In a little under a year, Warner Bros and DC Comics will be releasing Wonder Woman 1984, a follow-up to 2017’s Wonder Woman. The first film, which was released right in the middle of a massive snafu with DC Comics-based movies, ended up being the only one of the “DC Comics Extended Universe” that was nearly universally praised by fans and critics. It was a big win not only for superhero flicks, but woman-led and directed blockbuster genre film. But despite all that success, one thing that stood out to me (besides Wonder Woman’s dope orchestral theme) is that we haven’t seen a big video game featuring this character, movie tie-in or otherwise. So I’m finding myself wondering, where the heck is the Wonder Woman video game? The answer probably lies in mobile games.
Simply put, the old days of licensed games are over. Unlike in the PlayStation 2 days, when it would be common to see various solo superhero games like Ghost Rider, The Punisher, and even Catwoman, those games are far too risky to make now. If a superhero game comes out, it has to be big, on the scale of Marvel’s Spider-Man or Batman: Arkham Knight. Which means there are less risks taken, and games take much longer to develop. If there isn’t already an established franchise or huge developer behind the game, then it may as well be a lost cause. To that end, Warner Bros. having the DC Comics license under wraps likely means most of its console-tier games are going to be adjacent to the Arkham series.
As has been rumored for a long time, there may be a Justice League game of some sort in the works over at Warner Bros or another Batman-led game that incorporates other superheroes from the Justice League. DC Comics’ transmedia branding is kind of a mess right now, thanks to most of the films being unsuccessful (critically), so that could be why Wonder Woman hasn’t seen any solo video game love. It also seems like the first film was a bit of a surprise success, as many folks in control of the purse strings still seem unable to commit to leading ladies. But that’s all conjecture based on various rumors and trends I’ve noticed, when it comes to why there isn’t a Wonder Woman game. Another possible explanation that’s a little more grounded is how licensed gaming is more tied to mobile platforms now.
If you’re into Wonder Woman and want to see her in a video game, you can either play a LEGO Batman game, give the Injustice series a whirl, or play one of multiple service-oriented mobile games out there. For example, there’s DC Legends, which appears to me the tip of the spear for this sort of thing. Much like several other big mobile games based on IP, DC Legends is a turn-based RPG featuring gacha character and resource pulling ala loot boxes. Much of IP-licensed gaming takes this route, to varying degrees of success.
Here, and in other places such as the mobile version of Injustice, is where you’re going to see the Hollywood version of Wonder Woman represented in video game form. Games like these are more risk-averse, so you can have all your different characters of various popularity mixed together, with less financial risk and chances of serious returns.
In a perfect world, Warner Bros. will be announcing a video game tie-in to Wonder Woman 1984, using all kinds of fun 80s aesthetic visuals, and of course this hypothetical title is for consoles. But in reality, whatever is cooking over there includes several superheroes (and especially Batman), and any major Wonder Woman content will be relegated to mobile games and other crossover projects. That said, there could be any number of cool things in the works, and it’s never too late for a Wonder Woman game regardless of any movies coming out. In the meantime, there’s always Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.