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Sequel Gap

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"Welcome to Team Fortress 2. After 9 years in development, hopefully it will have been worth the wait."
Gabe Newell
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A film or other literary work where a sequel is released long, long after the original work. May sometimes be a Trilogy Creep, very often related to Development Hell. In order to qualify as this trope, the sequel in question must have been released no less than five years after the previous installment.

More common in games, particularly online games, as they can have a much longer life than other forms of non-interactive media, which are "finished" as soon as you reach the end of them. StarCraft II, for example, came out 12 years after the original StarCraft because the original remained massively popular for a long, long time after its release.

Does not apply to Sequels In Name Only, Sequel Series, or Franchise Reboots. This Trope is for honest-to-goodness sequels, prequels, and midquels. See also Capcom Sequel Stagnation, and a related Webcomic trope, Schedule Slip.

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Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Matt Wagner's Mage trilogy, consisting of three fifteen-issue miniseries, Mage: The Hero Discovered, Mage: The Hero Defined, and Mage: The Hero Denied. The first miniseries was published in 1984-6, the second in 1997-9, and the third began in 2017. The gap between the first two was partly due to rights disputes between Wagner and the original publisher, but the second gap was purely due to artistic reasons.

    Films — Animation 
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    Films — Live-Action 

    Light Novels 
  • The mainline Slayers light novels stopped at the 15th volume released in May 2000. While there have been novels released for the spinoff Slayers Special, a new mainline novel is set to be released on October 2018, 18 years after the 15th novel.

    Literature 
  • Isaac Asimov
    • The third book in his "Robot Trilogy", The Robots of Dawn was published in 1983, 26 years after the second.
    • The fourth book in his Foundation series, Foundation's Edge, was published in 1982, 29 years after the original trilogy.
    • Asimov invoked this deliberately with his first published short story Marooned off Vesta. The sequel was written 20 years later, was called Anniversary, and dealt with events 20 years after the original story.
  • Solar Queen series by Andre Norton. 3rd novel Voodoo Planet appeared in 1959, then Postmarked the Stars in 1969, then Redline the Stars in 1993. That's 10 and 24 years. Granted, some of her other novels seem to be set in the same universe, but there are no direct connections.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books: 8 years between So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (1984) and Mostly Harmless (1992), and 17 years between Mostly Harmless and And Another Thing... (2009). Though the latter was due to Author Existence Failure.
  • There's a five-year gap between the third (2000) and fourth books (2005) of A Song of Ice and Fire, and a six year gap between the fourth and fifth (2011), after the first books came out in 1996, 1999, and 2000. Oddly, originally the fourth book was going to be a five-year timeskip in-universe before it was delayed, then after not coming out for five actual years, the action picks up immediately where it left off.
  • The first four Harry Potter books came out on a yearly basis from 1997-2000. However, Rowling, probably kept busy managing the sudden expansion of the franchise that came with the film series, took three years to write the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003), a gap fans dubbed "the three year summer". After that, Rowling stuck to a two year interval between books, releasing Half-Blood Prince in 2005 and Deathly Hallows in 2007. If you thought that was bad, the next installments in the franchise, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them did not come out until 2016, a gap of nine years.
  • Anne Rice did twice with The Vampire Chronicles. She published The Vampire Lestat in 1985, 9 years after Interview With the Vampire (1976) then Prince Lestat in 2014, 11 years after Blood Canticle (2003).
  • The Unicorn Chronicles had something like almost 10 years between the 2nd book and the 3rd book being published.
  • Fans of Isobelle Carmody's The Obernewtyn Chronicles waited 10 years for the fifth book in the sequence; the fourth book, The Keeping Place was originally published in 1998, The Stone Key in 2008.
  • There was a 12-year gap between the third and fourth book in The Demon Princes series. The series was always planned to have 5 books.
  • The Earth's Children series had a 12 year gap between The Plains of Passage (1990) and The Shelters of Stone (2002). The Land of the Painted Caves came out in 2011, making another 9 year gap.
  • In the Magic Kingdom of Landover series, there was a fourteen year gap between the fifth book, Witches' Brew, and the sixth, A Princess of Landover (for reference, there were nine years between the release of the first book and the fifth).
  • The Book of the Dun Cow came out in 1978. Its sequel, The Book of Sorrows, came out in 1985. A final sequel, Peace at the Last, came out in 2013, a 23-year gap, alongside a rewrite of Sorrows.
  • Magicians of Gor (book 25 in the series): 1988 — Witness of Gor (book 26): 2001. 13 years.
  • Thieves' World. The last original series anthology Stealers' Sky came out in 1989. The next one, Turning Points, was published in 2002, 13 years later.
  • The first Alex Benedict book, A Talent for War, came out in 1989. The second, Polaris, came out in 2004, 15 years later (after that, there has been no gap larger than three years).
  • Peter David's Knight Life (1987) and One Knight Only (2003) — 16 years (the original did get an Updated Re-release in 2002.)
  • In Clare Bell's The Named series, the release of the first four books was spread between 1983 and 1991. Seventeen years later, the series started its re-issue because of its new fifth book, Ratha's Courage (2008). The next year also saw a novelette written on Twitter and a short story in an anthology of speculative fiction.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit (1937), followed by The Lord of the Rings (three volumes, 1954-1955) — 17 years.
