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Franchise Killer

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And then they had to reboot it again, seven years later.

"I think we might have killed the franchise."
George Clooney on Batman & Robin (and until 2005, he was right)

Sometimes a sequel sucks. Sometimes it sucks, but leaves the possibility open that the followup will be better and that this is just a blip in the quality of the franchise. Then sometimes it sucks so much that it kills the franchise stone dead, destroying the producers'/publishers' hopes for further sequels. In a variation, maybe the sequel was genuinely decent, but not enough to erase the sins of the previous entries and win back the favor of the crowd. In the most extreme cases, it can even take the producer/publisher down with it. Or even the entire genre itself.

Occasionally a few Franchise Killers over too short a period (or one really bad one) can put a whole genre out of favour for a while. Even the executives could tell when it's time to stop following the leader.

Note that sometimes the franchise turns out to be Not Quite Dead, and can be salvaged with a Continuity Reboot. If the franchise experiences what should have been a Franchise Killer but carries on regardless, it's a Franchise Zombie. Occasionally it's a Stillborn Franchise, an all-new product for which plans for sequels were made and then scrapped when it was discovered that the product was crap, or so hyped up that the creators had unrealistic expectations of its success. Or it just didn't profit enough, even though it was a Cult Classic.

For many Video Game companies, shipping a Franchise Killer is also a Creator Killer, either through bankruptcy, no-one wanting to forward them the funding to continue making games, or in the modern world of mega-corporations owning every studio as a subsidiary of the larger corporation, the executives in charge of the conglomerate deciding to shut the studio having wrung the last vestiges of profit out of the intellectual property the studio was bought for, or using them as scapegoats for poor performance financially speaking. Or in some cases, actual poor performance as a studio.

Compare Creator Killer, Genre-Killer, Trend Killer, and Star-Derailing Role. Also compare Stillborn Franchise, where an attempted franchise ends due to the failure of its first installment, and Torch the Franchise and Run, where a writer is deliberately trying to kill a franchise by making such a big mess of it that no one can continue it without using Prequels, Retcons or just rebooting the whole thing. See also Tough Act to Follow, where one work in a series is seen as so good that subsequent installments are seen as not worth the time and money.

(As TV Tropes does not know time, please wait either 5 years after the last installment's release or for official confirmation by the creators before adding an example.)


