Just Cause Developer Cancelled An Arkham-Inspired Iron Man Game
Cue AC/DC's "Back In Black," as we're going back to the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man. Comic book characters don't come much bigger than Tony Stark/Iron Man, and since his introduction in 1963's Tales of Suspense #39, his expanded canon has seen him appear in plenty of movies and video games.
Although the boom in superhero hero movies can actually be traced to 20th Century Fox's X-Men in 2008, it was Jon Favreau's Iron Man that kickstarted the MCU as the world's highest-grossing franchise. With it has come a plethora of superhero video games, however, it turned out we nearly had one more.
What Was The Cancelled Iron Man Game?
More than just appearing in the Marvel vs. Capcom games and Crystal Dynamics' disappointing Marvel's Avengers, Iron Man has held up his own titles for a trilogy of games based on the Iron Man trilogy. None of them were particularly good, and don't get us started on 2020's Iron Man VR. Things could've been completely different if Avalanche Studios had its way.
Speaking to MinnMax, Avalanche co-founder Christofer Sundberg explained that around 2010, Disney and Marvel approached the studio about crafting an Iron Man game. Given that Avalanche is known for the open-world and bombastic Just Cause, you can only imagine what the cancelled title would've been like.
Iron Man's repulsor gloves would've let you blast enemies through walls, while there was a typically Just Cause open-world element where you could "take off and just fly anywhere." The most interesting idea is that the melee would've been based on Rocksteady's Arkham games. When work started on Iron Man, we only had Arkham Asylum, but still, Rocksteady was already making waves in the superhero game genre.
What Happened To Avalanche's Iron Man Game?
Sundberg eventually left Avalanche to form his own studio in 2020, but according to him, the Iron Man game kicked the bucket in 2012 because of how quickly Disney wanted it to be made. He added, "We would have had to hire 70-80 people to the team that I would have had a responsibility to find a new project for." He concludes that making Iron Man would've "broken" Avalanche.
Sundberg admits it was tough to see two years of hard work go "down the toilet," but ultimately, it sounds like it was for the best. These days, we're in a renaissance of Marvel games. Although Marvel's Avengers isn't the best example, Insomniac's Spider-Man has set an Arkham-esque benchmark. There are already talks about Insomniac ruling a Marvel Gaming universe now that it's added Wolverine to its roster, while we also have Amy Hennig's mysterious Marvel game. As for Iron Man, could we see Tony suit up again on his own?