Tuesday, May 24, 2022
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.
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