What's with the overall lack of superhero games?

24

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  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingMember RarePosts: 4,033
    edited October 12
    JakeSim said:
    Alright, take this perspective. You're saying there's 2-7 games rn. Now, look at the typical fantasy genre in itself or even space/scifi. there's an abundance. Or, we can just take the standard survival genre that is peaking right now. They are all well beyond 2-7 games in total.

    The genre is lacking. 2-7 is extremely limited in comparison to all the other genres out there. ;) It is lacking.
    That is true, but I also added "a fairly niche subgenre" and for that it's not a bad number.
    Superheroes never was the mainstream, even in the peak of Silver Age superhero comics were a minority if you look the published comics as a whole. And the wast majority of their share is split between DC and Marvel - both have their own game already. True, Marvel's is just a crappy diablo clone instead of a real MMO, but they've backed out of that project 10 years ago sadly.

    Then there's CO, with the Champions IP - a great pick after Marvel left, the best, most customizable superhero Rpg system, a really good base for an MMO.

    And, pretty much that's it. No big(ger) IPs left.
    You can build a game with writing your own (that's what the games in planning do) - good luck with that, raising enough awareness in the "noise" of the heavily saturated market.
    You can pick an "indie" one, there are really good ones, but that's still just a small advantage compared to the previous route (just ask Moore or Millar/Romita how long lasted the elevated interest after the movies... and you barely can find better ad for your IP than the big screen. Or the smaller screen, ask Bendis how much more people knows his -btw. awesome- Powers, now that it had a show with two seasons...)

    What I try to say is, 3-5 games at once is probably the maximum we will see on the market. And mostly just indies will arrive (and leave) the market, I don't see any bigger studios suddenly realise, that their calling is to make a superhero MMO :smiley:
    Post edited by Po_gg on
  • Loke666Loke666 KalmarMember EpicPosts: 20,811
    JakeSim said:
    Po_gg said:
    I'm puzzled... there's 2 (3 if you count diablo clones as MMO :wink: ), and 4 (or 5) in the planning.
    For a fairly niche subgenre I wouldn't call that "lacking".
    Alright, take this perspective. You're saying there's 2-7 games rn. Now, look at the typical fantasy genre in itself or even space/scifi. there's an abundance. Or, we can just take the standard survival genre that is peaking right now. They are all well beyond 2-7 games in total.

    The genre is lacking. 2-7 is extremely limited in comparison to all the other genres out there. ;) It is lacking.
    Space/Sci-fi is a way broader definition, that is why there is more there. Almost all MMOs are high fantasy for some silly reason, everything else is lacking, not just super hero games.
  • KyleranKyleran Paradise City, FLMember LegendaryPosts: 26,290
    edited October 12
    Loke666 said:
    JakeSim said:
    Po_gg said:
    I'm puzzled... there's 2 (3 if you count diablo clones as MMO :wink: ), and 4 (or 5) in the planning.
    For a fairly niche subgenre I wouldn't call that "lacking".
    Alright, take this perspective. You're saying there's 2-7 games rn. Now, look at the typical fantasy genre in itself or even space/scifi. there's an abundance. Or, we can just take the standard survival genre that is peaking right now. They are all well beyond 2-7 games in total.

    The genre is lacking. 2-7 is extremely limited in comparison to all the other genres out there. ;) It is lacking.
    Space/Sci-fi is a way broader definition, that is why there is more there. Almost all MMOs are high fantasy for some silly reason, everything else is lacking, not just super hero games.
    I think the issue is even more basic.   Super Hero games are basically "stuck" in the present day age and  with very few exceptions has proven to be the least favorite setting for MMORPGS at least.

    Role playing Clark Kent and Tony Stark has less appeal than Gruknak the Orc Destroyer. 

    Well, at least for me anyway.

    (Although an economic driven MMO called "Zillionaires" would draw my interest) 
    Post edited by Kyleran on
    dave6660

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  • Flyte27Flyte27 Greenwich, CTMember RarePosts: 4,056
    I generally prefer to watch super heroes rather than roleplay them.  The villains are actually more fun in most cases, but if I had to choose it would be spider man.  I don`t see a world filled with super heroes as much fun.  That is also why I prefer to start as an average joe in rags killing rats to survive as appealing.
  • AAAMEOWAAAMEOW New York, NYMember UncommonPosts: 442
    If there is only 2-7 games in that genre and you still can't' fill those games with decent amount of players, chance are no company will put the money to invest in it.


