Just like Marvel’s foray into movies and television, the comic book giant is attempting to become a major deal in gaming. That means bringing out well regarded titles, working with talented developers, and using their incredible amount of licenses to their advantage. They’re already off to a solid start with Insomniac working on Marvel’s Spider-Man, Crystal Dynamics being involved on The Avengers Project, and Telltale creating an episodic series based upon Guardians of the Galaxy. GameSpot recently talked to Marvel Games vice president and executive producer Mike Jones about their new commitment to gaming.
Several times throughout the interview, Mike Jones brings up Marvel’s Defenders as a potential video game title. Such a title would make a lot of sense considering how much work and marketing Marvel has put into the Netflix series. Check out what Jones said when talking about how Marvel decides on what characters to adapt into a video game:
“Yes and no. Obviously, many of our characters have been popular over decades of publishing with over 8,000 characters, some of which have been extremely successful, some of which have been forgotten in time. There are characters like Spider-Man, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Defenders, which are all properties that have a natural awareness and fan affinity. And we absolutely want to make sure that we deliver on those, but I think we’re also interested in plucking some characters from obscurity that you may not have not heard of and making a game around them. I never would have thought my mom could be an Ant-Man fan; she even didn’t know what an Ant-Man was until she saw the movie and then, boom, she loves it.”
In addition to major console releases, Marvel is actively working on virtual reality games and wants to get into indie spaces in the future. “We’re looking at mobile and we’re looking at VR,” said Jones. “I think from a strategy and portfolio standpoint, we’re making sure to get our big behemoths set up first. We have our live-service games, mobile games, and big console games. But once all of those tent poles are established, I think our next step would be to create smaller, interesting indie-made games. I’m not announcing a new game, but as an example, Skottie Young’s artwork would be a perfect match for a fun indie game.”
Finally, Jones talked about how directly involved Marvel is with developers. He used Marvel’s Spider-Man, which is being developed by Insomniac, as an example:
With the Spider-Man game, we talk a lot about how he is not a brawler; he’s an acrobatic improviser. He has mobility, super-strength, tech, and webs; there’s like a whole complex ecosystem of mechanics and things to draw upon. The combat and storytelling that happens in the game’s action, and the scale of it was really important to us. It was one of the reasons that we chose that mission [for the Sony press conference]. It steadily builds in scale, but it also shows some stealth, combat, open-world web-slinging, parkour, and a bit of spectacle. It was a sampler of everything to give people a clear idea of what this experience is going to be. We’re luckily about 10 minutes down the road from Insomniac, so we go there two, three times a week to look at gameplay, cinematics, and story. We’re invested and collaborating very closely on that game.
The whole interview is filled with interesting tidbits, such as how Rocksteady’s Arkham line of Batman games influenced how Marvel is approaching games, and how they decide who to work with. So definitely give it a read if you’re interested in Marvel’s upcoming titles.