Much of the success of PlayStation of the last few years is derived from its most important exclusives, including Marvel’s Spider-Manwhich it turns out it could have been an Xbox or Nintendo exclusive.
The exclusive PlayStation 4 license plate Insomniac Games landed on consoles in 2018, immediately becoming a sales success with over 20 million copies sold.
The story we know could have been vastly different, as we learn that Microsoft and Xbox had been contacted by Marvelbut the rival PlayStation managed to get the better of it.
According to The Ultimate History of Video Games Volume 2details on Marvel’s deal with Sony and Microsoft (which backed out) were shared on ResetEra.
When Jay Ong was hired to be Vice President of Marvel Gaming in 2014, his first challenge was to understand why the box office success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe just couldn’t make a difference to the gaming world.
While there were some Marvel video games that had sold well, there weren’t any that had made huge numbers.
Jay Ong decided not to contact Nintendowhich is known, prefers to focus mainly on its own IPs, ed he then contacted PlayStation and Xboxpresenting the idea of a Marvel video game that could directly compete with the quality and popularity of the Batman: Arkham series.
Microsoft also replied that at the time they wanted to focus on their own IPsthe only one therefore willing to accept was Sony who entrusted the work of Spider-Man to Insomniac Games.
Although the development house itself wanted to focus more on its new IPs, rather than on other pre-existing ones, the previous work of Sunset Overdrive convinced Insomniac Games itself to accept the challenge.
The obstacles, however, for Marvel, were not over here.
In fact, another hurdle before we could hire Sony to start developing Spider-Man was getting the rights to our friendly neighborhood superhero from Activision.
Getting those rights, however, was very easyas Activision was happy to wish Ong good luck, hoping Spider-Man would find a better haven.
Subsequently Insomiac Games worked with Sony and Marvel to develop two Spider-Man video gameswith a third installment coming up and the development of a video game about Wolverine.
No doubt about it, the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has found his home, in the hands of companies that have been able to exploit his image to excess.
Who knows what would have happened if Marvel’s Spider-Man had become an Xbox exclusive, have you ever asked yourself this question?