• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Xbox passed on deal to make Marvel games to focus on their own IP - Head of Marvel Games

3liteDragon

Gold Member

Quotes from Jay Ong (Executive VP & Head of Marvel Games) & Ted Price (Founder & CEO of Insomniac Games).

Marvel Games reaching out to Xbox & PlayStation & why Microsoft passed over a Marvel deal
Jay Ong said:
What he needed was a publishing partner who hadn't adopted the "crappy licensed games" mentality. He needed a company with an eye for long-term investments, one with a vested interest that would benefit from building a franchise. That partner would need to have a deep pool of talent, commitment to quality, and inexhaustibly deep pockets. There were three companies that fit that description. One of them, Nintendo, mostly developed games based on its own intellectual properties.

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."

PlayStation, Marvel Games & Insomniac - Marvel's Spider-Man and a worthy rival to Arkham
Ted Price said:
Sony turned the project over to Insomniac Games,*18 an independent studio at the time, but one of Sony's most important partners. Insomniac had a long list of hits that were published under the Sony label—Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet & Clank, Resistance: Fall of Man, and most recently Sunset Overdrive.*19

Insomniac was an obvious choice for the project. As a studio, Insomniac had an impeccable record as both a designer of hit games and a reliable partner for Sony. Another plus, one of the studio's most recent games, Sunset Overdrive, incorporated a fast-paced, highly acrobatic style of combat that was equal parts parkour, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, and Call of Duty, a very Spider-Man style of fighting that involved swinging and grinding over cities while facing multiple enemies.

Insomniac's ability to create games based on already existing intellectual property may have caused some concern. Historically, the studio created IP rather than building off of other companies' ideas. In truth, other companies adapted Insomniac's IP.*20
When we heard of the opportunity, thanks to Connie [Sony Interactive Entertainment vice president of product development Connie Booth] at Sony, it was a real surprise for me because up until that point we had been working on our own IP and hadn't really contemplated working on existing franchises.
Ted Price said:
Sony's participation in this project would be anything but passive. Including marketing, the budget for franchise-building games like Marvel's Spider-Man routinely exceeded $100 million. With so much money and prestige on the line, Sony Interactive Entertainment assigned senior director Grady Hunt and PS4 designer Mark Cerny to consult on the project. Both men had worked as Sony consultants with Insomniac on early projects as well.

The three-way collaboration between Insomniac, Marvel, and Sony was a success. Having partnered with Insomniac many times throughout the PlayStation and PS2 eras, Sony executives had confidence in the studio's technical and game design savvy. For their part, studio founder Ted Price and his fellow "Insomniacs" understood how to work with Sony as well. Having worked in different industries serving a mostly similar audience, Price's Insomniacs had a natural affinity with their Marvel counterparts as well.

Very early on, we knew that there was a great chemistry between us and our compatriots at Marvel. A lot of that came from being able to learn more about the Marvel universe from those who were really experts in it…guys like Bill Rosemann [executive creative director, Marvel Games]. At the same time, the Marvel team was fantastic in trusting us to come up with a new story…to come up with a new take on Peter Parker, and to explore the mechanics of what Spider-Man could be in a modern game.
Ted Price said:
Along with its proven track record, Insomniac brought technical expertise to the project. Like so many games of the PS3/Xbox 360 era, Arkham Asylum was built using Unreal Engine 3, a versatile and powerful engine created by Epic. Insomniac used its proprietary Insomniac Engine.

The Insomniac Engine enabled us to create a very large city. The New York we created for Marvel's Spider-Man was ten times the size of the city we created for Sunset Overdrive and more detailed. More importantly, in Spider-Man you can go anywhere because you're Spider-Man. From the very beginning, we had to figure out how to make that work and make the views from the tallest buildings feel believable when we have limited horsepower to use. The goal is to be clever about how you display things and keep the game in frame while giving players a lot of freedom to do whatever they feel like at any time. Spider-Man is kind of the ultimate expression of that.
Jay Ong said:
Marvel's Spider-Man was indeed a worthy rival for the Arkham games. Breaking Spider-Man into the top tier of games wasn't only a question of money and technology; it was a question of finding a team with a grand vision. Insomniac wanted to create an iconic game for an iconic superhero. Marvel's active participation ensured a new level of authenticity. Wanting to create a PlayStation-exclusive franchise, Sony not only lent Marvel's Spider-Man a gigantic marketing budget, the console giant also offered technical support from start to finish.

When it came to Spider-Man, Activision wasn't prepared to compete against games like Batman: Arkham Asylum. Sony was. To date, the Arkham games and Marvel's Spider-Man are unrivaled among superhero games for sales, with a steep drop to the next tier down. In 2020, as Sony prepared to release PlayStation 5, the exclusive game headlining that release was Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

Marvel's Spider-Man was the first time that Marvel proper realized that games as a medium could drive the brand…could drive "brand affinity," as we call it.
 
