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Divided for Publication

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You've written a long book. Lots of characters, many Plot Threads, and deep, complex Character Development. Your publisher likes it, but unfortunately, you're not a very well-known writer, and readers aren't likely to pick up such a vast novel. Furthermore, limitations in the current printing and binding market make publication as a single volume uneconomical, especially if this is a debut novel; if it goes over 424 pages in length, it must be outsourced to a bindery that uses a more expensive technique, disproportionately increasing printing expenses.

The solution? Split the book into multiple volumes. The public will be less intimidated by the shorter length of the individual volumes, and thus more likely to buy them. There are also some practical reasons. For one, the smaller books are individually easier to hold and carry. Two, it places less physical stress on the bindings, so smaller books are less prone to fall apart while the consumer is still reading them. Three, it's easier to sell a cheap book than a costly one. There are also some economic issues in that the large page count has a higher per-volume production and transport cost, so it makes sense to divide that out to maintain a reasonable profit margin and/or price point.

If the book proves successful, it will probably be later released in a single-volume edition.

This happens often with translated works; pithy phrases in the original language often require more words. In particular, English books translated into Romance languages get much wordier.

Note that this trope isn't intended for a series of books that tell a single story. This trope is for those stories submitted as single books, that were then split into multiples at the publisher's request.

A forerunner is the Victorian three-volume novel, where a longer story is told and sold in three parts. In the 19th century, the business model was to use the first volume to get people interested in the second and third parts, and thus extract more money per story.

In the case of video games, episodic installments rarely take off, but they fare best when they are actually this: a complete or mostly-complete game broken up into pieces to sell separately. The problem is that most episodic games finish only one episode and hope for it to fund the rest of the series, but even if the first episode sells well, the huge delay in starting the next episode means that interest usually sags and the second episode is the last. More commonly, customers are wary of investing into a series that might never complete and fail to buy the first episode until more episodes are released, which then guarantees that those episodes will never happen.

See also Divided for Adaptation, Movie Multipack, Multi-Part Episode, Multi-Volume Work, One Game for the Price of Two, and Trilogy Creep. Omnibus is the opposite.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Supposedly, the "Graystripe's Adventure" trilogy of Warrior Cats (manga) was originally meant to be a single volume as long as a normal manga. They decide that it should be released on the same day as the first book in a new series, but the illustrator wasn't done with it, so they decided to split it into three shorter volumes. Every manga afterward has followed suit.

    Comic Books 
  • Inverted in a non-Omnibus way with the Top 10 Prequel story The '49ers, which went straight to graphic novel publication despite very obvious cliffhanger endings for a six-issue comic miniseries. It's widely rumoured that this was because DC Comics feared that the serial comics audience of the time would react badly to the story's main romance subplot being a gay male one.