    Pretty much sum up the mmorpg genre.  
  • AmatheAmathe Miami, FLMember RarePosts: 2,914
    I believe the Comic Book Gaming Gods are punishing us for the cancellation of City of Heroes.
    Blaze_Rocker

    EQ1, EQ2, SWG, SWTOR, GW, GW2 CoH, CoV, FFXI, WoW, CO, War,TSW and a slew of free trials and beta tests

  • Blaze_RockerBlaze_Rocker KentuckyMember UncommonPosts: 227
    edited October 13
    There's four games in-the-works right now. We'll just have to wait 12-18 months for at least one to hit mid to late beta. Most of the rest should follow soon after that.
    Post edited by Blaze_Rocker on

    If you can program for the Hero engine, and can spare some of your time on a regular basis, come on over to Heroes and Villains and help us build the next great spiritual successor to City of Heroes. Come help us recreate that old magic and get former players back in the game.

    http://www.heroes-and-villains.com/phpb/index.php

  • EldurianEldurian Member EpicPosts: 1,782
    While Super hero movies have really been trying to make themselves more relevant older consumers and retain their aging fans, I still think your primary audience who really gets obsessed with superheroes is younger on the whole, while the primary audience interested in MMOs is getting older and and older.

    I think there are a lot of us that feel "You can count me out of any game that has me flying around in spandex punching things."
  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Nashville, TNMember EpicPosts: 2,448
    Kyleran said:
    Loke666 said:
    JakeSim said:
    Po_gg said:
    I'm puzzled... there's 2 (3 if you count diablo clones as MMO :wink: ), and 4 (or 5) in the planning.
    For a fairly niche subgenre I wouldn't call that "lacking".
    Alright, take this perspective. You're saying there's 2-7 games rn. Now, look at the typical fantasy genre in itself or even space/scifi. there's an abundance. Or, we can just take the standard survival genre that is peaking right now. They are all well beyond 2-7 games in total.

    The genre is lacking. 2-7 is extremely limited in comparison to all the other genres out there. ;) It is lacking.
    Space/Sci-fi is a way broader definition, that is why there is more there. Almost all MMOs are high fantasy for some silly reason, everything else is lacking, not just super hero games.
    I think the issue is even more basic.   Super Hero games are basically "stuck" in the present day age and  with very few exceptions has proven to be the least favorite setting for MMORPGS at least.

    Role playing Clark Kent and Tony Stark has less appeal than Gruknak the Orc Destroyer. 

    Well, at least for me anyway.

    (Although an economic driven MMO called "Zillionaires" would draw my interest) 
    Strange how things work; I spent more time RPing in CoH than any other MMORPG I played. /shrug Role playing a hero, specifically a flawed one, seemed more natural than an Orc to me.
    JakeSim

    image
  • KyleranKyleran Paradise City, FLMember LegendaryPosts: 26,290
    Kyleran said:
    Loke666 said:
    JakeSim said:
    Po_gg said:
    I'm puzzled... there's 2 (3 if you count diablo clones as MMO :wink: ), and 4 (or 5) in the planning.
    For a fairly niche subgenre I wouldn't call that "lacking".
    Alright, take this perspective. You're saying there's 2-7 games rn. Now, look at the typical fantasy genre in itself or even space/scifi. there's an abundance. Or, we can just take the standard survival genre that is peaking right now. They are all well beyond 2-7 games in total.

    The genre is lacking. 2-7 is extremely limited in comparison to all the other genres out there. ;) It is lacking.
    Space/Sci-fi is a way broader definition, that is why there is more there. Almost all MMOs are high fantasy for some silly reason, everything else is lacking, not just super hero games.
    I think the issue is even more basic.   Super Hero games are basically "stuck" in the present day age and  with very few exceptions has proven to be the least favorite setting for MMORPGS at least.

    Role playing Clark Kent and Tony Stark has less appeal than Gruknak the Orc Destroyer. 

