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They Changed It, Now It Sucks!

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"If you want to make enemies, try to change something."
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As long as it is still the same basic story and keeps all the best bits and characters intact, then it couldn't matter much less that Bob's bald, Alice dies in a train wreck instead of a car crash, the football game ended with a different score, and they cut the watermelon scene, right? It's a bit of a shame they screwed that bit up, but really, it's not like the entire work is Ruined FOREVER, right?

WRONG!

...or so you would be told by many fans.

For some people, the mere act of adaptation is decay. A film version of something should be a direct word-for-word transcription, with utmost care that the sets, costumes and people be reproduced in every detail. If a character who wears a homburg in the original now wears a fedora, that will be enough to ruin the character, and therefore ruin the film. It will be all you will hear about from these fans on message boards, with them going on at length to explain how their homburg visually defined their entire personality in a way that a fedora never could.

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And don't you dare suggest that in changing it they made it better. If certain fans take the Chicken Little approach and announce that the sky is falling, it's mainly an expression of their fears that the writing staff don't care much about the source material, particularly if it's not mainstream-friendly.

This also happens a lot with translations. People can become religiously attached (sometimes quite literally, in the case of texts like The Bible) to one translation of a work, and when a new translation comes out they condemn it as a travesty, accusing it of distorting and cheapening the meaning of the original, whether or not the new translation is a more literally accurate rendering.

This is not only used for adaptations and translations. It is also applicable to ongoing series where a significant change is made between seasons. This can be explained in terms of prospect theory, where fans are much more averse to losing any aspects of the original, compared to the enjoyment gained from any "improvements".

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Sometimes, the complaints are about a sequel or remake to an adaptation, and the original adaptation actually made changes from its source material, and the new adaptation tries to be more faithful, but people don't know that and complain about changes anyway.

This is sometimes a result of Ability over Appearance.

But sometimes the fans who complain may be right:

  • When producers make drastic changes just for the heck of it, it can get rid of any redeeming qualities the property had. An established franchise making sudden, drastic and often unnecessary changes usually heralds the beginning of Running the Asylum and/or an Audience-Alienating Era.
  • If fans liked the franchise for what it was, and then it is totally changed, the new stuff may be good and please the fans, but they are right to complain that what they liked is never coming back. If a complete overhaul of a franchise is old enough, fans who want the franchise to go back to its roots are not rejecting change, they are demanding change.
  • An adaptation/reboot that has too many changes can become a bastardization of the source material that seems like an insult to the fans, or even become In Name Only, fans can argue about why adapting/rebooting something popular to profit on the existing audience, but don't deliver something that connects to them.
  • The introduction of online updates to video games can make the criticisms more valid: unlike a new sequel that can simply be ignored, updates can effectively make the game they enjoyed non-existent. Nerfs are particularly likely to cause fan uproar. The same can apply to any other media that goes through changes in rereleases and the original version becomes unavailable.
  • Expanding on the above, gratuitous or poorly-implemented changes to long-running online games can cause serious balance issues, create increasingly gimmicky gameplay, and create or exacerbate Power Creep, Power Seep, among other issues.
  • And the most important, they can argue that they aren't complaining because it was changed, they are complaining because it was changed for the worse. The new version is not just different, it is bad.

Compare with Translation Style Choices, Darker and Edgier, Lighter and Softer, New Sound Album, Replacement Scrappy, Ruined FOREVER, Seasonal Rot, Network Decay, Jumping the Shark, Fanon Discontinuity, They Don't Make Them Like They Used To, So Bad, It Was Better, or even Damn You, Muscle Memory!.

See also Unpleasable Fanbase and Broken Base.

Contrast Woolseyism, It's the Same, Now It Sucks!, Franchise Original Sin.

Remember that Examples Are Not Recent, even if you're writing up an example while fan controversy is erupting.


Examples

    open/close all folders 
    Advertising 
  • The 2020 redesign of Froot Loops mascot Toucan Sam got a massive hatedom as soon as it was revealed. Common complaints about Sam's new redesign include his beak being overlayered with a rainbow gradient instead of having individual stripes and his mouth overlayering the edge of the beak, his eyes being overly large and sparkly, looking like he is constantly on some sort of Fantastic Drug, and being extremely lazily designed in general. It's pretty clear that Kellogg's is trying to emulate modern cartoon styles, while having absolutely no idea what made those work and falling deep into the Uncanny Valley instead. Plenty of artists on Twitter have made their own redesigns in response. The ad campaign didn't last a year before Kellogg's scrapped it due to the immense backlash and gave Toucan Sam and his associated ads a second redesign in a much less obnoxious artstyle that was much more warmly-received.
  • Planters' decision to replace Mr. Peanut with Baby Nut to cash in on the whole Baby Yoda craze drew massive ire from fans. And then Baby Nut evolved into Peanut Jr., leading to even more hostility towards the campaign, which eventually led to Planters retconning Baby Nut/Peanut Jr. and bringing back Mr. Peanut. Not helping matters was the original ad in the campaign featured Mr. Peanut sacrificing himself in a helicopter crash, which led some to criticize it for airing following the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash in late-January 2020.
  • The long-running Hershey's "Christmas Bells" commercial (with Kisses ringing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas") was altered in 2020: it starts off as normal, then suddenly a hand picks up one of the Kisses and it instantly changes to a father and daughter decorating cookies with Kisses set to a remix of the music, which is what Hershey's claimed was the real icon of the Christmas season. Fans were not happy about this change, and backlash was immediately posted online. The controversy was so much that Hershey's cancelled plans to replace the original "Christmas Bells" ad with the new one and began airing both versions interchangeably, before debuting a third version in which the bell that was taken returns to finish the ad as normal. This didn't stop the original 2020 commercial from airing during the 2021 holiday season, and fans still didn't take kindly to it.
  • The 2022 redesigns of the M&M's spokescandies received some backlash, particularly Ms. Green's because it made her less "sexy," which included replacing her go-go boots with sneakers. The hate for an "un-sexy" candy got so pronounced that even political pundit Tucker Carlson devoted a whole segment on his show to complaining about it.

