Square Enix and Marvel Entertainment team up for a new slate of Marvel games
In news that should surprise none peoples, Marvel is looking to try its hand once again at gaining a foothold in the console and PC video game market. It has tried before several times before with mixed results, but now it has a new ally in Square Enix.
Today, Marvel Entertainment and Square Enix announced a multi-year, multi-game partnership that will grant the publisher the rights to create games based on the Marvel Comics properties. The first game will be developed by Crystal Dynamics with an assist from Eidos Montreal, and it will focus on the Avengers.
Marvel has had a spotty history with games. It’s had some success with Capcom’s fighters (the Marvel vs Capcom series), as well as its mobile offerings. The bulk of its console games, however, have been hit or miss. Games like Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and Spider-Man: Shattered Dimension weren’t bad, but they didn’t really pop with fans. Others like X-Men: Destiny, Deadpool, and the game tie-ins for the Thor and Captain America movies were downright painful.
For a property so vibrant with so many fans, it’s criminal that there haven’t been any standout Marvel games recently. With Square Enix, that could change.
It’s worth noting that the deal is with Marvel Entertainment rather than Marvel Studios. That means the games won’t be connected to the films, which in this case is probably a good thing. There are no restrictions, and the developers have a blank canvas they can fill with decades’ worth of Marvel stories and characters. It also means there are no issues with creating or including characters that may not have been introduced in the films yet, and there won’t be any issue with using characters that have been introduced on TV but not film.
It’s also a good move to have Crystal Dynamics take the first crack at making a game stemming from the recent agreement. The developer is coming off a successful reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise, so if anyone knows how to make a game that builds on an established property without getting bogged down in its lore, it’s Crystal Dynamics.
There will be other games as well, from other developers working under the Square Enix banner, but the first will be the untitled Avengers project. All we really know about it at the moment is that it will be an original story set in its own universe.
“The Avengers project is being designed for gamers worldwide and will be packed with all the characters, environments, and iconic moments that have thrilled longtime fans of the franchise,” the press release states. “Featuring a completely original story, it will introduce a universe gamers can play in for years to come. More details on The Avengers project and other games will be announced in 2018.”
More details on it and other games will be announced in 2018. The publisher did release a teaser video, but it’s vague to the point that it probably has nothing at all to do with the game. It’s a quick CG clip with Avengers motifs, so there’s not much to go on.
If the developers can put forward solid games, the next few years could be big for Marvel Entertainment on the interactive front. Along with the new deal with Square Enix to create multiple games Insomniac Games has its new Spider-Man game on the way, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is due out this year, and Telltale has an episodic Guardians of the Galaxy game coming soon (although that one will be based on the film from Marvel Studios). There will probably be plenty of mobile games as well.
It’s a good time to be a fan of Marvel.