anyway on the theory that a year unopposed would balance out the cost of manufacturer-warranty repairs. There was also the issue of nVidia's contract to produce the original Xbox's graphics chip expiring, so Microsoft had to rush its next-gen console or else go an entire year without any console on the market. This backfired incredibly hard, as it cost Microsoft so much money for all the repairs and replacements and affected word of mouth so greatly that it gave the PS3 a significant edge that it wouldn't have had if they simply delayed it and fought the console without the head start.
  • Yo-kai Watch Blasters 2: Despite scoring slightly higher than the first Blasters in Famitsu reviews, it is considered by fans as the worst in the series because of several glitches (there are missing dialogue and models, you can get stuck on some dungeons, or you cannot recruit some Yo-Kai due to the heart ring suddenly dissapearing). Even after several patches, some glitches weren't fixed and others were created in the process. Fans think it was rushed because it had a minor delay (one week)note . Likely due to this and poor sales (it only made a third of what the first Blasters did in its first week, and less than most of the main games — except the first one — in the same time frame), it never received a third version update unlike Yo-kai Watch 2, Blasters 1, and 3. It also would not be localized for Western markets, with Yo-kai Watch 4 instead taking the spotlight. (Though the 3DS basically being retired by that point — 2019 — was also a large factor in the decision.)

    Web Comics 
  • Done in-universe in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures: Dark Pegasus rushed his big undead army project to try and crash a royal wedding with it, while it was supposed to take a few more years of meticulous work. This led to the creation of a free undead race instead of loyal slaves.
  • One comic in Nerf NOW!! has Mighty No. 9's Beck facing a choice for when he has to decide whether to rush his game to launch, or delay the game to polish it; both choices lead to angry fans.

    Web Videos 
  • Economy Watch: As the trivia name says, this applies to "A Very Hoarder Christmas" and "It's An Economic Snowfall". Both of which were rushed to hit a December release date.
  • Fictosophy: "The Best Case Scenario" was made in less than a week just to have something for April Fools' Day.
  • Rooster Teeth first experienced it with Season 3 of Red vs. Blue, where trying to release the first episodes using Halo 2 (itself present in the Video Games folder) the same day the game came out was exhausting, with Burnie Burns reporting he slept four hours in three days and downright fell asleep during a conversation. Then their fully animated series would also fall into this as they often just finish the episodes the week of release. Miles Luna recalls he and Kerry Shawcross would downright sleep in the studio when finishing the early seasons of RWBY, and former employees posted anonymous reviews on Glassdoors complaining about excessive and unpaid crunch time during 2018's production of both RWBY and gen:LOCK (it would later come out that gen:LOCK creator Gray Haddock — who said Seasons 9/10 of RvB and Season 1 of RWBY forced him to see his wife only 2-3 nights a week — was the one slave-driving everyone to get that series' premiere out on the same day as the RWBY Season 6 finale).
  • Sword Art Online Abridged has an in-universe case of this, in that the eponymous game was hurried out as a launch title and thus has its share of bugs, from missing sound files for monsters, to tutorial NPCs that are able to wander off and get roped into player guilds, to Game-Breaking Bugs like a boss monster glitching out and dying without unlocking the door out of its boss room. Even the "if you die in the game you die in real life" aspect is a glitch that the lead programmer decided to double down on. But SAO was released anyway because it had already been delayed twice, and the publisher decided "It's a big open world, no one's gonna notice a few glitches!"

