As a part of James Gunn’s large reveal for the newly launched DCU, he shared that video video games will tie into the films, TV, and animation initiatives that may make up Warner Bros. Discovery’s large reboot of the DC universe. Whereas Hollywood has spent the final century perfecting the manufacturing course of of flicks and TV reveals, paving the best way for grand, interconnected universes, including video video games into the combo may very well be a daring route that not even DC’s rivals at Marvel are attempting to do.
Throughout a press convention Gunn revealed, “And what we’re doing with the DCU is we’re having animation tied straight into live-action tv and flicks and video games all intertwined throughout the similar universe. We will forged actors which might be going to have the ability to play the characters on this in addition to in different issues.” This units up a attainable future the place an actor forged within the DCU might doubtlessly voice the identical character in a online game. However incorporating video video games right into a cinematic universe is way simpler mentioned than completed, contemplating not even Marvel and its Disney-backed energy have tried one thing related.
So what video games ought to we count on from the brand new DC Studios? To date, the main points aren’t as concrete because the film, TV, and animation initiatives that had been introduced. But it surely seems like direct tie-in video games are out, that means no matter online game plan DC has will probably be for authentic tales, very like the already-announced films and reveals.
“I feel what’s very completely different about it for us, for DC is it is not like we’ll have Superman come out after which have the Superman recreation come out,” Gunn mentioned. “It is extra like now we have the Superman [movie] come out after which two years later now we have Supergirl popping out. So what is the story in between there? Is there a [Superman’s dog] Krypto recreation that we will play that is available in between that is nonetheless set on the planet with these characters, however that’s its personal factor?”
Think about what we now learn about trendy, AAA recreation improvement and simply take a look at the variety of online game delays previously 5 years. We all know it takes years of pre-production earlier than a serious online game undertaking even will get began, so with the 5 to 6 years it takes to complete a recreation, James Gunn and DC will wish to start planning for his or her first recreation now in the event that they wish to launch it in 2026-2027, between the Superman and Supergirl films.
To place it a method, I’d in all probability really feel safer betting on a film or TV present hitting its introduced launch date than a online game, making the prospect of together with video video games part of the general DCU plan extremely dangerous. If even one of many gaming initiatives hits a roadblock, it may very well be delayed by years and are available out method after no matter deliberate film or TV present it was meant to comply with, and even canceled altogether.
There’s a motive why even with Marvel synergizing throughout films, TV, and animation, the one exception is video video games. Marvel video games like Insomniac’s Spider-Man, and Crystal Dynamics’ Avengers are allowed to reside (and in Avengers’ case, die) independently from the goings-on within the MCU. The Spider-Man in Insomniac’s recreation is unrelated to Tom Holland’s character within the MCU, and no matter reboot plans Marvel has for the X-Males, it possible gained’t embody Insomniac’s Wolverine recreation.
But when James Gunn and DC Studios can pull it off, meaning they’ll have succeeded at a doubtlessly transformative addition to the shared universe idea, and have a leg-up over their Marvel rivals.
Think about for a second watching the brand new Superman: Legacy in theaters in 2025 and a yr later taking part in a recreation that isn’t only a licensed model of that film, however a continuation or side-adventure that provides to the movie. And one which options the identical actors and inventive expertise reprising their roles. It might genuinely make the DCU a cross-medium endeavor, the primary of its form.
It’s not like Warner Bros. Discovery doesn’t have the sources to at the least try this enterprise. Whereas Rocksteady will possible be tied up with The Suicide Squad Kills the Justice League for the subsequent a number of years (and who even is aware of how that may match into the DCU, if in any respect), WB Video games boasts expertise like Avalanche Software program, Monolith Productions, NetherRealm Studios, TT Video games, and a number of other WB Video games places of work throughout North America.
One resolution can be to scale down the sorts of video games that will probably be part of the DCU. Whereas we would not get nor ought to we count on a AAA DC recreation to comply with each main movie or TV launch, a compelling however small title that’s lighter on developmental sources however replete with inventive concepts and canonical attachment to the DCU may very well be attractive sufficient for followers who can’t wait two years between Superman or Batman films.
I feel it says loads that the instance Gunn shared about video games mentions a attainable Krypto story. , Superman’s superpowered canine. It means that no matter video games we should always count on from the DCU gained’t be reliant on Superman, Batman, or Marvel Girl headlining. Maybe considered one of Gunn’s Suicide Squad villains like King Shark will get a TMNT-style brawler recreation? Or we’ll get a metropolis administration sim starring The Penguin overseeing his legal enterprise? A 2D platformer starring Damien Wayne given his new significance within the DCU, and even only a Marvel Snap competitor for DC. And these smaller titles might themselves simply fill the hole between main gaming releases. Monolith Productions continues to be growing its open-world Marvel Girl motion recreation which might stand in for the lacking Marvel Girl within the DCU’s Chapter One programming.
It’s the form of “can he do this?” concept that’s outlined Gunn’s profession thus far. And if the DCU can efficiently add video video games to its plans, it is going to be one other “I suppose he can” response that Gunn can ship again to his critics.
Matt T.M. Kim is IGN’s Senior Options Editor. You possibly can attain him @lawoftd.