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Only the Creator Does It Right

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"Believe me when I say that unless I was going to slavishly reproduce Fleming's Bond I was always going to get knocked simply because I wasn't Fleming."
John Gardner on writing James Bond books

This is Creator Worship taken Up to Eleven. When someone makes a sequel to a popular work which they did not create, and it is completely savaged by fans.

Sometimes a Justified Trope because, while the actual quality will always be a point of contention, this trope is the result of the objective fact that the original creator is the only one who approached the work, the world, and/or the characters using a particular execution or tone that isn't replicated by later creators.


Can be considered a form of Jumping the Shark, only with that trope, the creator him/herself can do it. If there's a Franchise Zombie, people may claim this. Despite all this, complaining about the new work solely because it is not by the original team is a fallacy, and can be a form of Fan Myopia.

Bear in mind that in the case of many popular media of a collaborative nature — Theatre, Movies, TV shows and Comic Books — there is often a lack of clear information about how much creative control the artist had towards their work, and what the specific contribution by certain figures were in the making of a given work. A great deal of the fan backlash for and against certain works stems from rumor, dated information, and lack of clarity and agreement about what made a work great in the first place. So when this trope is invoked, it is most effective when its done with an awareness of what the original creator brought to the project.


Compare Disowned Adaptation. Contrast My Real Daddy, where the fandom prefers a version of a work or character not made by the original creator.

See Running the Asylum, when other creators are considered evil step-parents.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Gundam has some fans who insist that the Alternate Universe shows are all crap because Yoshiyuki Tomino had nothing to do with them (ignoring the fact that ∀ Gundam was not only his baby, but acknowledges everything that came before). Some take it a step further and say The Creator Does It Right Only When He's Depressed, savaging Gundam ZZ (made to clear up the gloom from Zeta Gundam).
  • The 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist series has gotten hit with this with the conclusion of the manga and the second anime adaptation. The first anime series split off from the manga half way through and ended up creating its own original storyline. This storyline took the Character Development of several of the main characters in a different direction than the manga. As a result... Some fans of the manga have now adopted this mindset. Interestingly, the original manga author not only approved of the different direction, but actually encouraged it.
  • One could perhaps say this about anime Filler in general. No matter what the series, it's exceptionally rare for fans to feel that a filler arc is as good as the original manga.
    • To say nothing of non-canon anime movies. For example, the non-canon movies from the One Piece franchise are barely acknowledged by parts of the fandom, the exceptions being the fourth, fifth, and sixth movies which are considered some of the best movies in the franchise with movie six especially being a fan favorite. The eighth and ninth movies are usually not counted because they are simply compressed retellings of previous arcs, although the ninth movie gets a lot of praise for being a good compressed retelling. When Oda actually penned a movie himself (One Piece Film: Strong World), it was regarded as the best One Piece movie ever and universally praised by the fandom (it also helped that it was canon). The next movie he wrote, One Piece Film: Z, was similarly praised, though it wasn't canon (it was supposed to be, but the story would cause too many plot holes in the main canon timeline, so Oda decided not to include it).
    • Dragon Ball gets the same sentiment. The Dragon Ball movies are considered subpar to good, with a few fan-favorites like the Cooler and Broly movies, except movie 11 which is considered the worst, along with movies 1, 9, and 13. The two movies with direct input from Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods and Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, are near-universally considered the best movies with rave reviews. They are also canon and have been adapted into Dragon Ball Super. Dragon Ball GT is often use as case study of what happens when Toriyama has little to no involvement.note  And let's not even get started on Dragonball Evolution.
      • Tellingly, most fans prefer the film versions of both Battle of Gods and Resurrection 'F' to the anime arcs (Toriyama had much less involvement with the anime series than the films). Meanwhile, Dragon Ball Super: Broly was written almost entirely by Toriyama, and is considered far-and-away the best Dragon Ball film to date.
    • An exception is that many fans prefer Toei Animation's TV special Dragon Ball Z: Bardock – The Father of Goku over Toriyama's own interpretation of Bardock over two decades later in the Jaco the Galactic Patrolman bonus chapter Dragon Ball Minus and Dragon Ball Super: Broly. Bardock's Adaptational Heroism is seen as taking away what made him unique among Dragon Ball protagonists, and retconning Goku from being sent to Earth to conquer it to his parents sending him away to protect him is derided as making his Origin Story even more similar to Superman's.
  • Boruto, the sequel to Naruto, has been getting this sentiment since Masashi Kishimoto only has a supervising role in it, while his former assistants, Ukyō Kodachi and Mikio Ikemoto, handle the writing and drawing respectively. This was especially noticeable with the initial reaction to the different art style; although in later chapters this has been lessened somewhat thanks to Ikemoto's Art Evolution making it closer to Kishimoto's own style, in addition to the latter's announcement that he'll become more involved with the new manga.
  • Jessie, James, and Meowth from Pokémon are a good, but little-known example of this. The late Takeshi Shudō, the show's original head writer, created the trio. Even though the characters have appeared in all but a few episodes of the show to date, when you watch the episodes and movies he wrote, it's clear who created the trio and truly knows what they're all about. In fact, he wrote many, many blog articles in Japanese concerning Team Rocket, their origins, personalities, and even philosophy (!), and stated he did not like the Running Gag character route they took after his departure from the anime, with many fan circles agreeing with him on this.
  • Fans of Psycho-Pass who dislike the second season often claim that the reason for its lack of quality was due to Gen Urobuchi not writing it. Similarly, detractors of Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion's infamous ending often point out that it was not Gen's idea but Akiyuki Shinbo's.