    Well, at least for me anyway.

    (Although an economic driven MMO called "Zillionaires" would draw my interest) 
    Strange how things work; I spent more time RPing in CoH than any other MMORPG I played. /shrug Role playing a hero, specifically a flawed one, seemed more natural than an Orc to me.
    Well I guess roleplaying a superhero or Tony Stark would be too much like my real life.

    B)
    MadFrenchieConstantineMerus

    On hiatus from EVE Online since Dec 2016 - Screw off-grid PVE boosting changes

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™
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  • Loke666Loke666 KalmarMember EpicPosts: 20,811
    Kyleran said:
    I think the issue is even more basic.   Super Hero games are basically "stuck" in the present day age and  with very few exceptions has proven to be the least favorite setting for MMORPGS at least.

    Role playing Clark Kent and Tony Stark has less appeal than Gruknak the Orc Destroyer. 

    Well, at least for me anyway.

    (Although an economic driven MMO called "Zillionaires" would draw my interest) 
    I dunno, if the story/background and the world is well done I could certainly go for something else then high fantasy. The market is full beyond belief of fantasy set MMOs and there are so many possibilities around.

    And you could easily make historical super hero games (Captain America Vs the Nazis to mention one or Zorro for that matter. Heck, even Robin Hood is kinda a super hero).
    As for Sci-fi you have Legion of Super heroes, Lobo (I would play that) & marvels titels (like Starjammers but I can't say I like them very much there, tend to get silly even as super heroes go   which say a lot).

    Personally I think there are even better settings then Superheroes (Shadowrun, Lovecraft, a Red Dead sandbox MMO, Musketeers and a few more) but I am for anything well made that is different.

    And I think ultimately the reason for the percentage of fantasy games comes down to Everquest and Wow. Publishers have a one track mind.
  • KnightFalzKnightFalz Member UncommonPosts: 209
    Comics have a comparatively niche appeal compared to fantasy, and are also fairly difficult to design in a balanced fashion while remaining true to the source material, as the genre has no issue with presenting characters of vastly different power, often working side-by-side. While this can easily work in a controlled, static story it is quite a challenge in the context of MMORPGs.

    Comics are also a fairly free-wheeling genre, that can combine elements of fantasy, science-fiction, and whole mishmash besides into a single setting. It is probably fairly difficult to design a setting that can maintain all these elements while still remaining decent, in comparison to a game that focuses on only a few of them.

    Sure, you could go with a licensed setting as some have, but they are in short supply and pretty much already spoken for, so this isn't all that viable for more reasons than just cost.

    However, there are several superhero games motivated by the demise of City of Heroes in the works, so at least until the dust settles there will be several options for those interested in that kind of play to consider. Ideally at least one of those will survive to expand on the few currently available.
  • KnightFalzKnightFalz Member UncommonPosts: 209
    Kyleran said:


    Role playing Clark Kent and Tony Stark has less appeal than Gruknak the Orc Destroyer. 

    Well, at least for me anyway.

    This is very much a personal preference, albeit a common one.

    I role-played much more in City of Heroes (on the Virtue server) than in any other MMORPG I've played, and saw much more out in the open as well.

    Detailed role-play bios were common on characters, with many linking to more detailed profiles on sites specifically designed as a place to showcase them. Walk-up impromptu role-play was fairly common as well.

    There was the occasional troublemaker that tried to disrupt things but much less so than I've seen in any other games, and there was a fair amount of cooperation in squelching them.

    So, although there may be more role-players in fantasy due to number of games and population of those such as WoW and FFXIV, the superhero genre can certainly attract a fair share.

    I can't speak for all groups of course, but I know the one I was in had several players past the 20s in age, some like myself far past. Perhaps that was partly due to a focus on the Golden Age of comics in the characters and philosophy of the group compared to the more abundant supergroups focusing on more contemporary characters and stories.
  • esc-joconnoresc-joconnor TokyoMember UncommonPosts: 478
    Loke666 said:
    I agree with you on the over conservative studios, but disagree on the difficulty in making hero combat entertaining. I think the cool moves most fantasy games have are a lot more like super powers than fantasy sword play. Sure magic could give the same effect, but that even applies to non-magic characters. I've just been playing GW2 as a revenant, and some of the powers are more like Nightcrawler with swords than a fantasy warriors.

