Originally Posted by laffer
I find it annoying when games that start out great end up being so difficult that they're not fun to play anymore in the later stages.
Yur, difficulty balance is hard to achieve and requires specialized people, a role which did not really exist in the golden days of gaming (I think nowadays they call these people "lead world designers").
I tend to think for older games this is the result of poor playtesting; a game is only really played through intensely partly and is then assumed to be okay and shipped.
Possible end results: the game is too difficult in the later stages and may even contain a game locking bug or two.