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What Really Went Wrong With Superman 64?

Superman: The New Adventures, more commonly known as Superman 64, is regarded as one of the worst superhero video games of all time. It has been more than 20 years since the game was released, but fans will never forget the atrocity that was Superman 64. The game was developed by and published by Titus Interactive on May 31, 1999. Superman 64 had received quite a bit of buzz prior to its release. It had been hyped up since it was first revealed at E3 in 1997, but it flopped — hard.

The public wanted a high-value Superman video game, but Titus was unable to deliver. The game started off well enough and seemed to be a dream come true for Man of Steel fans, but it fell through and left the community severely disappointed. Superman 64 had so much traction and potential that it was almost ported to the PlayStation. So where did it go wrong? And more importantly, why?

Licensing and sabotage

There were many issues that plagued Superman 64, stemming directly from the license holder at the time. According to Eric Caen (the co-founder of Titus), "The main issue was working with the licensor. They caused us so much trouble." 

The game was sabotaged by Warner Bros. When Caen originally was given the license for Superman 64, Warner Bros. had different people in charge. The new heads of Warner Bros. refused to make the development of the game easy — they wanted EA to spearhead the project. The license holders did not want Superman to fight "real" people and also refused to allow him to destroy buildings (despite him doing so in the comics). In other words, the project was destined to fail. 

Superman 64 spent so much time fighting its license holder that the game ended up being a dud. Instead of an explosive open-world Superman game, fans got a flight simulator with bad controls.