With Spider-Man for PS4, developer Insomniac Games has shown a great deal of care for the larger world of Spider-Man lore, treating the title's characters delicately while making a story of its own. Part of this is showcased by the studio's handling of Norman Osborn and Oscorp, with the game providing Spider-Man fans with an explanation of the origin of the company.
Osborn is one of many familiar characters in Spider-Man. The game is chock full of references to the larger Marvel universe, and there are plenty of villains looking to knock Spidey down a peg or two. Indeed, everything from its plot through to the difficulty levels of the game itself point towards an understanding of what fans love about the comics.
Insomniac isn't shy of giving players more details, and that's where the origin of Oscorp comes in. During the mission A Fresh Start, Peter Parker is speaking with Dr. Otto Octavius, who tells Peter that he was lab partners with Norman Osborn while at college. The pair became friends, and eventually would decide to start a company between them.
Their friendship at college formed the reason for the Oscorp name as well. The duo were referred to as the 'Os', so the simple thing to do - according to Octavius - was to attach "corp" to the end of the name to make it "a catchy name." There would, however, be problems down the line, with Octavius leaving the company over a project started by Osborn that the doctor considered "unethical" - a project that was likely the Devil's Breath. Octavius accepted a settlement for leaving the company, but that money wouldn't last.
The explanation is a neat little touch. Although the nature of the naming of Oscorp might be a small detail in general, overall the scene helps build an understanding of the relationship between Otto Octavius and Norman Osborn. After all, these are two powerhouses that have played integral roles in some of the most important Spider-Man stories ever told, and seeing them fleshed out a little more here is certainly appreciated - even if the origin of the company is radically different than what is considered canon in the comics and movies.
It's also a sign of the sheer level of understanding that Insomniac Games has shown for the property as a whole. There's a host of references in Spider-Man for PS4, such as the game's PS4 trophy list and those nods to Tom Holland's Web Slinger, but an adaptation such as this lives and dies on how it handles its plot. Hopefully, this Spider-Man game will live long in the memory.