We still know next to nothing about Wonder Woman, the new action-adventure game from Shadow of Mordor developers Monolith Productions. But we did learn one important detail this past weekend: It won’t be a live-service game, according to the project’s publisher.
Earlier this month, the gaming and tech website WCCFTech reported on a job listing at Monolith Productions. The position is for the upcoming Wonder Woman title and reportedly listed “helping maintain a live software product or game” as a desirable skill for the role, suggesting that the studio’s next project could contain some sort of live-service elements like Gotham Knights or the upcoming Suicide Squad. At the time of writing, though, this part of the job description has since been removed. Now, following several websites picking up the news that Wonder Woman might be a games-as-as-service (GaaS) title, publisher Warner Bros. Games has come forward to straight-up reject the claims, telling IGN that it’s the total opposite.
“Wonder Woman is a single-player action-adventure game set in a dynamic open-world,” a Warner Bros. Games spokesperson told IGN on November 17. “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 [title].”
There are two interesting bits of information in this quote. The first is Warner Bros. Games flat-out denying the live-service reports. Many games in recent years—as well as the upcoming superhero shooter-brawler Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League—have been going down the GaaS route, trying to maximize engagement (and profit) by introducing new content, features, and events meant to keep players logging hours into these titles like second (or third) jobs.
Sometimes it works, like Fortnite with its many seasons. However, with gamers potentially reaching a sort of live-service fatigue, it appears that at least some studios are moving away from those elements. BioWare, for instance, scrapped plans to include them in the upcoming Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, Bloomberg reported in February 2021. And Marvel’s Avengers, a high-profile GaaS title that launched just three years ago, has ended development and been delisted from storefronts after it failed to be widely embraced by fans..
The other interesting detail is definitive confirmation of the Nemesis System’s return. Patented by Monolith Studios and used in the two excellent Middle-earth games—2014’s Shadow of Mordor and its 2017 sequel, Shadow of War—this mechanic made it so every enemy in these games could become stronger by fighting you, and remember the defeats they’d suffered at your hand. Think of it like holding a grudge; the more interactions you have with various orcs, the more powerful (or fearful) they become. You could rarely take them down the same way twice.
It was a provocative system that gave every enemy in the game character, depth, and the potential to be major threats. Previously, the Nemesis System was only suspected to be making a comeback in Wonder Woman, based on information provided by Warner Bros. Games at the time of the project’s announcement in December 2021. Now, the publisher has straight-up confirmed the feature is back, which rules because the Nemesis System ruled.
Kotaku reached out to Warner Bros. Games for comment.
This news comes just as Warner Bros. Games promised that more titles in its portfolio would feature more GaaS elements. The company said during a November 8 earnings call that its focus is on including “more always on gameplay through live services, multiplayer, and free-to-play extensions.” So, although Wonder Woman is supposedly not a live-service game (and we still don’t have a release window for it just yet), you might want to brace yourself for any Warner Bros.-published game as it’ll probably want more money from you.