Ever since Marvel Studios struck gold with the MCU, connected universes powered by sequels, spin-offs, and multimedia expansions have become the norm. DC, Star Wars, Game of Thrones and more all have plans for major expansions in the years to come.
As connected universes become more common, especially in the world of superheroes, one can only wonder if video games are next. Both Marvel and DC are currently working on games from different developers in different genres, styles and universes.
Marvel Games currently has several games in the works in the gaming industry including wolverine and Spiderman 2 in Insomniac, an untitled game created by Captain America and Black Panther in Skydance, an Iron Man project by Motive, midnight suns by Firaxis and other updates for Square Enix avenger.
But does the comics publisher’s games division want to bring these Marvel stories together for an ultimate crossover, like it did on the big screen with the MCU? Well, a new update may have revealed the answer, and fans have shared some strong thoughts.
Marvel promotes gaming “Multiverse”, denies the universe of connected games
Speaking to Games Industry Biz, Bill Rosemann, Creative Director and Vice President of Marvel Games, spoke about the potential of a gaming-connected universe modeled after what Marvel Studios created with the MCU.
Rosemann shut down the idea when he revealed they want to give creators “Freedom to tell your own story” especially when the audience grows “Accepting the Multiverse” as the concept becomes more mainstream:
“The world is surprisingly very familiar and accepting of the multiverse. We all have these different realities. Now they are all real and we want to give everyone the freedom to tell their story.”
In response to a Twitter post sharing the news, fans showed strong reactions to the fact that Marvel Games maintains a multiverse rather than an interconnected universe.
@ArthurRibVale rejoiced at the news and revealed her belief that people “I don’t care about the quality” and just want “Connections and Easter Eggs:”
“Thank god I’m tired of Marvel choking on everything that makes is connected. Nowadays people don’t even care about the quality of the MCU, they just want to see fanservice, connections and easter eggs.”
@_ustLike_uicide said there is “no need to feel and seek multiple games” identical for connectivity reasons:
“This is excellent. There is no need for multiple games to feel and look the same. Diluting games for “universe” building would be terrible. The gaming world doesn’t need an “mcu” that devours everything.”
@skw2010 noted her hope to see stories “mature and convincing in itself” as long as developers are “Passionately in line with DNA” of characters they adapt:
“Definitely not necessary. As long as each story is fleshed out and compelling on its own, various takes on the characters will be fine. Hopefully the developers are passionate about honoring the DNA and lore of any character they choose to be like Insomniac Spider-Man.”
@F0rg0tt3nPr0f1t pointed out that a connected gaming universe could lead to titles becoming exclusive to consoles “not everyone could have access” prevent them from learning the whole story:
“Good. The worst thing Marvel could do is try to force a shared universe. Then we would end up with exclusive content on exclusive consoles that not everyone could have access to. That would cause so much whining it wouldn’t be worth it.”
@kayjune_ shared their weariness with connected universes as they finally exist “way too much to keep up” but revealed their desire to see Insomniac’s Spiderman and wolverine Games in the same universe:
“Well, cross-universe/multiverse has gotten so boring and way too much to keep up with (like look at how many movies you have to watch to understand the MCU). Though I hope Insomniacs Spider-Man and Wolverine are both in the same universe!”
@fieryspy64 expressed an interest in seeing “More characters appear in each game” citing the lack of fellow heroes appearing in Insomniacs Spiderman As an example of an unrealistic scenario:
“I hope that more characters appear in the respective games. As in all of the Spider-Man PS4 mayhem, it’s crazy that we don’t even see another superhero show up or even speak to Spider-Man, despite the landmarks clearly indicating there are tons of them around town.”
Does Marvel need a connected gaming universe?
Marvel Games clearly has no aspirations to bring its many gaming projects together to tell a larger story, but is this a missed opportunity? Well, no, there are many reasons why a networked gaming universe would be even more difficult to create than a cinematic universe, even if that was the plan.
First, unlike the MCU, all of which were developed under the watchful eyes of Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige, these video games come from many publishers. So it would be nearly impossible to create the same level of connectivity, continuity, and endgame, making the very idea pointless.
There’s also the factor of exclusivity and contracts wrapped into the gaming side of things. For some titles, such as Spiderman and wolverineexclusive to certain platforms, players without access to all platforms would end up missing out on parts of this larger story.
But just like Rosemann himself said, tying everything together reduces individual creativity, as developers would be forced to build within the confines of that story, style, and tone. For now, fans are treated to varied experiences that reflect the expertise of their respective creators.
For those looking for that connectivity, Insomniac is developing wolverine and Spiderman for PlayStation, and both will likely occupy the same world. This case should work well when the two cross, as both titles come from the same developer and are exclusive to one platform.
With audiences becoming the idea of the multiverse, never say never to these characters who hop between universes to meet, but the chances are certainly slim. Each of these worlds can have their own heroes to meet and interact with, allowing each developer to create their own universe in this multiverse.
The next Marvel game comes with Firaxis Games midnight suns which will be released on December 2nd for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch.