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Overwatch
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The development crew working on the previous Titan project (the precursor to Overwatch) once received a frustrating constraint from higher-ups that banned the use of flying cars in their game. As a cheeky response to this, Overwatch Director Jeffrey Kaplan decided that every car must fly in Overwatch.
Contributed by Mass Distraction
Series: Strider
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British rapper "Tinchy Stryder" revealed in an interview with The Guardian that the game Strider is the source of the second half of his stage name.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Mercenary Kings
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In the game there is a magnum-class pistol called "Horse" which has the description "Perfect Pistol for a mercenary on a bizarre adventure."

This is a reference to the manga series JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, specifically about character Hol Horse's gun "The Emperor", which is a revolver combined with an automatic pistol. Not only are the design and names similar, but the description also hints to the JoJo series as well.
Contributed by Zpace Jockey
Pokemon Sun & Moon
Alolan forms were introduced by the developers in order to illustrate that Pokemon are living, changing creatures. Pokemon who had migrated to the Alola region would therefore follow a different evolutionary path than their original counterparts, similar to the way real animal species in the Galapagos Islands followed their own unique evolutionary paths.

In order to create these Alolan forms, the developers revisited the Pokemon that originally appeared in Pokemon Red & Blue, since they are widely recognized by long time fans and would best express this concept with them. It would also help commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Pokemon series as a special surprise for fans.
Contributed by SkyminHAZBOZ
Pokemon Sun & Moon
Pokemon Sun & Moon was Shigeru Ohmori's first time as the director of a new generation of Pokemon games. Because the game commemorates the 20th Anniversary of Pokemon, he wanted to go back and look at what he thought Pokemon games should be and create his own take on the series. He came up with the idea of Trials & Totem Pokemon as a replacement for Pokemon gyms to tie in with the Alola region's theme of powerful and abundant nature. He thought it would be an interesting concept and a way to make the game feel fresh for both veterans of the series and newcomers alike.
Contributed by SkyminHAZBOZ
Pokemon Sun & Moon
The time difference between the versions was inspired by the idea that Pokemon are living creatures - some are active during the day, others are active during the night. The developers thought this would be a useful feature to facilitate more communication and trading amongst friends.
Contributed by SkyminHAZBOZ
Undertale
According to developer Toby Fox, the song "Redline Day" helped inspire him to make changes to the Undertale OST.
Contributed by Countnecula
Pokemon Sun & Moon
To help commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Pokemon series, the developers wanted to look at trainers and Pokemon as living things and express that in a better way. When coming up with ideas for Pokemon Sun & Moon, they created a theme for the game based around the concept of life, with both the sun & moon both being important to all life on earth. A place that came to mind to reflect this was Hawaii, an area with lots of sunshine, clear nights, and an abundance of life.
Contributed by SkyminHAZBOZ
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The female warrior design from the early version of Dragon's Crown meant for Dreamcast was later used as an inspiration for Fantasy Earth, of which Vanillaware's president George Kamitani was the art director.
Contributed by Mass Distraction
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Ken's original stage from "Street Fighter Alpha" was replaced with a beach stage in "Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix". The beach stage itself bares a strong resemblance to a piece of "Street Fighter II" artwork in which all the characters (including the "Final Fight" characters) are enjoying a day at the beach. The characters included in the background of the beach stage are Guile, Blanka, Cammy, Dee Jay, Zangief, E. Honda, M. Bison, Sagat, Balrog & Vega.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Bayonetta
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Bayonetta's development team's name, Team Little Angels, is a shout out to the development team of Devil May Cry, Team Little Devils, a lot of whose former members are now working at Platinum Games.
Contributed by Mass Distraction
Perfect Dark
According to game artist B Jones, Joanna's armor outfit was heavily influenced by the manga and anime series Ghost In the Shell. Likewise, Joanna's black dragon dress is based off of the Killer Instinct games, a series also developed by Rare.
Contributed by Kakariko Kid
Perfect Dark
According to game designer Duncan Botwood and game artist B Jones, many of the science fiction ideas for Perfect Dark were heavily influenced by Blade Runner, The X-Files, Ghost In the Shell, and conspiracy theories.
Contributed by Kakariko Kid
Drakengard
The original idea Yoko, Iwasaki and Shiba had for the game was an Ace Combat inspired flight simulator based on riding a dragon. Much of the game's combat was originally inspired by Dynasty Warriors 2, which was popular at the time.
Contributed by DrakeVagabond
Myst
While the name Myst comes from the word "mystery," it was also inspired by The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne. Robyn Miller, one of the game's creators, was reading the book when the game was in early development. Verne's influence can be seen throughout the game, particularly inside the ship in the Stoneship age.
Contributed by usyboroda
Perfect Dark
Joanna Dark's name was created by David Doak using Jeanne d'Arc, aka Joan of Arc, as inspiration.
Contributed by Kakariko Kid
Sabreman, protagonist of the Sabre Wulf series, is the inspiration for Sabrewulf in the Killer Instinct series; in Sabre Wulf, Sabreman must collect four pieces of an amulet while avoiding the titular Sabre Wulf. In Knight Lore, Sabreman must find a cure for his lycanthropy (being a werewolf).

The Sabre Wulf series was developed and published by Ultimate Play the Game; Ultimate evolved into Rare, which is known for Killer Instinct among other games.
Contributed by Kakariko Kid
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
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The character Kasan Moor was named by writer Ryan Kaufman after the local 70's hits radio station 'KSAN'.
Contributed by KnowledgeBase
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Ralf Jones' "Jet Vulcan Punch" move is based on Monkey D. Luffy's 'Gomu Gomu Jet Gatling' move, while using his Gear Second form from Shonen Jump's series One Piece.
Contributed by ProtoSnake
Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
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The name of the Incom X4 Gunship and its in-universe description were inspired by users SonofKashyyyk and LeaphChausew, respectively. Their ideas were submitted to the game's official forums and chosen by Hanse, one of the game's developers.
Contributed by KnowledgeBase
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