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ah! My Goddess: The anime's second season Flights of Fancy was ill-received enough despite closely following the source material that the franchise was never quite the same after that. The manga series was finished up in 2014 but the second season of the TV series put the franchise in media format on its last legs. By the end of 2007, a two part special with Lind called Fighting Wings premiered. And after a few years hiatus, the franchise managed to limp forward just a few more steps and churn out three OVA episodes from 2011 to 2013 with much less fanfare and even those weren't enough to rekindle much interest in Ah My Goddess! Since then, there haven't been any reboots or attempts to rekindle the franchise in any anime or OVA format despite the fact that the manga has now finished up and there's presumably enough material now to create a new AMG! series that can have a more definitive end than during the TV series' run where the manga was going on forever.
  • Anime no Chikara, A-1 Pictures and TV Tokyo's joint original anime project in 2010 (inspired by Fuji TV's noitaminA timeslot), was scrapped after the mediocre ratings and BD/DVD sales of its three original anime (Sound of the Sky, Night Raid 1931, and Occult Academy). Regardless of the project and the timeslot's failure, it did inspire creators to release more original anime in 2011 where some of them (Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Tiger & Bunny, Ano Hana, Penguindrum, Hanasaku Iroha, etc.) became very successful. Aniplex president Koichiro Natsume mentioned in his ANN interview that a lot of lessons were learned from the project and they were able to make more successful original anime.
  • The Troubled Production of the fourth Bleach movie, Bleach: Hell Verse, combined with the decline of the anime's overall success at the time the movie was made, killed any future plans for the series to have any more movies made. Tite Kubo was very upset at how the movie turned out and basically only had his name credited because he was required to do so, and it's clear the final product had bigger ambitions but simply couldn't achieve them. It's uncertain if the movie ended up helping to push the anime to end, but regardless the series never produced another animated work besides finishing the anime. That said, the anime finally returned in October 2022, adapting the Thousand-Year Blood War arc.
  • Blue Exorcist suffered this when it released a season two that completely ignored the second half of the first anime, and made no attempts to address the different story line, instead just acting like it never happened (though said storylines were never touched in the manga). Anime viewers were extremely confused and wrote off the series as a result, and despite the season ending on a cliffhanger, another anime season was never announced. The manga soldiered on, but suffered from steadily-declining ratings, and Kazue Katou even put it on an 9-month hold in 2021 so she could pursue other projects.
  • The original Dangaioh was already a Troubled Production, with only 3 episodes out of a planned 6-12 being made. The follow-up series, Great Dangaioh bombed so badly that it likely killed the franchise regardless, but what sealed the deal was creator Toshihiro Hirano declaring the franchise "cursed" and vowing never to work on it again.
  • Anime International Company's El-Hazard: The Alternative World had such low ratings to the point that AIC pulled the plug with the show's way too many plots being wrapped up (very poorly) in only a single episode. It also killed off the El Hazard franchise, with no further work of any kind being done in the decade since. And we never get to see the Stable Time Loop established in the original The Magnificent World through to its completion. But in 2018, AIC announced a crowdfunding campaign for The Dual World, which will take place years after the end of The Alternative World.
  • The mixed-to-negative reception and low BD/DVD sales of Blood-C nearly killed the Blood franchise. The movie, Blood-C: The Last Dark, attempted to fix the damage. While it performed modestly with home viewers, it flopped at the Japanese box office. Five years later, an Interquel entitled Blood-C: The Last Mind was released as a stage play written by Junichi Fujisaku, co-writer of the Blood-C and Blood+ and a live-action prequel of the series was released on August 2017. The stage play was released well but the live-action movie completely bombed in Japan. To this day, Production IG doesn't have plans for any new anime adaptation of Blood.
  • EX-ARM ran in some form for ten years until the premier of its anime adaptation, which instantly drew heavy criticism for its notoriously bad CG and choreography, thanks in part to a production team that had never worked on an anime before. Its reception was so bad that the manga was cancelled while it was two years into its Sequel Series, before the anime had even finished airing its season.
  • Full Metal Panic! and the first two seasons of its anime adaptation are still well-regarded as classic Mecha works, but the final three novels will likely never be adapted into anime thanks to the commercial bomb that was the third season of the anime. This anime, released in 2018, 13 years after the second season and 8 years after the novel series itself had ended, flopped because fans of the older series had mostly moved on since the end of the books and newer anime fans were generally not interested in watching a sequel to such older prior shows, especially those who had never had any exposure to the franchise before, along with the relative low quality of XEBEC's animation as opposed to Kyoto Animation's Awesome Art.
  • In 2007, GR: Giant Robo was released to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the original manga. Unfortunately, the show was a massive flop mainly due to it straying too far from the source material, the darker tone, and failing to live up to the manga's previous adaptations. Not only did the 2007 anime's failure put a stop to any future adaptations of Giant Robo being made, it also effectively put a halt to any new adaptations of Mitsuteru Yokoyama's works since; the only one since was Tetsujin 28 Gao! in 2013, which quickly faded into obscurity.
  • God Eater as a franchise is still going strong, but the God Eater anime killed any chance of the series getting any more major anime series. This was because ufotable was working it on it around the same time as Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works], causing them to go over-budget and have serious financial problems. This resulted in a rushed product with notable strange animation choices that made it difficult to sell to viewers, which was not helped by the production being so difficult the episodes could not be released weekly, but instead almost monthly instead. The result was that the anime, despite having a Sequel Hook, fell by the wayside and the team has abandoned any attempts at a second season.
  • Gundam:
    • Victory Gundam, the last televised installment to take place in the Universal Century continuity, was under massive pressure from main sponsor Bandai, resulting in a reshuffling of early episodes to showcase the titular mecha of the show earlier, and the addition of several toyetic mechs later in the show's run. Yet the show did not prove to have satisfactory sales, and combined with Sunrise being bought out by Bandai, was replaced with the extremely different Alternate Universe G Gundam, which featured many, many Gundams, and has an extensive toyline. The ratings for the series did not improve, but the toy sales went up, setting a precedent for future TV shows to always be set in alternate universes. The Universal Century still lives on though, quite successfully at that, with OVAs like The 08th MS Team and Gundam Unicorn setting sales records.
    • Gundam X's ratings almost killed the franchise, presumably due to there having been Gundam on screen every week for 4 years at that point. The series disappeared off TV for 3 years until the similarly unsuccessful ∀ Gundam (although the series continued on Video and Film with The 08th MS Team and Endless Waltz). It was not until the massively successful Gundam SEED that the series was revitalized. Gundam X is one of only two Gundam TV series to be cut short of a full two-season run. The first? The original Mobile Suit Gundam; it's easy to forget given what a massive franchise it has become when the original installment had poor ratings.