  • Rosemary Sutcliff's The Eagle of the Ninth (1954) was followed by five sequels in nine years. Two later Interquels, Frontier Wolf (1980) and Sword Song (1997), were each preceded by a 17-year gap.
  • Philip Pullman wrote the sequel to The Amber Spyglass (2000) titled The Book of Dust (2017) 17 years after.
  • Ursula K. Le Guin published the 3rd and 4th books of the Earthsea series, The Farthest Shore and Tehanu, in 1972 and 1990. 18 years.
  • Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep came out in 1992; the sequel, The Children Of The Sky, was released in 2011 (19 years). A Deepness in the Sky — set in the same universe but not a direct sequel — came out in the interim.
  • The Blackcollar (1983), The Backlash Mission (1986) and The Judas Solution (2006). — 20-23 years.
  • Another Timothy Zahn example is The Cobra Trilogy: original trilogy released 1985-1988, two new trilogies released from 2009 onwards.
  • C. J. Cherryh's Cyteen and Regenesis (1988/2009) — 21 years. Similar to the Vinge example above, Cherryh had other Alliance/Union books come out between the two.
  • Julie of the Wolves (1972) by Jean Craighead George got its sequels Julie and Julie's Wolf Pack in 1994 and 1997, respectively (22 and 25 years).
  • The Pit Dragon Chronicles by Jane Yolen was originally a trilogy that was published 1982-1987. The fourth book came out in 2009 — 22 years.
  • Psycho, the original Robert Bloch novel (1959), and Psycho II also by Bloch (1982), which was totally unrelated to the film sequel — 23 years.
  • The Seventh Sword was written by Dave Duncan in 1984 and published as a trilogy in 1988. The 4th novel The Death of Nnanji appeared in 2012. 24 (or 28) years.
  • Part I of Goethe's Faust was first published in 1808. Part II (a sequel in all but name) was released in 1832 (24 years).
  • The Egypt Game (1967) and The Gypsy Game (1997) — 30 years. Both are set in The Present Day through the use of Comic-Book Time.
  • My Side of the Mountain (1959) by Jean Craighead George had its sequel On the Far Side of the Mountain published in 1990, leaving a gap of 31 years. The third book, Frightful's Mountain, came nine years after that.
  • Closing Time, the sequel to Catch-22, was published in 1994; 33 years after the original novel.
  • Stephen King got The Shining released in 1977. Its sequel, Doctor Sleep, was released in 2013... 36 years later.
  • P. G. Wodehouse wrote The Luck of the Bodkins in 1935 and its sequel, Pearls, Girls, and Monty Bodkin in 1972 — 37 years.
  • Gone with the Wind (1936) and its authorised sequel Scarlett (1991) have a gap of 55 years (coincidentally, so do the films based on both of them (1939/1994) and then an officially authorized P.O.V. Sequel Rhett Butler's People (2007) 16 years later.
  • Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) and Go Set a Watchman (2015), 55 years apart, though the latter was originally a draft of the former.
  • Peter and Wendy (1911) and its authorised sequel Peter Pan in Scarlet (2006) — 95 years.
  • The Time Ships, an official sequel to The Time Machine was published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the first book (1895/1995).
  • The Iliad and The Odyssey were likely composed some time around 850 BC. The Aeneid, a Continuation Fic, was finished in 19 BC. If both are taken as part of Classical Mythology, that's a gap of over 800 years.
  • Alan Garner's 2013 novel Boneland is the continuation of his 1960 and 1963 novels The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath - some fifty years after the original books.
  • The Ice Limit (2000) and its sequel Beyond the Ice Limit (2016) — 16 years. The protagonist Eli Glinn has appeared in writer duo Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs' other books however.
  • Ray Bradbury published Dandelion Wine in 1957. The sequel, Farewell Summer, came out 49 years later in 2006.
  • Within the Star Trek Expanded Universe, Peter David's novels Imzadi (1992) and Imzadi II (1998) have a 6 year gap.

    Live-Action TV 

    Music 
  • Elton John released a Concept Album in 1975 called Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, chronicling his and lyricist Bernie Taupin's rise to fame, at the height of Elton's success. In 2006, 26 years later, Elton released a sequel album, The Captain and the Kid, chronicling the duo's success and personal issues.
  • Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson released a followup to Tull's 1972 Concept Album, Thick as a Brick 2, during the 30th anniversary of Thick as a Brick's release (2012).
  • Boston was notorious for this, to the point where Boston's record label actually sued the band because they were taking too long to record Third Stage.
  • The Bat Out Of Hell trilogy by Meat Loaf. Bat Out of Hell was released in 1977; Bat Out of Hell 2: Back Into Hell came out 16 years later in 1993, and Bat Out of Hell 3: The Monster Is Loose rounded it off 13 years after that, in 2006.
  • Metallica has fallen into this for their most recent albums. It first happened with the five year gap between Metallica and Load. Then there was a six year gap between ReLoad and St. Anger. Their next album Death Magnetic (2008) took five years to come out. If one discounts their Lou Reed collaboration Lulu (2012) (most fans definitely prefer to), their next album Hardwired... to Self-Destruct came out 8 years later in 2016.