    Fan Fiction 
  • The 620,000-plus-word Fallout: Equestria got broken into five volumes for its first printing. A second printing recombined these into two volumes.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Unfortunately averted with Cleopatra (1963). The director wanted to make a six-hour film that would be split into two volumes. 20th Century Fox wanted nothing to do with this and released it as a single four-hour production. The other two hours remain missing.
  • In the Name of the King, the Dungeon Siege adaptation by Uwe Boll, narrowly averted this. The original cut was over 200 minutes long and was planned to be split into two movies for theatrical release, but the editors couldn't find a spot in the middle where there was a good place to end the first installment. Instead, it was released as a single, heavily-cut two hour film in theaters and on DVD. The Blu-ray had an "Unrated Director's Cut" that restored a half hour of cut footage.
  • The movie Che about the life of Guerilla leader Ernesto 'Che' Guevara had to be divided into two parts.
  • Kill Bill was originally going to be one movie, but was split into two volumes for release.
  • Superman: The Movie and Superman II were written and filmed as one production (though the intention was always to release it in two parts from the outset). Unfortunately, this time, the original director was fired after a significant portion of the second half was completed, so the two movies vary wildly in tone.
  • The Halloween franchise was originally supposed to be a series of otherwise unconnected stories with the only linking theme being that they take place on or near Halloween; it just so happened that the first story (about Michael Myers) took the first two films to tell. When Halloween III: Season of the Witch came out and it wasn't about Michael, fans were pissed and the producers reverted to just telling stories about the slasher.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was so long that a number of scenes were cut and set to be used in The Amazing Spider-Man 3, until Sony shelved the plans for 3.
  • The sequel to Back to the Future developed into such a complex story that it was divided into two films, released six months apart. The second film even ended with a trailer for the third, a practice rarely seen since the demise of the cliffhanger serials of the early 20th century.
  • Justice League and Avengers: Infinity War were both originally marketed as two-part movies, but both backed away from this later, likely due to public burnout on the Movie Multipack trend. Justice League wound up a fairly stand-alone movie, while Infinity War still ended on a cliffhanger to set up Avengers: Endgame. Some years later, the colossal runtime (4 hours) of Zack Snyder's Justice League gave credence to the speculation that enough material for two motion pictures was filmed.
  • 1900 was originally released as a two part movie in Italy, totalling at 5 hours and 17 minutes, but when released in the USA as 1900, it was trimmed down to 2 and a half hours, with the more graphic scenes cut to get an R rating. In The '90s, the original Italian cut was released in the USA, with an NC-17 rating.