    • In America, it was Gundam SEED that killed the franchise. In this case, one can blame the heavy edits Toonami made. Desperate to air the show in a daytime slot, Cartoon Network's cuts turned the show into a complete mess, most notably by forcing the series to Never Say "Die", drastically changing battle scenes, and featuring the notorious "Disco Guns". Despite the show's serious nature, the bizarre and drastic edits caused the fanbase to not take the show seriously and it showed in the ratings. By episode 26, the series could only be seen at Friday at midnight. After its shaky Western run, Gundam would go back to being only seen on DVD until Sci Fi Channel revived the franchise by airing Mobile Suit Gundam 00, and Toonami didn't air any new Gundam series until 2016, when they got Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans.note 
    • Gundam SEED Destiny managed to kill Sunrise's official English-language Gundam message board (the centerpiece of the English language website), despite not even airing outside of Japan until years later (and even then it only aired in Canada). Despite the lack of a widespread localized release, numerous American fans were watching fansubbed SEED Destiny episodes and thus it was the biggest topic of discussion on the message board. While the discourse was mostly civil, the reaction to the finale was almost universally (and often quite vehemently) negative. Shortly afterward (and without advance notice), Sunrise pulled the plug on the message board entirely, leaving little more than an empty shell that to this day no longer gets updated (when Gundam 00 aired on Sci Fi, it was given its own separate English-language website).note  In fact, given that the SEED Destiny finale aired in Japan less than six months after the SEED finale aired in North America, this incident may have played a role in Gundam's long disappearance from American TV broadcasts with Sunrise falsely assuming that negative reaction to the SEED Destiny finale meant that Americans just didn't like Gundam.
    • SEED's Japanese success once even started talks that the Cosmic Era timeline could become the new Universal Century in terms of production of sequels and side-stories. However, production troubles involving Destiny and the subsequent release and success of non-CE series Gundam 00 have since dashed those hopes. A movie meant to tie up the Cosmic Era timeline was stuck in Development Hell for years (due to the declining health and in 2016, eventual death of head writer Chiaki Morosawa, the wife of SEED and SEED Destiny director Mitsuo Fukuda), and would not officially enter production until 2021, a full fifteen years after the last Cosmic Era anime production.
    • Gundam in America almost died basically in the cradle after Toonami's broadcast of the original Mobile Suit Gundam, a series that was made in 1979 and had yet to receive any sort of modernization (even the compilation movies were only two years younger than the original series). It didn't help that Mobile Suit Gundam was following on from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, what was at the time one of the most modern Gundam series (only five years old at the time rather than 20+). The result? Mobile Suit Gundam never finished its initial run, with Cartoon Network using 9/11 as an excuse to pull the show a good chunk of episodes from the end. That being said however, it was briefly revisited during a New Year's Eve special, in which series belonging to favorite Toonami block villains (as voted upon by fans) were broadcast on the Midnight Run. Surprisingly, Char Aznable was voted near the top slot (beating out The Joker as he appeared in Batman: The Animated Series, no less), and as a result Toonami ran the final episode of the series in his honor.
  • After the first season originally aired in 2006, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya became one of the most popular anime franchises of the 2000s. Fans clamored for a sequel for years. Then the sequels finally happened... three years later, in 2009/2010 with a second seasonnote  and the well-received Disappearance movie. However, a combination of Schedule Slip of the light novels, Kyoto Animation realizing that self-owned IPs would be economically more profitable for them in the long run than animating Kadokawa's IPs (of which Haruhi Suzumiya is one) and the demotion of Atsushi Ito, the Kadokawa executive who primarily pushed for Haruhi Suzumiya in anime form, all resulted in the death of the franchise. Even the first anime adaptation to be greenlit in years was an adaptation of one of its spinoffs, which did very little to rekindle interest in the franchise. While the fandom's disappointment over the underwhelming second season calmed down after a while, Haruhi Suzumiya is no longer the phenomenally popular Cash-Cow Franchise it once was, and the possibility of any of the post-Disappearance books being adapted to anime seemingly becomes more and more unlikely with every passing year.
  • Infinite Stratos will probably never get a third anime season thanks to the second season's declining ratings and the light novel releases being delayed because of Izuru Yumizuru's health problems.
  • The (initially) poor reception and behind-the-scenes issues plaguing Jewelpet: Magical Change forced it to become the final Jewelpet anime. It was also Cut Short to only 39 episodes.
    • The successor to Jewelpet, Rilu Rilu Fairilu, had even worse ratings as the show progressed, leading to the third season of the show being aired on cable TV in Japan only, which isn't as popular in Japan as it is in other parts of the world, which lead to the show only running for 26 episodes and being replaced by Okko's Inn shortly afterward.
  • The Lyrical Nanoha franchise took a huge blow in the form of Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force, which, in an attempt to deconstruct the franchise, backfired spectacularly with a hero who was panned as boring and idiotic, and more damningly, villains who were arrogant, overpowered hypocrites. It didn't help matters that there were frequent cases of Schedule Slip, resulting in low readership numbers. In 2013, the manga was put into hiatus and is widely agreed to be Quietly Cancelled, and there's been nothing from the original continuity ever since.
  • Pokémon: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel was not this for the Pokémon movies as a whole. However, it did end up killing the series of movies based directly on the anime that had been ongoing yearly since Pokémon: The First Movie 18 years prior. Its poor performance — the lowest of any Pokémon movie — meant that all future movies would not be directly based on the main anime, and instead set in an Alternate Continuity beginning with the following year's Pokémon: I Choose You!. Though, the creators were planning on making the "I Choose You" film a Sun & Moon one, either having Ash and his classmates on a new adventure or a Pokémon All-Stars film where Ash and his friends encountered the protagonists from the previous films. The decision to make the film an alternate continuity came about because the writers realized that with the anime being a Long Runner, people watching by now might not know how Ash and Pikachu first met.
  • While the Pretty Cure series has avoided this fate, there have been aspects that have been killed off during its 19 year run:
  • Robotech saw itself in freefall thanks to the failure of its toy line, which also resulted in its midquel Robotech II: The Sentinels getting only a feature-length pilot set between the events of The Macross Saga and The Robotech Masters (and happened to be a phenomenon that took down quite a few of its Western-made contemporaries, as the Genre-Killer page can attest to), and a severe miscalculation of the audience for Robotech: The Untold Story at its test screenings in Texas. While it proved to be rather successful, being a fair match for Aliens and beating the hell out of Cannon stablemate Pirates, it was discovered that more adults went to the screenings than did children, and so Cannon pulled the film until it could be further retooled. Unfortunately, it happened at a time when Cannon was drowning in its excesses, and so a proper North American release ultimately never materialized.
