WHETHER it’s Superman, Batman, Poison Ivy or the Penguin, DC has a comic book character for everyone.
Sony is tapping into this huge catalogue of superheroes and villains, and taking it one step further by allowing players to create their own super character, in DC Universe Online on PS3 and PC.
It’s a subscription-based MMO game that targets an audience of millions and millions of online gamers and comic book fans.
Sony is launching a marketing campaign to ensure these users are exposed to the game’s release (see ‘Marketing the Universe’ and ‘Online pricing’ below).
DC Universe Online is a third person action game and gives players the ability to develop their own unique powers. They can also join forces with well-known villains and heroes such as The Joker and The Flash in order to save or destroy the universe.
“DC Universe Online offers a rich, immersive experience that will keep consumers coming back to the DC world,” says Sony’s senior product manager Ian Vinten.
“And as this authentic DC experience is written by industry heavyweights such as Jim Lee, Geoff Johns and Marv Wolfman, we’re confident success will follow.”
Masters of the universe
Once gamers have customised their characters, they can team up with other users online and complete missions to progress.
Powers range from super strength – which enables players to fly around and hurl large objects such as buses at opponents – to super speed or even a super-cool ability. Similar to Mr Freeze’s power, gamers can turn rivals into blocks of ice and launch them from the top of the Daily Planet building.
Quests vary from infiltrating Batman’s cave, stopping Harley Quinn from wreaking havoc in Gotham City or flying over Metropolis to save Superman’s life.
There are over 100 non-player DC characters that make an appearance including Catwoman, Captain Atom, Green Lantern, Lex Luthor, Bizzaro, Darkseid and more.
With its repertoire of much-loved and officially licensed comic book content, Sony’s backing and its huge in-game world, DC Universe Online has the potential to
become a true success story as PS3’s first MMO.
Building the universe
DC Universe Online charges users £9.99 per month to play, £27.99 for three months or £49.99 for half a year. The first month is free. PC users can buy an annual or lifetime account for £89.99 or £129.99 respectively.
Marketing the Universe
Sony says it is advertising the game with a heavyweight online marketing campaign at release. The platform holder says this will ensure it reaches its target audience of MMO players, fans of DC comics and graphic novels.
DC Universe Online was heavily promoted at New York’s Comic-Con late last year, with demos, panel discussions, cosplay and more used to showcase the game’s strengths to both the public and the media.
DC Comics writer Geoff Johns (above-right) penned the game’s storyline, while comic artist Jim Lee (above-left) worked as executive creative director, adding authenticity to the game. Voice actors include Mark Hamill.