DC Comics’ Geoff Johns Talks Doing a ‘Superman’ Video Game Right

Published 3 years ago by

Geoff Johns Talks Superman Game

If you’ve read our poll of superhero franchises we would like to see Rocksteady Studios take over, then you already know that Superman sits comfortably at the top of that list. Starring in several games that range from bad to god awful, Superman has now assumed the role that Batman once occupied, but DC’s Geoff Johns hopes that will change, and gives a few thoughts as to how it might.

Obviously the most important way to ensure the Superman game gets off on the right foot is finding a competent studio. Batman happened to fall upon Rocksteady almost as if it was fated, and that relationship grew into something that helped fuel the success of both. If Superman can find a similarly receptive studio, there’s no doubt that success would come of it.

While the most apparent choice would be for Rocksteady to jump in on Superman, that isn’t necessarily the right fit. Part of Johns’ biggest fear is that the combat in Superman will get repetitive — with the player simply flipping robots over for hours on end.

“I think all games come down to gameplay and the right studio. I’m sure the right studio could crack it. Rocksteady has a real passion for Batman, and I think that’s why they make a great game.”

According to Johns, a Superman game gets tossed around a lot at DC Comics, but they can never seem to find the best way to crack that impenetrable surface. One concept they are considering at the moment is John’s ‘Last Son’ storyline, which features many of Superman’s iconic foibles like Zod, and sees Metropolis overrun by super villains a la Arkham City.

There’s honestly a lot that can be done with the Superman property, but most of it, if not executed perfectly, could end up being completely uninteresting. There’s a reason that the pinnacle of pop culture properties tend to be avoided, for this reason or that, and Superman definitely sits at the top of that list. Still, we hope that one day DC can find the right developer and a great game franchise can be born.

What developer, aside from Rocksteady, do you think could deliver an awesome Superman game? How do you envision the game playing: open world or more linear?

Source: Kotaku



TAGS: Batman Arkham Asylum, Batman Arkham City, DC Comics, Rocksteady Studios, Superman, Warner Bros. Interactive

  • Jack

    Free Roam would have to cover a huge expansion considering flight and combat, therefore an open world metropolis but also freedom to fly into space or other iconic places in the storyline of superman would be great. Interesting to cover switching from Clark to Superman too! Potential would be incredible!

  • kobraman88

    a few years back there was a superman game in the making and from the brief footage i saw of it it looked pretty decent but then the developers went bust and the game was never heard of again i think a developer needs to grab hold of that and add their own touch to it like maybe updating the graphics.
    you can find the video clip of the game on youtube and see what u think of it

  • Martin

    Superman shouldn’t be free roam. Flying everywhere is what ruins the gameplay. If I had to choose which Dev to make this game, I would go with Sucker Punch.

  • el princerino

    Free roam definately, what’s the point of being able to fly if you cant go any where

  • Sam

    I think free-roam should be avoided. A linear game makes more sense with Superman.

  • brandon

    Metropolis, Warworld, Star city, gotham, smallville, and fortress of solitude. instead of flying to one or the other, you fast travel, but once there, you can fly way above the city and do whatever.

  • kobraman88

    heres the link to the video of the Superman Game that never was

  • http://www.screenrant.com TheAvenger

    IMO, if they do a free roaming game, then it wouldn’t really work: Superman can fly across the world in seconds. How boring would it be if he can only fly inside Metropolis (The game would be too constrictive for a Supes game).

    I think they should hold off on a Superman game until the ~future~ (when it’s possible to have an entire world as a map – not just one city)

    P.S. Brandon’s suggestion of having fast-travel combined with free roaming could work IMO.

  • localboy

    I’m thinking someone like ubisoft, with their awesome Assassins Creed games. Free roam, ability to switch between Clark and Supes, don’t need to go into space unless a specific mission calls for it.

    • http://www.screenrant.com TheAvenger

      If anybody’s going to develop a Supes game, it HAS to be Rocksteady IMAO.

  • venom42

    rock steady? the one who developed batman:arkham city?oh come on!why does it have to be batman and superman in the goddamn DC Universe!!!!i mean there should be for example,Booster Gold,The Flash,or Green Lantern and etc.seriously!there are other characters too!

    • Martin

      Because it’s superman and batman, but that would be cool if someone developed a game for static.

      • Martin

        Spectre and Captain Marvel would also be cool.

        • JamesF

          You mean Shazam, Captain Marvel’s owned by Marvel and yeah I know Shazam was CM but now he’s not

  • t-dizzy’s world

    I believe that Superman needs to have a game similar to spiderman 2 the game I mean you had free roam and could still fightcrime while messing around in the city

  • Kazama_Jin

    what if they try the Death And Return of Superman?

