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Open World Superman Game Has Lingered In Development For Years, Apparently

Open World Superman Game Has Lingered In Development For Years, Apparently

You have to feel for Superman, don't you? The Big Blue Boy Scout might well be one of the most powerful and beloved heroes in the world, but when it comes to video games? Well, he's always lived in the shadow of peers like Spider-Man and Batman. Hell, even the Punisher got a half-decent game, while the Man of Steel got... um, Superman 64.

As it turns out, Warner Bros and DC have actually been trying to right that wrong and deliver a game worthy of the Superman name for years. According to a new report from writer and leaker James Sigfield on Twitter, "Warner Bros has been actively trying to develop an open world Superman game since 2013."

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Sigfield goes on to suggest that development on the Superman game that never was really kicked into gear around the time that Zack Snyder's divisive Man of Steel hit cinemas. Warner Bros apparently "actively started taking pitches from many producers and directors" from within the gaming industry to create their very own game starring Supes.

Ultimately, an open-world Superman game featuring a "massive Metropolis" and various villains from DC's rich history, including Braniac and Doomsday, was floated... before ultimately being put to one side. Sigfield also notes that Warner Bros were at one point working on a game called Superman Unbound, which would have been more similar in scope and style to Batman: Arkham Asylum.

According to the writer, Unbound would have pitted Superman against Braniac as he explored the Bottled City of Kandor. Like Arkham Asylum, Unbound would reportedly have been set in a more restricted location as opposed to an expansive world. Although it would also have allegedly had "space segments above Earth, where you'd fight against Braniac's ship".

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Superman Unbound
was also eventually scrapped, Sigfield claims. Apparently, Warner Bros had decided at the time that every DC game should use the Arkham engine - a modified version of Unreal Engine 3. Sigfield suggests that "getting Superman's flight to work in that frame would have been near impossible... at the time."

It's unclear just how much truth there is to these claims, although I do find it very easy to believe that Warner Bros has indeed spent years struggling to develop a Superman game.

That's not a dig at WB, by the way. I just genuinely believe it can't be easy. Unlike Spider-Man and Batman, Superman has a huge range of powers that would surely be a nightmare to translate to the AAA video game world in a way that felt true to the character and was still, you know, fun to play. Flight alone would surely be a pain, especially in an open-world game. Then you'd need to factor in his incredible strength, speed, laser vision, X-Ray vision, and more into combat in a way that felt fluid and believable.

Injustice 2 / Credit: Warner Bros
Injustice 2 / Credit: Warner Bros

Ultimately, Sigfield believes that there is no Superman game currently in development, though Warner Bros is still actively looking for pitches from a studio who might be able to make such a game work.

Again, I should point out that we don't know just how accurate these claims are. Superman might still linger in development hell, but that doesn't mean Warner Bros has ditched capes for good. According to numerous reports, leaks, and teases over the last year, WB Montreal is currently working on a new Batman game set in the Arkham universe. Sorry Supes, I guess the Dark Knight is just a better fit for video games.

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros

Topics: Warner Bros, DC, Batman, Superman

Ewan Moore

Journalist at GAMINGbible who still quite hasn’t gotten out of my mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), I went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis.

 

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