What could have been…
Of all the Marvel heroes, Iron Man has to be one of the most well-loved, thanks to Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of the genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist Tony Stark. There have been a few Iron Man games over the years, including a 2008 release from SEGA in conjunction with the film (and a sequel in 2010), as well as a well-received VR game in 2020. Even with those titles, it still feels like Iron Man needs a big, bombastic game a la Insomniac’s Spider-Man. Well, the dream of an open-world Iron Man game almost became reality, according to a MinnMax interview with Christofer Sundberg, founder of Avalanche Studios (who are best known for the Just Cause series).
In this clip from MinnMax's interview, Avalanche Studios co-founder Christofer Sundberg reveals for the first time that the creators of Just Cause were working on an open-world Iron Man game before Disney and Marvel canceled the game around 2012. https://t.co/Ups3MrWmE4 pic.twitter.com/ODeya496uE
— MinnMax (@MinnMaxShow) August 17, 2022
Sundberg left the studio in 2019, but in the interview, he confirmed that Avalanche had been making an open-world Iron Man game for “a couple of years,” news of which had circulated as rumors and hadn’t been officially confirmed until now. Apparently players would have been able to fly anywhere they wanted on the map, and even punch enemies through walls with Iron Man’s rocket-powered gloves. The game was ultimately cancelled in 2012, and whatever caused the game to fizzle out remains a mystery.
Just Cause‘s gameplay feels pretty similar to what an open-world Iron Man game might feel like, so in theory, it wasn’t a huge leap for Avalanche to make given their track record.
In the time since, it feels like Insomniac has taken up the mantle of AAA, single-player superhero games, first with Spider-Man, and now with the highly-anticipated Wolverine. Adding Iron Man to that list is small potatoes at this point, so there’s always the possibility that Avalanche’s concept could live on.
It’s a shame that projects get scrapped all the time in the games industry, but with an idea this cool, someone has to pick it up… right?