Microsoft Passed On Making Xbox Marvel Games
As Insomniac Games continues to weave a lucrative "web" of Marvel titles, the likes of Marvel's Spider-Man and its Miles Morales spin-off have become big hitters for Sony's roster of first-party games. Although not quite up there with God of War just yet, the growing catalogue of Marvel games for PlayStation is putting Xbox to shame.
Insomniac has a long history with the PlayStation, and after working on the likes of Spyro the Dragon and Ratchet & Clank, has moved away from its child-like roots for a more serious affair. Honestly, did anyone really expect Aunt May to kick the bucket in 2018's Spider-Man? It turns out Microsoft could've had a slice of the pie, but instead, reportedly passed on the idea of Xbox Marvel games.
Why Did Microsoft Pass On Xbox Marvel Games?
As spotted on ResetEra (via VGC), The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 2 explains how a decade-long partnership between Activision and Marvel Games came to a salty end - with the latter unhappy by a string of lacklustre releases like Spider-Man: Edge of Time.
According to Marvel Games head Jay Ong, it wanted to find a new publisher to squeeze into the spandex. In one excerpt, Ong says how the Amazing Spider-Man movie tie-in games were the final straw, which led to Marvel Games parting ways with Activision in 2014. When Marvel Games went looking for a "better home", Activision reportedly said "good luck finding your unicorn."
Microsoft comes into the picture when Marvel Games approached it as this better home. Ong claims that Microsoft passed because it was too invested in working on its own IPs. Sony was an interested party, and bolstered Marvel's own pitch of being able to beat Rocksteady's Arkham games by promising a AAA experience with Insomniac being one of its "important partners". Both sides accepted and Sony staked a chonky $100 million on a Marvel game.
Will Marvel Games Remain As PlayStation Exclusives?
As Insomniac remains the overlord of the genre, we've seen the likes of Crystal Dynamics' Marvel's Avengers and Eidos-Montreal's Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy released alongside PlayStation as Xbox Marvel games, but neither has managed to find the success of the Sony-exclusive games. Remembering that Marvel's Spider-Man has sold over 20 million copies since 2018 and Miles Morales has added a further 6.5 million, it's a partnership that's going well.
There are already hopes that Insomniac can build a Marvel Gaming Universe, with popular ideas ranging from Daredevil to The Fantastic Four, and even the might of the X-Men. This is already backed up by Marvel's Spider-Man 2 and a mysterious Wolverine game. Xbox owners might be able to dabble with the odd Marvel game, but for the foreseeable future, Insomniac's games are PlayStation's very own goose that laid the golden egg.