It’s a busy time for the Marvel brand. Marvel Studios is releasing three movies in 2017, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Thor: Ragnarok. Meanwhile, Marvel comics is wrapping up Civil War II, there’s a new Iron Man, Captain America is an agent of Hydra, and he recently became the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D.. And now, partnering with Square Enix, Marvel announced plans to launch The Avengers Project.
This new game will be one of the first Marvel games that isn’t a movie tie-in, a fighting game, a mobile micro-transaction game, or a LEGO game in several years. Very little has been revealed so far, but the game will feature an original story in which it’s necessary for the Avengers to be “reassembled.”
The launch trailer didn’t feature any gameplay, or even specify what type of game The Avengers Project will be, but Marvel’s press release says “the first blockbuster game” will be created by Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montréal, developers of the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex franchises, respectively, possibly suggesting the game could be a somewhat open-world adventure game with RPG elements.
When it comes to the story, Marvel provided a few more details:
“The Avengers project is being designed for gamers worldwide and will be packed with all the characters, environments, and iconic moments that have thrilled longtime fans of the franchise. Featuring a completely original story, it will introduce a universe gamers can play in for years to come. More details on The Avengers project and other games will be announced in 2018.”
So where does this "original story" fit in with Marvel's existing stories? One of the biggest points of discussion with current comic-book and movie universes is continuity, especially when it comes to Marvel due to the division of cinematic character rights between multiple studios. Will the game feature the X-Men or Fantastic Four, or will it more closely follow the Marvel Cinematic Universe? If it does follow the MCU, will it have any ties to that universe? Will events from the game affect the movies and vice versa?
The press release elaborates on this point further :
“The Avengers project is a perfect example of how Marvel is making games a key part of the landscape for Marvel storytelling, alongside comics, television and film. We can only do this by matching our greatest Super Heroes with the world’s top developers, such as the creative minds at Square Enix.”
The key word here is “alongside.” While Marvel television and film does all take place in the MCU, comics (aside from a couple tie-in comics) are not a part of the MCU’s continuity. If Avengers Project is influenced by the MCU it will be by sharing a similar look, tone, and characters, but it won't be explicitly tied to any one canon. So, while the Avengers Project may echo the look of and moments from elements across all of Marvel’s modes of storytelling, don’t expect it to be locked into any any of their existing continuities.
While it's possible the game will connect to the MCU, it’s far more likely that it will merely be influenced by it. In an era where big franchises connect across mediums, some may wonder whether or not Marvel should try to make The Avengers Project a significant part of the MCU. A quick look at the divide between the MCU when it comes to the big screen, Netflix, and ABC could give a hint of how that would work. The game might have some nods to the movies or shows, but the movies aren’t ever going to be significantly affected by anything that happens in the game, meaning a truly separated storyline is likely the best way to go. In that regard, the new Avengers game may end up being its own distinct entity, like the upcoming Spider-Man PS4 title.
Screen Rant will bring you more news concerning The Avengers Project as it becomes available.
Source: Marvel/Square Enix