Insomniac Games turned heads when they announced at Sony's E3 conference last week that they were working on a Spider-Man game, exclusive to the PS4. They even had a killer trailer to back it up. Jay Ong, Marvel's VP of games said that this announcement was "a signal of things to come" and that he couldn't wait to tell the world about what Marvel had in store next.
Sony's Playstation blog confirmed that "this isn’t the same Spider-Man you’ve met before, nor is our game based on the upcoming movie." Now Ong is confirming that this will be the state of all Marvel's games moving forward.
In an interview with Venture Beat, Ong talked about the freedom Marvel is giving their new partners:
When we tell people that they aren’t just building a movie game, that opens up their eyes. “You mean we have the freedom to invest and deliver the title that we want to deliver?” They don’t have to meet some artificial date. We give them time. We initiate projects far earlier than we used to.
The reason for this? Quality. "This has to be better than just good enough," Ong stated. "It has to be great. Our games have to have lasting value that we’re all proud of."
Concerning the partnerships Marvel had previously made with movie tie-in games:
Those just didn’t work for us in the past. The idea of creating original storylines, giving the developers the freedom to create something new—from a creative standpoint that’s liberating for our partners. And for us it results in great games.
Ong makes a good point. With very few exceptions, Marvel's movie tie-ins have historically been incredibly underwhelming, and none have been widely considered as "great." Often, the problem with this comes from having to develop a game on a film's schedule. Making a big budget feature film is no walk in the park, but creating a massive interactive world with a story attached is an even hairier process.
It's incredibly heartening to hear that Marvel isn't going for the easy buck here. Movie tie-in games are proven moneymakers, regardless of their often poor quality. But Marvel Studios has made a name for itself in film with consistent quality, rather than taking the easy road. It's good to hear that they're extending the same thoughtful care to the curation of their video game properties, despite the fact that it might be fun to see Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr. do mo-cap performances for playable heroes.
How well Marvel's plan will work out for them is yet to be seen. Check back with Screen Rant for updates and impressions as they hit.
Spider-Man PS4 is slated for release in 2017 for the PlayStation 4.