Home Comics & Toys Marvel is “going for truly epic” with Spider-Man and other comic book games

Marvel is “going for truly epic” with Spider-Man and other comic book games

4 min read

Spidey (6)

Years back, in the darkest ages known as the mid-2000s, Marvel Comics licensed video games were everywhere. Sure, some of them were the worst thing on your TV since you popped in a DVD for the third X-Men movie, but hey at least they had a presence. Over the last couple of years though, said presence has dwindled. Outside of Disney Infinity and pinball, Marvel hasn’t had much of an impact on video game sales.

And we’re not talking about that last Amazing Spider-Man sequel game. We never talk about it.

Spidey (1)

What we are talking about, is Insomniac’s new Spider-Man. A PlayStation 4 exclusive, the return of the webhead to consoles is just the start of a brand new push from Marvel to go digital once again with their roster of capes. “When I joined Marvel two years ago, I came in with a mandate to usher in a new era for Marvel Games,” Marvel’s vice president of games Jay Ong said to Polygon.

We have a treasure trove of the best superhero characters on earth. What can we do with this to create truly epic games? Is [Spider-Man] a signal of things to come? Oh, yes. Absolutely. And we can’t wait to tell the world about it.

Marvel’s plans include not only multiple games in various stages of development, but partnering up with studios to make…gasp…good games, instead of quick cash-ins that became the norm around the same time that they kicked off their cinematic universe of shared universe films. Which means being very choosy with who they collaborate with. “One of the things we really focus on in terms of our new strategy is that we all believe that great games drive the brand and great games are what our fans really deserve,” Ong explained.

Spidey (3)

The question is, ‘How we can get there?’ The thing we landed on is to be really selective with who we partner with. Extremely selective. Right now I would say that out of every 10 opportunities we look at, we maybe do one.

What we look at first and foremost is the talent level of partner. Are they world class in building the games we’re talking about? They have to have world-class talent. They have to be able to invest the resources to make that talent sing. Equally important is, do they have passion for the IP they’re working on? Do they share the same ambition?

Do they love the character? We look for passion, that comes through in the first 30 seconds.

One of our mantras is authenticity; it’s easy to make a game with Spider-Man on the label, but it’s much harder to make it truly authentic in a way that reflects Peter Parker, the character.

The big difference here with this new outlook on making Marvel games, is that these new titles won’t be dictated by the schedules of upcoming movies or annual rollouts. According to Ong, it’s all about quality over quantity. “We are absolutely obsessed about [quality],” Ong said.

Spidey (5)

That is our North Star. We always say ‘Great is not good enough. We’re going for truly epic.’

If the stars align and a game lines up with the release of an upcoming film, that’s just gravy says Ong. A case in point with this Spider-Man game which will release in the same year as the next movie that features Tom Holland suiting up in Spider-Man: Homecoming. But the hard truth said Ong, was that video game tie-ins just aren’t a profitable model to work with anymore. “In this modern day and age, that model doesn’t work anymore,” Ong explained.

Things like [games] you cannot under-resource. You can’t not give the development time … to do justice to the game. We think, ‘How do we make the game better? How do we help our partners make the game better?’

The approach so far sounds positive, regardless of the outcome: Games that want to be good, based on characters, not their cinematic counterparts. Warner Bros and DC Comics have made good use of this idea already, creating the Arkham universe which rewrote the book on comic book games several years ago already. “Building these franchises, and building these characters [at Marvel Games], this is that first big milestone from this team,” Ong said. “This is a huge ambitious project.”


Last Updated: June 15, 2016


  1. And 8 people rejoiced at this news.


    • WitWolfy

      June 15, 2016 at 10:45

      I’m one of those 8.


  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    June 15, 2016 at 08:07

    Weren’t the last ones done by Activision? Whose boss is on record as saying they just shit out movie tie-in games & don’t give a fuck.


  3. Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

    June 15, 2016 at 08:23

    Insomniac + Spiderman = Win… or a Spiderman that can’t sleep at night


    • Ir0nseraph

      June 15, 2016 at 08:27

      Spidey isn’t my favourite , but insomniac games are normally good, so if the don’t screw this up I might see one of my favourite characters in game.


      • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

        June 15, 2016 at 08:32

        Same people made Ratchet and Clank as well as Sunset Overdrive


        • Ir0nseraph

          June 15, 2016 at 08:42

          Yes their games are normally good, and they do add some comedy when possible.


  4. Admiral Chief Maximum Effort

    June 15, 2016 at 08:25

    New spidey looks odd


    • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

      June 15, 2016 at 08:29

      • HairyEwok

        June 15, 2016 at 08:52

        Spider-Man is a fashionista ok.


    • Captain JJ or is it I&J?

      June 15, 2016 at 08:50

      I like it. I don’t mind them sprucing it up every now and again. Scarlet was odd for me.


  5. Jonah Cash

    June 15, 2016 at 08:29

    Sounds good, but we have been hurt many times before. So forgive us for first waiting to see and play the game ourselves before we get excited!


  6. Original Heretic

    June 15, 2016 at 08:48

    The Arkham games made the player feel like Batman. Well, I did anyway! If they get it right to make the player feel ike Spiderman, then they’ve got the win.

    Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions came close to that, but it can be done better.


  7. Captain JJ or is it I&J?

    June 15, 2016 at 08:49

    I just came here to say
    Suck it exclusives.


  8. HairyEwok

    June 15, 2016 at 08:54

    They used red white and blue because MURICA!


  9. Craig Lotter

    June 15, 2016 at 11:05

    Cool. I really enjoyed 2010’s Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. Always enjoy a good Spidey title.


  10. Menzi Gcanga

    June 15, 2016 at 11:39

    I have to say I’m stoked, looks like the spidey game we’ve always wanted but never got.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Disney’s Jungle Cruise Review

If you love adventure movies with the same fantasy feel as the Pirates of the Caribbean mo…