Top 7 Cancelled Comic Games That Need Another Chance

2. Spider-Man Classic

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For a Spider-Man fanatic like myself, this is the most painful cancellation of all. Shaba Games was the Activision-owned developer that mainly ported Tony Hawk games to older consoles. Spider-Man: Web of Shadows was the team’s first-ever attempt at an original title on current hardware, and to me it’s still the best Spidey game ever made. The team’s next project would be Spider-Man Classic, but Activision closed the studio before it really got off the ground.

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Spider-Man Classic would carefully recreate some of Peter Parker’s greatest comic book battles (against the likes of Carnage and Mysterio), and Spidey would also team up with heroes like Wolverine. The episodic take on boss encounters and storytelling would be picked up in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, a fine game but one that couldn’t match Shaba’s free-flowing Spider-combat. Unlike most entries on this list, all we have are concept art and character models to see what the title would’ve been like, but the quality of these images and the pedegree of its predecessor are enough to make the loss of this Spider-celebration plenty heartbreaking.

1. Marvel’s Avengers (by THQ)

Sega produced a number of games tied to Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first phase, from the horrendous Thor and Iron Man games to the tolerable Captain America. However, Sega didn’t have the rights to the long-awaited payoff of The Avengers game tie-in, as THQ must have paid big bucks to get to make the mega-crossover. And yet, when the film made a billion-plus dollars at the box office, no game was to be seen. How did THQ drop the ball so badly, especially when they had a game in production?

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Planned as a side Avengers game featuring Marvel Comics’ heroes battling off a Skrull Invasion, Brian Michael Bendis himself worked on the story and THQ Australia had an ambitious plan to make it a first-person action game. After years of work and planning, THQ was in a bad way and needed more time/money from Marvel to get the game to completion, which Marvel turned down. It was another nail in THQ’s coffin, and while I doubt the game would’ve won any GOTY awards, it looks IMMEASURABLY better than Ubisoft’s similar release of 2012, Battle For Earth. How does shit like that get to market but not THQ’s game?

14 thoughts on “Top 7 Cancelled Comic Games That Need Another Chance

  1. Great article, but I think the first hurdle is getting Disney to actually make video games with their product. So far the Marvel license is only being used on a Free to Play MMO of sorts and Free to Play iPhone “games”. Hopefully, if Star Wars Battlefront 3 and the other mystery planned Star Wars game, are successful Disney will start seeking out ways to give Spidey his Arkham Asylum style return.

    1. That will never happen. Disney has proved that they’re entirely comfortable being completely irrelevant outside of their current wheelhouse. One day, when Disney finally merges with Warner Bros., we’ll begin seeing actual games come out, but not a second before the inevitable one company future comes to pass.

      1. I dont understand why Disney is fine with being irrelevant vidja game wise, (from the outside, at least) it looks like a high reward/no risk opportunity to just farm out (probably not the right term) their marvel franchises to third parties. Even at the worst, a bad ‘Avengers’ game would have still made millions. And its not like it would hold back the movie (or franchise) in any way, did the bad iron man games hold back the movies? (And again, at best we get good games, disney makes even more millions, and good press is had by all)

    2. Disney just doesn’t publish full console games anymore barring Infinity, and Marvel won’t let anyone else handle it after they were burned so badly by SEGA’s mishandling of their tie-in games. And now Activision’s licenses have expired we won’t be seeing any Marvel games for a long while.

      And if Disney merge with Warners then they’ll dissolve the games publishing arm, with the possible exception of the Batman and LEGO games. Disney just aren’t interested.

    3. I read awhile ago that Marvel was looking to start up it’s own game development like what it did with MCU. I’m still hopefully they will put the same attention into making games that they have into their movies. I really enjoyed the first Iron Man game. The second one was just unforgiveable.

  2. I remember seeing that Gotham by Gaslight demo quite a while ago and it’s incredible how good that cape still looks all these years later.

    Who knows? Maybe we will still get it one day. I’ve heard Rocksteady has been wanting to do something else for a while now so anything is possible.

    1. I highly doubt “something else” equates to “another Batman game”!

      At best it’ll be a Justice League game, or something original that’ll get them shut down after it sells 10 copies less than Arkham Knight.

  3. Man, those cape physics in the Gotham by Gaslight look good but just in the short clip I could see why they wouldn’t work in 3rd person game. Batman would look like an undulating mess 90% of the time.

    Put those physics to work in a “The Blob” game, think Katamari Damacy but with more seeing people actively digested.

  4. Excellent article Henry, I love reading about cancelled games.

    One minor correction (hey, you know that’s what I’m best at): there are actually TWO Gotham By Gaslight comics. The second is called ‘Master of the Future’ and has him go up against a mad Jules Verne-like inventor in an airship.

  5. Great article Henry. To anyone that has that Marvel itch that needs scratching, play Marvel Heroes 2015. The game is free to play, it’s fun, it plays just like Diablo 3 and the game was made by David Brevik, the creator of the original Diablo and Diablo 2. I am baffled that there has been no stream of the game by Laser Time, knowing what big Marvel nerds they are. The story mode is not bad at all, playing through Hell’s Kitchen, the savage land and Asgard!! Seriously running on the rainbow bridge for the first time was so cool. The game has almost 50 playable heroes!! One thing I like from the game is the banter between heroes when they run into each other, it’s spot on.

    1. The main reason is that Marvel Heroes was utterly awful when it came out. I have heard that it’s got a lot better recently.

      1. Yup, when Marvel Heroes first launched it es garbage. I played for about an hour then I uninstalled. That’s how much I hated the game but since it relaunched last year the has improved so much. Also, for the keyboard hating controller loving people, the game is getting controller support this fall.

  6. A Marvel’s Avengers could have been a fun play through, but I’m not a fan of the first person view. I agree with you on the Batman By Gaslight point; It probably couldn’t exist as anything other then a DLC add-on. With so many games copying the Rocksteady fighting formula, Daredevil could easily exist as a solid gameplay experience, but I doubt it would get the budget needed to make it great. It probably wouldn’t make it’s money back either…

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