[Update: Check out the canceled Avengers game screenshots here!]
2011 saw two Marvel Studios blockbusters hit theaters to relative critical and financial success, but each also saw a crappy video game tie-in that rightfully didn't earn as much love. We are of course, speaking of the Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger movies, films that told the origin tales of each Avenger, and each that got a tie-in game with a standalone story: Thor: God of Thunder and Captain America: Super Soldier, respectively. Thor is a contender for worst game of the year, but Captain America actually offered something partially worth trying out for fun.
With The Avengers debuting next summer, the biggest film in the franchise to date, we're all dreading the obligatory tie-in game that would poop on that brand name and potential such a property offers. From what we're hearing now though, there may not even be a tie-in game for The Avengers anymore...
Kotaku had the scoop moments ago which indicated that THQ’s Brisbane studio, the developer working on The Avengers, may be shutting its doors today. They received an inside bit of info last night which explained that development on the game simply wasn't working out and that it's not been going well for a while.
Whether or not that was the case, THQ just confirmed that this studio, along with Blu Tongue (de Blob) and another are being shut down, affecting over 200 employees. Not good news for the industry or THQ, who just put an end to the Red Faction and MX vs. ATV franchises.
Focusing on the one high-profile game we knew was in development, if the plan for The Avengers game was for it to be ready for release alongside the movie next May then good riddance (not for the studio being closed, but for the game being canned). It's better for gamers, for fans and for the long-term health of the brand for a rushed, low-budget tie-in throwaway game to not even exist.
If Marvel wants a good game for The Avengers, let a development team have the time and space they need to make a quality game first - not a timely game first - and we'll go from there (see: Batman: Arkham Asylum). Forget tying it in with the release of the movie - it's unnecessary and unwanted.
Iron Man 1 & 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor: God of Thunder and Captain America: Super Soldier - each one tried and pretended to be something different, something "good" and every single one failed. Don't do that to The Avengers - there's too much potential for a great 4-player co-op action-RPG a la X-Men Legends and Marvel Ultimate Alliance.
We're disappointed and saddened to see theses studios and IPs go away, but we are not sad to see The Avengers game seize development, assuming that license and related assets hasn't moved. As one of our recent Game Rant Minutes explained, movie tie-ins shouldn't exist, so we'll let you know more as we learn more.
The Avengers movie hits theaters May 4, 2012.
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