  • The Lord of the Rings was famously split into three volumes for publication, and in fact to this day is commonly (and erroneously) referred to as a trilogy. It is technically a single novel. This is further confused by the fact that each of the three "parts" — The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King — is divided into two of what Tolkien called "books", making six "books" in total. This is using the meaning of "book" as a division of an epic.
  • Stephen King:
    • The Green Mile was originally released in 1996 in 6 parts, one being released per month.
    • The paperback reprint of Under the Dome is split into two books, each over 600 pages on their own.
  • The Illuminatus! trilogy was originally pitched as one book but split into three to have some hope of actually being read.
  • The Deed of Paksenarrion also had to be split into three volumes.
  • David Weber:
    • The first Hell's Gate novel was split into two books, and it seems likely the same will have to happen to his next Honor Harrington novel, A Rising Thunder.
    • Another translation split. The Japanese versions of the Honor Harrington books are split in two starting with the third or fourth book, possibly more with the later volumes.
  • The first novel in The Merchant Princes Series was split into two books. What had originally been planned to be the second book ended up being split into four. Even after being partly re-written to publish the series in an omnibus edition, it still finished as three books rather than the original two.
  • The Succession Duology was split into two volumes, The Risen Empire and Killing of Worlds. Confusingly, the book was published as a single volume in the UK, under the title The Risen Empire (704 pages in paperback).
  • The UK edition of A Storm of Swords was split into two volumes, Steel and Snow and Blood and Gold (661 and 637 pages in paperback, including appendices). The French edition split it into four volumes — and, in fact, the French translations of all the A Song of Ice and Fire books were split into at least two volumes, and again in the UK with the A Dance with Dragons paperback, split into Dreams and Dust and After the Feast. This happened in the American series as well, as A Feast for Crows came into being accidentally, originally intended to be A Dance with Dragons. However, Dance was too large in whatever form it was in at the time, so George R. R. Martin split it into two books based on character POV groupings as opposed to chronology. Fans have since crafted reading lists that allow readers to follow the books' plots in chronological order just like the rest of the series.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • The first two books were split in half as part of a 'young adult special edition'. This doesn't seem to have done well, none of the other books were split. The German translation of the series has passed 31 books, corresponding to the first 11 books and prequel in the English version.
    • The final three books — The Gathering Storm, Towers of Midnight and A Memory of Light — were originally intended to be one book ("Even if they have to invent a new method of bookbinding and sell it complete with its own library cart"), but upon taking over the writing of the series after Robert Jordan's death, Brandon Sanderson immediately decided to split it into thirds. Given the each of those three books are nearly a thousand pages, that was probably a good idea.
    • The Swedish print versions of the books where all split up in half when published to not make them as big Doorstoppers, effectively doubling the number of books in the collection.
  • Brandon Sanderson's own The Stormlight Archive series is subject to this, with The Way of Kings (2010) and Words of Radiance both being divided into two parts for the UK edition. This seems to have been dropped beginning with Oathbringer, which is ironically the longest instalment so far.
  • The Night's Dawn Trilogy was split into six books for the American release.
  • Clive Barker's Imajica was split into two volumes. Something similar happened with his Books of Blood.
  • The Tale of Genji, due to its sheer length, is frequently divided into two volumes.
  • Tad Williams has had a few:
    • The Finnish translation of the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy was split into no less than twelve volumes. Even in English, the final volume was split in two for the paperback editions.
    • The Czech translation is only slightly better with seven volumes, with the second book split into two and the third into four volumes.
    • Otherland has at the beginning of the first book an admission that it wouldn't be a series if it weren't for the fact that the author needs to keep writing new books at a constant pace, so he'll keep receiving royalties.
    • There's a note at the front of Shadowrise remarking that the quartet was originally meant as a trilogy, and "one of these days I will learn to write a last volume that doesn't need its own zip code."
  • C. J. Cherryh:
    • The middle three of the five Chanur Novels were one novel split into three to satisfy publishing constraints; they form one story arc, with no mini-resolution at the end of each. Although they've been published together in an omnibus since, but have never been printed as Cherryh really intended, as one novel.
    • Cyteen was published in mass-market paperback form as three novels, although it was released in hardback and "trade paperback" form as a single work.
  • Marcel Proust's In Search Of Lost Time was originally published in seven volumes, due to its length. Modern versions are usually in 2, 6 or 7-volume sets.
  • Lois McMaster Bujold originally submitted the first two books of The Sharing Knife as a single book.
  • Inverted with Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which was intended to be in the style of the Victorian three-volume novel but ended up as one giant-ass book. (It did, however, end up published as three volumes in Poland.)
  • The Belgariad:
