Last week, a job listing for a lead software engineer on Monolith’s Wonder Woman game popped up, with requirements like “Knowledge of 3D math commonly used in game development” and “Prior experience working in a 3D game engine (Unreal, Unity, etc.)” Among the non-essential “Nice to Haves” was “Experience helping maintain a live software product or game”.
This was interpreted by Wccftech as confirmation that Wonder Woman would be a live-service game, complete with battle pass, seasonal updates, and all the other hallmarks of the genre. There’s a certain amount of precedent in the market after all, and CEO of Warner Bros. David Zaslav has said that the company wants to transform franchises like Superman into live-service games.
As depressing visions of daily missions to level-up an invisible jet and unlockable cosmetic tiaras danced in our heads, Warner Bros. responded with a statement to IGN denying it was making Wonder Woman a live-service game. “Wonder Woman is a single-player action-adventure game set in a dynamic open-world. This third person experience will allow players to become Diana of Themyscira and introduce an original story set in the DC Universe, while also featuring the Nemesis System. Wonder Woman is not being designed as a live service,” the statement said.
It’s interesting that publishers, or at least their PR departments, are starting to become aware of how disliked the live-service trend is. Diablo 4 suffered a substantial backlash from players who had been positive about it at launch then frustrated by its first season, and early interest in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has been almost drowned out by skepticism over its live-service elements. EA was ahead of the curve, committing to service games in 2019 then walking that back with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Dragon Age: Dreadwolf. Casey Hudson, who was general manager of BioWare at the time, said that “when we talk about ‘live’ it just means designing a game for continued storytelling after the main story.” Perhaps the same is true of Wonder Woman’s job listing.
The most promising thing we’ve heard about Monolith’s Wonder Woman is that it’ll be bringing back the Nemesis system the studio designed for its Middle-earth games, Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War. Actually, that’s one of the only things we’ve heard about it, apart from the fact it’ll be a “singleplayer open world action game.”