Many films, television programmes, video games and other forms of collaborative media can have their development halted or slowed to an extreme - this is known as development hell.
There are a number of reasons for this, including but not limted to:
- Executive producers (ie: people behind financing the project) dispute with the primary director/writer/other creative mind behind the work
- Big shifts in development staff or change of key staff (ie: due to the above point, loss of interest, financial issues etc)
- Budget problems (including inability to finance the project adequetely)
- Legal/rights issues
- Inability for the development team to work together thus causing the project to be stretched into too many different areas
- Consumer climate (a group may be working on many projects at once and may delay one for another that is likely to be more profitable)
- People with large egos/financial desires (ie: someone trying to take creative control or someone demanding more money for their input/involvement than initially agreed on)
- Illness or other lack of availability of staff (specially key staff)
One of the most protracted periods of production hell (with an eventual release) was the animated film 'The Thief and the Cobbler' which was in and out of production from 1964 until its South African release in 1993 therefore making the development period 29 years long. Further changes were made over two more years and it was finally released in the United States in 1995.
One of the most famous examples of development hell for a videogame is Duke Nukem Forever, which began development in 1996 and was released 15 years later in 2011.
Games that are never released nor officially canceled are known as Vaporware (though the term is also sometimes used to describe software that has gone through considerable development hell).