Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League PS5 PlayStation

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is currently the front-runner for the dubious honour of being the biggest gaming flop of 2024, costing publisher Warner Bros an eye-watering loss of $200 million. But how did it all go wrong? Apparently, a culture of "toxic positivity", an ill-advised genre switch, perfectionism, and a constantly shifting vision are all to blame.

That's according to a new report from Bloomberg's Jason Schreier (thanks, Eurogamer), which alleges that the game, originally meant to be released in 2019 or 2020, spent years lurching from concept to concept. Warner Bros persuaded developer Rocksteady to shift from its single player loadout to work on a multiplayer service game, chasing the perceived success of games like Destiny 2. Subsequently, this caused many staff to depart over Suicide Squad's seven-year-long development after realising they would not be working on the type of game the developer was known for, such as the Batman Arkham series.

In the report, multiple sources describe a culture of "toxic positivity" in which leadership would insist things would eventually come together, ignoring concerns raised by staff. Developers were bewildered when leaders' vision for the game shifted to gunplay from melee combat. Rocksteady then threw away months of work exploring customisable vehicles (which employees said never made sense for the superpowered villains).

Studio co-founder and "perfectionist" Suicide Squad director Sefton Hill allegedly created a bottleneck that resulted in devs waiting weeks or months for their work to be reviewed, scrapping ideas, struggling to explain ideas clearly, and confessing to not playing competing products like Destiny 2. Even in the face of high-profile failures like Anthem and Redfall, management maintained Suicide Squad would be a success. Both Hill and co-founder Jamie Walker would depart Rocksteady before the game's launch in February 2024.

Are you surprised to learn things were quite chaotic during the development of Rocksteady's Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League? Pour one out for Batman and friends in the comments section below.

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