    • In a weird case, The Belgariad was originally intended to be a trilogy, with the three volumes named Garion, Ce'Nedra, and Torak after three key characters in the story. The author was asked to split the story into five parts instead of three, resulting in the series as we know it. This is noticeable starting in the second book:
    • The climax of the second section (of three) in the second book is the climax of the main character's development up to that point.
    • The final section of the second book is a mostly self-contained episode in the story, but it sets up the quest that takes all of the third book (which ends on a Cliffhanger) and that isn't properly resolved until early in the fourth.
    • The second half of the fourth book and all of the fifth book function together as a single unit, with most of the main character's subplot in the fourth book and almost all of the Supporting Leader's subplot in the fifth book.
    • The Dutch translation of the later "stand-alone" books (Belgarath the Sorceror and Polgara the Sorceress) and of The Redemption of Althalus were all published as two books, as well as the French translation of the former.
  • The Kingkiller Chronicle: Patrick Rothfuss wrote the whole story over 14 years and then submitted it — then his publisher told him to make it a trilogy, so he had to rewrite it yet again.
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms is often divided for publication, as is Journey to the West and other classical Chinese novels.
  • Ash: A Secret History was split into four parts for US publication.
  • Three-volume novels? Jane Eyre comes to mind, though it's now typically published as an omnibus.
  • The second and third books of Old Kingdom are basically one story, but after Garth Nix finished writing Lirael, he apparently realized that this was getting way, way too long for a single young-adult-aimed fantasy novel and split it in half.
  • The Riftwar Cycle:
    • The first book, Magician, is usually published in two parts, called Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master. This may vary by region; in Australia, it is more common to find it published as a single volume and only imported versions split into two parts.
    • The Czech translation continues with the splits into the sequels as well, publishing the Empire trilogy in five books (splitting the second and third volume into two books each), splitting The King's Buccaneer into Crydee and Novindus volumes, and dividing The Serpentwar Saga into a total of 8 volumes, two for each book.
  • Back in the day, this happened with some non-fiction books as well. There are dual volume versions of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and of John Toland's The Rising Sun, and to this day, some publishers still release The Gulag Archipelago in three volumes.
  • Hand of Thrawn: The German translation of Vision of the Future was split into two volumes.
  • The Bible: The Old Testament books of 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, and 2 Kings were originally one book. So were 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, and Ezra (the dividing line between the end of 2 Chronicles and the beginning of Ezra is in the middle of a sentence). These were split in the Septuagint, with the Vulgate following the same convention, because the scrolls used by those "publishers" couldn't fit the text of the whole book, making this an Older Than Feudalism example of Executive Meddling.
  • The second volume of the Wars of Light and Shadow series, Ships of Merior, was such a Doorstopper that it couldn't be published in paperback form as one book, so the paperback version is split into two volumes, entitled Ships of Merior and Warhost of Vastmark.
  • Isaac Asimov hated this more than other authors, because he counted his published books, and now had to decide whether this counts as one item or more on his list of published books, with good arguments for either choice.
  • Some editions of Norwegian Wood split the novel in two very small volumes, one red and one green (sometimes inside a gold-colored case, as per here). As the novel is not particularly long (and in at least one case the split causes a mid-chapter break), this was presumably done for strictly aesthetic reasons.
  • 1Q84 is split into three volumes for the American soft-cover edition, and two volumes in the British edition.
  • Alan Moore's almost 1300-page novel Jerusalem was split into three volumes for the American softcover edition.
  • Again, Dangerous Visions was published in two volumes in UK hardcover, but confusingly split into three volumes in paperback.
  • The first story in the Spellsinger series was split into Spellsinger and The Hour of the Gate.
  • Sergey Lukyanenko:
    • Seekers of the Sky was split into Cold Shores and Morning Nears, with the second novel picking up immediately after the first (after a day-long Time Skip).
    • While this may also seem to be the case with his Rough Draft and Final Draft novels, as Final Draft picks up a few hours after the ending of Rough Draft, it took Lukyanenko two years to write the sequel.
  • This has happened twice to novels by Robin Hobb, much to many readers' confusion.
    • The first two books of what is now known as the Rain Wilds Chronicles were written as a single book that was split into two. Hobb then set out to write a sequel which was also split, resulting in books three and four of the series.
    • The French version of the Farseer trilogy had its second book split in two, and the third one split in three.
  • Book of the New Sun was written as a single novel and published as a series of four. Most later editions of it divide it into two books.
  • The Legacy of the Aldenata books When the Devil Dances and Hell's Faire were originally to be published as one volume. However, the September 11, 2001 attacks left John Ringo unable to work on the book for a time, running up against the scheduled publishing date. The work was split into two books to keep it from being extremely late (instead of only somewhat late), as explained in the afterword of Hell's Faire.
  • The Rifters Trilogy novel βehemoth was split by Tor Publishing into two books: βehemoth: β-Max and βehemoth: Seppuku. This did not go over well with Peter Watts.
