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The Great Risk, and Greater Reward of Adding Video Games to the DCU

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As part of the big announcement about the newly launched DCU, James Gunn shared that video games will tie into the film, TV and animation projects that make up Warner Bros. Discovery’s massive reboot of the DC universe. . Hollywood has spent the past century perfecting the film and TV production process, paving the way for a magnificent interconnected universe, but adding video games to the mix is ​​Marvel’s biggest challenge. It could be a bold direction that even its DC rivals haven’t attempted.

At a press conference, Gunn revealed: We plan to cast actors who can play characters not only in this work but also in other works. This sets up the future possibility that actors cast in the DCU may voice the same characters in video games. But incorporating a video game into a cinematic universe is easier said than done. Even Marvel and its Disney-backed forces have never attempted anything similar.

So what kind of games can we expect from the new DC Studios? It seems to me that This means that any video game plans DC has will be for original stories, much like the movies and shows that have already been announced.

In a way, I think it’s safer to bet on the release date of a movie or TV show than the video game, so including video games as part of the overall DCU plan is very risky. If even one of them goes wrong, movies and TV shows that were scheduled years later may come out later or even be canceled altogether.

There’s a reason Marvel has synergies in film, TV, and anime, with the only exception being video games. Marvel games like Insomniac’s Spider-Man and Crystal Dynamics’ Avengers are allowed to live (and in the case of Avengers, die) independent of MCU progress. Insomniac’s game’s Spider-Man has nothing to do with Tom Holland’s character in the MCU, and whatever reboot plans Marvel has for his X-Men will likely not include Insomniac’s Wolverine game. .

But if James Gunn and DC Studios can pull it off, it means they’ve succeeded in making a potentially transformative addition to the concept of a shared universe, giving them an edge over their Marvel rivals. stand.

Imagine for a moment seeing the new Superman: Legacy in theaters in 2025, and then a year later playing not only the licensed version of that movie, but a game that is a continuation or side adventure added to the movie. . And one with the same actors and creative talent reprising their roles.

Warner Bros. Discovery is at least not without the resources to attempt this endeavor. Rocksteady will likely partner with The Suicide Squad Kills the Justice League for years to come (if at all, who knows how that will fit into the DCU), but WB Games boasts talents such as Avalanche Software, Monolith Productions and NetherRealm. Studios, TT Games, and some WB Games offices in North America.

One solution is to reduce the types of games that will be part of the DCU. We can’t and shouldn’t expect a AAA DC game to come out with every major film or TV release, but even with fewer development resources, it’s still worth the creative ideas and standard fondness for the DCU. Full of charming little titles, we can’t wait two years for a Superman or Batman movie.

Hitting a roadblock in even one game project can delay it for years.

I think it says a lot that the example Gunn shared about the game mentions the potential for crypto stories. You know, Superman’s superpower dog. This suggests that the games we should expect from the DCU don’t rely on Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman headlines. Perhaps one of Gunn’s Suicide Squad villains like King Shark gets a TMNT-style brawling game? Or a city management sim where the Penguin oversees his criminal enterprise? The 2D platformer starring Damian Wayne, given his newfound importance in the DCU, or even just a rival to DC’s Marvel Snap. And these smaller titles could only fill the gap between major game he releases. Monolith Productions is developing an open-world Wonder Woman action game to replace the missing Wonder Woman in the DCU’s Chapter 1 programming.

It’s like, “Can he do that?” An idea that has defined Gunn’s career so far.

Matt TM Kim is IGN’s Senior Feature Editor.you can contact him @lawoftd.

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