DC vs Marvel: Battlefront Gaming

The debate over which brand is better has been waging on for decades. The battle started with comics, progressed to television and movies, and now it’s entered the gaming realm. Both of the comic super brands have released a vast amount of games, but which one has the edge? Let’s take a look.

DC

DC released six games for the main three consoles (PlayStation, Xbox, Wii), and four of those games broke into the 100 best-selling video games in 2013:

11. Batman: Arkham Orgins (2013)

19: LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (2013)

46. Injustice: Gods Among Us (2013)

92. Batman: Arkham City (2011)
batman arkham origins box art 2
Other 2013 releases: The Wolf Among Us, Young Justice: Legacy, and Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure

To date, DC has released 71 different video games across all platforms, which includes 12 different franchises. The key to DC’s video game success is fairly easy to see, when just looking at the 2013 sales numbers: Batman. All of the top 2013 games feature the dark knight and he has been the key to their gaming success from the beginning, even though DC’s first game featured Superman.

Batman gaming began in 1986. The franchise has produced 31 games in which Batman is the lead/star, 10 that feature him, and nine mobile games that feature or star him. The video games that are based on him, not including the features or mobile, have sold over 22 million copies. Batman has become such a household gaming name that casinos have been featuring his face on slot machines for quite some time now.

Marvel

In 2013, Marvel released two games for the three main gaming consoles and one made it into the 100 best-selling video games in 2013:

8. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

Other 2013 releases: Deadpool

Marvel has sold over 25 million individual copies from their catalog of 126 games to date. Unlike DC, Marvel does not have that larger-than-life character that drives sales, which is why they have used 18 different franchise names.lego marvel box art

Marvel does have a deeper character catalog than DC, which allows them to make a larger variety of games. Marvel’s first game came in 1982 and was based on Spider-Man, who has been the best seller for Marvel with over 8 million copies sold. Other big-name characters stem from the X-Men and Fantastic Four narratives in addition to Captain America, and all of them have been immortalized elsewhere. This includes Betfair, where characters from the Marvel universe (and DC, for that matter) have their own games.

When it comes down to it, the edge goes to DC. Their Batman franchise alone has almost sold as many copies as the entire Marvel series. If there was no Batman, the upper-hand would definitely go to Marvel.

When looking at the numbers, it is pretty easy to see that both Marvel and DC are doing well with their respective games. The best thing about this rivalry is that even the losers win. Twenty-five million video game sales is nothing to look down on—Marvel is actually the 53rd top selling video game franchise of all time. It’s just a shame that their biggest competition has the 59th top selling franchise leading the way for the entire DC franchise.