The video game market remains one of the most lucrative industries in the world. SuperData Research notes that gamers worldwide paid £67.6 billion for their games in 2016. Among the most popular games were the usual franchises of Grand Theft Auto (GTA), as well as MMOs like World of Warcraft and League of Legends.
In the UK alone, Ukie revealed that the country’s game industry was valued at £4.33 billion in 2016, an increase of 1.2% from the 2015 figures. To break down the figures further in the UK’s gaming industry software sales came in at around £3.1 billion, while hardware sales (console, PC parts, accessories, and VR hardware) made up £1.13 billion of the total sales.
One thing Ukie’s research didn’t mention anything about was which genre sold the most in the UK. However, within gaming circles, it’s a well-known fact that the action genre is an extremely popular and is growing in sales year-on-year.
Superhero games, in particular, have been making waves not only on consoles but the PC as well. DC’s Injustice 2 seems to be really popular with British gamers, with Comicbook reporting that the game topped the list of the most sought-after games in the UK in May 2017. It was revealed as the highest-grossing console game in the second quarter of 2017, selling about 1.5 million copies within the first three months of its release.
However, Injustice 2‘s popularity doesn’t stem from the fact that Warner Brothers and DC have released a slew of Superhero movies on the big screen. Both Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad were seen as failures despite generating a decent box office. The latest film from the studio, Justice League is currently underperforming. While the films failed to live up to the hype, superhero games continue to be popular. One of the reasons for this is due to the fan base accumulated over the years, both within the gaming and comic book community.
It is because of the ongoing popularity of superhero games that more titles are now being released on different platforms. In the online mobile gaming industry, the superhero genre is also making a mark through appealing to a wide range of gamers. For example, Comics Alliance in their review of Marvel Avengers Academy stated that it isn’t just a game for the die-hard fan as its easy-to-understand mechanics can also be enjoyed by casual players.
The easy-to-integrate nature of superhero games has also paved the way for developers to create games for the more mature demographic. Slingo hosts a number of popular superhero games among its roster including Hellboy and Thunderstruck, both of which appeal to film and comic fans. A Hellboy remake will be coming out soon with director Neil Marshall at its helm. Thunderstruck, on the other hand, was created due to the ongoing popularity of Thor, and the recent release of Chris Hemsworth’s Thor: Ragnarok. Superhero games are extremely popular right now because developers are making them as titles that can be enjoyed by all on multiple platforms.
In recognition of the genre’s popularity here are 5 games for superhero fans to look out for in 2018:
The Avengers Project (TBA 2018)
The Avengers Project is a title being jointly developed by Marvel and Square Enix. It will be an online third-person action adventure that will feature a social and shared game dynamics.
Very few details were announced about the game but below is an official trailer for it.
Spider-Man (TBA 2018)
Spider-Man is an upcoming action-adventure title. It is currently being developed by Insomniac Games and will be published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PS4.
Spider-Man is in an open-world environment and played from a third-person perspective. Players will be able to fully utilize the titular character’s famous abilities in this game including web-slinging, wall-crawling, and Parkour.
Dragon Ball FighterZ (January 26, 2018)
The Dragon Ball franchise isn’t exactly classified as a superhero genre but given the Saiyans’ powers, it might as well be. If flying, ultra speed, and the ability to shoot energy balls from the hand aren’t superpowers, then Marvel and DC heroes should also hang up their capes
Dragon Ball Fighterz is an upcoming 3v3 team fighter from Arc System Works. Using the beautiful art style of the makers of Guilty Gear Xrd, Dragon Ball FighterZ’s 3D models look like they jumped straight out of anime.
Below is a trailer showing the game’s fighting mechanics.
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (January 2018)
Japan may not have a lot of mainstream superheroes compared to the U.S. but they do have some that feature superhero-like characters. In JRPG games, inhumane characters are plenty, and Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom proves just that. In this game, players control a young king who can wield powerful magic and summon elemental creatures in order to fight his enemies.
Check out the trailer below for this classically inspired Japanese RPG that uses cell-shaded artwork.
Crackdown 3 (Early 2018)
Crackdown 2 features a super cop in an open-world city that uses his powers to fight crime. The game will feature a story campaign, as well as an online co-op of up to 4 players. One element of the game that is a clear link to the superhero genre is the level of destruction. Players will be able to leap between buildings, all while shooting each other using high-tech bazookas.
See Crackdown 3’s trailer below (age restricted content).