Dark Horse Comics, the company that has brought us titles like Hellboy, has opened a new gaming and digital division. Truth be told, Dark Horse Comics is no stranger to the world of gaming, as it closely collaborated with the gaming industry, publishing comic book spin-offs based on top-tier gaming titles. However, this is one step further since the company plans to become directly involved in the gaming industry by opening its proprietary gaming division called Dark Horse Gaming.
It would seem that Dark Horse is hoping to bring all its books and IPs to various gaming platforms, as reported by IGN. The company is already in late-stage discussions with AAA game developers over potential collaborations on games inspired or directly based on some of Dark Horse’s most prominent publications, including Hellboy, Sin City, 300, and many others. A new division currently operates out of Oregon and Shanghai, working on video games through licensing deals with other studios in hopes of bringing their games to mass market as early as possible – presumably by the end of next year.
However, this doesn’t mean Dark Horse Games won’t develop and publish in-house games. The newly-formed division’s general manager, Johnny Lee, said that Dark Horse currently lacks the staff to develop AAA gaming titles adequately, relying on licensing deals instead, at least initially. Dark Horse’s long-term plans for its gaming division include building and assembling internal studios to work on video games based on its intellectual property, releasing them on multiple gaming platforms and entertainment systems.
Once established, Dark Horse’s first-party development team will dive into the comic book publisher’s catalog, starting from the back pages, bringing older and less-established IPs to life as video games. If done correctly and with good marketing, this could be a fantastic way of promoting content – especially considering Dark Horse’s substantial library of franchises worth adapting into video games, including Sin City, 300, The Umbrella Academy, and Hellboy. Though the latter already has two infamous video game adaptations.
Dark Horse had previous success in collaborating with the cinematic and television industries. Hellboy was previously adapted into three separate films, while 300 saw its own critically-acclaimed adaptations at the hands of Zack Snyder. Other titles, like Sin City, also had their cinematic adaptations, while the fandom of The Umbrella Academy awaits the adaptation’s third season on Netflix. Johnny Lee hopes that Dark Horse Games reaches the heights of Marvel and DC with their high-grossing gaming titles, like the Spider-Man games or the Batman Arkham series, respectively.
We might eventually see their other, less-known properties transformed from comics to video games and then to movies, television shows, animated series, and other media. After all, it’s the current state of the entertainment industry, and many of the world’s highest-grossing titles started out as comic books. Just look at The Avengers franchise and how big it has grown since its comics published in 1963. Hopefully, one day we’ll see Hellboy get the game it rightfully deserves; especially if said game is based on Guillermo Del Toro’s creative vision of the comic book franchise.