Xbox Turned Down Marvel Exclusivity, According to Marvel Exec

Xbox Turned Down Marvel Exclusivity, According to Marvel Exec

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Matt Lorrigan

Microsoft turned down the opportunity to create Marvel games for Xbox, according Marvel's VP of Games Jay Ong.

Speaking in the book The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 2 (and spotted by ResetEra) Ong detailed how he was challenged to “discover why Marvel's box office success hadn't translated to games”.

He wanted a licensing partner that didn't have a “crappy licensed games” mentality, and so Marvel and Activision agreed to terminate their contract early.

“Being from console first-party in my past, I pinged both sides, both Xbox and PlayStation, and said, 'We don't have any big console deals with anyone right now. What would you like to do?' Microsoft's strategy was to focus on their own IP. They passed.”

It was then that Ong sat down with two PlayStation executives, and described his dream to “beat Arkham” and create one, or even multiple, PlayStation exclusive Marvel games.

Of course, the rest is history, with Sony agreeing to create a AAA PlayStation-exclusive Spider-Man game with Insomniac Games. But had Microsoft not turned Ong down, we could well have seen a very different console-exclusive Marvel game coming to Xbox platforms. Maybe something a little more green, like The Incredible Hulk? Or perhaps we could have gotten a Spider-Man game after all, but just from a different developer? It's fascinating to think of what could have been.

Comments
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  • This is a very simplified version of the statement and it makes Microsoft seem stupid for turning it down, the reason they turned it down makes sense since they were not in a good place with first party games let alone exclusive third party games as well Xbox was very weak back then, but today they can contact Disney and make several different styles of Star Wars and Marvel games not just your typical Open World game like Spider-Man
  • As cool as it would be to have a great Marvel game on Xbox, I don't think Microsoft made a bad call. It's not like there are multiple big Marvel games, there's just the 1.5 or whatever so far. Sony fanboys would then talk about how pathetic it is that Xbox has just the "one good superhero game" or whatever twist they would use to make it seem like a negative, whenever Xbox has a success. It still blows my mind that they always find something to hate on the other side of this dumb console war, antiquated topic. I constantly hear from Sony fanboys about how lame Game Pass is... I don't understand the grasping at straws mentality, over loyalty to companies that don't care about you.

    I loved Spider-Man PS4, even if it was overrated; God of War was one of the best games I have ever played; and Naughty Dog kills it every time. Why can't we all just be happy for anyone when they get something good? lol

    /rant
  • Xbox could always respond with a Daredevil game now maybe?

    I did hear a cool concept of a Doctor Strange game by Remedy which could work.
  • Would be nice if we could try to get away from the fuggin Super Hero games. Licensing is a bitch.

    Batman and Spider-man are awesome movie characters and after about 15 years of film/TV shows, we got some really cool games like Spider-man 2 and Arkham Asylum. Nice.

    But Spider-Man (PS4) is awesome and exclusive to PlayStation, and that's fine. For now.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Spider-man is a property Xbox, Nintendo, and Sony console owners alike, all love and enjoy via past games, movies, etc.

    It's bullshit that people think winning the console war means making 3rd party IPs exclusive to a certain console. All these games will leagaly be a modern version of Goldeneye 007.

    Great critical reception and amazing sales for a console exclusive. Many people's favorite game and what made them buy the console it was exclusive on. A Killer App. BUT Good luck playing it in 15 years. IDK. All this licensing is leaving a bad taste. I do not see it as a positive thing.
  • Microsoft is actually "brain-dead" when is comes to making first party games. The only one that is actually great is forza horizon, but the rest are good or just average - halo infinite was OK. They just dont have the pedigree like sony and nintendo. That is why they buy other studios out. They cant cultivate an environment or talent where their internal studios make "world class" games.

    Now I hear perfect dark is in development hell..... whats next. This is the problem when you have too much money and not enough brains. Microsoft have certainly getting better with likes of physconauts 2 and flight simulator but its no where near effort what nintendo and sony does
  • Microsoft has always done this, all the way back to Resident Evil 4. But I think the biggest blow is from rejecting KotOR remake.
  • @HafidhHaramain You do know that Sony didn't make most of their first party exclusives in house, originally, right? They were all made by development studios that they acquired. They have smartly heavily invested into and acquired studios much earlier than MS did, but they still purchased them.

    Guerrilla Games, Insomniac, Naughty Dog, Santa Monica, Sucker Punch, etc. were all acquired by Sony at some point. They were not in-house developers, originally.

    You can't hate on MS for doing the same thing that Sony did.
    You can hate on them for being late to the party though.
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