    Comic Books 
  • This is the general opinion about The Spirit comics not written and drawn by Will Eisner. There's some conflict about whether the strips drawn under Eisner's supervision but not personally by him are up to standard, but much less about the several attempts to revive the character after his death.
  • There are some, namely Alan Moore, who argue that Spider-Man declined greatly after Steve Ditko's departure and that the art style and quality was greatly softened by later writers. While there are quite a lot of prominent Spider-Man elements and stories that succeeded Ditko's run, in terms of consistency and artistic quality, it remains the Glory Days of the comic.
  • Alan Moore's work offers a nice series of contrasts:
    • Moore has often drastically reinvented pre-existing creations such as Swamp Thing, Miracleman, Supreme and likewise written what many consider the definitive Joker story in The Killing Joke. All of them are generally regarded as the best runs of the respective comic books and none of them were created by Moore. On the other hand, none of the later attempts and runs at the respective titles (with the exception of Neil Gaiman's run on Miracleman) have matched Moore's stories in impact, acclaim and esteem.
    • Some of the Before Watchmen miniseries might be considered exceptions - Minute Men and Silk Spectre were fairly well-received by critics (Interestingly, both were done by Darwyn Cooke, who also did some acclaimed work on the Spirit as well), though fan reception is much more mixed. However, everyone agrees that all of it falls short of Moore and Dave Gibbons' original, but then considering that Watchmen is an all-time classic, it was a tall order anyway.
  • Steve Gerber's comic, Howard the Duck, is considered a classic. Howard comics not made by Gerber? Not so much.
  • Brian K. Vaughan and Runaways. As soon as he left, it went downhill.
  • The Asterix books written by Albert Uderzo after the death of René Goscinny have been less well received.
  • This trope was invoked on the 90s-era Superboy books. After sales dropped substantially during the run of Ron Marz and Ramon Bernado, the character's original creators (Karl Kesel and Tom Grummett) returned to the title in an attempt to recapture the magic the book once had. However, the new stories featured a radically different direction and despite the original team, never truly recovered.
  • Most Jack Kirby fans agree that nobody else has ever had a really good grasp of the New Gods characters and their universe but Jack himself. The series left a lot of unanswered questions, so inevitably every new writer ends up filling in the blanks with their own ideas, which usually feel at least a little "off." The most well-regarded version of the characters after Kirby are not the comics so much as the DCAU animated series by Bruce Timm.
  • Similarly, many Thanos fans tend to dislike depictions not written by Jim Starlin, as the character tends to devolve from a complex, multifaceted villain into a generic Evil Overlord under most other writers.
  • A lot of people feel this way about the handling of Bucky Barnes by anyone other than Ed Brubaker. While Brubaker didn't create Bucky, he did redefine him and was the one to give him the Winter Soldier identity, the role the character is now much more famous for. This gave Brubaker uncontested My Real Daddy status over Bucky. Some people just don't like it when other writers handle Bucky, especially since a lot of the time, it tends to result in him either regressing (such as being flippant about killing) or adding things to his history that hurt the original story (Rick Remender added that Bucky could somewhat fight his programming).
  • The Speed Force and Mark Waid. As originally devised, it was the source of the various DC speedsters' powers and a kind of power limiter that restricted the characters from running at the speed of light, lest they become lost to it. It was also where speedsters go when they die, and everyone inside it eventually loses their individuality as they become fuel for the next generation of speedsters. This was a threat that was made clear, even though Wally West managed to return from it. Other writers tend to use the Speed Force as a Deus ex Machina, letting it do whatever the plot needs it to and using it to pull endless retcons, to the point that it's reached memetic status.
  • The overriding opinion on Earth 2 is that it took a sharp nosedive once James Robinson left the title. Under Robinson's pen, the series served as a place where characters mostly tied to the Justice Society of America were allowed to flourish, as well as other characters Retgone'd from the main DCU. It also was obviously slowly building up to the formation of the Justice Society. Once Robinson left the book, it increasingly focused on alternate versions of the Superfamily and Batfamily, to the point that the original leads were reduced to supporting characters.
  • Combined with Tough Act to Follow, many people feel this way about the handling of Viv Vision, the Vision's daughter created in The Vision (2015) by writer Tom King. King's approach to writing has always been on a more complex level, and his writing of Viv's approach to humanity was lauded as a fresh take on a very old idea. His series was nominated for a Hugo Award and earned him a Harvey and Eisner award. When Mark Waid used Viv in his Champions run, fans of King's Vision run were less than impressed, as not only did Waid write her in a more typical "robot wants to understand humans" way, but she seemed to lose a lot of complexity.
  • Gwenpool tends to be this when she's written by anyone besides Christopher Hastings, often forgoing the Character Development she rapidly underwent in her own series to instead be an self-righteous, stupid, and narcissistic caricature of a stereotypical 2010s "millennial" teenager. It doesn't help that Marvel itself tended to shill her as such with cameos in other comics and video games, which completely goes against and misses the point of her character. Thankfully, most fans agree that her characterisation in West Coast Avengers (2018), the series she migrated to after her solo run ended, is more in line with Hastings's vision. Her second solo title, Gwenpool Strikes Again, is another point of contention, some approving Leah Williams for still making Gwen an endearing Talkative Loon (Hasting himself liked it), while others deemed she went for a too meme-y Deadpool approach.
  • Wonder Woman: There has long been an element of the fandom who felt that the character only really worked in the original Marston/Peter comics, despite or because of their idiosyncrasies. Joye Murchison who wrote under the same pen name as Marston also gets a pass with this group, as she was Marston's assistant as well as writing on her own, but every writer since has tweaked the Amazons and Wonder Woman significantly from their pacifist feminist roots.
  • Although New Warriors was conceived by Marvel editorial, the series has never again been as popular or as cohesive as it was under writer Fabian Nicieza in his original 53-issue run. With changes in team roster and storytelling direction, the brand had been increasingly irrelevant for the decade after Nicieza left (despite efforts to retool it as a comedy in the third volume), and the team being used as throwaway scapegoats in Civil War ensured it would never recover.
  • While far from awful, the Avatar: The Last Airbender comics have gotten this from being written by people who were not part of the show. Azula's handling in them is met with particular scorn. Averted with the F.C. Yee novels which have been warmly received.
Critically, Ms. Marvel(2014) have never long-lasting and beloved as the GWW run.