    Despite the so-called heroes games in the works right now I don't see anything to look forward to in this genre either.

    I don't think the IP is the problem either. The most successful hero game so far has been CoH, with it's own IP. And most online games you don't get to be the main characters. 

    People with the dough in gaming are pretty much clueless money grabbers that can't believe their choice to make a low budget flop could possibly be the reason their brilliant game failed. Must be the type of game, the genre, or the timing.
    Most superheroes powers are limited and works to implement but Superman, Thor and a bunch of others wont really work. Also, powers that aren't that OP like superspeed is far to add well into a multiplayer game.

    So a superhero game with more limited powers can be done with limited new mechanics, but if you want the over the top heroes it is hard.

    If I had to choose a superhero IP with more limited powers I think I would set it in Gotham, the powerlevel is easier to set there and you have a great bunch of villains to use as well. It would also have way more star power then anything you make up as you go.

    X-Men, Avengers or Justice league would be very hard to turn into MMOs.
    For sure, Superman is one of the worst ideas in they could have come up with if you ask me. Why even bother? XD With how fast he can move and his super strength he should never even be more than minimally affected by crytonite XD 

    Feeling slightly strange . . . time to super fast fly and get my lead suit!

    As a former CoH player, it was my first serious MMORPG, I know a lot of people who would love to play a hero game but can't get into any of the current offerings. 

    Champions Online - hard to put a finger on, but it just seems cheap
    DC Online - too button mashy
    Marvel whatever - the isometric view and makes it more of a Diablo game, never got into em.

    Nothing in development has any potential that I can see. 
  • esc-joconnoresc-joconnor TokyoMember UncommonPosts: 478
    edited October 16
    dave6660 said:
    Tamanous said:
    When everyone is super ... nobody is.

    Going to the main issue with the genre forever.
    That issue exists across the entire mmorpg genre and not specific to super heroes.
    Yeah, one of my favorite quotes but i don't think it applies.
    I think giving players flying in games like Revelation Online get that effect. 
    When everyone can fly its just another way to get around.
    Post edited by esc-joconnor on
  • PhryPhry OxfordshireMember EpicPosts: 8,900
    JakeSim said:
    Personally, I do not fully agree with the "because Marvel and DC have their rights argument". You can still make a superhero game. A number have been done before and yes, they have their rights to certain things.

    Infamous
    Infamous 2
    Infamous Last Light
    Champions Online
    Crackdown
    Freedom Force
    Prototype (kind of)
    City of Heroes
    All the new superhero MMOs in development

    All I'm saying is that it's been done and it's possible. Yes, they're limited in a way due to powers and what not.

    Making a good superhero game is not easy, there are IP's that are at risk of being infringed because of the nature of superheroes, its hard to make one that isn't 'similar' to something that already exists, for MMO's this is particularly bad as its often possible to create your own superhero that is virtually identical to an existing hero that belongs to a particular IP, which if its a marvel superhero is risky as the company is particularly toxic at the moment as its undergoing a rather 'cancerous' phase that is hurting the company badly as anyone who has followed diversity and comics, or captain cummings on youtube will no doubt appreciate, that is just how bad things have got there so risking infringing on a marvel ip is best avoided. :/
  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingMember RarePosts: 4,033
    DC Online - too button mashy
    Marvel whatever - the isometric view and makes it more of a Diablo game, never got into em.
    I agree on both :wink:
    On CO and cheapness... just partly.

    True that it's more "regular" MMO than CoH was, in a lot of mechanics it's much closer to wow than to CoH.
    On the other hand it did some things way better than CoH, namely the character creation (both cosmetically and power-wise, FreeForm is simply amazing), travel powers, the gfx (though it's up to each's taste, I love cel-shade), the vehicles, the events... even a few pvp modes could get on the list (and I don't pvp, for the record).
  • Loke666Loke666 KalmarMember EpicPosts: 20,811
    Comics have a comparatively niche appeal compared to fantasy, and are also fairly difficult to design in a balanced fashion while remaining true to the source material, as the genre has no issue with presenting characters of vastly different power, often working side-by-side. While this can easily work in a controlled, static story it is quite a challenge in the context of MMORPGs.

