Marvel Games vice president and executive producer Mike Jones has recently announced the company has a roadmap for its upcoming ambitious game development that's not unlike how the MCU was formed. Since its inception in 2008, the MCU has become the biggest and most successful movie franchise with more than 20 projects in its catalog, at least until Phase 3 wraps ups in 2019.
Unlike the MCU, the Marvel Games division has struggled to perform at the same level that its film and TV counterparts do. This, despite the fact that its basically has access t the same characters that headline the studio's big blockbusters. Jones has acknowledged the problem and shared that Marvel Games is actually already in the process of making significant changes to streamline their content starting with upcoming promising releases like Insomniac's Spider-Man and Square Enix's Avengers.
In an extensive interview with GameSpot during last month's E3, the gaming division exec teased exciting stuff is right around the corner:
"We absolutely have a roadmap. We have some incredible mobile, console, and VR games planned that I can't announce or talk about today. We are curating our portfolio and trying to find the best match for character, partner, genre, platform and trying to not just see who wants a license to make a game. We're actually very active in planning what are the right experiences for the right franchises for the right platforms, as well as finding the right partners who can provide the best of that."
Further, Jones has compared finding game developers Marvel can partner with for upcoming game projects to an MCU film scouting for the best-suited director for the job -- taking various elements like character, tone, and game type all into consideration during the selection process:
"Marvel Studios decides who directs a film based on a character's genre and type of story they're in, so we're similarly thinking the same way of who would be perfect for a Spider-Man or an Avengers game experience. We want to make sure that we pair the right characters and the right franchises with the best possible developers. There is a clinical portfolio management excel spreadsheet component to this process, but more importantly, it's about passion. Teams are going to work on a game for three or four years, so the quality and the authenticity of the experience lives or dies by the passion and the vision of the teams that we're working with. We're constantly looking for development teams and publishers who love Marvel and are excited to tell a story or bring a particular experience to life. We're here to support that drive. We think of ourselves as kind of facilitators in that sense. We want each of our partners to be the vision holder for their games."
What is great about Marvel films is it always trying to offer something fresh in terms of sub-genre. Captain America: Winter Soldier has aspects similar to a political thriller,while Ant-Man is a heist film, and the Avengers films are culminating spectacles that get released every couple of years. Marvel games may also want to follow the same route determining which characters work best in shooter, adventure/survival, role-playing, strategy or simulation games to keep players interested.
Over the years, Marvel's business plan has resulted in substantial critical and commercial success, and it is no surprise that other companies -- even other Marvel divisions, are trying to emulate it. The model allows people to be invested in characters and properties that, in addition to telling a single story, also help the universe as a whole build toward the next long-running story thread. With Marvel Games also looking to put its characters at the forefront and give them the most suitable gaming treatment, it won't be too difficult to amass the same recognition that the Marvel films have.