Attendees and viewers of Sony's E3 2016 conference were treated to a bit of a surprise when it was revealed that Insomniac Games is working on a Spider-Man game. However, according to the game's publisher, Marvel Games, this is only the first step in an ambitious plan to create new gaming franchise from Marvel's enormous catalogue of superhero IP.
The publisher also re-affirmed that rather than creating a tie in for 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming film, the PS4-exclusive game will feature a "brand-new, authentic" story in an effort to create a "truly authentic" tale starring Peter Parker and his arachnid alter-ego.
Marvel's vice president of games, Jay Ong, discussed the move in an interview with Polygon, where he talked about future plans to build franchises from Marvel IP.
"Is [Spider-Man PS4] a signal of things to come? Oh, yes. Absolutely. And we can't wait to tell the world about it," Ong said. "Building these franchises, and building these characters [at Marvel Games], this is that first big milestone from this team. This is a huge ambitious project."
Later in the interview, Ong discusses the importance of selecting the right developers to bring Marvel IP to life:
"Right now I would say that out of every 10 opportunities we look at, we maybe do one. The thing we landed on is to be really selective with who we partner with. What we look at first and foremost is the talent level of partner. Are they world class in building the games we're talking about? They have to have world-class talent. They have to be able to invest the resources to make that talent sing. Equally important is, do they have passion for the IP they're working on? Do they share the same ambition? Do they love the character? We look for passion, that comes through in the first 30 seconds."
Marvel Games' future plans and MCU movie tie-ins
While it had been quietly rumoured that a Spider-Man title was on the way to PS4 prior to Sony's E3 showcase, most reports linked the project with Infamous developer Sucker Punch. Instead, the Ratchet and Clank creators Insomniac Games was unveiled as the studio behind Spider-Man's blockbuster return to games.
Ong's remarks suggest that future Marvel Games projects could come from other "world-class" developers. Early in 2015, Telltale Games announced that it was partnering with Marvel Games to create a new title based on Marvel IP. The end result of the collaboration has yet to surface, but is still pegged for a vague 2017 release date.
On the subject of movie tie-ins, Ong promised that quality would not be sacrificed to meet any deadlines, explaining that 'great is not good enough. We're going for truly epic." He continued:
"In this modern day and age, that [video game movie tie-in] model doesn't work anymore. Things like [games] you cannot under-resource. You can't not give the development time ... to do justice to the game. We think, 'How do we make the game better? How do we help our partners make the game better?'"