  • Neal Stephenson considered his The Baroque Cycle to be either one very long book or series in eight volumes. The series was eventually published as a trilogy of three books, with each book contained two or three of the volumes in the series. Stephenson also took advantage of this set up in the second volume by presenting two volumes in one jumble, alternating between chapters of the first volume and second volume so that the two books come together to tell a single coherent story. The three volumes of the first book were published as separate mas-market paperbacks in the US.
  • Song of the Lioness was originally intended as one book for the adult market, but Tamora Pierce had to cut and rewrite it into four parts to market it as a young adult title.
  • Cordwainer Smith's Norstrilia was originally split into two volumes, The Planet Buyer and The Underpeople. It took the better part of another decade for the complete novel to be published. To make the novel fit better into a two-volume format, Smith added some new material to the end of one book and the beginning of the next. The additional scenes are not necessary to the plot but may be of interest to Smith completists.
  • Artamene, a 1600s novel published in ten volumes, spanning a total of 2.1 million words.
  • Books three and four of the Rihannsu series were originally meant to be one volume, but Executive Meddling forced Swordhunt to be split in two, creating Honor Blade, with the chapter numbers starting at six. The Rihannsu: The Bloodwing Voyages omnibus merges them back together.
  • Les Misérables is over 1900 pages in the original French, and to this day is usually published as two separate volumes. English translations usually come in around 1500 pages (more with appendices); some of these are published as two volumes as well.
  • Sylvie and Bruno was written as a single novel, but due to its length, Lewis Carroll's publisher suggested it be released as two volumes. Thus, it was separated into Sylvie and Bruno and Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, published four years apart.
  • The Expanse: Leviathan Wakes has been published in Poland as two books.
  • In the Doctor Who Novelisations, the very long TV story "The Daleks' Master Plan" was split into two books. "The Trial of a Time Lord" was split into four books, but it had been originally produced as four separate TV stories and comes across more as a season with an unusually strong Story Arc than as a single story.
  • Averted with The Fatal Dream. It was recommended to Ian Hastings by a publisher that his 806-page debut novel should be separated into at least two volumes. The author ignored it on the grounds that he intended the whole story to be the first part of a four-book series.
  • When translated into German, the Anthology Possible Tomorrows was also incorporated into an existing series, and then split into two different publications. Since each book had three stories, a translation of "The Missionaries'' (by Everett B Cole) was added to the second book.
  • The Maps in a Mirror collection was originally published as a single volume, but it has also been published as four books (The Changed Man, Flux, Monkey Sonatas, and Cruel Miracles) and as two separate volumes (Volume 1, containing parts 1 and 2, and Volume Two, containing parts 3 and 4). Only the full, undivided editions contain "Lost Songs: The Hidden Stories".
  • Cal Leandros: Nightlife has been published in Japan as two books.
  • The Spanish release of the Doorstopper Cryptonomicon was split into three volumes titled after the three encryption algorithms covered in the series: El Código Enigma, El Código Pontifex and El Código Aretusa.
  • At least one French translation of Dune splits the novel into two volumes. The story is divided into three parts, the separation happening in the middle of the second part.
  • Volumes 1 through 6 of The Ending Chronicle are all split into Part A and Part B (with Volume 3 having an additional Part C as well), with original publication dates only a month apart for each part (with Volume 3 having a two-month gap between Part A and Part B then back to only a month for Part C). Volume 7, which was not divided, is a Doorstopper coming in at over a thousand pages. A similar thing happens with the same author's sequel series Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, with each volume being divided into two (Volumes 1, 2, 5, 8 and 9) or three (Volumes 3, 4, 6, 7, 10 and 11) parts, though starting with Volume 4 (the first part of which was released the same day as the third part of Volume 3), they shifted to a schedule of two months between parts.
  • The 2018-on reissue of The Unicorn Chronicles divides book #3 (Dark Whispers) into two books, Enter the Whisperer and Secret of the Delvers, with appropriate edits (and some entirely new chapters). Similarly, the original book #4 (The Last Hunt) is being divided and expanded into three books (The Invasion of Luster, The Wounded Tree and The Gathered Glory), thus bringing the entire series to a more uniform length.
  • Aeon 14: The conclusion to the Orion War series, Return to Sol, kept growing in length as author M.D. Cooper was working on it, so she polled the members of the series' Facebook group on whether to divide it into two parts. They said yes, so Return to Sol was released as Part I: Attack at Dawn and Part II: Star Rise.
  • The original Czech translation of Sword of Truth split every single book into two volumes.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: "Frontier in Space" and "Planet of the Daleks" were written as a single twelve-part serial, which would've tied it with "The Daleks' Master Plan" for the position of the show's longest story by episode count (discounting "The Trial of a Time Lord", which was billed as a 14-part story but written and produced as four interconnected serials). However, the production team ultimately decided to bill the two as a pair of interconnected six-part serials, hence why part six of "Frontier in Space" ends on a cliffhanger that gets reprised and resolved in part one of "Planet of the Daleks".
  • The US version of Resurrection: Ertuğrul splits dozens of 2-hour episodes into 40-45 minute segments that are more bearable for Westerners.

