The following stories are passed down to you as game industry folklore. The truths they reveal to future game designers are more important than their accuracy.
In the late 1990s Acclaim Entertainment licensed the movie Batman Forever to be developed as a video game. The movie was to be a major hit with hot stars like Michael Keaton as Batman, Jim Carrey as the Riddler, and Tommy Lee Jones as Two Face. At the time, Acclaim was among the top video game publishers in the world.
When I was hired at Acclaim as producer and then executive producer, many staff members including producers, assistant producers, and QA (quality assurance testers) had protested the release of Batman Forever due to extremely poor gameplay.
Management wanted the game released to coincide with the movie’s opening. They felt that the reputation of Acclaim and the anticipated success of the movie would be the selling point and that gameplay was least important.
The Batman Forever video game almost destroyed Acclaim Entertainment. Their stock plummeted, they lost millions of dollars, and a large percentage of employees (including the author) were laid off.
Lesson: Nothing is more important than gameplay.