  • jack

    what works, for batman, doesn’t work for superman. batman can’t fly without help. he can’t run faster than a speeding bullet. a map as small as batman’s games wouldn’t work at all for a superman game.

    rocksteady is great and all, but there used to small scale games. as unpopular as it is to say, the batman games are small scale, as fare as space goes. you spend 90% of the time in the exact same areas. i found batman extremely boring after the first play thru. and the riddler objects where annoying eye sores, and a unnecessary filler.

    this is why rocksteady isn’t the right studio for superman. a superman game should be primarily based on saving people on a global scale. from mud slides, to hurricanes, super villains, earthquakes, shooting’s, robberies, the whole deal.
    i picture a superman game where you can listen to crime, and disasters from orbit, zoom in with his binocular vision, and decide who needs saving the most. ( because even sup’s can’t save everyone)

    i’d love it if Bethesda took the job. they’d know how to put the massive content needed into it. there not great with story, but they could make a kick ass map, for sup’s.

    the fortress of solitude should be home base, where you can research kriptonian technology’s. go over evidence you’ve gathered necessary to root out criminals. and imagine if you could take care of superman’s alien zoo. a superman game needs alot of content to be great. more content that any games ever had.

  • Josh

    Free roam in a supes game is mandatory. I don’t give a rats rump about the people saying it wouldn’t work. The only way to make a true Superman masterpiece is free roam. The idea of Superman has no bounds.. He is the all-powerful among comic book characters. No free roam would be like making a hulk game and limiting him on his strength; ABSOLUTELY LUDICROUS! Superman has no limits therefore the game should have no health bar and no restrictions on powers. The way to make this work is to start him off as a teen boy and work into becoming the all powerful superman by keenly focusing on training your skills and obtaining full control over each one. The only ones you should start with are invincibility, boundless strength, and super speed. Flying can be worked into the game such as in the latest movie. As you play the game Clark gets older, therefore, absorbing more of the suns radiation, therefore, making him stronger.

    Back to free roam.. It’s not impossible to think that the right studio couldn’t create a free roam that stretches across the vast majority of all of Supermans iconic locations through flying. The idea to make this work without making for a boring two minute flight would be that once you reach a certain edge of the area you are currently in you gain the option to jump into super flight which allows you to travel at the speed of light and makes for a quick navigation to the next location. Also there is the option to take your time and explore the area in between locations and should even be interactive options as well.

    That’s my spiel about the ideas for the next superman game, I hope we can all be civilized and nt blast me for anything that I said that was “inconceivable” or “unintelligent”. Just give me your criticism and I’ll gladly rebuttal.

  • chris

    I think really the only logical choice would be rocksteady, so as long as they didn’t approach the combat like a batman game. And as far as free roam being too constrictive being just in metropolis is stupid, look at all the batman games, he can just about fly, well glide everywhere. And the map was pretty big and not constrictive at all. And the new one is going to be even bigger and being able to glide farther and higher. So superman would absolutely 1000% MUST be freeroam. For a superman game to be linear would absolutely suck and make no since at all to take away your ability to fly whenever u wanted to. Why even make the game then? But I also agree that it woukd have to allow you to fly in space and even out over the ocean or maybe even to the moon. So you see you wouldn’t need the whole world, metropolis, over the ocean, in space AND on the moon would give you PLENTY of space to play in. And instead of a health bar have it so your “energy” is absorbed from the sun, and if you take more damage than energy your gaining you would be knocked out. And the closer you fly to the sun the faster u gain energy kind of thing. That’s always been what fuels superman in the movies/tv shows, so why not in a game? It could even be worked into the story line as a weapon when fighting bizzaro. So a superman game made by rocksteady set in an open world metropolis with access to the ocean, space and the moon, fighting bad guys like lex Luther, zod, bizzaro, and dooms day would be epic. They could even work in a batman vs superman arc in lieu of the new movie and since rocksteady has already done batman it would be easy as hell. You know I’m right….lol!

  • alan

    Chris just nailed it. IMO.

  • Christopher

    I remember the last Superman game they made. It has free roam looked awesome had Mixlepidlix (or whatever) and was based mostly in Matropalis. Then I started doing missions and a car got tossed in to a building. I had to restart the mission. To be fair I had been playing the Hulk games so destroying buildings was what was use to lol. Whom ever gets this game needs to find that game see everything they did wrong and change it. Also I’d like to see Doomsday! And I’m a huge fan of unlockable costumes

  • jeff

    Free roam with there being a cryptonite nuclear war that keeps him from leaving the city. The cryptonite will keep him from being invisible and the object would be to stop lex Luther from taking over the world.

  • JamesF

    There’s a reason superman doesn’t have a good game for the same reason that Iron Man doesn’t have a good game because their powers don’t work well for games, there’s only so much you can do in terms of depth concerning how big the map is and the level of destruction.

    I can buy that Batman or Spider-Man might not be able to smash that door down but the man of steel? He’d trash it in seconds and Hulk would literally keep hitting the door till it did break. Secondly people in gaming tend to treat these games as a power fantasy, it’s less about showing the character and their world and more “isn’t being Iron Man awesome!”

    Long story short some of these characters have powers that don’t translate well in a game and as good as rocksteady are we’ll only have another game where we’re left wondering how adamantium claws can cut through bad guys but not concrete or wood.