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EA’s Black Panther game job ad reveals a Marvel-ous open world

The Marvel Black Panther game from Cliffhanger Games is going all in on open-world elements, and an explorable Wakanda may eventually materialize.

Black Panther game open-world: the Black Panther emblem next to the man himself, wearing his iconic get-up

It’s been a hot minute since we last caught wind of anything new from Cliffhanger Games, the EA-owned studio that’s currently in charge of a new Marvel Black Panther game (not Marvel 1943, the other one). Now, a fresh job listing for a Principal Sandbox Designer has surfaced at Cliffhanger, requiring candidates to be proficient in open-world design. You know where this is going.

As part of the role, the successful applicant “will be instrumental in designing and populating encounters, systems, and gameplay within a dynamic and evolving open world,” with emphasis on that last part. Indeed, this all but confirms we’re possibly in for one of the next best open-world games when the Black Panther game finally arrives, bringing with it what we hope will be a vibrant recreation of Wakanda.

But what could this Wakanda look like? Well, digging further into the ‘responsibilities’ section, Cliffhanger is targeting the creation of “sophisticated” AI ecosystems, “from urban crowds to wildlife.” Additionally, the new designer will be working on “facilitating seamless transitions between structured missions and open-world exploration.” Make of those what you will, but we’re expecting something akin to Insomniac’s Spider-Man games – some of the best games out there.

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While this is a pretty hefty standard to hold a project we still know very little about, the needle for new PS5 games and new Xbox games from Marvel’s IPs has been pushed. Fortunately, Cliffhanger seems to be up to the task, whether it arrives in this console generation or the next.

“We’re dedicated to delivering fans a definitive and authentic Black Panther experience, giving them more agency and control over their narrative than they have ever experienced in a story-driven video game,” studio head Kevin Stephens said when the game was originally announced last year. “Wakanda is a rich superhero sandbox, and our mission is to develop an epic world for players who love Black Panther and want to explore the world of Wakanda as much as we do.”

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In hindsight, this pretty much confirmed that we’ll be getting an open-world Black Panther game, but it’s nice to now have further corroboration via the job listing. Giant Bomb’s Jeff Grubb was the first to reveal the information back in 2022 after news of the game was let slip, so by the power of triangulation it’s pretty much a dead cert at this point.

Of course, Cliffhanger has a tall order to outstrip the impressive-looking Marvel 1943: Rise of Hydra that Skydance Media premiered at GDC this year. Though we’re likely looking at completely different Black Panthers in completely different eras, Khary Payton’s Azzuri looks incredible. For all its faults, the Black Panther DLC for Marvel’s Avengers was a fabulous showcase for the Wakandan, too. As such, there are perhaps notes to be taken from Crystal Dynamics’ doomed game.

It’s an exciting time for Black Panther fans – we’re eating good. While we patiently await a more comprehensive update from Cliffhanger, you should check out more of the latest news from the best PS5 games and best Xbox games around. For example, peep the new Fallout 4 update that lets the classic RPG do something Starfield can’t.