DC’s rich cast of heroes and villains have benefited from the video game treatment in recent years (notably the excellent Batman Arkham series). Yet there’s a glaring Superman-shaped hole in Warner Bros.’ (WB) contemporary catalog.
We’ve had cameos, most recently in Injustice 2 and Lego DC Super-Villains, but no dedicated title since 2006’s Superman Returns. To highlight how long it’s been, that specific game was a PlayStation 2 and Xbox generation title.
According to industry insider James Sigfield, this hasn’t been through a lack of trying. In a Twitter thread covering the recent efforts to adapt everyone’s favorite strongman for the video game medium, he reveals that WB has been actively toiling away to develop a Superman title for the better part of six-years. Yet, efforts have fallen short.
Hot off the success of the Man of Steel flick in 2013, WB kick-started a pitching run as industry types lined up with concepts. Among them, an open-world game axed by WB in the early phases of prototyping. Sigfield describes it as:
An open-world Superman game in the vein of Spider-Man PS4. It would feature a massive Metropolis and feature various villains from the DC pantheon.
A further pitch caught the eye of WB executives in 2014, dubbed Superman: Unbound. This time around, the game was to stick more faithfully to the comic series. Sigfield explains:
The game was supposed to be less ‘open-world’ so as to limit Superman’s vast array of abilities. This game was to feature foes such as Brainiac, Doomsday, and tons of other mind-controlled villains.
WB Games Montreal was to helm the project. Forced to use the same game engine as the Batman Arkham series, however, the studio found bringing to life Superman’s flying abilities a near-impossible task. WB canceled the project soon afterward.
In the intervening years, WB has remained open to the idea of a Superman title, listening to pitches along the way. Still, none have stuck, although Sigfield doesn’t discount the possibility that one may very well already be in development.
This time last year, WB Games Montreal Osama Doris revealed that the studio was working on two projects linked to the DC universe. The first is widely expected to be a Batman title, while the second remains shrouded in mystery. Could it be Superman?
Then again, the tail end of 2017 was awash with rumors that Rocksteady Studios were developing the next Superman game.
While Sigfield’s insight helps to frame WB’s commitment to a Superman game, we’re left none the wiser and pondering whether the fabled Superman Curse has hit development efforts.
Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:16 PM