  • A.I.: Artificial Intelligence was originally a Stanley Kubrick project which he shelved in favor of other projects. Steven Spielberg directed the film after Kubrick's death and many critics and Kubrick fans attacked the film and Spielberg for ruining a Kubrick masterpiece (which he consciously shelved and handed to Spielberg anyway). Weirdly enough, the elements of the film that are most attacked, namely the ending weren't Spielberg inventions at all, but created by Kubrick himself.
    • This trope was invoked from the moment the movie was conceived by Spielberg and Kubrick towards each other. Kubrick didn't think he had the heart to pull it off and believed Spielberg was the better man for the job, while Spielberg didn't think he had the artistic finesse and insisted Kubrick should direct. The two might still be volleying the idea back and forth to this day if Kubrick hadn't passed away.
  • Jurassic Park III is held by some to be the worst film in the Jurassic Park franchise. Incidentally, it was the one film of the original trilogy Steven Spielberg did not direct, as well as the first not even nominally based on a Michael Crichton novel. That said Jurassic World was far better received, and it was likewise not directed by Spielberg (but he apparently was more present this time around).
  • Out of the Batman Film Series, the first two directed by Tim Burton were considered the best. And for very good reasons.
  • Zack Snyder's version of Justice League is considered much better than the Executive Meddling-plagued 2017 theatrical film with Joss Whedon-helmed reshoots.
  • The first two parts in the X-Men Film Series were directed by Bryan Singer, while the third one, X-Men: The Last Stand, was helmed by Brett Ratner, and is considered by many fans to be a huge step down in quality. X-Men: First Class, which was produced and co-written by Singer, was much better received. Ultimately cemented with X-Men: Days of Future Past by having Singer back in the director's chair and getting an overwhelmingly positive reception, with many calling it the best in the franchise so far. X-Men: Apocalypse, however, proved to be much more divisive in comparison to Singer's previous efforts. A few later directors have managed to receive praise alongside Singer, though: Matthew Vaughn gets a share of credit for directing First Class and co-writing Days of Future Past, and many blame his lack of involvement in Apocalypse as the problem. Meanwhile, James Mangold received praise for the darker, morally-greyer Wolverine films (The Wolverine and especially Logan).
  • On a related note, any non-Marvel Studios films featuring Marvel characters are regarded by most supporters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as inferior and bastardizations of the source material, and that only Marvel Studios can treat them right:
    • There are mixed opinions regarding this when it comes to the X-Men films. On the one hand, Marvel has done well with the MCU and having the X-Men film rights would open them up to crossovers that both sides could benefit from. On the other hand, some feel that Fox (or at least the directors listed above) hasn't done badly with their X-Men films, and that the franchise's "oppressed minority" metaphor works better when there aren't a bunch of other superhumans running around. Fox also eventually made some darker entries in the series such as Logan, which have been critically acclaimed but just wouldn't tonally fit within the MCU. Following the acquisition of Fox by Disney, debates have sprung up about how much creative involvement should be given to the people who worked on the X-Men films at Fox. Of course, the MCU has numbers on its side since the most successful "FoX-Men" movies (X-Men: The Last Stand in the US, X-Men: Days of Future Past worldwide) are in the middle of the pack compared to the MCU films. With that in mind, Fox's final film before the acquisition, which became the worst reviewed film of the franchise and the worst box-office performer, may have ended the debate in favor of Disney/Marvel permanently. But even so, relations between the franchises were at least good enough for the MCU to have an Fox-based Casting Gag: WandaVision had a Quicksilver imposter played by the character's Fox-series actor.
    • Zigzagged with the Spider-Man franchise. The original trilogy predates the MCU, and the first two films are well-regarded, while the third is divisive. The following reboot duology suffered from being a Franchise Zombie, and both cases had Executive Meddling to blame for most of their problems. Sony then struck a deal to reboot Spider-Man again with Marvel co-producing, integrating the character into the MCU. Although the new take was well-received, Marvel has stated they can't take all the credit, as some of the praised elements came from Sony's side of the collaboration. On the other hand, Sony's attempts to take Spider-verse characters and put them in Divorced Installments has been all over the board, with Venom getting a mixed-to-negative response for its So Bad, It's Good nature and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse receiving unanimous praise.
    • In the case of Daredevil, its MCU revival as a Netflix TV series was received much better than the Fox movie, reinforcing the view. The same goes for Season Two's reinvention of the Punisher, with Jon Bernthal's portrayal receiving high praise when previous incarnations failed, even earning him his own spinoff show. Elektra Natchios, also added in season 2, didn't quite the same universal praise as the Punisher, but still was a much better response than her own movie got.
    • Averted by Deadpool. Not only was it successful without Marvel's involvement, but there were fears that Deadpool being part of the MCU would require a tonal shift away from what helped make his movie a success - it's filled to the brim with profanity, gore, sex jokes, and Black Comedy; having too much adult content for a family-friendly franchise and being too wacky for the MCU's serious, mature-audiences Netflix arm. Marvel has since claimed the Deadpool rights thanks to the Disney/Fox merger and started work on a new film, but what form it will take (Sequel or reboot? In the MCU or standalone? etc.) remains to be seen.
    • Whilst the The Incredible Hulk is the lowest-grossing film in the MCU, as well as one of the least acclaimed, most people agreed that it was still superior to the 2003 film directed by Ang Lee. When Edward Norton was replaced by Mark Ruffalo, this sentiment only increased, though the complicated licensing employed by Universal combined with two underperforming films means that a solo film with Ruffalo is unlikely.
    • With the Fantastic Four's film history consisting of an unreleased Ashcan Copy, a below-average 2005 film and its sequel and a 2015 reboot that bombed outright, fans are naturally excited for a reboot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that was announced in 2019.
    • This was a common sentiment when James Gunn was suspended from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. Gunn's irreverent bathos-flavored directorial style was responsible for turning the Z-list Guardians into household names. Internally, a number of Marvel directors like Taika Waititi were so supportive of Gunn that they refused to take over the film as director. Subsequently, Gunn was rehired as the executives at Marvel and Disney couldn't find a replacement director who could do the franchise justice.
  • Steven Spielberg turned down offers to direct Jaws 2. Most people feel that the sequels get worse with each subsequent film.
  • Several people in the Godzilla fandom find any of the movies not directed by Ishiro Honda to be inferior. Similarly, some fans automatically dismiss the 2014 Godzilla, not on the grounds of its own merits or flaws, but because it is not from Toho.
  • Became an issue on the set of Aliens. In addition to being a perfectionist, James Cameron was also hated by the British crew for not being Ridley Scott. Fan reaction to the film, however, was more enthusiastic.
  • Cameron ended up on the opposite side of this trope after Terminator 2: Judgment Day. None of the following Terminator films (each done by a different director) has earned the respect that the first two had, even if Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared in two of the non-Cameron films. Tellingly, when Cameron finally returned to write Terminator: Dark Fate, not only did he declare everything between Judgment Day and it non-canon, but the resultant film — while not devoid of criticism — was considered by even its biggest detractors to be a massive improvement over the Cameron-less movies.
  • Alfred Hitchcock directed Psycho and died before the sequels were released and the critically derided 90s remake. The universal opinion is that the first film was undoubtedly the best and only Hitchcock understood the subject and execution.
  • Richard Donner directed Superman: The Movie, and got fired halfway through Superman II. His cut of the sequel, which emerged in 2006, is generally considered better than the theatrical cut by Richard Lester. Of course, in this case it wasn't the name. There was a push to go Lighter and Softer that would culminate in the now disowned Superman III, and the Donner cut has less of the slapstick that was forced upon them.
  • The planned new Buffy the Vampire Slayer Continuity Reboot film without Joss Whedon is starting to receive this. Ironically, the TV show embraced this trope, as it was much, much better than the movie, which messily chopped up Whedon's original script.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street is a good example, since the best-regarded installments have Wes Craven's involvement (the original and Wes Craven's New Nightmare are written/directed by Craven, while Dream Warriors was co-written by him).
  • The Saw sequels since the departure of creators Leigh Whannell and James Wan are highly regarded as significantly inferior to the original trilogy, with the frequent exception of Saw VI.
  • Highly debated among fans of Star Wars:
    • The very first film, A New Hope, is highly beloved, but many fans believe that Lucas is a better writer and producer than a director (or vice-versa). They argue that The Empire Strikes Back was much better than A New Hope in part because George Lucas took a more hands-off approach and left it in the hands of other writers and directors, and the weaknesses of Return of the Jedi stem from the fact that Lucas was too involved in the production. Likewise, the prequels suffer from the absence of many of the key collaborators in the original films. In the case of Star Wars, it takes the form of We Love the Creation, but He Doesn't Do It as Well as Others Do. Bear in mind that Lucas was always involved with Star Wars. According to star Mark Hamill, the famous plot twist of The Empire Strikes Back was exclusively Lucas' own invention and the first Star Wars film was entirely his vision, which he had to fight to convince his cast and crew to believe in.
    • While The Force Awakens was overall well-received, this trope was still played straight by fans who felt insulted at the very existence of the film because Lucas wasn't involved with it at all and thought it borrowed too much from the original trilogy, to the point of feeling like it undermined and even negated the originals. J. J. Abrams was painted as a pretender to the throne who mistakenly believed his fan fiction could ever "count" the way the Lucas-made films do.
    • The cycle repeated itself with The Last Jedi, except with Abrams in Lucas's position and new director Rian Johnson in the position Abrams used to be in. While most critics approved of the film, it proved to be highly divisive among fans and received criticism for shaking too many things up in the franchise, and reinforcing the feeling of pointnessless that The Force Awakens had imparted upon the original trilogy. It actually made many fans look forward to Abrams's return for The Rise of Skywalker.
    • Then The Rise of Skywalker was panned by critics and at best highly divisive once again with the fans, with Abrams getting the brunt of it from Johnson fans for his treatment of stuff from The Last Jedi, while at the same time some who didn't like The Last Jedi for its treatment of stuff from The Force Awakens welcomed Abrams's approach, and those who didn't like The Force Awakens and thus the premises of the entire sequel trilogy to begin with continued to criticize all three movies for making the original trilogy (let alone the prequels) feel pointless and fruitless, making for a very messy, very broken inter-Fandom Rivalry.
    • It got to the point that Simon Pegg, a noted Prequel detractor and part of the cast of The Force Awakens, has said that the newer Star Wars films aren't the same without Lucas' involvement.
    • Wisecrack Edition discussed this phenomenon in light of the polarizing fan reception to the Disney-era Star Wars movies. They argued that, very much like a political leader, George Lucas was able to claim legitimacy as the creative mind behind Star Wars since he created the franchise and personally approved the creation of many beloved Expanded Universe works. However, the new Disney management at Lucasfilm began facing a legitimacy crisis after the buyout of Star Wars following several controversial decisions like decanonizing the old Expanded Universe and producing rather polarizing films without the creative involvement of Lucas. Subsequently, many die-hard fans, many of whom became content creators themselves, began to see the new Lucasfilm as illegitimate and began producing works to voice their discontent.
    • Cracked would argue that a big reason for the mixed reception to the Sequel Trilogy was that, unlike Lucas, Disney didn't devote as much time and effort to Worldbuilding as he did, noting that as divisive as the Prequel Trilogy was, it still painted a clear picture of what the trilogy was about and what the characters' motivations were, whereas the Sequel Trilogy didn't and thus the stakes and motivations weren't as clear.
    • On the whole, the Sequel Trilogy was so divisive that it made many fans reexamine Lucas' work, especially with the Prequel Trilogy, more favorably.
  • The first Die Hard film is directed by John Mc Tiernan. All of the sequels are contested, to some extent. Die Hard with a Vengeance, again directed by McTiernan, is the least contested.
  • The Bourne Series: Zig-Zagged with My Real Daddy, as one may argue that the Bourne series has two daddies with directors Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass. With The Bourne Identity, Liman gave the film a unique style, but it was Greengrass who would flesh it out in its sequels The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, with Liman still involved as executive producer, garnering even greater acclaim. But when Greengrass turned down the offer to direct The Bourne Legacy, Matt Damon left with him, saying he wouldn't do any more movies without him, and Liman left too. This is part of why Legacy hasn't been as well-received as its predecessors. Though it should be noted that Tony Gilroy wrote all four films (and directed Legacy). Damon and Greengrass finally reunited to make Jason Bourne, which received mixed reviews, as well.
  • Fans of the Scream series view Kevin Williamson, the writer of the first two films, as the only person who can get the characters right. Scream 3 was written by Ehren Kruger due to Williamson having commitments to other projects, and is nowadays seen as the worst film in the series, and while Scream 4 saw Williamson come back to the series, Kruger was also credited for rewrites, and many fans blame the film's weaker moments on him. Worst of all was the TV adaptation, which neither Williamson, Kruger, nor the films' director Wes Craven had any creative involvement in (barring a producer credit for Craven), and which has been lambasted by fans.
  • Ridley Scott himself has expressed this sentiment regarding the Alien series, saying he now regrets his departure from it and intends to assume full creative control to prevent films that contradict the new post-Prometheus canon, like Alien vs. Predator, from being made. (the fans, on the other hand, are unsure on whether Prometheus and Alien: Covenant are actually taking the franchise on a better path). It is well worth noting and remembering, though, that Scott directed the original film but he did not create the actual story or the titular creatures; that honor belongs to screenwriters Dan O'Bannon and Ron Shusett.
  • The only one of the sequels to National Lampoon's Vacation to be written by John Hughes was National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, which is widely conisdered to be the best of the them.
  • Of the various continuations to The Exorcist, the only on to have original author William Peter Blatty's involvement was The Exorcist III, which is considered the only worthy successor to the original.
  • Shane Black was only involved with the first two Lethal Weapon films. The first is widely considered a classic and the second is hailed as the be the best of the sequels. The third and fourth films are somewhat divisive.
  • Zigzagged with the Halloween franchise. Fans were overjoyed with John Carpenter's return for Halloween (2018) (as executive producer and co-composer), which ignores every film in the franchise except the original. Indeed, the film was largely seen by critics and fans as a return to form for a franchise that had seen numerous questionable sequels and a polarizing reboot. However, many forgot that Carpenter was also involved in Halloween II (1981) (as co-writer, producer, and composer) and the notorious Halloween III: Season of the Witch (as producer and composer), both of which also involved Debra Hill, who co-wrote and co-produced the original film with Carpenter. Despite even this, Halloween II is often seen as one of the better original sequels, and Halloween III: Season of the Witch is slowly gaining a cult following among fans of 80s horror, who view it as underrated