  • Fans are probably never going to see an adaptation of the Jinchuu arc of Rurouni Kenshin thanks to the Reflections OVA, which got a lot of backlash from fans and even Nobuhiro Watsuki declaring it to be non-canon. Of course, the TV series ended 3 years before Reflections and by then, the last episodes were purely filler which wasn't received well by fans, leading the show to be axed. Though years later, the success of the live-action movies made fans hopeful that the Jinchuu arc will be adapted and movie producers are keen enough that they would probably show it in the future. Watsuki released a sequel manga set after the end of the original manga in 2017 just to keep the franchise alive. The future of the franchise was put in further jeopardy after Watsuki was charged with possession of child pornography, halting production of the manga for the time being, until the manga resumed serialization in Jump Square's July 2018 issue. Three years later, two new movies based on the Jinchuu arc will finally get released between April and June 2021, and a new anime series will premiere in 2023, this time set to adapt the entirety of the manga.
  • Shugo Chara!'s third season, Party!, bombed so badly that it killed off any chances of adapting the remainder of the manga, and may have even had a hand in the abrupt demise of the manga itself.
  • Slayers: The fourth and fifth seasons of the anime (Revolution and Evolution-R) had such a poor reception upon release that they both would ultimately put the entire franchise on ice. As of 2021 (Twelve years since the release of the fifth season.) While another arc of the light novels has been announced, only time will tell whether another anime adaptation will ever be made.
  • Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, from which The Robotech Masters was derived, proved to be the final season of the Super Dimension anthology series due in no small part to low ratings which resulted in an early cancellation and a hasty conclusion. Unsurprisingly, it's the only installment in the series, and also the only one from which Robotech was adapted, where the Robotech version ultimately beat it to Blu-ray.
  • Tenchi in Tokyo: A variation. Notably, this didn't kill off the Tenchi franchise as a whole, because six years after Tenchi in Tokyo ended, the third set of Tenchi Muyo OVA episodes rolled out, showing the franchise still had life. But what Tokyo did notably do was end any further attempts at making new experimental Alternate Universe Tenchi shows like Tokyo and its predecessor Tenchi Universe where writers could play around with Tenchi's life and add new Canon Foreigner characters because of this show's bad reception. Ultimately, it took a lengthy seventeen years before they would finally give the whole "Tenchi embarks on a new life path, spends less time with his traditional harem, and interacts with more Canon Foreigner characters" concept one more try in 2014's Ai Tenchi Muyo and even then, the new Tenchi AU had a notably shorter run and episodic running time than a more full length series, possibly because they weren't a hundred percent sure how another Tenchi AU would do after what transpired with Tenchi in Tokyo and the franchise over the many years has mostly just focused on the Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki continuity instead of taking risks on more Tenchi AU spinoffs.
  • Toriko spent most of the early 2010s being pushed by Shounen Jump as an A-list series, even receiving multiple crossovers with One Piece and Dragon Ball that put it on level pegging with them. The results of this were put to the test with the 2013 Non-Serial Movie, Toriko the Movie: Bishokushin's Special Menu, which opened at 8th place in the Japanese box office (for comparison, that same weekend, Gintama: The Movie: The Final Chapter: Be Forever Yorozuya wound up in 7th place despite already being in theaters for 4 weeks by that point). This put the series in a spiral from which it never really recovered; the anime ended up being shuffled off to cancellation less than a year later for more Dragon Ball Kai, while the manga trundled along for another two before quietly ending.
  • The Animated Adaptation of CLAMP's Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- by Bee Train ended abruptly in November 2006 after a lackluster second season consisting of Filler episodes when there was so much more material left to adapt. Bee Train pulled the plug on the series and Production I.G retconned it in the Tokyo Revelations OVA (the adaptation of the Acid Tokyo arc in the manga). Bee Train going inactive since 2012 and its founder and director Koichi Mashimo retiring from the anime industry made any future adaptation of the series uncertain.
  • The Umineko: When They Cry anime received negative reception and low DVD sales, putting any further adaptations of Umineko or any 07th Expansion Visual Novel series on hold for almost a decade. While the When They Cry series received a new entry in 2019 in the form of Ciconia: When They Cry and Higurashi got a Stealth Sequel anime adaptation in 2020, Umineko still remains dead, with no news about any new content in the series.
  • Studio 4°C was planning on adapting more of the Berserk story into movies, starting with a trilogy for the Golden Age arc. Sadly all three films didn't receive much box-office success; the first film being the only one to do well enough according to some sources. As a result, despite general reception being mixed, the plans for the Berserk film adaptations ended with the third film of the Golden Age arc. This ironically lead to the production of the Berserk (2016) adaptation, which has turned around people's perceptions of the original films.
  • Maple Town's change to Palm Town for its second season was extremely unpopular with the fanbase (particularly the Patty/Bobby shippers) and practically doomed the series and signed off the demise of the franchise.
  • The commercial failure of F-Zero: GP Legend, in addition to killing off the F-Zero video game series, killed off any future anime adaptations of any Nintendo properties not named Pokémon as, other than the obscure Animal Crossing: The Movie that only remained in Japan, the only anime so far have been promotional shorts for both Kid Icarus: Uprising and Star Fox Zero. And even then, they seemed more like Poorly Disguised Pilots than anything else. However, the announcement and eventual release of a Super Mario Bros. movie with Illumination Entertainment, combined with Nintendo willing to make more media projects beyond that, has given hope to fans who want a new anime based on a Nintendo IP that doesn't involve Ash or Pikachu.
  • The Tama & Friends franchise hit this with Tama and Friends: Search For It! The Magic Puni-Puni Stone, taking the simple Slice of Life animal series and turning it into a Funny Animals series set in a bizarre magical land. The change was not received well. The negative reception would help drive original producers Group TAC out of business, and the franchise would remain dormant for the next 10 years.
  • Zoids:
    • Zoids: Fuzors is often accused of being one of these by the Zoids fanbase in North America, but it was in fact the fan-favourite Zoids: Chaotic Century that killed the franchise, having gotten such low ratings during its run on Cartoon Network that it was cancelled, with the final four episodes only being shown after complaints from the fanbase. Fuzors was more of a last-ditch effort to salvage what was already a doomed franchise.
    • In Japan, Zoids: Genesis got a so-so reception, but The Merch failed to sell, effectively dooming the chances of another Zoids anime being made any time soon, and causing Tomy to change its marketing strategy by pandering exclusively to Otaku rather than general audiences as they did before. The announcement of a new series titled Zoids Wild 12 years later surprised many to say the least.

