Currently, Marvel video games such as Spider-Man and the upcoming Wolverine are exclusive to PlayStation. But it didn’t have to be that way. As noted by Reset Era, Microsoft and Xbox had the chance to make new Marvel video games, but they passed. That resulted in Sony and PlayStation getting the exclusive license to make 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man. The rest is history.
The information comes from The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 2. Per the book, Marvels vice president of games Jay Ong was given a seemingly simple task. He was trying to figure out why Marvel’s box office success didn’t translate to big games.
“Hired as Marvel’s vice president of games in May 2014, Jay Ong’s first challenge was to discover why Marvel’s box office success hadn’t translated to games. On the Marvel side, there had been games that were beloved well before I got there. Marvel vs. Capcom had its fan base. Ultimate Alliance had its fan base. They both were really high-quality games that were made for the fans.”
So, Ong looked for a partner who wasn’t making crappy licensed games. In that search, he reached out to both Xbox and PlayStation. This is where everything went wrong for gamers who happen to be Xbox owners.
“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. I sat down with these two execs from PlayStation third-party, Adam Boyes and John Drake, in August 2014, in a conference room in Burbank. I said, ‘We have a dream that this is possible, that we could beat Arkham and have one game at least and maybe multiple games that could drive adoption of your platform.’”
So, PlayStation made Marvel’s Spider-Man, which went on to become a gigantic hit. That was follwed up by Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which also was a sizable hit. It didn’t hurt that it was available on both the PS4 and PS5 as a launch title.
Here is the synopsis for Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
“In the latest adventure in the Marvel’s Spider-Man universe, teenager Miles Morales is adjusting to his new home while following in the footsteps of his mentor, Peter Parker, as a new Spider-Man. But when a fierce power struggle threatens to destroy his new home, the aspiring hero realizes that with great power, there must also come great responsibility. To save all of Marvel’s New York, Miles must take up the mantle of Spider-Man and own it.”
While games like Marvel’s Avengers and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy have been made availble on multiple platforms, PlayStation is still winning out. To that ened, both Spider-Man 2 and a new Wolverine game were announced last year. And, unfortunately for Xbox owners, these will both also be exclusive to PlayStation. Microsoft, it seems, made a big mistake that is going to hurt them for years to come.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 does not yet have a release date.