Marvel’s Spider-Man Could Have Been An Xbox Game, But Microsoft Wanted To Focus On Its Own IP


Last year’s book The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 2: Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and the Billion-Dollar Battle to Shape Modern Gamingin addition to being a mouthful of a title, also contained an interesting detail about Marvel’s history in the game. Taken by Nightengale, ResetEra userthe book reveals that Microsoft had a deal with Marvel to make video games for Xbox.

The book features quotes from Insomniac Games CEO Ted Price and Marvel Games Executive Vice President and Director Jay Ong.

According to Ong, Marvel approached Sony and Microsoft in 2014 to work with the companies to develop high-quality games based on Marvel’s IP. “Microsoft’s strategy was to focus on its own intellectual property,” Ong said. “They passed.”

Sony, on the other hand, offered to make a PlayStation-exclusive AAA Spider Man game, which would end like Marvel’s Spiderman on the PS4 developed by Insomniac Games.

Activision originally had the license to develop games based on Spider Manwhich spawned a series of games throughout the 2000s. According to Ong, Marvel approached Activision to end its Spider Man Contract.

On the decision to develop Insomniac Games Marvel’s Spidermanthe book notes that the studio’s history with games like Overdrive at sunset– which featured high-speed traversal and open-world action – made it the obvious choice for a new game based on Spider Man. However, the studio was more accustomed to creating new IPs rather than working on pre-established IPs.

“Insomniac’s ability to create games based on already existing intellectual property may have raised some concerns,” the book says. “Historically, the studio has created intellectual property rather than relying on ideas from other companies. In truth, other companies have adapted Insomniac’s intellectual property. »

According to Ted Price, Insomniac Games got along pretty well with Marvel, resulting in few speed bumps in by Spider Man development.

“Early on, we knew there was great chemistry between us and our compatriots at Marvel,” Price said. “At the same time, the Marvel team has been fantastic in trusting us to come up with a new story…to come up with a new take on Peter Parker and to explore the mechanics of that. Spider Man could be in a modern game.

The partnership between Sony, Marvel and Insomniac Games has clearly paid off, both critically and commercially. Marvel’s Spiderman launched in 2018 and saw a remastered version for the PS5 in 2020. As of November 2020, the game has sold over 20 million units, while the standalone sequel Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales sold 6.5 million units in July 2021. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is currently also in development, while Insomniac has also expanded into other Marvel properties with the upcoming Marvel’s Wolverines.


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