SPIDER-MAN Video Game Franchise Was Very Nearly An Xbox Exclusive - But They Turned Marvel Down!
The Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Miles Morales games have been major hits for Sony's PlayStation consoles, but the franchise could have been an Xbox exclusive...had they not turned Marvel Games down!
Spider-Man was a huge critical and commercial hit for Sony, and the spinoff, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, was a key part of the company's PlayStation 5 launch. However, little did we know that there was a time when the franchise could have been made available exclusively on Xbox consoles instead.
In an excerpt from Steven L. Kent's book The Ultimate History of Video Games, Vol. 2 (via GameFragger.com), Marvel Games boss Jay Ong reflected on cutting ties with Activision in order to regain Spider-Man. Marvel wasn't happy with the quality of games they had delivered, and when he was asked what Marvel Games had planned for the web-slinger, Ong replied, "I'm going to find a better home for it."
Activision's response was "Good luck finding your unicorn," and it was then that Ong approached Sony and Xbox execs. He asked both if they would be interested in an exclusive console deal, but Xbox quickly turned him down due to having their own exclusive IPs to focus on.
"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," he recalls. "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.'" With that, Sony offered to make a Triple-A Spider-Man game and enlisted Insomniac to make it as amazing as it could and should be.
As we now know, Spider-Man became one of Sony's most popular titles, so you have to believe that Xbox team is majorly regretting its decision these days. Of course, they didn't have access to Insomniac and it's impossible to imagine any other developer delivering such a spectacular spin on the hero.
A Spider-Man sequel, starring Tony Todd as Venom, is expected to be released next year. For all the latest on that, make sure you keep a close eye on GameFragger.com for updates!