Launching their plans for the rebooted DC Universe this week, DC Studios co-presidents James Gunn and Peter Safran reiterated their desire to bring DC superhero games, as well as film and television, into a universe unique and connected. They also suggested that they wanted the same actors to play characters across all media.
“One of our jobs is to come and make sure the DCU is connected, across film, TV, games and animation,” Gunn said in an official video. “That the characters are consistent, played by the same actors, and that it works in one story.”
Not everyone thinks that’s a good idea. Commenting on the game’s integration with the DC Universe, Jake Solomon, director of the recent game Firaxis Marvel’s Midnight Sunssaid it would make game development more difficult and threaten the livelihoods of video game voice actors.
“It would have been a nightmare for us on midnight sunssaid Solomon on Twitter“I understand the desire (I think) but movies and games are so, so different. And the pressure that puts on the amazing voice actors in the gaming space?” Solomon went on to predict that the proposed integration wouldn’t happen. “Different universes. And that’s how they should/will stay.”
It would have been a nightmare for us on Midnight Suns. I understand the desire (I think) but movies and games are so, so different. And the pressure this puts on the amazing voice actors in the gaming space? Different universes. And that’s how they should/will stay. https://t.co/grKQGkhCsl
— Jake Solomon (@SolomonJake) February 1, 2023
Solomon takes no risks here. The view that games based on major properties should follow their own continuities and release schedules, rather than tying themselves to movie releases, has been accepted as industry best practice for over a decade. . The creative and logistical freedom this approach affords game studios has allowed Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham series or Insomniac’s Spider-Man games to become massive franchises in their own right, despite overlapping with popular movie iterations. of the same characters.
Marvel Studios hasn’t had the same success with its own game licensing efforts. (Spider-Man’s video game licensing rights are held separately, by Sony.) But even Disney and Kevin Feige have resisted trying to tie the likes of Crystal Dynamics. Marvel’s Avengers in the continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it looks like future Marvel projects – which include an Insomniac Wolverine game, an Iron Man game from EA’s Motive studio, and a World War II Captain America and Black Panther game from Amy Hennig’s Skydance studio – are standalone games built on the Arkham/Spider-Man model.
Gunn and Safran haven’t spoken much about their game integration plans with the DCU yet. In an internal DC interviewGunn seemed to want to split the difference, offering games that would fit the canon (and fill in the gaps in the release schedule) while telling stories that can stand on their own.
“It’s not like we’re going to release the Superman movie and release this Superman game,” Gunn said. “It’s more like we’re going to release the Superman movie and then maybe two years later we have the Supergirl movie coming out. So what’s the story between the two? Is there a game Krypto that we can play that sits between them, something that still takes place in the world with these characters, but is its own thing.
If Gunn is even hypothetically proposing to set a game about Krypto the Superdog between two big movies in development, that doesn’t speak very well of his opinion on game support or his understanding of game production schedules. Luckily for him, he has an easy way out. There is nothing to say about the label DC Elseworlds, which will be applied following Matt Reeves for The Batman and Todd Phillips’ Joker: Madness for two, also cannot be applied to games. Expect this to appear on the next Rocksteady Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League – and, perhaps, once Gunn and Safran’s plans come true, the majority of DC game releases in the future.