    Asian Animation 
  • While Chinese animated Lilo & Stitch Spin-Off Stitch & Ai did not kill off the franchise as a whole, as proven by Stitch & the Samurai in 2020 and Agent Stitch in 2022, its lack of international success and brief thirteen-episode run with no second season in sight after five years since its airing has become a sure sign that the little blue alien Stitch will no longer receive any more animated TV shows for the foreseeable future.

    Comic Books 
  • Supergirl: An odd case concerning the character - the Box Office Bomb that was her movie ended up souring DC so badly that they allowed Marv Wolfman to kill her during Crisis on Infinite Earths. This also had the effect of DC declaring a "Superman is the sole survivor of Krypton" mandate that also exiled characters like Krypto the Superdog and popular villain General Zod. While a Supergirl would show up three years later, the concept of Supergirl being Kara Zor-El, Clark's Kryptonian cousin, would not happen for 18 years afterward in The Supergirl from Krypton (2004).
  • Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Unite, the second crossover between Sonic and Mega Man, ended up pulling a hat trick and did this for four comic book series. The intention was that the crossover would use characters from other Sega and Capcom series, but this meant Archie Comics had to sink a lot of money into licensing fees and paying various artists to do so with the hope it would make back the money. It was also a last-ditch attempt to save the Mega Man (Archie Comics) comic, which was suffering in sales by that point. Sadly, however, the response was lukewarm at best and Archie was barely able to recoup their losses. As such, the Mega Man comic was put on indefinite hiatus. Sonic Boom was canceled shortly after due to negative reception from the Rise of Lyric game. Ultimately, this even ended up affecting the main Sonic comic and its spin-off Sonic Universe, since the crossover ended up stalling the main storylines of those series and contributed to poor sales, though the comic suffering from the Ken Penders lawsuits didn't help. With all the cuts Archie was doing due to the relaunch of their own comics, July of 2017 saw them lose the publishing rights for the North American Sonic and Mega Man comics to IDW Publishing and Boom! Studios respectively, who enacted a full Continuity Reboot and effectively put an end to both Archie franchises. It was also the End of an Age for any concepts and elements from Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) used in American Sonic media outside the comics up until the release of Sonic Adventure enforced the franchise worldwide to follow the Japanese continuity completely, given how Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) does not feature any characters from the show and the old comic (even the ones Ian Flynn created). As for Mega Man, the license went from Archie to UDON (the publishers behind the Street Fighter comic) who choose to reprint Mega Man Megamix in color, but it wasn't until when Boom Studios picked up the license to the Mega Man franchise that a new comic book series began, and even then it was an adaptation of the short-lived Mega Man: Fully Charged cartoon.
  • Star Trek (IDW) had its comics put on ice after the failure of Star Trek Beyond made the possibility of a fourth film very uncertain.
  • Asterix: The 33rd album "The Falling Sky" was lambasted by both fans and critics in 2005, essentially for being a rant against mangas by Albert Uderzo and for being too outlandish compared to the series' core concept. Uderzo then made Asterix and Obelix's Birthday: The Golden Book only because the series needed a Milestone Celebration in 2009. It took until 2013 to see a new proper adventure and the series' relaunch, Asterix and the Picts, by a new team of creators (Jean-Yves Ferri and Didier Conrad).
  • With Avengers: The Initiative and Avengers Academy having moderate success it was looking like "Avengers run a School" was going to become a vital part of The Avengers line. Then Avengers Arena pissed away all the fan goodwill, and with follow-up Avengers Undercover selling so bad that out of a planned 12 issues only 10 saw light of day, the concept was buried for good.
  • Marvel attempted to resurrect its romance comics as an imprint. Sadly, the first series they launched for it was Trouble (Marvel Comics), a book that became so hated and infamous it quickly also become the last book in that imprint.
  • Despite selling well for a comic based on an animated series, Adventure Time: Season 11 not only was cancelled due to sales not meeting expectations from Cartoon Network, but it also killed the franchise in the comic book market. No other comic book series was announced after Adventure Time: Marcy and Simon finished its run, excluding one final graphic novel featuring Fionna and Cake and trade paperback re-releases of old issues. Plus the annoucement of Adventure Time: Distant Lands miniseries on HBO Max made Season 11 look redundant and unnecessary.
  • Ultimatum dealt the Ultimate Marvel line a blow it would never recover from. Aside from its general poor quality, a result of its writer Jeph Loeb suffering a massive Creator Breakdown following the death of his son, it was such a massive bombshell to the setting's status quo (killing off dozens of characters and forcing the fallout of wide-scale devastation onto the world) that the series had lost its nature as a new-reader-friendly Adaptation Distillation. The Ultimate Marvel line did manage to keep going for some years, but it had gone from going toe-to-toe with and even outselling its main-universe counterpart at its height, to limping in the lower rungs of the sales charts, with only Ultimate Spider-Man (the comic least affected by Ultimatum) managing to maintain a significant following. One of the later books to come out outright called the universe "broken."
  • Marvel's Disney Kingdoms: The Enchanted Tiki Room series sold poorly and thus was the last one in this line of comics.

