Home News Wolverine and Spider-Man on PlayStation … following a refusal from Xbox

Wolverine and Spider-Man on PlayStation … following a refusal from Xbox


In the early 2010s, Marvel sought a replacement for Activision to take over its flagship video game licenses. Xbox would rather focus on its own IPs than relaunch Spider-Man.

For several years, the success of Sony games, and in particular on the side of Insomniac, has been worn by episodes linked to the universe of Marvel comics. Between Spider-Man and its spin-off with Miles Morales, but also soon Wolverine and Spider-Man 2, there is no doubt that the franchise brings many players at PlayStation consoles. In his “Ultimate History of Video Games Volume 2”, author Steven Kent reveals an interesting anecdote from Jay Ong.

In 2014, the latter was recruited as Marvel’s vice president in charge of games. His goal was to make video games as successful as the new MCU. At that time, Spider-Man and X-Men were the main franchises adapted with more or less skill. It was after his arrival that the world was able to discover the Avengers in video games, Deadpool, but also the Guardians of the Galaxy, LEGO Marvel or a whole slew of choir games.

Xbox refused, preferring to focus on its IPs

And to dominate the world of gaming, Marvel was looking for a privileged partner. Ong therefore contacted two of the main console manufacturers in the sector to seek a deal.

Being more console oriented in the past, I contacted both sides, both Xbox and PlayStation, and I said, “We don’t have any big console deals with anybody right now. What would you like to do?” Microsoft’s strategy was to focus on its own intellectual properties. They declined.

It was following this refusal that Sony therefore decided to respond favorably to the request and appointed Insomniac to lead the projects.

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In the aftermath, Marvel wanted new blood and therefore terminated its contract with Activision, the source of all Spider-Man and X-Men titles since the late 90s. His last will finally be The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in 2014. The next one, in 2018, Marvel’s Spider-Man was well signed Sony.

Marvel’s plan, with Sony, was to make “at least a Batman Arkham-level game”, the standard model of the time of an adaptation of comics. For Ted Pricefounder of Insomniac, this choice was decisive:

When we heard about this opportunity, thanks to Connie (Booth, vice president, editor’s note) at Sony, it was a real surprise for me, because until then we were working on our own franchise and didn’t really have considered working on existing franchises.

Onk remembers:

I sat down with these two PlayStation third-party studio executives, Adam Boyes and John Drake, in August 2014 in a conference room in Burbank. I told them, “We dream that it’s possible, that we could beat Arkham and have at least one game and maybe several games that could drive adoption for your platform.”

Sony has put the money necessary to succeed in this challenge: a $100 million marketing budget for the first opus and a release exclusive to PS4 making the game one of the console’s top sellers. For Marvel, the bet was more than successful:

The three-way collaboration between Insomniac, Marvel and Sony was a success. Having collaborated with Insomniac many times over the PlayStation and PS2 eras, Sony executives had confidence in the studio’s technical know-how and game design. For their part, the studio’s founder, Ted Price, and his colleagues also understood how to work with Sony. Having worked in different industries, serving a similar audience, Price’s “Insomniacs” had a natural affinity with their Marvel counterparts.

For the record, Activision seemed quite insecure when Marvel broke the contract. The subsidiary Marvel Games had announced the color, explaining that it wanted a “new talent, with a big budget and a fresh look”. Agreeing to lose this juicy license, studio bosses told Jay Ong: “good luck finding your unicorn”…

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You can find other anecdotes on this development of the Marvel franchise at Sony via the extracts broadcast on ResetEra.

Source: www.resetera.com