- Creator Killer: Happened twice, killing off three developers and multiple other games on the way. Icon was poorly received due to its gameplay shift and it failed to sell nearly as well as the previous games, resulting in the death of EA Chicago and the cancellation of Def Jam Icon 2 and a Marvel themed spiritual successor to the Def Jam games. Def Jam then re-sold the series' rights to Konami and Autumn Games, who created Def Jam Rapstar. Due to Rapstar's failure to sell and the legal shitstorm that resulted from it, both Autumn Games and 4mm Games died, which forced the creation of Skullgirls developers Lab Zero and the entire fundraising campaign for it.
- Divorced Installment: Def Jam Vendetta was originally planned to be a WCW game, tentatively titled WCW 2000 or WCW Mayhem 2, depending on source, for the then-upcoming PlayStation 2. However, EA lost the WCW license after the latter company was acquired by the WWF in 2001.
- The Other Darrin: Many of the returning original characters in Fight for NY were given new voice actors.
- Troubled Production: Not with the series itself, but related to it. Konami and Autumn Games got hit with a lawsuit related to Def Jam Rapstar, and it caused troubles for Skullgirls, a game completely unrelated to the Def Jam label in any way. For more details, check out that game's Trivia page.
- Unintentional Period Piece: It should go without saying that these games were a product of their time. The rap game has changed exponentially since the 2000s, and the vast majority of rappers that were signed with Def Jam are no longer under them. Joe Budden also retired from rapping in 2018 (with his last album, Rage & The Machine, having been released in October of 2016), and Prodigy (one half of Mobb Deep) and Baby Chris kicked the bucket in The New '10s.
Trivia / Def Jam Series