An Iron Man open-world game was cancelled in 2012. Marvel and Disney pulled the plug on the title, which was being developed by Avalanche Studios, the team behind the Just Cause games. In a MinnMax interview, studio co-founder Christofer Sundberg stated that the Iron Man game was in development for a “couple of years” before ultimately getting shelved around 2012. Reasons include “company politics” with Disney, leading to internal friction and a shortened deadline to finish the Marvel project.
Sundberg notes that the development cycle was a “mess” by the end, as Disney increased the budget for the Iron Man game and slashed the deadline by an entire year. “We would have to hire 70–80 people to the team — that I would’ve had the responsibility to find a new project for. But the development time was shortened so much, it would have broken the studio completely if we agreed to that,” he said in the full interview uploaded onto MinnMax’s YouTube channel.
In this clip from MinnMax’s interview, Avalanche Studios co-founder Christofer Sundberg reveals for the first time that the creators of Just Cause were working on an open-world Iron Man game before Disney and Marvel canceled the game around 2012. https://t.co/Ups3MrWmE4 pic.twitter.com/ODeya496uE
— MinnMax (@MinnMaxShow) August 17, 2022
Disney was trying to flood the studio with staff, so Avalanche could meet the revised deadline to finish the game. This put Sundberg under more pressure, as he was urged to find new projects for the hires, once development on Iron Man had finished, now with a shortened development time. He remarks that while the project was great from a development standpoint, business-wise it was not ideal for his Stockholm-based studio.
It made sense for Marvel and Disney to tap the makers of Just Cause, who are known for creating chaotic experiences full of explosions and a rich environment teeming with unique characters that ping you missions. Sundberg notes that the Iron Man game was mostly focused on melee-based combat, where you could punch enemies through walls via the Repulsor gloves. The now-cancelled Iron Man game also allowed players to just “take off and fly anywhere” on the open-world map.
“There were so many great people involved on both sides, and it would have been great. I’m sure,” he added. When asked whether the title was a movie tie-in to the Robert Downey Jr.-led Iron Man 3, Sundberg seemed positive that it was a standalone game, but was not able to remember that well since “it was 10 years ago.”
In 2010, Sega released an Iron Man 2 video game — which recreated iconic moments from the films — that was aimed at consoles, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, and PlayStation Portable. The game received generally unfavourable reviews, with a 44 Metacritic score.