  • Goosebumps Series 2000 suffered serious Executive Meddling that deepened tensions between R. L. Stine and Scholastic Press. Whereas the original Goosebumps book series ran for six years and 62 books, Series 2000 ended after only two years and 25 books, as Stine was so fed up that he decided not to renew the contract. Stine would move on to the unrelated but similar children's horror series The Nightmare Room and Mostly Ghostly, neither of which was published by Scholastic.note  It wouldn't be until 2008 when the series was Un-Canceled with the Goosebumps HorrorLand books.

  • The violence at Altamont killed not only Meredith Hunter but the whole idea of the "peace, love and music" late-'60s outdoor rock festival that Monterey had pioneered and Woodstock made legendary.
  • Similarly, after the violent and criminal tragedies of Woodstock '99, the owners of the Woodstock name have gone on record to say it will never be used again, and indeed it would be a full decade before the name was used in connection with a reunion tour featuring many performers from the original Woodstock. There were talks of using the Woodstock name for a 50th anniversary event in 2019, but the event ended up getting cancelled.
  • The death blow to The Love Parade was delivered by the stampede at the 2010 event, where bad design of the location led to the deaths of 21 people.
  • Australia's Big Day Out festival seems to have been killed by its disastrous 2014 shows. Two shows were planned for Sydney, but the second was cancelled after Blur pulled out and many people accepted the offer of a refund. Most ticketholders treated the event as a very expensive Pearl Jam and Arcade Fire double bill. The festival's director AJ Maddah then stepped down and sold his share to the Texan company C3 Presents, which was already a part owner. C3 has not staged a Big Day Out since.
  • Hello! Project had wanted to set up overseas groups around Asia and attempted to break into the Chinese market by setting up Hello! Project Taiwan in 2008. However, Hello! Project Taiwan's flagship group, Ice Creamusume, bombed so badly that their career only lasted for three months (plus a concert appearance in July). This caused Hello! Project to scale back on expanding overseas.
  • The Rockstar Mayhem Festival came to an end after a lackluster and difficult tour in 2015. Many sponsors (such as Sumerian, Metal Blade, and various alcohol sponsors) backed out of sponsoring the event for that year, leading to Rockstar having No Budget and having to scrape by with whatever band wasn't booked that summer. Even with Slayer and King Diamond headlining, they just couldn't anchor a festival the size of Mayhem. The end result was Rockstar calling 2015 the last year for the Mayhem festival. The death of the Mayhem Festival also killed Rockstar's Uproar festival too. Mayhem was going to return in 2020, but the COVID-19 Pandemic ended up cancelling the tour before any announcements were made.
  • TravisScott's Astroworld festival has apparently met its end in the wake of the crowd rush on the 2021 event's first day, which led to the deaths of ten people and the injuries of over 300 more. The planned second day was cancelled, and there was no Astroworld held in 2022.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • There have been a few instances of WWE retiring pay-per-view names as a result of certain events:
    • The "Over the Edge" name was retired as a result of the accident at the 1999 event that killed Owen Hart, and the ensuing bad publicity the event got as a result.
    • The "Battleground" name was retired following the 2017 event, which was widely panned as the worst of the year's events- best exemplified by its main event, which saw the return of the heavily panned Punjabi Prison match as part of the ill-advised title run of Jinder Mahal.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Although Dungeons & Dragons recovered and is even stronger than it was before in the 2010's, the 2008 4th Edition was very nearly a franchise killer. The pantheon, magic system, and Forgotten Realms primary setting were completely overhauled. The rules had a distinct focus on "tactical" combat encounters and miniatures, with few provisions for playing in the "theater of the mind" style. Major changes made to balance out character types by giving all of the classes sets of powers that recharged by encounter or game day were seen as attempts to appeal to video game fans by making D&D more like an MMO. A lot of official rulebooks were published rather quickly, which meant players needed to spend a lot of money to keep up with the game. That was on top of how the 3.5 revision of the 3rd edition had come out only five years before, meaning many players had only just recently sunk their money into 3.5 were now being told to switch to the new 4.0 system. All of these changes offended many fans of the last edition. This was compounded by Pathfinder continuing to use a version of the very popular 3.5 rules, but now as a direct competitor to the 4th edition. Many players simply switched to the more familiar Pathfinder rather than learn the new rules system, to the point Pathfinder outsold official D&D for a time. The end result was that 4th edition had the shortest lifespan (six years) of any edition of D&D and the 5th Edition has been seen very much as an Author's Saving Throw.note 
  • The 7th Edition Daemons of Chaos army book of Warhammer, which was so thoroughly overpowered and broken that it required the game to undergo a massive shakeup in the form of an edition change. 8th Edition's attempt to fix the system failed, leading to Warhammer being discontinued and replaced with the sequel Warhammer: Age of Sigmar.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay had a situation very similiar to Dungeons & Dragons example above. 3rd Edition of the game was basically a completely different game from previous one, alienating fans who didn't want to switch to a drastically different ruleset, making many of them make a jump to retroclone, Zweihänder and the only thing saving Warhammer Fantasy RPG from death was an Author's Saving Throw in form of the 4th Edition.

