DC hasn’t been doing well on the film side of things, and now it looks like their next big video game might be a flop, too. The upcoming Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was given to video game outlets last month, and the reaction has been pretty negative. IGN headlined their own article about the preview, “We Played It and Didn’t Like It.”
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League started out promising enough, with the fun concept that players would control Suicide Squad members like Harley Quinn, King Shark, Deadshot, and Captain Boomerang to face off against mind-controlled Justice League members like Batman, Flash, and Superman. However, gamers quickly soured on the game when it was revealed that the game would be an online live-service game with microservices, rather than a narrative-driven single-player experience. It got even worse when gameplay videos were released and all the very unique playable characters seemed to all play relatively the same.
It certainly looks ignorant on the part of Warner Bros Discovery, which continues to fumble when it comes to beloved properties with potential. Developer Rocksteady Studios once brought critical acclaim to superhero games with the Batman: Arkham franchise, but now it seems like the studio’s output is declining in the name of profit over quality. With Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav proclaiming that microtransaction-heavy live-online service video games like Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League would be the company’s direction going forward, the video game community collectively rolled their eyes.
If Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is the microtransaction fest everyone assumes it will be, then we could hopefully see the game flop and the direction of Warner Bros’ video games change its tune. After all, narrative-driven single-player superhero games like Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 (and the once mighty Arkham franchise) are not only selling extremely well, but they’re getting critical acclaim to go with it. It truly seems like a case of these companies just not understanding what players want.
It’s a problem that is plaguing more than just video games like Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. Companies salivate when they see what GTA: Online has been able to do for Rockstar financially over the years. The difference is that Rockstar made a fantastic single-player game first (Grand Theft Auto 5), which then attracted players to the online service side of the game.
Then you have games like Fortnite, which rake in bucketfuls of cash from people buying characters, costumes, emotes, and more. However, Fortnite is completely free to play, and you can enjoy the game just fine without buying a single thing. Again, it seems like ignorance on the part of Warner Bros Discovery to think that it’s a good idea to sell (the apparently sub-par) Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League for full price and try to get extra money after the fact throughout microtransactions and other online service add-ons.
In short, it seems like no one really wants this version of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. Imagining a version that played more like the fantastic Batman: Arkham Asylum or Batman: Arkham City makes the disappointment even worse. Here’s to hoping Warner Bros Discovery can learn from this potential impending mistake.