  • Italian record producer Giorgio Moroder had a 30 year gap between Innovisions (1985) and Déjà Vu (2015).
  • Dr. Dre's three albums have this. His debut album The Chronic came out in 1992, while its sequel 2001 took seven years until it was finally released in 1999. Then, his third and final album Compton took sixteen years when it was finally released in 2015.
  • Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP was released in 2000. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 was released in 2013.
  • American Football's debut Self-Titled Album was released in 1999. Their next album was released in 2016.
  • The Braxtons went 19 years between So Many Ways (1996) and Braxton Family Christmas (2015).
  • Face the Promise (2006) was Bob Seger's first non compilation album since It's a Mystery (1995), an 11 year gap. His next album, Ride Out was released eight years later in 2014.
  • There was a 11-year gap from Steely Dan frontman Donald Fagen's solo debut, The Nightfly, to 1993's followup Kamikiriad, partly a result of Fagen's Writer's Block. He would follow that up with the first Steely Dan album since 1980's Gaucho, Two Against Nature, in 2000, bridging a 20-year gap. Fagen's third solo album, Morph the Cat, would be released in 2006, bridging a 13-year gap between solo albums.
  • The Sonics recorded three albums in the mid-60s, before splitting up after Introducing The Sonics in 1967. They reformed in The New '10s and released This Is The Sonics in 2015 - a gap of forty-eight years.
  • An example about songs: King Crimson's "Larks Tongues in Aspic" had Parts 1 and 2 included on the titular album (1973). After that, you have "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part 3" from Three of a Perfect Pair (1984) — an 11-year gap. After that is Part 4 from The ConstruKction of Light (2000) for a 16-year gap. Curiously, "Level Five" from 2003's The Power to Believe makes for the shortest gap in the series, at just three years. note 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Chess (modern variant came to be around 1475) and Chess 2: The Sequel (2014) - 500+ years.

    Video Games 
  • Duke Nukem Forever (2011) is probably one of the most well-known examples of this trope, being released 15 years after Duke Nukem 3D (1996). Though to be fair, the gap was mainly due to the game being stuck in Development Hell — it's notable in particular because the game was still in active development in some form or another for the entirety of those 15 years.
  • The Elder Scrolls series saw a 6 year gap from TESII: Daggerfall (1996) to TESIII: Morrowind (2002), and then a 5 year gap from TESIV: Oblivion (2006) to TESV: Skyrim (2011). Interestingly, as of the 2018 announcement of a sixth Elder Scrolls game, the gap between it and Skyrim is already the longest in the series at 7 years, and that's not counting the announcement hinting that TESVI is still going to take a few more years to come out. That said, the gap between Skyrim and VI has been filled up somewhat with various revisions and rereleases of Skyrim, including a Legendary Edition in 2013, a Special Edition in 2016, and VR versions for the PlayStation 4 and PC in 2017 and 2018.
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
  • The Monkey Island series had a six-year gap between Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (1991) and The Curse of Monkey Island (1997) and a nine-year one between Escape from Monkey Island (2000) and Tales of Monkey Island (2009).
  • Double Dragon (the Neo Geo version released in 1995) to Double Dragon Advance (2003) to Double Dragon Neon (2012) — 8 years and 9 years respectively.
    • If we excludes the Neo Geo version for being a competitive fighter instead of a beat-'em-up, then that leaves Super Double Dragon (1992) as the last true game in the series prior to Advance, which makes it an 11-year gap instead.
    • There were other Double Dragon games released between Advance and Neon, though, particularly a Zeebo version by Brizo Interactive released in 2009 and an iOS version made by the same developers in 2011, but these were a bit more obscure (especially the Zeebo version, which was a game console only available in Brazil and Mexico).
  • Daytona USA 2 (1998) and Daytona 3 Championship USA (2017) — 19 years (and even including the 2001 Dreamcast game Daytona USA 2001, the last genuinely new Daytona USA game, that's still over 16).
  • Panel de Pon (1995) to its Nintendo GameCube incarnation (technically a sequel as it features different characters) in Nintendo Puzzle Collection (2003) — 8 years. Not the case with its Westernized variants Tetris Attack and Pokémon Puzzle League, which only had a 4-year gap. From Pokemon Puzzle League (2000) to Planet Puzzle League (2007) is seven years — although this only applies in the West, as the latter game came out only four years after NPC. As far as games featuring the traditional fairy character designs go, however, a 12-year gap (so far) is still ongoing.
  • The Wolfenstein series has almost traditionally seen nearly-decade-long gaps between releases as the property switches developers:
  • Dance Dance Revolution EXTREME (2002) and Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA (2006) — only 4 years between those two major arcade releases, but the four years before saw no less than 7 major arcade versions of DDR, as well as Plus versions and spin-offs, and since SuperNOVA a new version has been released every 1-2 years. However the PS2 game EXTREME 2 was released in 2005, thereby filling the gap.
  • Star Ocean: The Second Story (1998), Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (2003), Star Ocean: The Last Hope (2009) and Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness (2016) — 5 years, 6 years, and 7 years respectively.
  • Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (1997) and Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (2002) - 5 years. Shortened to 4 if you count the Dark Forces II expansion Mysteries of the Sith, which came out in 1998, and possibly further to 3 if you believe rumors that Star Wars: Obi-Wan (2001) was originally intended as a sequel to Dark Forces II and treat it as a Spin-Off to that series.
  • The Dawn of War series saw 8 years between the release of Dawn of War II (2009) and Dawn of War III (2017). Counting expansions, III was released 6 years after the last expansion for II, Retribution (2011).
  • The Ghost Recon series has seen two five-year gaps surrounding 2012's Future Soldier, one between 2007's Advanced Warfighter 2 and it (otherwise filled up by 2010's Predator on PlayStation Portable] and Ghost Recon on Wii, and 2011's Shadow Wars on DS), and then another between it and 2017's Ghost Recon Wildlands (this one only filled with a Facebook game concurrent to Future Soldier and Phantoms, which was online from 2014 to 2016).
  • Two Worlds II (2011) and its first DLC, Call of the Tenebrae (2017) - 6 years.
  • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (2007) and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies (2013) — 6 years, in terms of a direct sequel. There were still Ace Attorney games released between them, but two of them were Gaiden Games and the third was a crossover with the Professor Layton series.
  • The DonPachi series was supposed to "die peacefully" with DoDonPachi Dai-Ou-Jou in 2002 ("daioujou" = "peaceful death"). But fans wanted more, so it was "resurrected" 6 years later with DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu in 2008 ("daifukkatsu" = "great resurrection").
  • Postal (1997) to Postal 2 (2003) — 6 years. The gap was filled up somewhat with the Special Delivery expansion in 1998, a 2000 Japanese-exclusive version with two extra levels, a Postal Plus Compilation Re-release of the original game and its expansion in 2001, and then another version in 2002 that also bundled in a demo for Postal 2.
    • Postal 2 to Postal III (2011) — 8 years. Even with the Apocalypse Weekend expansion (2005), there's still another six-year gap between that and III.
    • If the third game is ignored (as the original developers are keen on doing), then there's a further ten-year gap between Postal 2's first expansion Apocalypse Weekend (2005) and its second DLC Paradise Lost (2015).
  • Bloons Tower Defense 5 (December 2011) to Bloons Tower Defense 6 (June 2018) — 6 years between numbered installments.
  • beatmania IIDX arcade releases have always had consistent release schedules, but as far as consumer releases go, we have beatmania IIDX 16 EMPRESS + PREMIUM BEST (2009) and beatmania IIDX INFINITAS (2015) — 7 years.
    • Guitar Freaks and DrumMania home releases had a five-year gap between GITADORA! GUITARFREAKS 4thMIX & drummania 3rdMIX (2001) and Guitar Freaks V & DrumMania V (the 12th and 11th versions respectively) (2006). Masterpiece Silver and Masterpiece Gold were released shortly after as "best hits" collections voted on by fans from the versions in between.
  • Golden Sun: The Lost Age (2003) and Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (2010) — 7 years.
  • MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries (2002) and MechWarrior Living Legends (2009) — 7 years. This is due in large part to the convoluted ownership of the Mechwarrior video game license.
  • Red Faction II (2002) and Red Faction: Guerrilla (2009) — 7 years.
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (2004) and Star Wars: The Old Republic (2011) — 7 years.
  • In terms of 3D Mario platformers: Super Mario 64 (1996) and Super Mario Sunshine (2002) — 6 years.
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001) and Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008) — 7 years.
  • Raiden III (2005) — 7 years if you count Raiden Fighters JET (1998) as the last entry, 11 if you count Raiden DX (1994) as the last.
    • Now, Raiden IV (2007) to Raiden V (2016) — 9 years.
  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3DX+ (2010) to Maximum Tune 5note  (2017) — 7 years. This is only in North America, however; Japan and much of the Asia Pacific and Oceania areas continued to steadily receive sequels in the interim.
  • Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness (1995) and Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (2002) — 7 years.
  • Wario Land 4 (2001) and Wario Land: Shake It!! (2008) — 7 years. Wario World and Wario: Master of Disguise don't count.
    • Though if one does choose to count Master of Disguise (2007) anyway, that still leaves 6 years between it and Wario Land 4.
  • The Longest Journey (1999) and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (2006) — 7 years. Dreamfall to Dreamfall Chapters (2014-2016) — another 8 years. That's despite the Word of God claiming it wouldn't take another seven years.
  • Unreal Tournament III (2007) to the rebooted Unreal Tournament 4 (2014) — 7 years.
  • Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 (2008) to Rainbow Six Siege (2015) - 7 years. This is as far as mainline releases, at least, since that gap is otherwise filled with a mobile remake of the original game in the style of Vegas, Shadow Vanguard (2011), which was only four years before Siege.
  • Caesar III (1998) and Caesar IV (2006) — 8 years.
  • Counter-Strike: Source (2004) and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (2012) — 8 years.
  • Deus Ex: Invisible War (2003) and Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011) — 8 years.
  • Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (1990) and Metal Gear Solid (1998) — 8 years.
  • Sengoku 2 (1993) to Sengoku 3 (2001) — 8 years.
  • Shantae (2002) to Shantae: Risky's Revenge (2010) — 8 years.
