It’s a widely accepted truism that no one can get the formula right for a Superman videogame. (Let’s agree to disregard the difficulty Warner Bros. seems to be having with Superman in their current run of films.) The list of games starring DC Comics’ Big Blue Boy Scout is notable for the many bombs and failures nestled between the mediocre or forgotten titles. Superman: The New Adventures, better known as Superman 64 for being on the Nintendo console, is infamously bad. It’s so bad that it holds a special place on the internet as one of the milestones of bad gaming. Running a close second in badness is Superman Returns from EA Tiburon. The 2006 title was supposed to be an open-world game based on the Bryan Singer movie of the same name. But it went wrong. Gloriously, head-smackingly wrong. As recounted to Polygon by the people that worked on the game, the project was doomed due to a number of factors, not least of which was the movie studio’s interference. A key point of failure? Superman’s junk.
“We would send renderings of Superman, and we would get images back from Warner Bros. with his crotch area circled, ‘Make this part bigger; make this part smaller.’ This went on for months. Somebody trying to get the right balance of, ‘Well, I can see he’s got something but we don’t want to make it too big,'” says the team leader.
The story is even funnier if you recall that a point of concern in the movie’s production was how much time and effort the studio was spending on toning down star Brandon Routh’s crotch when he was in the super-suit.