Factor 5 was once quite the beloved developer. The studio behind Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II had earned a number of accolades and awards throughout the years, developing a strong fanbase among Nintendo owners. Just a few years after Rogue Leader’s release, however, the studio would close down after facing a nigh-unstoppable foe. That opponent was the DC Comics character Superman.
In 2008, publisher Brash Entertainment and Factor 5 acquired the rights to make a game starring the Man of Steel. The title would have appeared on a number of different consoles, including the Nintendo Wii. At the time, the console wasn’t well known for strong third party support, but Factor 5 apparently insisted on releasing a Nintendo version. Initially, the game would have been based on the movie sequel to 2006’s Superman Returns film, complete with an open-world Metropolis to explore.
As most Superman fans are aware, that film never happened. Superman Returns received a lukewarm reception from most fans, and Warner Bros. decided to scrap a follow-up. After the cancellation, Factor 5 attempted to continue the game, basing it on the character’s myriad appearances in other media. Unfortunately, problems persisted. By the end of 2008, Brash Entertainment closed down due to financial difficulties. Factor 5 sought out a different publisher for the title, but the game hadn’t seen enough progress to make the game a smart investment. By the end of the year, Factor 5 had ran out of funding, and in May 2009, the studio officially closed its doors.
Factor 5 is far from the first casualty of Superman. The character had a notoriously difficult time getting back to the silver screen before the release of Superman Returns, including an embarrassing Nicolas Cage film that nearly saw the light of day. The hero’s video game track record isn’t much better, as Superman 64 is regarded by many gamers as one of the worst video games ever made. Still, it’s nice to imagine what could have been. With Factor 5 at the helm, the Man of Steel might have finally received the game he deserved. Hopefully the blue boy scout will find a little more luck at the box office when Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice releases in theaters later this week.