2007-09 was a bad time for everyone. The recession had just hit, which forced a lot of industries to buckle down on their spending and rethink their finances. Because companies had much less money to spend, most were either forced to downsize if not close down completely.
Factor 5 was a video game development studio that was not fortunate enough to weather the storm.
While Factor 5 might not ring a lot of bells for modern audiences, the indie studio had a close relationship with the likes of LucasArts. This resulted in little-known gems like Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, which we ranked among the best Star Wars games that fans could still enjoy today.
If you head on over to the company's Wikipedia page, you can see that it lists Factor 5's games that were canceled, partly as a result of the company shutting down in 2009.
Now, one of the lead developers of the said games just shed light on what could have been.
What was the scrapped Superman game all about?
Superman is one of the pillars of the DCEU. He is arguably the most popular superhero of all time, rivaled only by his good friend, Batman. However, as successful as most of his ventures outside of the comic book pages have been, most if not all the video games starring Superman have been universally reviled if not panned.
In fact, the Injustice games, which are widely considered some of the best superhero games around, are probably the only titles that feature Superman that fans and critics alike seem to love.
Thus, you can't exactly blame people for asking studios to make a Superman game.
So far, none have stepped up to the plate. But, a little over a decade ago, Factor 5 seemed to have been ready to take on the unenviable task, as revealed by the game's lead developer on her own personal Twitter account.
In 2007/2008, I was lead designer on a Superman game that was never released - because the economy crashed hard. It killed our publisher, our studio (Factor 5), and the game.
I have multiple unreleased games through my career, but THIS is the only one I mourn to this day...
— Salvatrix (@DevSalvatrix) July 13, 2021
The long and insightful Twitter thread reveals just how much work that Factor 5 had put into its scrapped Superman game before it was canned due to the recession.
The developers had already reached a point in development where it had a fully working prototype and were preparing to shift to full production. As revealed by this video and another one, the game's lead developer was not exaggerating.
Even though you could clearly see that the game was still in development, it's not hard to think that it would've looked and played great with a little more polish.
More importantly, it would have been interesting to see a game that pitted Superman against "foes more in his power range."
According to the lead developer, Factor 5 intended to reveal the game alongside Bryan Singer's Superman Returns film, which never materialized as well.
Can the scrapped Superman game be revived?
It's only fair to wonder if there are any plans to revive the scrapped Superman game.
Factor 5 co-founder Julian Eggebrecht confirmed back in 2017 that the company had returned. Although we haven't heard from it since then, it stands to reason that the studio might reconsider diving back into its previous projects to work on the scrapped Superman game.
Of course, with the DCEU in full swing right now, we highly doubt that DC Comics or Warner Bros. Pictures would let a sole indie developer handle the Superman game.
At the moment, there are two confirmed games based on the DCEU. The first one, Gotham Knights, was delayed to 2022 and will feature a self-contained campaign inspired by the Court of Owls storyline from the comic books.
It stands to reason either one of the studios working on the aforementioned games will be the ones tapped on a future Superman title.