  • The James Bond novels written after Ian Fleming's death are nowhere near as famous as the ones written by him (nor as typically well-received). Of course, there wasn't really any other way around his death.
  • Frank Herbert's Dune series was taken over by his son after the former's death, based on his father's notes. Despite this, many fans suggest stopping after Chapterhouse: Dune, Frank's final Dune work (other fans suggest stopping after the original Dune).
  • This was one of the reasons the TV series adaptation of The Dresden Files failed compared to the books. Most fans did not see the show as good without Jim Butcher.
  • At least a significant portion of the Douglas Adams fans out there were not at all satisfied with And Another Thing..., which was written by Eoin Colfer several years after Adams' death.
  • Conan the Barbarian. To the most visible portion of the fanbase, the true Conan stories are the ones written by Howard and only by Howard. The post-Howard writers are referred to as "Conantics," and backlash ensues if you admit to liking any of the books by Lin Carter or the others. The films largely have a separate fanbase, and fans of one are usually civil to the other.
  • H. P. Lovecraft is often seen as the best writer of the Cthulhu Mythos literature. Fellow authors like August Derleth who carried on writing literature based on the mythos are derided by some as missing the point of the bleak, hopeless outlook on the universe that Lovecraft conveyed.
  • Fans generally don't like the Dragonriders of Pern books written after Anne McCaffrey died.
  • Books that get turned into movies are nearly 100% this.
  • The sequel series to The Chronicles of Amber written after Roger Zelazny's death is universally regarded as Fanon Discontinuity. This stance is considerably helped by the fact that several of Zelazny's friends have publicly stated that he abhorred the idea of anyone else writing canonical stories in the Amber 'verse.
  • Certain V. C. Andrews fans feel this way after her death and Andrew Neiderman took over the name. In terms of series that she actually started, the last three Casteel books had this response.
  • Robert Jordan famously kept churning out volume after volume of his hit mega-series The Wheel of Time, rarely moving the plot even close to a resolution, and then finally passed away before finishing. There was some debate over whether another author would step in and finish, but eventually Jordan's widow Harriet McDougal did choose Brandon Sanderson to write the last book in the series, which turned into the last three books. Some of the more devoted fans of the series will tell you in no uncertain terms that the final three books show a measurable drop in quality, with Sanderson butchering many of the characters and story arcs he obviously didn't understand. Other fans who were irritated with Jordan's rather extreme wordiness, languid pace and seeming unwillingness to resolve any of the plot threads felt rather differently about Sanderson...
  • Although the sequels to Rendezvous with Rama (Rama II Garden of Rama, Rama Revealed and the Gentry Lee solo spinoff novel Bright Messengers) have Arthur C. Clarke as co-author with Gentry Lee, most readers have concluded that Lee did the majority of the actual writing with Clarke doing little more than pitching in a few ideas and that having Clarke on the cover as co-author was more of a cynical marketing ploy than anything elsenote . The writing style is nothing like Clarke's. His longtime readers know that he did not focus on heavy character background stories and soap-opera style relationship drama, which makes for almost 85% of the sequels' content. Clarke's 1973 original novel was heavy on concept and focus on the Big Dumb Object while the characterization was mostly absent. While some critics may feel that the sequels correct the characterization deficiency in the original, many of Clarke's loyal readers feel that these critics miss the whole point of the original book.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones. The early seasons aligned mostly with the plots developed by George R. R. Martin, including having him write a few episodes. Unsurprisingly, those episodes written by Martin (particularly the Battle of Blackwater Bay) are seen by fans as being among the strongest in the series. The demarcating mark amongst critical fans seems to be the strange decision not to write in the Tysha betrayal storyline in season four when Jamie releases Tyrion; a defining mark in Martin's storyline. Once the showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were fully responsible for the direction of the show, the gaping plot holes developed and the dialogue got weaker to the point of Memetic Mutation. The declining quality reached its zenith in the final season, regarded by most fans as a total letdown and is unwatchable to many.
  • Supernatural. Many fans blamed the seasons 6 & 7 showrunner Sera Gamble for the show's less-than-stellar state after Eric Kripke, the creator and original showrunner, stepped down (though Kripke still had some input on the show). After season 7, Gamble also stepped down and was replaced first by Jeremy Carver and then by Andrew Dabb, who closed out the show after 15 Seasons. Carver was praised for getting the show back on track, and Dabb was praised for adding new characters, including The Wayward Sisters and Jack Kline, but most fans agree the Kripke years are superior to anything that came afterward. This persists despite many beloved stand-alone episodes primarily because the show never nailed its arcs the same way after Kripke's departure. Moreover, since the controversial Series Finale, fan opinion remains divided even though nearly everyone agrees that Kripke's vision for the end, which was the Season 5 Finale, was superior.
  • Arguably also true of Smallville. After the departure of co-creators and original show runners Alfred Gough and Miles Millar at the end of Season 7, the show seemed to end up in something of a Running the Asylum state with what was originally conceived as an accessible story about the future Superman with a loose approach to the mythology degenerating into DC Continuity Porn. It didn't help that most of the original cast had left by the time Gough and Millar stepped down.
  • The West Wing. Creator and showrunner Aaron Sorkin left the show at the end of the fourth season; the fifth season was savaged by critics and fans alike, and while the sixth and seventh were generally accepted as being an improvement, there are many fans of the Sorkin era who simply ignore everything after season four.
  • Gossip Girl. When Joshua Safran took over as showrunner the quality of the show went drastically downhill and the ratings followed, which led to the majority of the fans complaining about him. It did not help matters that Safran frequently argued with the fans on twitter and that one of the show's directors stated that people who didn't like the changes were not real fans. He left the show after the fifth season, but the damage was done (the next season was its last, and its lowest-rated, and Cut Short to boot. And as for the Series Finale...).
  • A widespread perception of the fourth season of Community, made after creator Dan Harmon was fired by the network.
  • Played Straight by Star Trek: The Original Series, where the Gene Roddenberry produced Seasons 1 and 2 are regarded as being way better than Season 3, where Fred Freiberger took over. Inverted by the following Star Trek shows however, which are widely regarded to have hit their strides after the original creators stepped down from the showrunner role (see My Real Daddy for more info). There are also some fans who regard only the Roddenberry-produced episodes and film as genuine Star Trek, and everything else as brainless trash, though this is very much a minority viewpoint.
    • Inverted by the movies, which saw a huge improvement after Gene was kicked off of them, and by The Next Generation, which got much better after he died.
    • Played straight when the Rick Berman Era ended and the Kurtzman era began. Berman wasn't involved in the franchise until 1987, but he at least had the benefit of working with Gene Roddenberry and being his hand-picked successor. Kurtzman, on the other hand, is best-known for working with Michael Bay to ruin Transformers forever.
  • The first two seasons of Charmed, where creator Constance M. Burge acted as the show's creative lead while Brad Kern handled the showrunning duties, are usually regarded as being by far and away better than the rest of the show's run, where Kern alone was in charge of things.
  • Zigzagged with Gilmore Girls. Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband Daniel left the show after season 6. Opinions on the following season 7 differ, but it's generally acknowledged that the show just wasn't the same afterwards. However, when the creators returned with full control for the 2016 Netflix revival, Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life, which reportedly incorporated developments that were originally planned for season 7, the reception ended up ranging from mixed to negative, subverting the trope.
  • Shari Lewis was a great ventriloquist and puppeteer. Her daughter Mallory...decidedly less so.
  • Joss Whedon was largely absent from season six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as he was working on Firefly. The result was a season that was disliked by a lot of fans, with the exception of the beloved "Once More With Feeling", which, funnily enough, was the only episode Joss wrote and directed that season, though as always he contributed the overall seasonal plot and made notes on others' work.
  • Deborah Joy LeVine was pushed out of Lois & Clark after the first season, and her intentions to chart character trajectories for the two leads and to emphasize Clark's impact on others (as in the Jack storyline) were scrapped for what some saw as a heavier reliance on soap and melodrama. In particular, the post-LeVine leadership was blamed for the notorious Clone!Lois story arc.
  • For a number of fans, the quality of writing on True Blood went downhill after showrunner Alan Ball left at the end of season 5, and took most of the veteran writers on the series (Alexander Woo, Raelle Tucker, Mark Hurdis) with him. The result is that Brian Buckner took over, and brought in a new host of writers who weren't familiar with the show. It is believed this is the reason a lot of the story threads set up in season 5note  didn't get properly followed up on in the final two seasons, and that these writers wanted to redeem Bill's character after all the heinous things he'd done.
  • Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda was Ruined Forever when its creator and head writer, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, was fired from it near the end of season 2. However, most of his core writing team (Zack Stentz, Ashley Edward Miller, Matt Kiene, Joe Reinkemeyer) stayed behind and kept the show more or less watchable throughout season 3. It was ruined forever again a year later, when those four writers left and there was nobody remaining who had any idea what the hell they were doing.
  • Community: Fans and critics alike panned the Dan Harmon-free season.

