With a worldwide box office take over $10 billion – and counting – it’s safe to say that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the most successful franchises in film history. That domination doesn’t look likely to abate in 2017, with Marvel Studios set to release three new blockbusters into theaters, those being Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Thor: Ragnarok. Plus, a number of MCU-affiliated TV shows are set to arrive on Netflix and ABC this year, with others in the works at various platforms.
Considering the MCU’s current level of pop culture ubiquity, one wonders why its stories and themes haven’t been directly translated into the video game realm more often. While games based on Marvel Comics characters are a tradition going back to the early days of consoles, the amount of officially-licensed MCU-based games can be counted on less than two hands. Not even 2012 team-up extravaganza The Avengers received a tie-in game, and that seems like a logical move to make.
With Marvel Games refocused and given a fresh new corporate mandate last year – and subsequently announcing new video games based on Spider-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy – some fans have wondered whether these upcoming games would be more directly tied into the established MCU canon. Based on a recent interview IGN conducted with Marvel Games’ creative director Bill Rosemann though, that won’t at all be the case. Here’s Rosemann’s full quote on the matter:
“We want to give our partners…freedom to look at all of Marvel history and to pick from what interests them. It’s a bit like we’re saying, ‘Hey you’re the chef, you’re going to make this meal. Here’s all of the ingredients. You pick the ingredients that you like and make a new meal. We want all of our games to tell an original, all new story. We want [our development partners] to have passion, we want them to put their stamp on the games. It’s their game. We want it to be their vision.”
Additionally, Rosemann cites a desire to not have to rush the development of Marvel’s games in order to match the production schedules or release dates of its films:
“We’re not going to rush things, we’re not going to get things out before they’re done. We’re also not going to try to do the very tricky balancing act of trying to make a game that adapts a movie and get it out in the same window as the movie.”
Such a concern is definitely a very logical one, as quite a few movie-licensed games have suffered from rushed development cycles over the years, often resulting in a disappointing experience for the player. This practice isn’t nearly as common now as it was back in the 16 and 32-bit days, but it still does happen. In that respect, it’s commendable for Marvel to want to be able to focus solely on quality and not release date.
In addition to the aforementioned new Spider-Man game and Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy project, Marvel Games also currently has Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite and a Square-Enix-developed Avengers title on its upcoming release slate. All four games are scheduled to hit the PS4, with all but Spider-Man also coming to the Xbox One.
Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy game is currently due at some point in 2017; Screen Rant will keep you updated on Spider-Man PS4 as more information becomes available.