  • Super Metroid (1994) and Metroid Prime/Metroid: Fusion (2002) — 8 years.
  • Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc (2003) and Rayman Origins (2011) — 8 years. The Raving Rabbids games are only spin-offs.
  • Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves (2005) and Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (2013) — 8 years.
  • Team Fortress Classic (1999) and Team Fortress 2 (2007) — 8 years. As the page quote demonstrates, the development time was actually 9 years; Classic was basically just a port of the original Quake mod to the GoldSrc engine. And the webcomics confirm that they take place in the same continuity, with TFC taking place in the 1930s.
  • You Don't Know Jack Volume 6: The Lost Gold (2003) and You Don't Know Jack 2011 — 8 years, although there was an online beta flash game from 2006 to 2008.
  • Star Fox 64 (1997) had a gap before a sequel came out, though exactly how long it is depends on whether you count the vastly out-of-place Star Fox Adventures (2002, 5 years) or skip it to the more fitting Star Fox: Assault (2005, 8 years).
    • In terms of the original continuity before 64 rebooted it, Star Fox (1993) to Star Fox 2 (planned 1996) wouldn't have been an example... except that Star Fox 2's release was cancelled, despite it being finished, due to the pending release of the Nintendo 64. The original Star Fox 2 wouldn't see an official release until it was bundled in with the Super NES Classic Edition in late 2017, 24 years after the original game.
  • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle (2010) and Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes (2018) - approximately 8 years.
  • In the Command & Conquer series, going strictly by games within one of its three universes sees two eight-year gaps in both the Tiberian and Red Alert series, the first between Tiberian Sun (1999) and Tiberium Wars (2007), and the second between Red Alert 2 (2000) and Red Alert 3 (2008). The overall series averts this, with Red Alert 2 coming a year after Tiberian Sun, and then Renegade (2002) and Generals (2003) between it and Tiberium Wars, which was only four years later.
    • The cancelled 2013 game, as a sequel to Generals, would have been another instance specific to its universe, with its intended release in early 2014 putting it eleven years since the game it was a sequel to, but only four years after the most recent game in the series proper, 2010's Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight.
  • Pikmin 2 (2004) and Pikmin 3 (2013) — 8-9 years.
  • Bionic Commando: Elite Forces (1999) and Bionic Commando Rearmed (2008) — 9 years.
  • Elite (1984) to Frontier: Elite II (1993) — 9 years. To Frontier: First Encounters (1995) — just 2 years, reasonable enough. To Elite: Dangerous (2015) — 20 years!
  • Jajamaru Jr. Denshōki (2003) and Ninja Jajamaru-kun: Sakura-hime to Karyu no Himitsu (2012) — 9 years.
  • Sengoku Blade: Sengoku Ace Episode II (1996) and Sengoku Cannon: Sengoku Ace Episode III (2005) — 9 years.
  • KAMUI (1999) and RefleX (2008) — 9 years.
  • Max Payne 2 (2003) and Max Payne 3 (2012) — 9 years.
  • Time Crisis 4 (2006) and Time Crisis 5 (2015) — 9 years.
  • Street Fighter II (1991) to Street Fighter III (1997) to Street Fighter IV (2008) to Street Fighter V (2016) — 6 years, 11 years and 8 years respectively. This is without counting the Street Fighter Alpha and EX games, but even that still leaves an eight-year gap between EX3 (2000) and IV. Of course, each numbered Street Fighter title since II is considered its own series by Capcom since they all had numerous revisions and semi-sequels following their initial release (where, after the four-year gap from Street Fighter I to Street Fighter II, there have only been three gaps longer than a single year between releases and revisions - two years each between Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival, Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition, Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX, then Street Fighter IV), and even taking into account the 9-year gap between the 1999 release of 3rd Strike (the last installment of III) and the original 2008 arcade release of IV, the Street Fighter roster have appeared in other Capcom fighting games in the years between such as the few installments of the Vs. series (e.g. Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes and the Capcom vs. SNK series), the Arika-developed Street Fighter EX3, Capcom Fighting Evolution and the various console ports of the mainline releases.
  • ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron (1993) and ToeJam & Earl III: Mission to Earth (2002) — 9 years. A fourth game is planned for release in 2019 for another gap of 17 years.
  • Wizardry VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant (1992) and Wizardry 8 (2001) — 9 years. Despite the long gap, it still allowed you to import your save from the previous game.
  • Fallout 2 (1998) and Fallout 3 (2008) — 10 years. Although two spinoff titles were released in between: Fallout Tactics (2001) and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (2004).
    • There's another gap to Fallout 4 (2015), though how long depends on whether you count Obsidian's Fallout: New Vegas (2010, 5 years) or not (7 years).
  • Gradius III -From Legend to Myth- (1989) and Gradius IV: Fukkatsu (1999) — 10 years, not including ports or spinoffs such as Gradius Gaiden and the Parodius spinoff series.
    • Salamander (1986) and Salamander 2 (1996) — 10 years, reduced to 9 if counting the Japanese version of Life Force as a sequel rather than an Updated Re-release.
  • Spec Ops: Airborne Commando (2002) and Spec Ops: The Line (2012) — 10 years, although it's hard to call it a "sequel" when it shares absolutely nothing but the "Spec Ops" name.