    Multiple Media 
  • BIONICLE's story zig-zags this. The first three Direct to Video movies were bashed for not being written by original comic author Greg Farshtey, but he later became Misblamed when some of his ideas divided fans and it was revealed he wasn't part of the original concept creators. Christian Faber, Bob Thompson and Alastair Swinnerton dethroned him as the "fandom's favorites". Faber in particular rose to prominence after the series' cancellation thanks to his blog and a book about the LEGO company revealing the extent of his contributions — although the fans' goodwill toward him has been slipping due to his cryptic and confusing social media activities. As for the movies themselves, most fans dislike the fourth because it wasn't made by the creators of the much more popular (if still not well-loved) first three. With the series' failed reboot, the absence of the original creators was felt even more, as it became clear that neither the new team, nor the LEGO execs really "got" Bionicle.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppets has often sparked this response, with regards to Jim Henson's death in 1990. There are quite a few beloved Muppets projects to be released after, such as The Muppet Christmas Carol or The Muppets (2011), but even the greatest fans of the post-Henson era will admit that the loss of Henson dealt a blow that the franchise never truly recovered from.

    Video Games 
  • While the Ace Attorney games directed by Takeshi Yamazaki — namely Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, and the two Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth entries — have been reasonably well-received, you'd be very hard-pressed to find any fans who prefer his work over that of the series' creator, Shu Takumi (with the possible exception of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, although it wasn't even fully Takumi's anyway and suffered from admitted Executive Meddling.)
  • Out of all the Age of Empires games, the latest, Age of Empires Online was developed after Ensemble Studios was closed down. Much Broken Base ensued.
    • The HD version of Age of Empires II and its expansions were made without any involvement from Ensemble Studios. This leads to some of the changes being done out of favouritism (or lack thereof).
    • Ditto with Age of Mythology Extended Edition to the point that its expansion Tale of the Dragon is almost universally hated by said community.
  • Anco's Kick Off series of soccer games for the Amiga dropped dramatically in quality when programmer Dino Dini left the company after the second game.
  • Batman: Arkham Origins was well received overall, but is regarded by many as the worst of the Arkham series because it was filled with problematic bugs and was made by a different developer, WB Games Montreal. The games made by the creators of the series, Rocksteady, were renowned for how polished they were. With the release of Batman: Arkham Knight made by Rocksteady having a disastrous PC port (actually being taken down from online stores) and the industry having an unfortunate trend of buggy games, Origins is being looked upon a little more fondly, though detractors argue that unlike Knight it did not have the excuse of releasing for the very difficult-to-code PlayStation 4.
    • Arkham Knight fell prey to this in a different way. Because of prior commitments, the writer of the first two games Paul Dini was unable to return for Arkham Knight. A lot of people have found the story to be weaker than the previous entries. Notably, for all it was criticized for, Arkham Origins is considered to have a very strong story even without Rocksteady's influence.
  • BioShock 2: Fans and critics alike concluded that it wasn't quite as good as the original, with many attributing this to the fact that it was developed by 2K Marin instead of Irrational Games. Irrational returned to develop BioShock Infinite, which has gained acclaim equal to if not greater than the original.
  • Some people felt this way with both the newer Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon games after other development teams took over from Naughty Dog and Insomniac Games, respectively, although the recent string of remakes of the original games (done by Vicarious Visions (Crash), Beenox (Nitro-Fueled) and Toys For Bob (Spyro)) as well as an entirely new game made by the aforementioned Toys For Bob have managed to Win Back the Crowd.
  • Long-time Command & Conquer fans have this in spades. Electronic Arts bought out the original creators of the series, Westwood Studios, while Tiberian Sun was under development, but they mostly didn't engage in Executive Meddling right away. The real danger came after Yuri's Revenge, when EA liquidated Westwood outright and told its employees they could either relocate to Los Angeles or quit. The very first thing that they did was slap the c&C label on a totally unrelated game, Command & Conquer: Generals. The second thing they did was retcon the everloving shit out of the franchise's Alien Kudzu, Tiberium, and pretend that most of the in-universe technological advances depicted in the previous game - burrowing units, sonic weaponry, amphibious units, etc. - never happened. And things got worse from there.
    • EA eventually invokes this trope, when they decided the next thing they would do was to remaster the Red Alert series, what they did first was to contact the original Westwood Studios staff members (that they previously disbanded) that worked on the series in its highest time and have them work on it with the order that it should be as faithful as the original games. The result was a resounding positive reaction from the fans, since at least EA has learned that a faithful remaster wouldn't be possible without the original creators.
  • When Konami outsourced the development of the two PlayStation Contra games, Contra: Legacy of War and C: The Contra Adventure, to Appaloosa, the results were universally regarded as a disaster, mainly due to poor gameplay. Konami realized their mistake, took Contra: Shattered Soldier into their own hands, and denied the PS games' existence. The fans were pleased with the results.
    • Sadly subverted with Rogue Corps; Nobuya Nakazato was the series director up from Contra III: The Alien Wars until Shattered Soldier, which is considered the hay day of the franchise by series veterans. So when Nakazato returned to helm Rogue Corps, fans were hopeful only for the game to get hit with a massive Sequelitis for a variety of reasons.
  • A common criticism leveled against Dark Souls II. The director of the first game and its Sony-produced predecessor Demon's Souls, Hidetaka Miyazaki, had only a minor supervisory role in Dark Souls II, as he was busy directing Bloodborne (which would eventually become acclaimed in its own right). Many fans attribute Miyazaki's absence as one of the main causes behind the game's many shortcomings, though an interview that clarified that the game had a Troubled Production lessened this a bit. Even with the DLC content, which is considered superior to the main game, many fans denounce it and DSII as a whole to be inferior to the Miyazaki-helmed games.
  • Many fans of the Destroy All Humans! series pinpoint the Franchise Killer to when the third and fourth games, Big Willy Unleashed and Path of the Furon, were developed by two separate studios other than Pandemic Studios after they defunct around 2007. The drastic style changes, the lowered difficulty, and Flanderization of the main cast didn't help either. These may be the reasons why THQ Nordic (the current owner of the series) have not ported the aforementioned two games to the PlayStation 4. Although the 2020 remake of the remake developed by Black Forest Games is generally agreed to be an improvement on the original.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution was starting to receive this... until the beta was leaked. Of course, Deus Ex fans should be reminded that the original creators brought us the divisive Deus Ex: Invisible War.
  • Diablo and Diablo II were made by Condor, AKA Blizzard North. The main creative people behind the franchise (David Brevik, Erich Schaefer, & Max Schaefer) quit some time in the early 2000s, Blizzard North was liquidated, Diablo III was made by a different group of people with a different set of beliefs about what a Diablo game should be like, and the result was... controversial. Meanwhile, the original team went on to make the Torchlight games, which were much better-received.
  • Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 are hated by some of the more die-hard fans of the first two games because they were created by Bethesda Softworks and not (the defunct) Black Isle Studios. Especially noticeable when you consider that Fallout: New Vegas was given a more accepting reception and that some of the old employees of Black Isle incidentally worked on it.
    • Fans of the original games often point out that the storytelling and roleplay is less interesting in the games made by Bethesda. This is more or less true — Black Isle were renowned for their writing and would later go on to produce Baldur's Gate and the monumentally verbose Planescape: Torment, whereas Bethesda arguably have a more action-oriented approach to game design.
  • Some fans think the Fire Emblem series has never been the same since the fifth entry, Thracia 776, due to the departure of series creator Shouzou Kaga.
  • The Halo franchise ended up being sold to Microsoft in return for Bungie being able to split from them. Microsoft Studios created a studio for making new Halo games called 343 Industries, and an already Broken Base split even further.
  • Downplayed with Kirby creator Masahiro Sakurai, who didn't work on all of the Kirby titles even during his stint at HAL Laboratory, directing only the first Dream Land, the NES Adventure, and the fan-favorite Super Star. Sakurai hasn't worked on the series in any direct capacity since the spin-off game Air Ride, but most fans generally agree that there's no such thing as a bad Kirby game, with the various installments that Sakurai had nothing to do with still getting praise.
  • Most of the Legacy of Kain series is considered inferior to the original Blood Omen, since its designers — Silicon Knights — were cut out of the loop, the trademark essentially stolen by the publisher.
    • And even among fans of the sequels Blood Omen 2 (actually the 4th game in the series) is widely considered the worst. This is also the only game Amy Hennig had no involvement in.
  • Many fans of the original Mafia dislike Mafia II particularly because very few of the original staff were on the Mafia II team, and most of them left during production.