    Western Animation 
  • Charles Schulz and Bill Melendez were given only six months to complete A Charlie Brown Christmas in time for the holiday season, and Melendez couldn't start animating it until the third. As a result, the special is rife with stiff animation that goes Off-Model several times (most notably Lucy phasing through her psychiatric booth and Linus's head vanishing in one frame) and stilted voice acting that was very clearly stitched together from numerous takes (remember that it was almost entirely done by real children at a time when child voice actors didn't exist, meaning that these kids lacked any professional experience). Luckily, the special was appealing enough to remain a holiday classic since it premiered; in fact, the shoddy quality of the special was able to gather a certain appeal that permanently stuck with the Peanuts franchise.
  • The Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood quarantine special — not for Christmas, but for the COVID-19 pandemic. There's no way that the crew could've predicted the pandemic happening, so they had to rush it in time for the back-to-school season in August 2020. As such, the special features very little new animation and is a Clip Show consisting of music videos from the show. However, with the show's low budget, they were able to complete it in time.
  • The production of the first three episodes of the Nicktoon Speed Racer: The Next Generation were rushed heavily in order to be released a week before the release of the live-action movie, and the franchise's 40th anniversary. As a result, all shading was scrapped except for scenes with dramatic lighting, and there are a few Adobe After Effects layering errors.
  • Not only was Total Drama: Pahkitew Island produced at the same time as All-Stars, the season never went through any revisions or rewrites. Several arcs were left hanging with the eliminations and some questionable things were left in.
  • The Japanese release of The Transformers was imported and dubbed in a rush, with preliminary or erroneously translated scripts being used, which caused issues like characters being referred by the wrong name or having the wrong voice (the seekers to a even bigger degree than the US dub, and even Blitzwing got Ramjet's voice at one point). Several minor/semi-regular characters had completely different voices depending on the episode (Bluestreak got hit the worst, with seven different voice actors used in the Japanese dub for him in total), in addition to a few episodes reaching Japan several weeks before their US broadcast.
  • VeggieTales: "The Toy That Saved Christmas", an ambitious episode from the series' early years, ended up being rushed to meet a very set-in-stone deadline (since you can't ship a Christmas special late). The air conditioning broke at the animation headquarters just in the wake of a heat wave hitting Chicago. Phil Vischer was bed-ridden afterwards for almost two months as well due to bacteria in his heart. It was so close to the deadline once production of the show had wrapped that one of the employees had to be flown down to Dallas, TX with a copy of the show in-hand to give to the tape duplicator because (in Robert Ellis' own words) "FedEx wasn't fast enough!". This was one of the few cases where the team was unsatisfied with the episode's original end result, and the following year they went back and re-animated a lot of the scenes, creating a second version of the show that was overall much cleaner than the original.

  • In July 1790, after two years of solid enough victories, the commander of the Russian fleet wanted to achieve a critical victory over the Swedes in time for the anniversary of Catherine the Great's ascension to the throne. As a result, the battle was started without conducting proper recon first, and the all but defeated Swedes managed to score a victory critical enough to make the Russians sign a more than favorable peace treaty.
  • The MasterCard Lola Formula One team planned to enter in 1998, but MasterCard (who were using the venture to advertise their new "F1 Club" scheme, and thus wanted to launch as soon as possible) forced Lola to enter in 1997 by threatening to pull their funding if they didn't. This gave Lola just four months to design and build their car, which was nowhere near enough time. The result was a car with too much drag on the straights, not enough downforce in the corners, and a Ford engine that was outdated and underpowered but was all they'd been able to procure at such short notice. Lola failed to qualify for the first race by over five seconds, at which point MasterCard cut their losses and pulled the plug on the team.
  • Duolingo's Hawaiian course was rushed to be out by Indigenous People's Day in 2018, resulting in a course that was criticized for feeling shallow compared to the other courses. Eventually they released an update adding more content.
  • The Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 supersonic airliner was rushed into testing and introduction in order to beat the Concorde, as Soviet political priorities at the time favoured one-upping Western developments. As a result, it became an Alleged Plane, as it had several airframe failures and only lasted three years in passenger service, compared to the Concorde's 28.
  • In 1960, the chief of the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces demanded that the new missile prototype is to be launched by November 7th (the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution). He died in the explosion along with at least seventy three other people, and the missile wasn't ready until a year later.