Superheroes forge new career path in video games

Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:22am EDT
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By John Gaudiosi

SAN DIEGO, California (Reuters) - Superheroes are enjoying a new career path, heading straight from the pages of comic books into video games and no longer having to stop at Hollywood to collect their credentials first.

For every movie blockbuster like Marvel Entertainment's "Thor" and Universal Pictures' "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," there's a video game counterpart but in many cases comic book games are now launching without any Hollywood tie-ins.

"Not everyone reads comics, although most people know the major superheroes, but the majority of people play video games," said Jim Lee, co-publisher of DC Comics and executive creative director for Sony Online Entertainment's "DC Universe Online" game.

"Games are a portal for us to bring new people into the world of comic books," he said on the sidelines of Comic-Con International, the world's largest comic book and popular arts convention taking place in San Diego this week.

"DC Universe Online," an upcoming massively-multiplayer online (MMO) game, will allow fans to create their own superhero and interact with characters like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in environments like Metropolis and Gotham City.

Lee said DC Comics will unveil a "DC Universe Online" bi-weekly print comic book that will launch before the new game this fall and tie into the video game's backstory.

"We're going to look for opportunities where maybe we take individual player-created characters from the game and bring them into the comic book and give gamers a thrill by becoming an official part of the DC Universe," said Lee.


<p>A journalist plays a new Sony Computer Entertainment America video game in San Francisco, California, October 19, 2006. REUTERS/Kimberly White</p>