  • Guns N' Roses' Use Your Illusion 1 & 2.
  • When Steve Miller wrote and recorded Fly Like An Eagle, he had enough good songs for two records. Half were released on Fly Like An Eagle in 1976, with the other half released on Book Of Dreams a year later.
  • While producing a follow-up to OK Computer, Radiohead had so much usable material that they considered releasing it as a double album. However, this was considered too dense of a product, and as a result it was split into Kid A and Amnesiac, released six months apart from one another. While the original double album configuration was never revisited, the pair saw their 20th anniversaries celebrated together with the Kid A Mnesia set, which featured both Kid A and Amnesiac plus a bonus disc of outtakes.
  • R.E.M. wrote so much material for Reckoning and Lifes Rich Pageant that they were both considered for release as double albums. However, the idea was shot down in favor of a single-disc release both times; the songs that were removed in the process were revisited in different forms across multiple later albums.
  • Simple Minds recorded many songs for Sons And Fascination, and liked so many that they couldn't fit them all onto one album (optimum space for a vinyl LP is around 22 minutes per side). They initially were going to put out Sons And Fascination as a double album, but decided that might make people think they were a Progressive Rock group rather than the New Wave Music band they wanted to be. Instead, they released the second half as a separate album called Sister Feelings Call. This was originally shrinkwrapped with Sons And Fascination, and later sold as a budget release. Both albums are available on one CD and are now considered by the band to be one album again, simply titled Sons And Fascination/Sister Feelings Call.

