FANDOM


Top 10 Video Games Ruined By Executive Meddling

Top 10 Video Games Ruined By Executive Meddling

Executive Meddling is a developmental procedure in which parts of a game are changed or even removed, from rushed to unfinished games; and even censoring many scenes or mechanics in the final release, all due to demands from higher-ups. The end result is usually negative reviews from critics and fans alike.

Examples

  1. Dinosaur Planet was originally developed by Rare for the Nintendo 64, where the story was about Krystal and a male fox named Sabre where the main characters aimed to stop the main antagonist General Scales. However, after Miyamoto saw a likeness between Sabre and Fox McCloud, he renamed the title as Star Fox Adventures. Nintendo forced Rare into changing the plot and characters around and turn it into a Star Fox title, despite the game and its gameplay having no relation or similarities with the series beyond that. Sabre was axed, with his role being given to Fox, and Krystal was made older and became the damsel in distress. Also, a rushed release date caused what could have been a climactic boss fight with General Scales to be completely cut. All of Dinosaur Planet's leftovers were still remain hidden in the final game's files.
  2. Mortal Kombat was censored by Nintendo of America. The SNES version of Mortal Kombat had blood changed to sweat, and the fatalities were severely toned down (For example, Johnny Cage punches his opponent's head off in the original version; in the SNES version, he delivers a hefty kick to their chest). The Sega Genesis port was technically inferior but ended up being the most popular version because it contained all the violence and gore that made the game popular in the first place. Realizing this, Nintendo of America released Mortal Kombat II on the SNES in all its gory glory.
  3. Sonic the Hedgehog has had several instances of executive meddling:
    1. Sonic Xtreme was practically BLOATED with executive meddling when the game's boss fights and actual gameplay were broken into two and given to two teams, they somehow made two entirely different games, and it snowballed from there, it didn't help that the Sega Saturn's complicated architecture made development significantly harder than needed. When the project's engine developed into a fairly advanced state they tested it on a physical Saturn only to find that the game simply couldn't run on it. Sega (despite it nearing the deadline and for NO reason) told the team to scrap EVERYTHING and start from scratch, when Sega of Japan execs came and checked on the game's progress, they were disgusted by its primitive gameplay, so they demanded that the game must be more advanced, again, despite it being VERY close to its deadline and some of the people in the team arguing over its direction. As a last resort, the team requested to use NIGHT's engine for Xtreme and Sega said yes until a couple of weeks later they took it back when Yuji Naka threatened to quit if they stopped because they didn't ask his permission (It should be noted that Naka WASN'T the owner of the engine, therefore, Sega had full rights to give it to the Xtreme team without needing his permission). The breaking point was when an employer got diagnosed with pneumonia, and all of that ultimately led to the game's cancellation.
    2. When the Sonic X anime was about to be dubbed in English by 4Kids Entertainment (now 4Liscencing Corporation), Sega replaced the upcoming games' voice cast with new ones WITHOUT TELLING THE OLD VOICE CAST!
    3. During development, Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 was going to be ported to the Nintendo Wii, but when Sega learned about the Wii's limitations compared to the other two consoles (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3) as well as its control scheme, they instead decided to make an original title for the Wii based on the Wii controller's capabilities. This resulted in Sonic Team being split up into two groups, with the newly formed group starting work on what would become Sonic and the Secret Rings and the other group continuing work on Sonic 06.
      • Sonic 06 was also heavily rushed to meet a holiday release date and to match with Sonic's 15th anniversary. As a result, the game was nowhere near finished so the team had to take an untested beta build that could be played from start to finish and call it the finished product, said beta build was flooded with glitches and numerous design issues.
    4. The Werehog sections from Sonic Unleashed were part of Yoshihisa Hashimoto's idea and in an interview, he revealed that he knew said sections would be accused of being a rip off of God of War, but he did it anyway. It is well known that the Werehog was only included because Sega was worried that the game would be too short otherwise. While it did make the game longer, fans almost unanimously hated the Werehog because more than half of the game is played as it.
    5. Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric was rushed to meet the holiday deadline, and so Sega could end their contract with Nintendo they made in 2013 (said contract stated that they had to make 3 Nintendo exclusive Sonic games, the other two being Sonic Lost World and Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games). This was a terrible idea because the developers were not told beforehand that the game had to be a Wii U exclusive (which explains the images of the game running on the PS3 and Xbox 360) and the game's engine (Cry Engine 3) did not run well on the Wii U.