  • BIONICLE (2015) and concurrently released Star Wars LEGO action figure sets were more akin to minor genre killers as they had put the so-called "Constraction" LEGO sub-theme on ice. Starting in 1999 with Slizer and rising to tremendous success with the 2001 BIONICLE franchise, this was a primarily LEGO Technic-based theme of buildable and customizable action figures that took a massive shift in 2011 with the introduction of the more modular CCBS (Character and Creature Building System) style championed by Hero Factory and other sub-series called Ultrabuilds. The 2015 BIONICLE reboot, aka Generation 2 was set up as the long-awaited return of the classic franchise, only for LEGO to pull the plug before release and reroute their budget to Ninjago, leaving G2 to bleed out with minimal, indecisive marketing and lackluster media that left both old fans and young kids cold. Though intended to last until at least 2017, the franchise was Cut Short mid-2016. Following this failure, Star Wars CCBS Constraction sets still remained on shelves for another year, before their cancellation. Post-2018, LEGO abandoned their Constraction theme as a whole and any similar concepts would be based on their standard System building style, with fewer toys, blockier designs and less articulation. While LEGO Star Wars still goes on without Constraction sets, G2 had killed BIONICLE as a franchise. Though LEGO were eager to reinvent and bring it back when the original line got discontinued, they have been reluctant to acknowledge it since 2016, only giving it an odd nod or Easter Egg here and there. The 2022 90 Years of Play anniversary set and 2023 limited gift-with-purchase freebie sets at least paid tribute to BIONICLE alongside other historic LEGO themes.

