Hollywood is hitting a golden age of shared universes on the big screen. Disney’s Marvel Studios kicked started the movement in 2008 and bolstered a catalog of twelve movies with ten more planned in the next four years. Warner Bros.’ owned DC Comics are also getting a slice of the shared universe pie with Batman V. Superman. Even TV shows like Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow are also all sharing the same universe.
Unfortunately, in the video game industry there is a lack of compelling shared universes. Nintendo is a slight exception; they do have the Super Smash Bro. Series and Donkey Kong is somewhat in the Mario universe, historically. But there’s nothing as compelling as movies intertwining within each setting up for the next.
Mario and Donkey Kong is the original gaming shared universe in video games.
Besides, there have already been some enjoyable universes in video games, even outside of Nintendo. The Legacy of Kain is a great example of how well a shared universe can work in video games. Soul Reaver and Blood Omen were incredible games introducing characters that intertwined in each others stories.
The best thing about a shared universe is how much the narrative of a story enhances.
Kain and Raziel from Legacy of Kain
A game series that could benefit greatly by a shared universe is the Arkham series. There are a plethora of DC characters that could be added to the game or have their own spin-off games: Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Arrow, and many more DC properties.
Can you imagine an Arkham Justice? Rocksteady could expand upon their franchise and create a shared game universe for DC to add to their movie and television catalog.
A shared universe doesn’t have to be applied to an existing series.
New IPs can be launch amazing stories and characters for gamers to invest in. So what do you guys think? Could the video game industry benefit from more shared universes? Sound off on the comments below.