A cloud of controversy began swirling around Marvel’s Avengers this week, due to the reveal that Spider-Man will launch in 2021 as a PlayStation exclusive character. Its sparked discourse about third party titles walling off content for exclusivity deals, while leaving part of the audience out in the cold. Though the widespread disappointment has yet to dissipate, Crystal Dynamics at least addressed the drama by in turn offering a reasoning behind the decision.
During a recent interview, studio Co-Head Scot Amos addressed the matter head on. Unsurprisingly, Sony’s close relationship to Spider-Man (movie rights and Insomniac’s 2018 title) is what essentially sealed the deal. Amos told Comicbook.com,
So the beauty of Spider-Man, and what Spider-Man represents as a character, and as a world is… Again, it comes back to the relationship with PlayStation and Marvel. We happened to be… once you can execute and deliver, when it comes down to choices of where and what Spider-Man can be, that’s a relationship question that PlayStation absolutely has the rights to, that as you guys know, with Sony’s ownership there, and Marvel with Sony saying, ‘Hey, this is something we can do. This is something we can do on this platform.’
The studio executive continued, noting that there’s extra content that everyone will get their hands on later, such as Hawkeye as a playable hero post-launch.
And so, what we do as creators is say, ‘This is an opportunity that we can make something unique, and fun, and awesome that we all…you just talked about Black Widow, and to be able to have that experience. So we love the idea of being able to bring this character to the PlayStation players.
As far as everybody goes, we just announced Hawkeye less than a week ago. We have two characters announced within a matter of five days, the future is bright. People will get fixated on one thing as opposed to, ‘Oh by the way, you’re going to have hundreds of hours of content and years of storylines coming ahead of us, and new worlds and regions, and new heroes,’ and more stuff we haven’t even announced yet.
Amos concluded that he believes fans across all platforms will eventually get the bigger picture, and come to understand the business behind Spidey’s exclusivity.
But I really do think people will look at this and say, ‘Yeah, okay, we get that, we can understand the business behind that’, but in general, we’re making this game for everybody. We want this to be the place you get to play those superhero fantasies out with your Avengers team, that continue growing with new characters, characters you ain’t even guessed at yet, that are going to come to this roster down the road, and new regions as well. So I am very excited for what the future holds for everybody on all platforms.
We now know this isn’t where the exclusivity stops. 30-day timed cosmetic items for each hero will also come to PlayStation platforms first. Suffice it to say, this news hasn’t been received well either.
Marvel’s Avengers comes to PS4, PC, and Xbox One on September 4th.