Sony and Marvel dropped a huge bomb at E3 early on Tuesday morning when they announced Spider-Man for Playstation 4. The game is being developed by Insomniac Games, the studio behind games such as Ratchet & Clank and Sunset Overdrive. But according to Marvel Games, Spider-Man is just the beginning of its plans for gaming.
According to Marvel’s vice-president for games Jay Ong, Marvel is looking to ultilise their vast library of superheroes to create a whole library of epic games:
“When I joined Marvel two years ago, I came in with a mandate to usher in a new era for Marvel Games. We have a treasure trove of the best superhero characters on Earth. What can we do to create truly epic games?
Is Spider-Man a signal of things to come? Oh, yes. Absolutely. And we can’t wait to tell the world about it.”
There is a lot about Marvel Games’ plans for consoles that Ong can’t talk about. They have existing partnerships with Telltale Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment and TT Games to make games based on Marvel properties. But there are a lot more in the works. According to Ong, we’ll hear about some of these plans later this year.
Part of this strategy will involve Marvel being picky about who it chooses to partner with. The company wants to work with the best developers, and ones who share a passion for its characters:
“One of the things we really focus on in terms of our new strategy is that we all believe that great games drive the brand and great games are what our fans really deserve. The question is, ‘how can we get there?’ The thing we landed on is to be really selective about who we partner with. Extremely selective. Right now I would say that out of every 10 opportunities we look at, we maybe do one.
What we look at first and foremost is the talent level of the partner. Are they world class in building 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.”
Ong also went on to reference movie tie-in games, admitting that in the modern age, the 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?'”
We still don’t know when Spider-Man or Telltale’s Marvel game (which Ong says will “delight fans”) are coming out, but we can’t wait to hear more about this exciting new Marvel Games initiative later this year.