Every now and then a video game franchise will try its hand at a new direction or a side-story. In general, spin-offs are very rarely a bad idea. They allow developers to experiment and, both in gameplay and story, expand the scope of the series.
For the most devoted of fans, spin-offs offer insight into the world and specific characters and make the worlds of a our favourite games all the deeper. Some of these experiments are so good that they are held in as high regard as mainline games and some even develop a series of sequels of their own.
Sometimes however, they have a negative impact on the entire IP.
After all, trying new things with an invested audience is a potential risk if it's not thought through and video game stories can be fragile before new writers start inserting their own contributions.
All of the following side-games, despite their overall quality, had questionable effects on their franchise, creating major rifts in the lore. You might love these games, but they became intense debates in the game's respective communities for years.
8. Batman: Arkham Origins
Being the only game in the Arkham series not developed by Rocksteady, Batman Arkham Origins remains a controversial title amongst the Batman faithful. For what it’s worth it’s a solid game but it does throw a few plot contradictions into what is a largely consistent series.
For those not in the know, the daughter of Commissioner Gordon has a very set trajectory through the main Batman universe. Barbara meets the Caped Crusader, adopts the moniker of Batgirl, and is wounded by the Joker and paralysed from the waist down, which requires her to assist from afar under the new name of The Oracle.
This is the role she plays in Arkham Asylum, providing intel to Bats and the player throughout certain points of the game.
However, Arkham Origins desperately wanted to include her first meeting with Batman which plays out on-screen and implies their future working relationship. In this game she looks to be a teenager, despite the fact that Origins is expressly set just 5 years before Asylum - somewhat conflicting with her character art in the latter of a grown woman.
To muddy the waters even more, Rocksteady released a series of DLC stories for final game, Arkham Knight, and one of these is “A Matter of Family”. This takes place somewhere in this five year gap… and Barbara, as Batgirl, looks like she's in her 30s already.
Either Warner Bros is implying that she's a time-traveller, has an intense ageing disability or they mindlessly shoehorned in young Barbara without considering how it fit… it’s probably the last one.