    Comics are also a fairly free-wheeling genre, that can combine elements of fantasy, science-fiction, and whole mishmash besides into a single setting. It is probably fairly difficult to design a setting that can maintain all these elements while still remaining decent, in comparison to a game that focuses on only a few of them.

    Sure, you could go with a licensed setting as some have, but they are in short supply and pretty much already spoken for, so this isn't all that viable for more reasons than just cost.

    However, there are several superhero games motivated by the demise of City of Heroes in the works, so at least until the dust settles there will be several options for those interested in that kind of play to consider. Ideally at least one of those will survive to expand on the few currently available.
    I am rather sure that super hero movies have sold far better then fantasy movies the last 5 years so I disagree.

    With TV shows fantasy have GoT but besides it there are tons of super hero shows. Fantasy is rather thin (again, besides GoT), Shannara was acceptable.

    Fantasy do win the book competition easy while it loses the comics. BTW, anyone know that George R R Martin have written some superhero books? Just read the first myself and it was an anthology with other famous writters but GM made the world and put things together.

    As for superheroes have different powers, that is true and I have said it earlier myself but to be fair is there a rather huge powergap between fantasy heroes like Frodo & Sansa Stark and Gandalf & Conan so it exist in fantasy as well.
  • MargraveMargrave Member UncommonPosts: 932
    There's not more super hero titles, because the previous attempts in the genre with mmorpg games didn't make enough money to attract more developers.

    If you don't know the answer, it's always money.
  • Loke666Loke666 KalmarMember EpicPosts: 20,811
    Margrave said:
    There's not more super hero titles, because the previous attempts in the genre with mmorpg games didn't make enough money to attract more developers.

    If you don't know the answer, it's always money.
    There is also lazyness and stupidity that influences the genre...

    "We could try something different and fun but lets do something just like Wow instead, it is easier and Wow did well so our blatant copy will certainly get even more players". The devs believed that for about 10 years.

    Comparing a low budget title like CoH against a game like Wow or Lineage is stupid, if you compare the development cost and the experience by the team then CoH actually did very well.
  • ConstantineMerusConstantineMerus LondonMember RarePosts: 1,117
    Kyleran said:
    Kyleran said:
    Loke666 said:
    JakeSim said:
    Po_gg said:
    I'm puzzled... there's 2 (3 if you count diablo clones as MMO :wink: ), and 4 (or 5) in the planning.
    For a fairly niche subgenre I wouldn't call that "lacking".
    Alright, take this perspective. You're saying there's 2-7 games rn. Now, look at the typical fantasy genre in itself or even space/scifi. there's an abundance. Or, we can just take the standard survival genre that is peaking right now. They are all well beyond 2-7 games in total.

    The genre is lacking. 2-7 is extremely limited in comparison to all the other genres out there. ;) It is lacking.
    Space/Sci-fi is a way broader definition, that is why there is more there. Almost all MMOs are high fantasy for some silly reason, everything else is lacking, not just super hero games.
    I think the issue is even more basic.   Super Hero games are basically "stuck" in the present day age and  with very few exceptions has proven to be the least favorite setting for MMORPGS at least.

    Role playing Clark Kent and Tony Stark has less appeal than Gruknak the Orc Destroyer. 

    Well, at least for me anyway.

    (Although an economic driven MMO called "Zillionaires" would draw my interest) 
    Strange how things work; I spent more time RPing in CoH than any other MMORPG I played. /shrug Role playing a hero, specifically a flawed one, seemed more natural than an Orc to me.
    Well I guess roleplaying a superhero or Tony Stark would be too much like my real life.

    B)
    Why, do you roleplay them in real life too?
    MadFrenchie
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  • TheScavengerTheScavenger Matrix, NYMember RarePosts: 2,165
    Kyleran said:
    Kyleran said:
    Loke666 said:
    JakeSim said:
    Po_gg said:
    I'm puzzled... there's 2 (3 if you count diablo clones as MMO :wink: ), and 4 (or 5) in the planning.
    For a fairly niche subgenre I wouldn't call that "lacking".
    Alright, take this perspective. You're saying there's 2-7 games rn. Now, look at the typical fantasy genre in itself or even space/scifi. there's an abundance. Or, we can just take the standard survival genre that is peaking right now. They are all well beyond 2-7 games in total.

