Marvel Was Working On An Iron Man Open World Game

It turns out that an open-world Iron Man game was once in development and now we know who to blame for the cancelation.

By Jason Collins | Published

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Ever since the 2008’s Iron Man made a boom on the cinematic scene and introduced a series of movies that all tied into the fantastic 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, Marvel’s properties have seen a resurgence in the world of gaming. Despite Marvel’s Avengers having a bad start, other properties, like Marvel’s Spider-Man, signal the expansion of the company’s presence in the gaming sphere. Still, for every game that gets published, one gets canceled.

Recent rumors suggest that a single-player Iron Man game is currently in early development stages at EA. However, according to IGN, Avalanche Studios — responsible for the Just Cause gaming series — was apparently working on an Iron Man game for several years before Disney bought Marvel and pulled the plug on the project. By all accounts, the title was supposed to be an open-world game in which you could take off and fly anywhere and even punch enemies through walls using Iron Man’s repulsor gloves.

Before we dive into why exactly we never saw the Avalanche Studio’s Iron Man game, let’s discuss what type of game we could expect. From what we’ve seen in Just Cause, a gaming amalgamation of action, explosives, and chaos set in an open-world environment, it’s pretty safe to assume that we could expect the same from the canceled game if it ever saw the light of day. Instead, we got Marvel’s Avengers, which features an entire roster of Marvel’s characters without an open-world setting. Still a disappointment, despite the game featuring massive maps.

Besides Marvel’s Avengers, which features Iron Man, the gaming community got two very poorly designed and executed Iron Man and Iron Man 2 gaming adaptations which were nothing else but entirely forgettable. So why was the game canceled? Well, apparently, Disney’s the culprit since the company wanted Avalanche to staff up significantly mid-development to shorten the development time for the project, which would have had very adverse effects on the studio’s employees.

Disney effectively shortened Avalanche’s development time for the Iron Man game but increased their funding, directing the studio leaders to hire additional 70-80 people, which would imply massive reassignments among the existing development teams. But that wasn’t the biggest issue. Disney shortened the development period so much that Avalanche couldn’t meet the deadlines even with the aforementioned 80 additional employees.

Of course, Avalanche refused to comply with Disney’s demands due to limiting factors that the proposed development time would impose, so the cancellation was actually the best possible approach. Considering the vast number of established AAA titles and IPs that have gone downhill in the last couple of years, it’s safe to assume that the gaming community wouldn’t receive a half-baked Iron Man game very well. Releasing such a game would put the developer in the gamers’ crosshairs, which is the closest to an unredeemable position one could ever get in.

Marvel’s games are in a very different place right now, and not thanks to Disney — a company known for its mishaps in the gaming industry. Marvel’s Spider-Man is, for better or worse (it’s for the better), the property of a company that has been in the gaming business for the better part of the last three decades — Sony. Under Sony’s publishing, Insomniac managed to make incredibly successful Spider-Man titles, which reportedly also had a multiplayer in development.