  • Sin and Punishment (2000) and Sin and Punishment: Star Successor (2010) — 10 years.
  • Mighty Pang (2000) and Pang: Magical Michael (2010) — 10 years. The two games before Mighty Pang were minor 5-year gaps each as well.
  • American McGee's Alice (2000) and Alice: Madness Returns (2011) — 11 years.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (2000) and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (2011) — 11 years.
  • NiGHTS into Dreams... (1996) and NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams (2007) — 11 years.
  • Rampage (1986) and Rampage World Tour (1997) — 11 years.
  • Seiken Densetsu 3 (1995) to Seiken Densetsu 4 (2006) is, again, 11 years. Spin-offs were produced in between but this was the first numbered game since.
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (1995) and New Super Mario Bros. (2006) — 11 years. Mario had kept on going in the meantime, but New was a direct return to classic 2D platforming that had been mostly abandoned since Yoshi's Island. If only 2D SMB-style platformers are considered, it's 14 years, with 1992's Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins being the last game of that type.
    • Counting just games in the direct Yoshi's Island series, there are two such examples. It's 11 years between Yoshi's Island (1995) and Yoshi's Island DS (2006) and 8 years between DS and Yoshi's New Island (2014).
    • If you count other Yoshi games, the gap between Yoshi's Story (1997) and Yoshi's Topsy Turvy/Universal Gravitation (2004) would count instead, with 7 years between games.
    • In terms of console games alone, Yoshi's Story (1997) to Yoshi's Woolly World (2015) - 18 years.
  • Thunder Force V (1997) to Thunder Force VI (2008) — 11 years.
  • Yoshi's Island DS (2006) to Yoshi's New Island (2014) — 8 years.
  • In terms of handheld Kirby games, Kirby's Dream Land 2 (1995) to Kirby & the Amazing Mirror (2004) — 9 years, spinoffs and remakes nonwithstanding.
  • The Faery Tale Adventure (1987) and Halls of the Dead: Faery Tale Adventure II (1997) — 10 years.
  • Doom II (1994) to Doom 3 (2004) — 10 years. Not particularly noticeable, however, between Final Doom (1996), Midway's Doom 64 (1997), the emergence of source ports such as ZDoom (1998), and the games being ported to everything that possibly could run it in some form - even considering just official ports, it was only two years between the Game Boy Advance port of Doom II and Doom 3.
    • Doom 3 to the rebooted Doom (2016) — 12 years. Similar to the above, it's not as noticeable because of continuing to port the originals to new systems (where the longest gap between official ports was five years between Doom II being ported to the original Xbox in 2005 and then the 360 in 2010, and that's if you ignored Doom I hitting the 360 first in 2006 and then iOS in 2009 between them), mobile spinoffs in the Doom RPG series (the first coming in 2005 and the second in 2009), and even with an Updated Re-release of Doom 3 itself, which was at most four years before the reboot.
  • Strider (1989), Strider 2 (1999), and Strider (2014) — 10 and 15 years, respectively.
  • Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation (late 2007) to Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown (planned early 2019) — 11 years. This hasn't been as noticeable due to the steady release of spin-offs, where the greatest gaps were only three years - once between 6 and Joint Assault (2010), then once between Assault Horizon & Assault Horizon Legacy (both 2010) and Ace Combat Infinity (2014) - but with constant delays still leaving a five-year gap between Infinity and Skies Unknown.
  • Devil May Cry 4 (2008) and Devil May Cry 5 (2019) — 11 years. Even acknowledging Dm C Devil May Cry (2013) still leaves a five-year gap from DMC4 to it and a six-year gap between it and DMC5. Updated Rereleases lessen the gap further, however, with a gap of only four years between 4 and an HD Collection of the first three in 2012, leaving only one year from that to DmC (2013), then two to the Special Edition of 4 (2015), and then three to an eighth-gen/PC port of the HD Collection (2018), leaving only one year between that and DMC5.
  • Guilty Gear XX (2002) to Guilty Gear Xrd (2014) — 12 years, filled in slightly by updating and re-releasing XX many times during the gap (with the last version before Xrd coming in 2012) and by the Spiritual Successor BlazBlue, which began in 2008 (and essentially started alternating its releases with GG after Xrd was released following its third installment). The gap is also lessened if one counts Guilty Gear 2: Overture (2007) — though very experimental compared to the rest of the series, Overture is officially touted as the true continuation of the original Guilty Gear (X and XX are counted as Gaiden Games, albeit in-canon Gaiden Games), though its release still leaves a 5-year gap from the original incarnation of XX to it and then 7 years from it to Xrd.
  • G-Darius (1997) and Darius Burst (2009) — 12 years.
  • Diablo II (2000) and Diablo III (2012) — 12 years.
  • Luigi's Mansion (2001) and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (2013) — 12 years.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge (2005) — 12 years.
  • Mega Man 8 (1996) and 9 (2008) — 12 years. As with Sonic, there were other Mega Man titles released, though nearly all of them falling into the various other spin-off series (with the GBA-only Battle Network and Zero series both seeing their inceptions and conclusions during that gap).