  • Although they did get lots of positive reviews, Obsidian Entertainment's sequels to two of BioWare's games, Neverwinter Nights 2 and Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, still aren't ranked as highly as their predecessors—although this has more to do with them being horribly buggy (or, in KotOR II's case, unfinished due to Executive Meddling forcing a premature release).
  • The Dawn of War expansion Soulstorm was not made by Relic, and is coincidentally considered to be So Bad, It's Good.
  • Max Payne 3 is getting quite a bit of this, due to Remedy having no real involvement with the series.
  • The Mega Man series gets this as well.
    • First there were the official-but-subpar Mega Man (Classic) games for the PC and the Game Gear that were not developed by Capcom. Most of the later Mega Man X games also tend to receive this treatment, since Keiji Inafune intended to end the series after X5 but it was continued without his knowledge or input. And with Inafune's departure from Capcom, faith in the series dropped to an all-time low, though that might've had less to do with Capcom's potential ability to do the series justice, and more to do with the fact the company seemed like it was trying to bury the series. note 
    • Thankufully not the case with Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge and Mega Man III-V for the Game Boy, and the Mega Man Zero series on the Game Boy Advance; while they were outsourced to other developers, the developers in question (Minakuchi Engineering for the Game Boy games note  and Inti Creates for the Zero series) actually understood the series, ensuring that the games were well-received by fans.
    • The Game Boy Mega Man II wasn't so lucky; not only was it not made by Capcom, but the game wasn't made by Minakuchi Engineering either. Instead it was farmed out to Biox (then known as Japan System House), who didn't understand the series at all and ended up producing what is pretty unanimously regarded as the worst 8-bit Mega Man game. Fortunately, Capcom were smart enough to go back to the original developers for the next three games.
  • What many fans think about the modern Ninja Gaiden games, and one of the reasons there was so much skepticism about Ninja Gaiden III — now led by Yosuke Hayashi, also director of the first two games' PS3 releases and of the Nintendo DS episode Dragon Sword. Any game not directed by Tomonobu Itagaki can only be a pale imitation. It doesn't help that before leaving Tecmo, Itagaki himself said that he didn't like Sigma, that NG2 was the definitive version of the game and that he was the only one legitimate to continue the series.
  • One of the most infamous examples are the Zelda CD-i Games and Hotel Mario, produced by Phillips. While other companies have tackled these franchises before and since to favorable reception, the terrible quality of these games, to quote Nintendo Power, instilled the idea that "nobody should make Nintendo games except Nintendo."
  • Silent Hill:
  • Some of the fans of the first three Heroes of Might and Magic games, developed by New World Computing, aren't too thrilled about the fully 3D Heroes V (Nival Interactive) and Heroes VI (Black Hole Entertainment). Of course, there's also Heroes IV, the last game to be developed by NWC, which many fans simply ignore. The biggest complaint is not with the gameplay changes but with the fact that the storylines of the last two games have nothing to do with The 'Verse of the first four games (and first nine games in the series Heroes was a spin-off of).
  • U.S. Gold and Tiertex, who had licensed Strider and other Capcom arcade games for European home computer ports, went on to produce a sequel known as Strider II (later remade as Journey From Darkness: Strider Returns on Sega consoles). Fans were underwhelmed by the colors, controls, level design, and Strider Hiryu being renamed Strider Hinjo for no reason. It was known in some circles as "spectacular crapfest" for these reasons. When Capcom decided to make a sequel themselves, they denied Returns' existence, which they weren't even involved with anyway, and simply titled the game Strider 2.
  • Metroid: Some feel this way about certain games that were made after the death of Gunpei Yokoi. Yokoi himself originally wanted the series to be a nice contained trilogy, so the main series games which were made after Super Metroid (Fusion and Other M) received this sentiment.
    • The same sentiment was common prior to the release of Metroid Prime, not helped that it was being made by a seemingly failing studio that had released a grand total of zero games. But the game came through, and actually resulted in Retro Studios becoming My Real Daddy for the franchise for some fans.
      • As of January 2019, these concerns were alleviated once Nintendo explicitly stated that Retro Studios would be returning as the game's developer. However, as they had to entirely restart the game's development, this will still widen the Sequel Gap between 3: Corruption and 4.
  • The 989 Studios-developed Twisted Metal III and 4 received a very mixed reception among the fandom, compared to the SingleTrac-developed (and their successor companies, Incog Inc. and Eat Sleep Play) games. David Jaffe said that while the 989 games were good games on their own, they were just bad Twisted Metal games.
    • One of the slogans for 1997's Critical Depth was "From the Developers Who Know Vehicular Combat!", referring to SingleTrac, the developers of the game.
  • Langrisser Millennium was developed without the team that had worked on all previous installments of the series. Hardcore Gaming 101 describes it as "a filthy charlatan, masquerading as an installment in one of strategy gaming's finest series."
  • Freespace fans have been known to do this pre-emptively. As it stands there is little chance of the series being continued, but if it did it would probably not be by the original developers (Volition). Some fans have taken the mantra "If it ain't V, it ain't Freespace 3!", as they believe that no one else would ever be able to continue the series satisfactorily.
  • After the release of the third Mass Effect game and the resulting controversy regarding the endings, many fans were saying that the fault was with Mac Walters, and that Drew Karpyshan, who was the lead writer on the first game and co-lead with Walters for the second but worked on Star Wars: The Old Republic instead of Mass Effect 3, would have presented a more satisfying conclusion. Turned Up to Eleven with Mass Effect: Andromeda, which had next to no involvement from any of the first game's developers, and was not kindly received by fans or gamers in general.
    • The same goes for the music, the first two games were scored by Jack Wall which fans unanimously agreed that he made a fantastic job; the third game on the other hand, although it featured a few original pieces from Clint Mansell which the fanbase says they're quite good in their own right, most fans agree that the old recycled music from the previous games and the new pieces from their supporting composer, Sam Hulick, overall don't quite reach the quality of Jack Wall.
  • This trope is pretty much exemplified perfectly by the later Yoshi's Island games developed by Artoon/Arzest instead of Nintendo. None of these games are considered anywhere near as good as the SNES original by Nintendo themselves, with many fans feeling as though Artoon's staff wouldn't know good game/level design if it hit them. It wasn't until Good-Feel became the developers of Yoshi games, starting with Yoshi's Woolly World, that fans began to believe a good follow-up was even possible.
  • While each Umihara Kawase game has been developed by an at least nominally different company, the only one made without the participation of original programmer and game designer Kiyoshi Sakai was Umihara Kawase Portable for the PSP, which fans of the series have widely denounced as a Porting Disaster.
  • Blaster Master 2, outsourced to British developer Software Creations, is a pale shadow of the original game, despite being made for a more powerful console. Sunsoft returned to develop the next two Blaster Master games, which were better received.
  • The Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series is a Neversoft creation. However, the company would relegate other companies to work on the various ports of the series, and said ports are nowhere near as high quality as the ones done by Neversoft. For many fans, Shaba Games brings to mind cheapness, poor graphics and glitches, most notably in the PS1 port of Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4. Neversoft pulled out of the series entirely after Proving Ground, and Activision gave the following installments to other subsidiaries, to the point the series was killed twice — first with Ride and Shred, with its unresponsive peripherals, and then a terrible THPS 5 that dragged down any momentum raised by a well-received remake of the original.
    • Neversoft was on the other side of the spectrum with Guitar Hero, which they inherited from Harmonix once it was sold to Viacom and went on to create Rock Band. Their games, which started with Guitar Hero III, had many good reviews and even better sales, but are still divisive exactly for turning the series into a Cash Cow Franchise that Activision ran to the ground.
  • Monkey Island: Ron Gilbert worked on the first two games, which are beloved by fans, after which he left LucasArts. The first game he didn't work on, The Curse of Monkey Island, took a dip in art style, though Gilbert says he enjoyed it despite having had a different plan for Monkey Island 3. The fourth game, Escape from Monkey Island, was a disaster, and had many fans feeling that LucasArts were doing a disservice to Gilbert's creation. This was largely due to the glitchiness of the game (which was ironed out somewhat in the PS2 port), the non-point and click controls, Polygon Ceiling graphics, the retconning, the unfunny and stereotypical humor, the reliance on time and memory based puzzles, and nonsensical portions like Monkey Kombat. Ron Gilbert was involved with the first two games' remakes and oversaw some of Tales of Monkey Island (which was a step up from Escape, though not to the degree most fans wanted), but doesn't have particular interest in working on the next parts.
  • Duke Nukem 3D's Nuclear Winter expansion pack is generally considered the worst, and is also the only one 3D Realms didn't work on. Though it's not without reason — the first two levels are just slight rehashes of the first two levels in the base game in reverse order, and the music for every stage is Christmas carols. The level designs are also fairly boring in comparison to the other packs, and some parts are fairly similar to other levels from the original game.
