^Even before Arnold, different licensors went their own different ways -- Gold Key didn't coordinate with Bantam or Ballantine, DC only rarely borrowed ideas from Pocket and almost never vice-versa, etc.
And the "multi-platform synergy" of other franchises is overrated. Star Wars
and Doctor Who
tie-ins may have been treated as consistent and pseudo-canonical while they were the only game in town, but when a new screen version came along, the tie-in continuity was freely disregarded.
What "damage" did Levine do to Who
tie-ins? I looked him up on the DW Wiki, but it doesn't say much beyond that he was the "unofficial continuity consultant" in the '80s.