    • Speaking of those spin-offs, there was also the cancelled Mega Man Legends 3, which likely would have seen a 2012 or 2013 release, putting it 12-13 years after Mega Man Legends 2.
    • While individual series within the Mega Man franchise had large gaps, the entire franchise had been running since 1987 with at least one game (sometimes several) in almost every year until 2010's Mega Man 10. After cancelling several projects and the base-breaking release of Rockman Xover in 2012, the entire franchise went on hiatus. Apart from a few retro compilations, the next new game in the franchise is 2018's Mega Man 11, a gap of 6 years between it and any other Mega Man game, and a gap of 8 between it and Mega Man 10 specifically.
  • EarthBound (1994 in Japan) and MOTHER 3 (2006) — 12 years. It should be noted that MOTHER 3 fell victim to vaporware status for a very good chunk of that time - its earliest incarnation was intended for the SNES and at one point was a heavily hyped N64 project. It ultimately ended up emerging at the end of the Game Boy Advance's lifespan.
  • Starcraft (1998) and Starcraft II (2010) — 12 years. As Tychus Findlay put it, "Hell, it's about time."
  • Might and Magic IX (2002) and Might and Magic X (2014) — 12 years (not counting games that technically are spin-offs).
  • Gauntlet II (1986) and Gauntlet Legends (1998) — 12 years (counting arcade releases only and disregarding sundry console/computer ports and spin-offs).
    • Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows (2005) and the 2014 Recycled Title reboot — 9 years.
  • Quake IV (2005) to Quake Champions (Early Access as of 2017) - 12 years. Even if you acknowledge Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (2007), that's still a gap of 10 years between it and Champions.
    • Quake IV itself closed another gap in following on from the original trilogy, that gap being six years in terms of simply following on from Quake III: Arena (1999) and eight in terms of continuing the story from Quake II (1997).
  • Syberia II (2004) and Syberia 3 (2017) — 13 years.
  • Donkey Kong (1981), Donkey Kong '94 (1994), and Mario vs. Donkey Kong (2004) — 13 years and 10 years, respectively.
  • Psychonauts (2005) and Psychonauts 2 (scheduled for 2018) — 13 years. The spin-off game Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin was released in 2017.
  • Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom (1991) and Ninja Gaiden (2004) — 13 years.
  • Sam & Max Hit the Road (1993) and Sam & Max: Culture Shock (2006) — 13 years. Even without the cancellation of the intended Hit the Road sequel in 2004, the gap between them would have been at least 11 years.
  • Super Stardust (1994) and Super Stardust HD (2007) — 13 years.
  • Magical Drop F (1999) and Magical Drop V (2012) — 13 years.
  • Tempest (1981) and Tempest 2000 (1994) — 13 years.
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 (2002) and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 (2015) — 13 years, though numerous spin-offs, three sub-series, and an HD compilation of levels from the first three games were released in between.
  • After Burner III (1992) and After Burner Climax (2006) — 14 years.
  • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! (1996) and Donkey Kong Country Returns (2010) — 14 years. If you count Donkey Kong 64 (1999) in the series, it's 11 years.
  • Golden Axe: The Duel (1994) to Golden Axe: Beast Rider (2008) — 14 years.
  • Robotron 2084 (1982) and Robotron X (1996) — 14 years.
  • Asterix and Obélix XXL 2 (2005, although with a remaster in 2018) to Astérix and Obélix XXL 3 (announced for 2019) - 14 years. note 
  • Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts (1991) and Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins (2006) — 15 years. Not counting the WonderSwan game Capcom licensed to Bandai, the Game Boy Advance port of Super, or the Gargoyle's Quest spin-off series.
  • Carmageddon TDR 2000 (2000) and Carmageddon: Reincarnation (2015) — 15 years.
  • Pilotwings 64 (1996) and Pilotwings Resort (2011) — 15 years.
    • The gap between the original game (1990) and 64 itself was 5-6 years.
  • Super Punch-Out!! (1994) and Punch-Out!! (2009) — 15 years.
  • Rygar (1987) and Rygar: The Legendary Adventure (2002) — 15 years.
  • Cruis'n Velocity (2001) to Cruis'n Blast (2017) — 16 years, or 10 years if one counts the Wii Cruis'n, which was not an original game but rather a license-scrubbed port of the arcade game based on The Fast and the Furious film series.
  • Goblins 3 (1993) and Gobliiins 4 (2009) — 16 years.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994) and Sonic the Hedgehog 4 (2010) — 16 years. Although there were many other Sonic titles released between then. Even without considering numbered sequels, Sonic also went an entire console generation without releasing a main series platform game, resulting in the five year gap between the aforementioned Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994) and Sonic Adventure (1999).
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 (2012) and Sonic Mania (2017) — 5 years. If you consider Mania a direct sequel to Sonic 3 and Knuckles due to its pixellated stylings, there's a 23-year gap between those games.
  • Umihara Kawase Shun (1997) and Sayonara Umihara Kawase (2013) — 16 years, during which the former title was rereleased and ported a few times.
  • Langrisser Millennium WS (2000) and Langrisser Re:Incarnation Tensei (2016) — 16 years.
  • V-Rally 3 (2002) to V-Rally 4 (2018) — 16 years.