  • In 2014, Natsume developed and released Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, as they lost the rights to import future Bokujō Monogatari titles from the original developer Marvelous to XSEED Games, but still having the rights to the Harvest Moon name (this meant that Connect to the New World and subsequent titles are now under a new name,Story of Seasons.) However reception for The Lost Valley had been met with negative reception compared to Story of Seasons.
    • That said, it's not without reason. While some of the hate is because Natsume developed it, the game is of noticeably lower quality compared to the games made by Marvelous. While there are many complaints, the largest of them are the lower quality and super deformed art (and using 3D models instead of hand-drawn portraits for conversations), and that the three (compared to the typical five/six) bachelors/bachelorettes are blatant copies of ones from previous Harvest Moon games.
  • Metal Gear combines this trope with the fact that Hideo Kojima says he is never making another one after making every single game from Metal Gear Solid 2 onwards. His eccentric design philosophy and personality is a very strong influence on Metal Gear, and attempts to imitate it by committee tend to come off poorly.
    • The NES version of Metal Gear, which was developed by another team without Kojima's involvement, is considered a lesser take on the MSX2 original, although it did well enough in North America (where the MSX2 version was never released) to inspire a sequel. Said sequel, Snake's Revenge, which was also made without Kojima's involvement, was a considerable improvement from the first NES game, but didn't really add much new to the formula other than the addition of side-view sessions that play very differently from the main top-down portions. A member of the Snake's Revenge development team realized that it was far from the ideal sequel and asked Kojima to make his own sequel as well. Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake for the MSX2, which Kojima did develop in response to this request, is regarded as a cult classic, featuring completely redefined stealth gameplay and a more fleshed-out storyline much closer to what the later 3D Metal Gear Solid games would become.
    • Metal Gear Ac!d goes for its own brand of campy madness unique to director Shinta Nojiri (who also worked on the fan-favorite 2D side-entry Metal Gear: Ghost Babel), but a quirky and overcomplicated card game system and a bizarre Gothic Horror plot did little to endear it to most players. While its sequel was better received, Nojiri was being groomed by Kojima as a potential replacement on the mainline Metal Gear Solid series, but left Kojima Productions rather than accept the poison chalice.
    • Shuyo Murata (who previously directed Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner) was initially announced as the director of Metal Gear Solid 4, but after a bit of backlash and some apparent death threats over his lack of involvement, Kojima was brought back as the director once again (with Murata being reassigned to co-director).
    • Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops for the PSP was a solid, well-received game, but with much lower production values than the console entries and a Strictly Formula plot which only serves to conveniently tie everything for the first Metal Gear (by essentially being a FOXHOUND origin story), while providing a set-up for Metal Gear Solid 4. Kojima later wrote and directed the next PSP game, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, which featured production values much closer to the console entries and basically served as a direct sequel to Metal Gear Solid 3 that mostly ignores Portable Ops, outside a single Discontinuity Nod at the start of the game. Portable Ops was considered a really good game at the time of release and had glowing reviews, but once Peace Walker came out it started to be remembered much more negatively. The game still has its fans that would defend it, though.
    • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was the most successful game in the series not directed by Kojima and is even praised by some Kojima purists, but is still somewhat controversial due to the fact that it was outsourced to PlatinumGames after the original internally developed version of the game, Metal Gear Solid: Rising, was canceled when the resulting product was not up to Kojima Productions' usual standards. The original plot planned to cover the timeline gap between Metal Gear Solid 2 and 4, showing how Raiden ended up becoming a cyborg. The plot in the final game is set after the events of 4 and is mostly inconsequential to the overall narrative, with Kojima himself even admitting that it's very different from what he would've envisioned for a game set after 4.
    • Metal Gear Survive was met with near-universal mockery and disdain when it was announced, mostly due to the fact that it was the first Metal Gear game developed after Hideo Kojima's unceremonious sacking from Konami, following allegations that Metal Gear Solid V was shipped unfinished against Kojima's will (as a result of the "Kingdom of the Flies" bonus video that was included in the limited edition of the game, as well as the Chapter 3 title card that was found inside the game's files). Even the fans who might have liked the premise were unwilling to give it any good faith, due to the fact that it wasn't more MGSV-related content. The game eventually received very mixed reviews, although many acknowledged that it was better than expected.
  • The first two Star Control games were well-received and beloved by fans. The third, developed with no involvement from the original creators was... not.
  • The Resident Evil games made after Shinji Mikami's departure have continued to receive divisive reception. A common complaint in these later games has been the focus on action, mainly turning the series into a shoot'em up with only a few horror elements. While the more action-heavy elements did start with Resident Evil 4 (the last game Mikami oversaw), it still managed to keep a heavy horror atmosphere.
  • Many fans of Drakengard reject the second game, on the basis of Taro Yoko not being involved, claiming that his absence led to the game's story and characters being much more irritating and uninteresting. Subsequent games in the series, including the Gaiden Game NieR and Drakengard 3, have been much more well-received (although Drakengard 3 is in itself somewhat divisive), culminating with the Breakout Hit that was NieR: Automata.
  • An odd variation happened with the Wing Commander series, where the fifth game, the only one to be made without any involvement from series creator Chris Roberts, is usually considered the worst game in the series by far (not counting spin-off titles). However, Roberts was responsible for the Wing Commander movie, which got a reception even worse than that of the fifth game.
  • Possibly the reason why Insomniac Games made Ratchet & Clank (2016). From a broader perspective, most non-Insomniac depictions of the title characters, such as PlayStation Move Heroes, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, and both games made by High Impact Games, don't quite nail the look, including Clank in the movie.
  • Tetsuya Nomura has stated that he feels V writer and VI-through-VIII director Yoshinori Kitase is the person who most understood Sakaguchi's vision, but also that replacing Sakaguchi is impossible.
  • D.W. the Picky Eater, the final entry in the Living Books series of interactive storybook CD-ROMs, is considered very shallow and cheap compared to the series' earlier entries, and doesn't use the Mohawk engine. Most of this results in the game being outsourced to Media Station, a company previously known for producing generally cheaper quality Living Books clones and the Disney's Animated Storybook series. As a result, a fair amount of fans pretend that D.W. the Picky Eater isn't a Living Book, and that the series instead ended on a high note with Arthur's Computer Adventure.
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time was developed by Sanzaru Games instead of Sucker Punch. While the game was initially praised for being faithful to the original trilogy, it was eventually panned by fans and critics alike for Penelope's nonsensical Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome and having a Downer Ending that the creators won't resolve with a sequel. Most fans have since shunned Sanzaru and disowned the game, and it quickly became a well-known case of Sequelitis.
  • A sizable portion of Cave Story fans believe the original freeware version, the only one developed entirely by Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya, is the best one, and consider Aeon Genesis' Fan Translation to be far superior to the official localisation by Nicalis, who also handle the commercial ports. For some of these fans, it can all come down to Balrog's iconic "Huzzah!" being changed to "Oh Yeaaah!", a reference to the Kool-Aid Man, but the Aeon Genesis translation has also been noted for doing a better job conveying emotion compared to Nicalis' overly-literal translation. Nicalis has also developed a poor reputation recently for sending DMCA takedowns to fan ports of the freeware version, the publication of an expose revealing exploitative and toxic business practices at the company, and allegations of taking advantage of Pixel not understanding English (he's Japanese) to trick him into giving them the rights to the IP instead of merely the license to port it (not confirmed, but not unconfirmed either), further accentuating this mindset.
  • Doom 3's expansion pack, Resurrection of Evil, was a disappointment. Not surprisingly, it wasn't made by the same company that made Doom 1-3.
  • Quake 4 and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars are probably the least well-received of the Quake games. They also happen to be the only ones not made by the creators of the franchise.
  • In a publisher variation, due to how NIS America handled the initial localization all the way to its PC Porting Disaster of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, Ys fans will likely not accept another publisher that isn't XSEED Games for future installments announced for an international release due to the latter's more favorable track record and consistency with Ys, but also because of their long-time partnership with developer Falcom.