    Web Original 
  • In 2009 and 2010, EQAL, the production company behind lonelygirl15, ran a contest called The Show Is Yours for fans of the show to create an officially-sponsored, canonical spinoff. With the Great Recession causing them to struggle financially, EQAL had to put LG15: the resistance (the franchise's flagship show at the time) on hiatus, leading to this effort to crowdsource the show — which was already struggling under the weight of a Kudzu Plot and multiple spinoffs — and use it as a springboard to launch a social network called Umbrella. The first spinoff produced through The Show Is Yours, LG15: The Last, mostly came and went uneventfully, but the second one, LG15: Outbreak, was a disaster that suffered from a heavily Troubled Production. Gregory Austin McConnell, the creator of Outbreak, made a video going into detail about what went wrong. After Outbreak, LG15: the resistance' hiatus became permanent, and the only new material that has been so much as announced has been a one-off video in 2016.
  • In the late 2000s and early '10s, Slender Man was one of the biggest names in creepypasta, a style of ghost stories and Urban Legends born from the internet and rooted in its culture. First created on the Something Awful forums in 2009 as a paranormal hoax, it took on a life of its own afterwards as a modernized fey figure and developed an elaborate lore, with fan art, cosplay, web shows like Marble Hornets, and games like Slender popularizing it. All of that came to a halt with an infamous stabbing incident in Waukesha, Wisconsin on May 31, 2014, in which two adolescent girls who believed that Slender Man was real stabbed one of their friends as an attempted Human Sacrifice to demonstrate their loyalty to him and become his "proxies". The negative publicity from this and other incidents that were connected to Slender Man (including another stabbing in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio, an arson in Port Richey, Florida, and an epidemic of suicide attempts on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation) left a black mark on the entire creepypasta community (also weakened because its fanbase increasingly either turned to more hardcore conspiracy theories or recanted from them), and Slender Man's popularity rapidly faded, irrevocably associated with people who Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality. A 2018 film adaptation even wound up attracting controversy in light of the tragedy, with people (including the father of one of the culprits in the stabbing) criticizing it as insensitive and some theaters in the Milwaukee area choosing not to show it. This was despite attempts by the studio to make cuts to the film following the incident to avoid backlash (which resulted in the final cut's PG-13 rating as opposed to an R rating). This article by Carli Velocci for The Verge goes into more detail on Slender Man's decline, calling the 2018 film "a nail in the coffin of a dying fandom". The franchise only further collapsed after it was it was discovered that Adam Rosner, a creator heavily involved with the franchise and creator of the now cancelled Tribe Twelve, was a sexual predator who had attempted to groom many of his fans during the long development of his series.
  • The Uncanny Valley was the final nail for the Channel Awesome anniversary specials. After To Boldly Flee, no one really wanted to do another big crossover (due to either moving away, thinking it was a Tough Act to Follow, or just being burned out). By making The Uncanny Valley an anthology, it was hoped that this would make production easier for future specials and allow the other reviewers to showcase their talent. However, aside from Darkside of the Internet and The Reviewers (which only lasted a few episodes), none of them really made any major impact on fans. This resulted in the sixth-year anniversary passing by rather uneventfully, aside from a passing mention in The Nostalgia Critic's review of Blues Brothers 2000. A 10th anniversary special, titled The Devil's Jesters, was in the works, but the mass exodus of contributors from the site following the #ChangeTheChannel movement put the kibosh on that.

    Fictional examples 
Films — Live-Action
  • This happens in-universe at the end of Free Guy. The buggy launch of Free City 2, a cheap cash grab that doesn't have Millie and Keys' AI code, is strongly implied to have killed the potential franchise that Antwan was hoping for and ruined Soonami Games financially. Millie recognized this when she happily took the deal that gave her what was left of the code for Free City to make her own game, the successful indie title Free Life, in exchange for dropping her lawsuit against him for stealing her code, while Antwan arrogantly believed that the Free City brand was so golden that people would pay for any crap he released.