DC Is Light Years Behind Marvel In Gaming And Batman Is Partly To Blame For That

Unlike Marvel, DC hasn’t diversified its gaming portfolio and relied too heavily on the caped crusader.

Story Highlights

  • Marvel has left DC behind in the gaming industry and the latter’s over-reliance on Batman is to blame.
  • While Marvel has been diversifying its portfolio, DC has stuck to only Batman titles.
  • Starting with Monolith’s Wonder Woman, WB needs to expand the DC gaming business.

At the forefront of the superhero revolution are two names that are embedded in pop culture around the world: Marvel and DC. The two companies have been arch nemesis for almost a century now and have gone head-to-head with each other in every sphere of entertainment with Marvel being comfortably ahead, especially in gaming.

Marvel has been coming out with high-quality AAA titles like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy in addition to other great games like Marvel Snap and Midnight Suns, expanding its portfolio. On the other hand, even though DC has released some brilliant titles over the years, their recent track record has been anything but good.

While Marvel has been building its portfolio, DC has been pumping out average titles based on Batman or the Arkham Universe. And, in my opinion, that is a big reason why it’s light-years behind its competitor now.

DC’s Focus On Batman Has Stagnated Their Gaming Division

Arguably the most successful comic book franchise in the gaming world is the Batman Arkham Universe developed by Rocksteady. Ever since the first title (Batman: Arkham Asylum) came out in 2009, the series has been a favorite of critics and fans alike because of its combat and narrative.

Furthermore, the series has also been a massive commercial success, selling over 30 million copies around the globe with Arkham City shipping a whopping 12.5 million units alone. Hence, Batman and the Arkham Universe have brought a lot of success to DC’s gaming division, and this prosperity has indirectly put the comic giant behind Marvel.


Following the popularity of the Arkham games, DC and Warner Bros. have only released AAA titles linked to Batman instead of expanding to other superheroes. WB. Games Montreal released Gotham Knights in 2022, which was the first AAA DC game since 2015’s Batman: Arkham Knight excluding Injustice 2. Even though it wasn’t linked to the Arkham verse, the game followed characters from Batman’s mythos in a universe where he no longer exists.

This experiment didn’t go as planned and Gotham Knights was panned by critics and fans alike for being an inferior version of the Arkham games. With its next game, DC moved to a different IP, the Suicide Squad. However, Rocksteady and Warner Bros. decided to set the game in the Arkham-verse and link it to the developer’s previous games for no reason whatsoever.

Batman: Arkham City
Batman: Arkham City is the most successful DC Game| Source: YouTube

This move not only angered fans of the Batman: Arkham franchise, but also creatively restricted Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League to an already existing universe that many believed got the perfect ending a decade ago. In addition, the action title was Kevin Conroy’s last outing as Batman following his death in November 2022, and (spoiler alert) his character getting killed resulted in a lot of negative PR for the game.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was a massive failure| Source: Insider

Hence, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice fell victim to the Arkham verse and its beloved Batman tale in addition to the live-service direction. The common denominator in these two major failures is DC’s insistence on releasing Batman-related content and not amplifying other popular superheroes like Superman, Green Lantern, or the Teen Titans.

For sure, Marvel has also had some bad games over the years, for example, the live service Avengers game from Square Enix. But, unlike DC, they have released a lot more titles focusing on different characters and encompassing various genres, expanding their resume in the gaming industry.

Even though Marvel’s Midnight Suns didn’t break the charts, it got a positive reception from the community. Similarly, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews and was a viable success commercially despite Square Enix saying it didn’t meet sales expectations. Hence, Marvel has been focusing on several of its IPs in addition to major players like Spider-Man which has put it ahead of DC in the race.

Takeaway: DC Needs To Do More In The Future

Marvel’s slate is packed with exciting AAA games for the near future. These include the Black Panther game from EA, 1943: Rise of Hydra from Skydance, EA’s Iron Man title, a Blade game developed by Bethesda, and new additions in the Insomniac Spider-man universe in the form of Venom and Spider-Man 3. Hence the company has its near future planned out, and it looks very exciting.

Marvel 1943: Rise of Hydra
Marvel 1943: Rise of Hydra Is Another Exciting Marvel Project | Source: Skydance

DC has also been making some moves recently with a Wonder Woman adventure game in development at Monolith. But besides that and Wolf Among Us 2, no major titles based on DC have been announced. If DC wants to compete with its rival in the gaming hemisphere, it needs to do much more as Marvel has over half a dozen highly anticipated games in the pipeline while DC just has Wonder Woman.

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Ahmed Mansoor is a News Writer who has a deep passion for single-player adventure games. He loves to keep tabs on the gaming and technology industries and loves to break stories that interest his audience. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and several years of experience writing for games. Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelor's in Journalism || Written 600+ News Stories.

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