  • Shenmue II (2001) and Shenmue III (2019) — 18 years.
  • Final Fantasy IV (1991) and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years (2008) — 17 years. Note that this is in regards to a direct story sequel, as the Final Fantasy series is non linear with 15 titles in the main series, where the longest gap is four years between Final Fantasy XI (2002) and Final Fantasy XII (2006), and otherwise only reaches the requisite five-plus years for this trope in a six-year gap between the original 2010 incarnation of Final Fantasy XIV (ignoring its 2013 reboot, A Realm Reborn, and its 2015 expansion Heavensward) and the 2016 Final Fantasy XV.
  • OutRun (1986) and OutRun 2 (2003) — 17 years. Although it did have a few other oddly named sequels (notably Turbo OutRun in 1989 and OutRunners in 1992, both arcade releases).
  • Killer Instinct 2 / Killer Instinct Gold (1996) and Killer Instinct (2013) — 17 years.
  • King's Quest: Mask of Eternity (1998) and King's Quest (2015) — 17 years.
  • King's Bounty (1990) and King's Bounty: The Legend (2008) — 18 years.
  • X (1992) and X-Scape (2010) — 18 years.
  • Elite: First Encounters (1995) and Elite: Dangerous (2014) — 19 years
  • Super R.B.I. Baseball/R.B.I. Baseball '95 (both 1995) and R.B.I. Baseball 14 (2014) — 19 years
  • TRON (1982) / Discs of TRON (1983) and Tron 2.0 (2003) — 20 years.
  • Super Bomberman 5 (1997) and Super Bomberman R (2017) — 20 years, without counting the various other spin-offs and assorted games.
  • Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters (1991) and Kid Icarus: Uprising (2012) — 21 years, and that's after the five-year gap between the original game (1986) and Of Myths and Monsters. Uprising pokes fun at this by starting the game with Pit saying "Sorry to keep you waiting!" Japan had it worse - they didn't get Of Myths and Monsters until its Virtual Console release in 2012, meaning they had to wait 26 years between installments. The game even ends by joking that the next installment will take just as long to show up.
  • Putty (1992) and Putty Squad (1994/2013) — The Super Nintendo Entertainment System port of the sequel came out only one year after Super Putty, but the original Amiga version was unexpectedly shelved for nearly two decades before System 3 finally released it an incredible 21 years after the first game was released for the Amiga.
  • Bubsy is 3D in Furbitten Planet (1996) and Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back (2017) — 21 years.
  • The Great Giana Sisters (1987) and Giana Sisters DS (2009) — 22 years.
  • The Legend of Kage (1985) and The Legend of Kage 2 (2008) — 23 years.
  • Shaq Fu (1994) and Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn (2018) — 24 years.
  • The Fool's Errand (1987) and The Fool and His Money (2012) — 25 years.
  • Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds (1993) and Underworld Ascendant (2018) — 25 years.
  • Wasteland (1988) to Wasteland 2 (2014note ) — 26 years.
  • River City Ransom (1990) and River City Ransom: Underground (2017) — 27 years. There have been other games in the Kunio-kun series during this time, but Underground is the first direct sequel to the original.
  • Tapper (1983) and Tapper World Tour (2011) — 28 years.
  • The Bard's Tale III: The Thief of Fate (1988) to The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep (2018) — 30 years.

    Web Original 
  • Pie Guy Rulz
    • His review of SpongeBob Season 1 was released to YouTube on June 20, 2013. His review of SpongeBob Season 2 was released on July 23, 2013, a little over one month later. His SpongeBob Season 3 review, however, was released on September 23, which was two months later. An even bigger gap formed with the SpongeBob Movie Review, which came out on January 30, 2014. Then came the Season 4 review four months later on June 6, 2014, followed by a relatively short two month wait for August 18, 2014's Season 5 review. After that, fans had to wait five and a half months for the Season 6 review which was uploaded on February 4, 2015. Then came what remains as (as of June 12, 2017) the biggest hiatus in the history of the season reviews, as the Season 7 review did not come out until December 18, 2015 which was a ten month wait. The Season 8 review, whike not nearly as long a wait, came out on October 8th of the following year which is a ten month gap. The Season 9A review came out a relatively short time later on December 23, 2016 and four months later came the review of The Spongebob Movie Sponge Out Of Water on April 6, 2017. The Season 9B review came out May 29, 2017.
    • His first two Disney Rants were uploaded on March 1st 2009 and April 18th 2009, respectively. His third Disney Rant was supposed to be about the Jonas Brothers, but was delayed until September 5th 2010, and by that time the Jonas Brothers had just about fallen off the face of the Earth.
  • With Yuriofwind, there was a ten month gap between the upload of this episode and the upload of this episode, because Yuri kept forgetting to upload it. The second episode lampshades it with onscreen text.
  • The original first "season" of the Garfield parodying series, Lasagna Cat, came out in January 2008. It would take a little over 9 years for a second "season" to manifest in February 2017.
  • The Cinema Snob Movie was released in 2012. The sequel, Another Cinema Snob Movie, is expected to be released in 2019, seven years later, though Craig and other characters from the first film would occasionally appear in the series during the intervening years.note 

    Western Animation 


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