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Suicide Squad Might Be Delayed… But It’s Not Enough

When Suicide Squad was shown at the Sony direct, it received mixed reaction. I filed it under “play in a sub service” and didn’t think about it again. Apparently that wasn’t enough for some people.


According to Bloomberg, the game has ended up being delayed. This follows backlash from fans. Despite that, it will still likely hit this year. So don’t expect it to suddenly become Arkham City 2.

I wrote the other day about how sometimes it seems developers just miss their perfect release window. Suicide Squad would have been the biggest thing ever just after any of the movies, or if it was sooner after Arkham City. That’s largely regardless of quality. But instead it’ll release at an odd time for DC.

But let’s not remove the discussion of quality from it entirely. Avengers fell into this exact trap, and Marvel is still the biggest thing on the planet. If your game just isn’t what people want to buy, they won’t buy it. So who makes these decisions?

Because I’m pretty sure you could make a post on Reddit or Resetera “leaking” your idea for a always-online character based action game and be told in seconds why it’s not worth putting tens of millions of pounds into.

We should hasten to add: video game fans suck. Same as film fans, if you gave them ultimate control of anything they love it would end up a bit like The Homer. But if you want to know if there’s a market for something, then seeing if there’s any interest within the existing market is probably the way to go. And actually, you don’t even need to ask. Because between the choice of Batman or no Batman, there’s really only one sensible answer.

Suicide Squad Delayed

Suicide Squad might be a fantastic game. As I say, I wasn’t as hit with rage as some people seem to be. It looked a bit underwhelming, and that’s about my only thought on the matter since.

But the things that aren’t clicking with audiences are baked well into its DNA. The always-online requirements, the need to play with friends or bots. Even the gameplay won’t see significant overhauls. The reputation from the last few weeks is going to remain because the game is what it is. And that’s on years of creative decisions that led us to this point.

Here is, really, the only option. You can release the game, get decent reviews (because no doubt it’ll look pretty enough regardless), sell a semi-respectable number of copies over the next few years and hope for the best. Delays will take it out of the same release window as the new Legend of Zelda game and it can release at a quieter time when gamers will be desperate for something to buy. Like Avengers, there will be a few people who evangelise for it, and the rest of us will forget it exists, and then Rocksteady can move onto their next project.

Or it ends up really good, and the marketing is just trying to hit whatever seemingly popular tickboxes exist at the moment. Maybe it’s a “don’t you have phones?” moment. If the game is good, people will play it.

One final interesting thought is how superhero games are struggling to hit a market, which is a little surprising. Spider-Man does well, and hopefully will continue to do well when the sequel releases, but that’s a Sony game and plays by different rules (plus it’s not terrible). Is fatigue in the genre finally setting in and, if it is, will we see Spidey impacted?


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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott