Comic book Superheroes have taken the movie industry by storm, with there being more films than gadgets on Batman’s utility belt. This is not just a small phase as I’m sure you’ve all seen the next 5 year plan of superhero blockbusters, just be ready for a lot of spandex. They have also started to take their justice crusades to our televisions, with series like Gotham and the countless cartoons, but they are yet to make a huge impact on the video game market.
After seeing the success in the film and TV industry, you would naturally think there would be a rise in games based on comics, but yet there are only a handful and even less worth playing. It seems either Marvel and DC are weary of this market, or no company wants to take on the task. It can’t be the lack of ideas for games as most write themselves. Back in the 90’s and early naughties there were a lot more comic book hero games being released but most were of questionable quality, for example Aquaman Battle for Atlantis, everyone’s least favourite hero in what is barely passable as a game.
There have been several great Marvel and DC games with the likes of the Batman Arkham series and Spiderman 2. The only trouble is most of the big budget games focus on these two heroes. Obviously not many people are going to want to play games based on characters like Squirrel girl or Aquaman, again, but there are so many other great characters just waiting for their big shot. Look at the success of the Arrow TV series, why not have a video game in a style like the Arkham games, or an X-men game with a similar concept to Final Fantasy Type-0. Being based on various contradicting comic book worlds it means they don’t have to worry about staying true to a story and can make their own stories. If their stories are good it means they have whole a series of games ready to be made.
Most of the superhero games being released are being targeted towards a younger audience, such as the Lego and Disney infinity Marvel Super Heroes games. It’s like adults aren’t allowed to enjoy these characters, and yet it’s mainly adults that buy the comics. I understand that Marvel has aimed its films towards families, but why exclusively focus on them? It’s surely better to make a game that appeals to all ages?
If a company took up an yone of the popular comic book heroes and made a good triple A game, they would see a huge amount of support. Once they have seen the success of the games they can start to bring in lesser known heroes. They could even take a trip into an area so many have failed and be the villain. Who doesn’t want to be the Joker wrecking fun and hilarious havoc around Gotham, teaming up or fighting with other villains? There is a whole unexplored area for video games which if done right could be the start of something beautiful.
What Super hero would you like to see get their own game?