    Video Games 
  • Several Famicom Disk System were released in two parts, such as Shin Onigashima, Yuuyuuki, Time Twist and both entries in the Famicom Detective Club series. Squaresoft's ambitious RPG Seiken Densetsu: Emergence of Excalibur (no relation to the later Seiken Densetsu series), was planned to be released in five parts, but the whole project ended up being cancelled.
  • The text adventure game Dungeon, originally developed for the PDP-10, was adapted into the Zork games for microcomputers, due to memory / disk size limitations. Zork 1 and Zork 2 are the two halves of the original Dungeon, with a few details added to each to round them out. Zork 3 (other than one puzzle) was developed de novo by Infocom.
  • Sonic 3 & Knuckles. It had to be split into two cartridges: Sonic 3, and Sonic & Knuckles. However, thanks to the "lock-on" technology, which allowed users to insert their Sonic 3 cartridges onto Sonic & Knuckles, this became kind of a good thing, as otherwise Knuckles probably wouldn't have become playable, much less in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
  • Golden Sun and its direct sequel Golden Sun: The Lost Age were conceptualized as one game. When the game shifted from the N64 to the GBA, it had to be split due to space limits, but also allowed the story to be given more depth. The main character of the second game is an antagonist from the first, and the game explores his much more complex motivations.
  • When the PC Engine port of R-Type was first developed, the ROM capacity of HuCards at the time were limited to 2-Megabits, which was not sufficient enough to contain the whole game. Thus, the Japanese version was split into two separately sold HuCards. R-Type I contains the first four stages, while R-Type II (not to be confused with the arcade sequel of the same name) contains the final four stages. While the two HuCards function as they were individual games, completing R-Type I gives you a password that can be used in R-Type II that carries over your score, lives and power-ups from the first game. Likewise, completing R-Type II gives you a password that allows you to start the second loop at R-Type I. These size constraints were no longer an issue by the time the U.S. version was made, allowing the whole game to fit into a single 4-Megabit HuCard.
  • The Atari 2600 port of Miner 2049er was released in two parts due to system limitations, but even both put together had only 6 out of the original 10 levels.
  • Falcom's The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky needed to be divided. The game that would be known as Trails in the Sky First Chapter was released at a good stopping point before the story begins in earnest. The second game starts immediately after the first ends as a direct continuation. Considering the First Chapter clocks in at above 400000 words, and the second at more than 700000, you can see why the plan to publish it as one large game needed to be scrapped with its sheer volume of text, to say nothing of the stint of Development Hell for the translation team at X Seed Games to localize it all. When Second Chapter came out, the PSP port required two UMD drives to play, making it one of the largest games on the handheld. Thankfully The Third written after the games were published is a still long, but more managable 250000 words or so, acting as an extended epilogue.
  • History repeated itself with The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II, which was so large that it capped the size limitation of the Vita where it was natively published, requiring Falcom to create a third game to put in the remaining material.
  • Irony struck yet again with III, which now takes the trophy as largest game in the franchise with just over a million words of text and crossing over several characters from the previous arcs, only for the ending to reveal a cliffhanger so devious it borders on No Ending at all. A fourth and final game was made the following year to wrap up the Erebonia storyline for good. The fanbase went into such an uproar Falcom has gone on record to promise the following arcs won't exceed two games in length. Then interviews implied they're working on DLC stories for Cold Steel IV...
  • The Shenmue series was supposed to be released in serialized installments that would have spanned 16 chapters across at least four games for the Dreamcast. But since the first two games failed to recoup their expensive development budget (even after Shenmue II was ported to the Xbox), concrete plans for a third game in the series didn't materialize until 2015 before it was eventually released in 2019... with director and producer Yu Suzuki hinting that he still sticking to that four titles plan.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes was originally intended to be a prologue portion of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, but was repurposed as a stand-alone game with several additional missions set in the same location as an appetizer due to the prolonged development of the main game. As an incentive to get people to buy both games, completing Ground Zeroes unlocks additional content for Phantom Pain. Eventually both games were released as a bundle titled Metal Gear Solid V: The Definite Edition.
  • Episodes I & II of Xenosaga were originally intended to be one game. About half the original trailer for Episode I is comprised of scenes that don't occur until Episode II. Monolith later published a version for the Nintendo DS which had the plot of both games forged into a single cohesive narrative aptly titled Episode I&II. They never stated which version was canon vis-a-vis the rest of the series, though.
  • The first two installments of Falcom's Ys series, Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished ~ Omen and Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished – The Final Chapter, were originally written as two parts of the same story, which is why most remakes, starting with the TurboGrafx CD version remake both games as one.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender was planned to be a six-season series with each season comprising of 13 episodes, but Executive Meddling resulted season 3 and 4 to be split into season 3-6, which ultimately totalled the season count to eight.

  • Sets of Architectural and Engineering design drawings require special bindings and storage techniques that publishers don't use. A single 36"x48" design drawing printed out on paper weighs more than a 72 page (36 sheet) trade paperback. They aren't bound with glue. They are bound with staples or screws. Hand drawn antique mylar, vellum, sepia, and/or linen originals are much heavier and often stored unbound in drawers so that they won't distort.
  • This is a common practice in Japanese publishing in general. Books with a high page count will often be released as two or more smaller volumes of no more than 200 pages or so. There are a few reasons for this, but one is because this is thought of as more practical; compared to a full-length book, a couple of slim softcovers are more portable (the better to bring on the long train commute to and from work) and take up less shelf space in cramped apartments.

  • The original design of the board game Settlers of Catan included additional content like a board consisting of multiple islands and the ability to construct ships. The publisher decided to simplify the base game and make these elements into the first expansion The Seafarers of Catan. This decision has been blamed for creating balance issues in the base game, especially decreasing the value of wool as a trading commodity.