    Asian Animation 
  • People tend not to like it when Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf changes its art style for a particular season, due to it being considered visually displeasing to some viewers. War of Invention is a notable example in that fan outcry over its unique art style was enough that Creative Power Entertaining changed it back to the original art style for Mighty Little Defenders, the direct sequel to that season.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • This is Jim Cornette's philosophy in a nutshell and is considered the reason why he doesn't appear as much as he used to do. Cornette knows more about wrestling than probably anyone here will ever know, so he has a great mind for the business, but he's just stuck in a different era. One he'll be quick to tell you, was watched by a lot more people, easier on the wrestlers' bodies, had more emotional connection with the fans, and most importantly, made a LOT more money for a lot more wrestlers.
  • CHIKARA 2010: This was the reaction to Team F.I.S.T. note  replacing Gran Akuma (who had formed the team with Icarus in 2003) with Johnny Gargano.

    Logos & Branding 
  • The 2009 Nickelodeon logo was torn apart by upset Nick fans upon being revealed, with the majority of complaints being that it looked "bland" in comparison to the classic "splat" logo. The logo was so unpopular when it debuted that some believe that the logo's designer, Eric Zim, is actually an alias that was used to protect the designer's identity.
  • In 2009, Kraft Foods changed its logo from the iconic red "racetrack" with dark blue block letters from the Kraft brand to a "smile-and-splash" logo with a light blue (originally red) curve and a different font. The logo immediately received criticism, with detractors saying it had too many changes all at once. Thankfully, the "racetrack" logo returned in 2012, when Kraft split up, albeit with different lettering and having "Kraft" in title case instead of uppercase.
  • In October of 2010 The Gap, a very well-known clothing retailer in the US changed its logo from the iconic blue box which became well-known when the brand established itself nationally, to a Helvetica-styled "Gap" with a small blue box in the corner. The logo became so hated by fans of the brand that the retailer reverted back to the old logo in less than a week.
  • Long John Silver's had a vibrant logo with a jumping orange fish over staggered letters on wavy ocean-like lines introduced in 2002. In February 2011, this was replaced by a much simpler logo consisting of dark blue fish with yellow and green droplets, plain "Long John Silver's" text and the new slogan "We speak fish". Long John Silver's abandoned this in September 2012 in favor of a slight redesign of the 2002 logo.
  • Olive Garden changed its logo in 2014. It formerly looked like a sign one might find outside a fancy Italian restaurant with grapes on a vine. The new logo changed the background to brown and used a 2D script font and a simplified olive branch illustration.
  • Tegna's news graphics package and "C Clarity" theme have been derided by angry fanboys as too "hipster"-like from the day it began being rolled out.
  • The 2020 Petco logo received much scorn for pushing aside the iconic blue cat and red dog in favor of a sans-serif wordmark.
  • Google
    • Their 2015 logo got this reaction from people due to the font changing from something more unique to a custom sans-serif font known as "Product Sans".
    • Another thing Google did that received backlash was when Google changed their icons in 2020, homogenizing most of Google's service by implementing the Google colors in them, making them look less unique from one another.
  • In the United Kingdom, The BBC's "Rhythm & Movement" idents for BBC One were universally despised for replacing the beloved "Balloon" idents, to the point that their replacement with the "Circle" idents was considered a case of "good riddance" by fans of the prior idents.

    Radio 
  • Format changes often lead to outcry from angry listeners upset with the (often huge) changes, especially if it's a rock station of any format (active rock, classic rock, etc.) or an oldies station.
    • This was amplified in the mid-to-late 2010s when the Educational Media Foundation bought out several popular radio stations (including WLUP Chicago, WPLJ New York City, and WAAF Boston) and turned them into pass-throughs for their K-Love network.
    • Similarly, Boston rock station WBCN being demoted to a HD Radio subchannel of WBZ-FM (a format almost nobody has access to) to make way for WWBX (a generic Top 40 CHR station) also drew massive ire from rock fans.

    Software 
  • Microsoft Windows: The new "Metro" look used in Windows 8 and 10 gets a lot of this from older users, who prefer the "Aero" look from Windows Vista and 7. The version of Metro used in Windows 8 received particular scorn for its complete overhaul of the start menu (it was changed to a full-screen menu clearly meant to appeal more to mobile users than desktop users), to the point that it's often considered to be just as bad as Windows ME and/or Vista. Windows 10 splits the difference; the menu is back to its old size, but it still uses the Metro look.

    Theme Parks 


Alternative Title(s): They Changed It So It Sucks

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