    Web Animation 
  • After Monty Oum's death, some fans of RWBY felt that Rooster Teeth hasn't done a good job continuing the series, usually citing the fight scenes not having Monty's unique flair and believing the story isn't moving in the direction he would have wanted.
    • Unfortunately, things have become so heated and vitriolic that the current showrunners (who were close friends and colleagues to Monty prior to his death) have been subject to frequent online abuse and Mis-blamed for choices that were actually Monty's ideas; for instance Jaune's prominence in the story is not down to Miles' doing a self-insert — Monty always intended for Jaune to be an audience viewpoint character, the "Watson" to Team RWBY's Sherlock.

    Western Animation 
  • There's a subset of animation fans who feel this way about Disney after Walt and Roy died, particularly about the films released between the early '70s and the mid '80s before the older, Walt-era management was shown the door and the new, outside management took over the studio. Anything made from the late '80s on tends to get mixed reactions, with the general consensus seeming to be that the work overall is an improvement over the early '70s to mid '80s films, but it just "isn't Disney".
  • Similarly, not many fans cared for the subsequent incarnations of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (by Charles Mintz and Walter Lantz), preferring the originals done by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks.
  • Gargoyles fans got this attitude after Disney tried to do a season without Greg Weisman and botched it up.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show plays with this trope. Some fans feel this way after John Kricfalusi was sacked. On the other hand, one could say that the show wasn't that much better even when he was involvednote , especially with regards to the infamous "Son of Stimpy" episode, with which he essentially subverted his own creation (itself intended to be subversive) by intentionally creating a Deconstructive Parody of pathos scenes that was both unfunny on purpose, and completely idiotic, even by the show's standards, all so he could prove a point about "fake pathos" (see the article in question for all of the "stinky" detailsnote ...).
  • Downplayed with the Ben 10 franchise. The original series, which for a long time was the only installment that had Man of Action Studios as showrunners, is the only one that the fanbase can be said to be in overall agreement about. Every sequel show afterward suffered from Broken Base for one reason or another, leading to many fans just wanting MoA to take the reins again. When Man of Action came back for the fifth installment (which served as Continuity Reboot), the result still lead to a Broken Base, due to the creators deciding to go in a Denser and Wackier direction.
  • This is most people's reactions to sequels to Don Bluth movies. An American Tail: Fievel Goes West is still considered a classic as well, but notably Steven Spielberg was still involved in the production as he was with the first movie.
  • After Lauren Faust lessened her role on the show, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic got its fair share of criticism as she was only indirectly supervising Season 2's production and left the show entirely by Season 3. However, with the show going on to have far more seasons that didn't have Faust's involvement, fans debate whether the show was better under her or Meghan McCarthy.
  • The 1990s Tintin cartoon produced by the Canadian animation studio Nelvana is a curious variant in that it was created long after creator Herge died. However, the cartoon is still much better received by fans than earlier adaptations, in no small part because it generally stuck to adapting Herge's original comic albums instead of coming up with its own plots the way other adaptations have done.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! fans rarely think highly of episodes written by Man of Action Studios instead of the usual Marvel Animation writers.
  • The Superman Theatrical Cartoons produced and directed by Max and Dave Fleischer, respectively, broke new ground for the Superman mythos and provided strong inspiration to other animators. The cartoons produced by Famous Studios don't have as high a reputation.
    • To only a slightly lesser extent, the Fleischers' Popeye cartoons. Many of those are considered to be among the best classic cartoons ever made, while the cartoons produced by Famous Studios are notorious for being Strictly Formula and for their heavy use of Recycled IN SPACE!.
  • The consensus on The Boondocks Season 4 is that the show only works when Aaron McGruder is at the helm. Adult Swim seems to think this as well, as the season has never appeared in reruns since concluding, with the channel always wrapping back around to the first episode after the Season 3 finale "It's Goin' Down".
  • In an interesting case that actually does mix in a bit of My Real Daddy, while Ciro Nieli has remained on the new Ninja Turtles cartoon, Joshua Sternin and Jennifer Ventimilia, who were also heavily involved with its development as well as the original head writers for the series, both took off after the first season was over. Opinions on seasons two and onward have notably been much more divided between fans.
  • Many fans of the original Teen Titans feel this way about Teen Titans Go!, as very few involved with the well-regarded former series worked on the divisive latter series.
  • Fans of Code Lyoko when comparing it to Code Lyoko: Evolution, which had very limited input from the original showrunners, who themselves have basically politely disowned the series as canon in their view.
  • The two best-received Asterix animated films, Asterix and Cleopatra and The Twelve Tasks of Asterix, are also the ones that were written and directed by series creators Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. None of the other ones are generally considered that bad, but the only two to be up near the ones that Goscinny and Uderzo themselves directed were Asterix vs. Caesar and Asterix in Britain, which lacked any hands-on involvement from Uderzo (Goscinny had died by this point), but were written by Pierre Tchernia, who was involved in making Cleopatra and Twelve Tasks.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (2016) is this for many fans of the original series since Craig McCracken had no involvement with this version. In a related vein, the original series was also guilty of this, as he left the show after the fourth season to focus on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and the episodes in the following seasons declined in quality.
  • Likewise fellow Cartoon Network series Dexter's Laboratory was this following the Ego Trip movie, as Genndy Tartakovsky had moved on to make Samurai Jack. Not only did the show suffer an unpleasant redesign but fans felt they largely flanderized a lot of the characters. Notably, Chris Savino, the producer of both the later seasons of this and Powerpuff Girls, would go on to make The Loud House.
  • Zigzagged with Johnny Bravo. The first season, which the creator, Van Partible, had full input on is considered the best season by fans. The second and third seasons were made without them and, while they have their fans, are more polarizing among fans, mainly in regards to Johnny taking a level in dumbass. He would eventually come back on board for the fourth season. However, that season was received so poorly that it wound up killing the series.
  • Johnny Test is an interesting case in that its first season (produced by Warner Bros. Animation) is considered average at best rather than being a great show. Regardless, everything after that first season (produced by Cookie Jar Entertainment/DHX Media) is considered some of the worst Seasonal Rot to ever befall a show, to the point of rendering it (well, that and the fact that the show was Adored by the Network throughout its run) one of the most hated cartoons of all time to many (though people have started to lighten up on it since it got cancelled).
  • Many Adventure Time fans have this opinion regarding Pendleton Ward and, to a lesser degree, Rebecca Sugar. After Ward stepped down as showrunner during the fifth season, with Sugar leaving the production entirely to helm Steven Universe, the show shifted into a more introspective tone under new showrunner Adam Muto, which many felt was pretentious and distracting from the actual plot. A lot of fans who felt this way argue that only Ward and Sugar really knew how to balance the crazy adventures and humor evenly with the darker elements. Thus, in their opinions, the rest of the crew was allowed to get self-indulgent due to no longer having someone to restrain them.
  • The general consensus among fans of SpongeBob SquarePants is that the show's quality dipped after Stephen Hillenburg left the series following The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. Season 4 is considered to be the start of the Seasonal Rot, but it has enough good episodes that some will include it with seasons 1-3 as the Golden Age of SpongeBob. Season 5 has fewer defenders than Season 4 and seasons 6-8 are almost universally detested for producing some of the most unfunny, crude and Nausea Fuel episodes ever in a kid's show. Hillenburg returned for seasons 9-11 and many agree that the quality started to go up again (though still paling in comparison to the first three seasons), but Hillenburg unfortunately passed away of ALS in November 2018, so it's likely that this trope will come into play again.
  • Fans of Tom and Jerry usually agree that the shorts directed by Hanna and Barbera themselves are the best, with reception of subsequent entries varying wildly (the Chuck Jones shorts and Tom and Jerry Tales get generally good reception, but have their detractors; the Gene Deitch shorts, The Tom and Jerry Show (1975), and The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show are mostly loathed, and The Tom and Jerry Show (2014) is divisive).


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