Suicide Squad hits theaters this weekend. Despite the negative critical reviews, the movie is poised to take the box office by storm. Everywhere you turn, Warner has the hype machine in overdrive with a slew of promotions and advertising letting you know this is THE summer movie you can’t miss. Everywhere, that is, except one key area. As pointed out in a recent Forbes article, there is no AAA Suicide Squad video game tie-in to accompany the movie.
The wane of licensed video games tied to movies is nothing new. Most publishers realized years ago that a cheap game cash-in on the hype surrounding a blockbuster movie release just wasn’t paying off like it used to, at least not in the home console game market. Nowadays, consumers are just as likely to see an inexpensive or free-to-play mobile game come out around the launch of a movie.
Suicide Squad Mobile Games
In fact, that’s exactly what happened with Suicide Squad. Characters from the movie were just added to the free mobile version of Injustice: Gods Among Us. New versions of Harley Quinn and the Joker, as well as the brand new character, Deadshot, join the roster of the free-to-play superhero fighting game.
If fighting games aren’t your thing, there’s also a mobile first-person shooter featuring Task Force X members Harley, Diablo, and Deadshot called Suicide Squad: Special Ops that was released last month.
However, a full-on AAA Suicide Squad video game seemed like a no-brainer. The tone of the comics is about as video gamey as you can get. The Suicide Squad is comprised of a variety of characters with unique, fun powers. And Warner has several years of producing Batman Arkham games under their belt. The assets, engine, and know-how are all there.
Suicide Squad in the Batman Arkham Series
In fact, some of the Suicide Squad members have already made appearances in the Batman Arkham games. Amanda Waller, Rick Flag, Deadshot, and Bronze Tiger play a major role in Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, which takes place three and a half months after the events of Batman: Arkham Origins. Waller commissions Catwoman to break Bane out of Blackgate Penitentiary in an attempt to recruit him to the Suicide Squad. Batman manages to foil their plans, but not before Rick Flag manages to extract Deadshot and Bronze Tiger.
There is also an animated movie based in the Arkham universe called Batman: Assault on Arkham that pits the Dark Knight against the Suicide Squad while he simultaneously tries to find a bomb planted by the Joker. It’s a fine film, but why wasn’t this put into a game instead?
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
The Suicide Squad also made an unlikely appearance in one of the kid-friendly LEGO games. A downloadable content pack for LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham features New 52 versions of the characters. Due to the younger target audience for that game, they simply went by “The Squad.” In the mission, Waller tasks the Squad with taking down Killer Moth, who infiltrated Suicide Squad’s base of operations, Belle Reve, in an attempt to expose the Squad.
Their Own Suicide Squad Video Game
At one point it did seem like a full Suicide Squad game was in the works. Current President of DC Entertainment Geoff Johns stated back in 2010 that a Suicide Squad video game was in development and that it would be “hardcore violent.” He later told Kotaku in 2012 that a game was coming and went on to state, “I’m really super excited about it. Because of the concept, you have a game where any of the lead characters can conceivably die and it’s not a stunt. Some really cool story could come out of that.”
While that game apparently never got off the ground in the four years since Johns’ commented on it, the time is right for Suicide Squad to get their own video game. Interest in the group of misfit anti-heroes has never been higher. Batman had his chance with the Arkham games. Now it’s time to give the bad guys a chance to show you how good they can be.