    The genre is lacking. 2-7 is extremely limited in comparison to all the other genres out there. ;) It is lacking.
    Space/Sci-fi is a way broader definition, that is why there is more there. Almost all MMOs are high fantasy for some silly reason, everything else is lacking, not just super hero games.
    I think the issue is even more basic.   Super Hero games are basically "stuck" in the present day age and  with very few exceptions has proven to be the least favorite setting for MMORPGS at least.

    Role playing Clark Kent and Tony Stark has less appeal than Gruknak the Orc Destroyer. 

    Well, at least for me anyway.

    (Although an economic driven MMO called "Zillionaires" would draw my interest) 
    Strange how things work; I spent more time RPing in CoH than any other MMORPG I played. /shrug Role playing a hero, specifically a flawed one, seemed more natural than an Orc to me.
    Well I guess roleplaying a superhero or Tony Stark would be too much like my real life.

    B)
    Why, do you roleplay them in real life too?
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  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Nashville, TNMember EpicPosts: 2,448
    The responses to my post are precisely the type of tongue-in-cheek remarks that keep me coming back to these here forums.


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  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAMember RarePosts: 27,280
    Tamanous said:
    When everyone is super ... nobody is.

    Going to the main issue with the genre forever.
    Only when everyone has to live in the "same world".

    You can easily play a GAME that you are the only superhero inside that game. Isn't that what games are about? Setting up some fake environment to entertain.
  • KnightFalzKnightFalz Member UncommonPosts: 209
    edited October 15
    Loke666 said:
    Comics have a comparatively niche appeal compared to fantasy, and are also fairly difficult to design in a balanced fashion while remaining true to the source material, as the genre has no issue with presenting characters of vastly different power, often working side-by-side. While this can easily work in a controlled, static story it is quite a challenge in the context of MMORPGs.

    Comics are also a fairly free-wheeling genre, that can combine elements of fantasy, science-fiction, and whole mishmash besides into a single setting. It is probably fairly difficult to design a setting that can maintain all these elements while still remaining decent, in comparison to a game that focuses on only a few of them.

    Sure, you could go with a licensed setting as some have, but they are in short supply and pretty much already spoken for, so this isn't all that viable for more reasons than just cost.

    However, there are several superhero games motivated by the demise of City of Heroes in the works, so at least until the dust settles there will be several options for those interested in that kind of play to consider. Ideally at least one of those will survive to expand on the few currently available.
    I am rather sure that super hero movies have sold far better then fantasy movies the last 5 years so I disagree.

    With TV shows fantasy have GoT but besides it there are tons of super hero shows. Fantasy is rather thin (again, besides GoT), Shannara was acceptable.

    Fantasy do win the book competition easy while it loses the comics. BTW, anyone know that George R R Martin have written some superhero books? Just read the first myself and it was an anthology with other famous writters but GM made the world and put things together.

    As for superheroes have different powers, that is true and I have said it earlier myself but to be fair is there a rather huge powergap between fantasy heroes like Frodo & Sansa Stark and Gandalf & Conan so it exist in fantasy as well.
    Because the current fad of superhero movie popularity is what drives the appeal of superhero MMORPGs? I suspect it is related more to the over 70 years of comics history that is what gave those movies any relevance to begin with.

    The most popular superhero MMORPG released to date shut down before the plethora of superhero movies was a thing. All the current ones are based on IPs that have been around for several decades, with Marvel Heroes being the only one released during this popularity surge.

    Yeah, Frodo and Gandalf traveled together, but they weren't suddenly treated as though they had a similar level of effectiveness when doing so and extremely disparate otherwise. In comics characters normally depicted as having vastly different power levels are frequently suddenly somehow treated and depicted as equally relevant when teamed up. I haven't read any Conan books, so have no idea how the characters mentioned compare.
    Post edited by KnightFalz on
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