    6. Sonic Mania: Initially, the developers had planned for every level in the game to be completely original and new, but Sega demanded that most of the levels in the game had to be recycled from previous Sonic games. Even though the game was very well received, the overuse of recycled levels was the most criticized aspect of the game and many players were disappointed that there were so few original levels.
  4. Ride to Hell: Retribution was originally planned to be an open world biker-themed game set during the 1960s, however, the game was supposedly canceled in 2008. The developers kept working on the game without the publisher Deep Silver Vienna. It was heavily remade and became a very linear game, and as a result of the many times the gameplay changed, it was filled with lots of bugs and glitches and became known as one of the worst games of all time.
  5. Konami is a textbook example of executive meddling. There are too many to list here, so here's the link to their downfalls.
  6. After it debuted at E3 alongside Super Mario 64, Michael Berlyn wanted to improve Bubsy 3D to be on par with Mario's jump into 3D. However, Accolade higher-ups, believing the game would be a hit regardless, demanded a finished product while the novelty of a 3D platformer was still fresh in people's minds. Plus, during the development, the executives at Accolade demanded that Berlyn be in charge of the game, despite him having no 3D game experience and literally having almost no dev tools to help ease him into the art of 3D. Michael later said in an interview with SEGA-16: "If Mario hadn't come out, I'm sure we would have done a lot better."
  7. When NIGHTS got a sequel, the developers wanted it to be on the Xbox 360, but Sega made them develop it on the Wii instead to take advantage of its motion controls.
  8. Both Konami and Capcom refused to have both Solid Snake and Dante's original incarnation to be in PlayStation All-Star Battle Royale, so Sony got Raiden and Ninja Theory's incarnation of Dante from DMC: Devil May Cry instead (though his portrayal in PlayStation All-Star Battle Royale retains some personality traits from his original incarnation).
  9. (Un)surprisingly, EA often uses this trope, examples being,
    1. After acquiring Virgin Interactive’s North American operations, they quickly canceled their then-upcoming fighting game, Thrill Kill before launch, because according to them they didn't want to publish a "senselessly violent game".
    2. Fuse was the first multi-platform title developed by Insomniac Games. Originally, it was known as Overstrike and had a colorful and cartoonish art style (like most of their games). EA, however, after focus groups reacted negatively to the game's art style, had Insomniac redesign it to look more "realistic". The end product was generic and almost indistinguishable from other third/first-person shooters of the time. Note that the focus group consisted of 12 to 14-year-olds, who often play games with realistic and gritty art styles like Call of Duty and Battlefield (which have consistently been rated M across the board).
    3. They forced Bioware to build Mass Effect: Andromeda in the Frostbite engine despite it not being made to support RPG games. This (along with a lazy, inexperienced, and very vocal development team and money wasting) resulted in the game being panned by fans and the Mass Effect franchise being put on "indefinite hold".
    4. While developing Ragtag (a Star Wars game), EA demanded that the game must have a 90% score on Metacritic, forcing LucasArts to approve EVERY. SINGLE. CREATIVE. DECISION. in the game.
    5. They also shoehorned always online connection in the reboot of SimCity against Maxis' wishes.
    6. Even though Anthem is still in development as of this writing, it's already getting executive meddling. The game was originally going to be released in 2018, but word soon got out that it was pushed back to 2019. According to EA, if the game fails at launch, BioWare (the game's developer) will look "very different in the future" implying that EA is gambling BioWare's future.
  10. Originally, Conker's Bad Fur Day was a kids game titled Twelve Tales: Conker 64, which many saw as even more childish than Banjo-Kazooie. Rareware was not happy with comments that mocked the game for its cuteness, so they turned it into an adult game. This ultimately ended up being a rare case where Executive Meddling turned out to be a good decision, as the game's use of vulgar humor, profanity, and graphic violence was well-received by both critics and gamers alike.
  11. Due to them not owning the film rights to the X-Men franchise, Marvel prevented Capcom from putting X-Men characters in Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite, despite them being a franchise staple.
  12. While Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem wasn't directly harmed by executive meddling, Nintendo still demanded and enforced the game to be as good as the ads say it is.
  13. Sega has been using this trope since the 90s. Examples include (but are not limited to):
    • The Sega Saturn was pretty much screwed from the day it was completed, as Sega released the console on May 11th, 1995 instead of September 2nd (Where it would've competed against the PlayStation). Due to this, most exclusives games weren't completed yet, giving a low amount of launch titles, and many of them were mediocre.
    • Fans of the classic Streets of Rage series decided to make a fan-made remake of the game, after EIGHT YEARS in development, (from 2003 to 2011) one of the game's developers contacted Sega for greenlighting the remake. Days after the remake's release, Sega sent a cease and desist letter to the developers forcing them to take down all download links.