Last edited:
I always thought Sony money hatted Street Fighter and Final Fantasy. Games that had a history of multi-platform releases. According to this story there was no Marvel game and they were looking for a partner to create one. A little different.

Nope, if I recall a certain amount of people said that sony moneyhat the spider-man ip. now this comes out, it people sing a completely different tune. funny
 

kingfey

Banned
What studios would make marvel games anyway?
This was unfavorable deal to them, considering they aren't out of halo,Gears, forza.

This was the best outcome for both parties.

Sony with big marvel characters, and 3rd parties for other marvel games.
Meanwhile, Xbox would diversify their IPs outside of gears, forza and halo.
 
Last edited:

Spitfire098

Member
Spiderman 2 selling gangbusters!
spider-man marvel GIF by Agent M Loves Gifs
 

skit_data

Member
I don’t have an issue with Insomniac making Marvel games. Somebody needs to make great games for Marvel fans.
As someone who is genuinely uninterested in the MCU and haven’t seen a Marvel Movie since Age of Ultron but really likes the Spider-Man games I’d also like to point out that somebody also needed to make great games for non-Marvel fans :)
 

01011001

Member
Marvel games generally suck ass. Spider-Man is the exception not the rule, and Spider-Man works so well because his powers are fun when translated into gameplay elements.
usually that is not the case.

with Hulk for example all you can really do is to make a generic beat em up... or Iron Man is usually boring because constantly flying around and using weak ass looking hand blasters is simply not that fun.
 

kingfey

Banned
good lord.

I couldn't care less about Marvel but I love those inside stories, very interesting.
They kind made good decision on that.
While marvel is good, MS doesn't own those ips. So that would be a waste of time for them.

One of thing we/everybody complains about xbox is their games. Considering what they have now, I would say, their gamble paid off, at the result of losing spiderman.

At least this is not bad as passing Sega offer. That was the most moronic decision from them.
 

DarkMage619

Member
Nope, if I recall a certain amount of people said that sony moneyhat the spider-man ip. now this comes out, it people sing a completely different tune. funny
Pretty odd to say Sony money hatted a series that didn't exist. I could see Sony leveraging their movie Spider-Man control but not a nonexistent title. This story mentions Marvel in general and Sony went with Spider-Man, again something their company already had an association with. Spider-Man from Insomniac was always just a Sony game.

So are we blaming Don Mattrick on that one?
Looks like the time frame was 2013/14 who was head of Xbox then and how long would that person have been there?

Phil doesn't miss.
What does any of this have to do with Phil Spencer? I assume you blame him for MS not taking the GTA3 deal too?
 

azertydu91

Hard to Kill
Marvel games generally suck ass. Spider-Man is the exception not the rule, and Spider-Man works so well because his powers are fun when translated into gameplay elements.
usually that is not the case.

with Hulk for example all you can really do is to make a generic beat em up... or Iron Man is usually boring because constantly flying around and using weak ass looking hand blasters is simply not that fun.
Iron man VR is awesome though.
 

ManaByte

Gold Member
I always thought Sony money hatted Street Fighter and Final Fantasy. Games that had a history of multi-platform releases. According to this story there was no Marvel game and they were looking for a partner to create one. A little different.
It also has nothing to do with the movie rights.
 

phil_t98

Gold Member
I personally love marvel films but I think the bubble has burst since end game. Spider-Man is it’s own entity so Microsoft never getting their hands on that so I can’t say am to botherd really
 
Good, we don't need pre-established IP to make a good game. I rather an avowed or starfield than a pre-established marvel IP slapped on existing game formulas. Plus the games usually exist in a genre that isn't my favorite. But playing as x superhero in general just doesn't appeal to the kind of gamer I am.
 
Guardians were fucking great, so that's a loss, but if they would publish the other game, well that would probably make the brand look worse than no game.
Not really a loss, it came out on the system, good and they didnt have to pay for it. Plus it sold poorly. The only reason to have a marvel ip exclusive is to bring over new customers...which guardians based on poor outreach would not have done. I think its a win for everyone how it worked out. Sony gets to be the big IP company, xbox gets to rebuild while basically owning the wrpg genre which those games dont really fit in.
 

kingfey

Banned
I personally love marvel films but I think the bubble has burst since end game. Spider-Man is it’s own entity so Microsoft never getting their hands on that so I can’t say am to botherd really
They killed avengers, and their big names.

Post marvel is kinda shit with no iron man and captain America.
Its like killing batman and superman from DC.
 

Kokoloko85

Member
Disney 100% approves these games and their content.

They done a great job then but I dont think they are making all the decisions for Insomniac, they probably just sign it off.

Altogether, for the amount of super hero movies released and tv shows, Disney has done a better job than anyone. They have yet to have a Batman & Robin, Justice league, Fantastic Four or Spiderman 3
 
Top Bottom