When we think Marvel, we think comics, and we think movies. With the success of multiple original television and Netflix shows, we're also beginning to associate Marvel with television. Marvel Games' Jay Ong wants us to think of video games when we think of Marvel, and that's not just PR talk. It sounds like Marvel is really putting its money where its mouth is.
In a recent interview with GameSpot, Ong affirms repeatedly that Marvel is dedicated to its games business. It's not just looking to create side products to help promote its new movies or comics. Instead, the goal is to create games which succeed as flagship titles for the medium as a whole. It's an audacious goal, and one that we admire. But how is Marvel going to bring this vision to fruition, and what kind of surprises can we expect in the near future?
Keep scrolling to see what Ong had to say.
More Game Announcements Are Coming
With Insomniac's Spider-Man game and The Avengers Project in the works, we already have two huge Marvel games to look forward to in the future, but Marvel isn't done yet. In talking about how closely Marvel works in collaboration with outside developers on their games, Ong stated that he and his team work hard to assess exactly what fans will want, and then they work hard to ensure that their partners are able to make the very most out of the IP.
"Those are the main two chunks of our job. One is curation of this portfolio and assembling this package together over time. And these things take a long time; we announced some of our current projects two years ago, and there are many announcements to come [emphasis mine]."
I don't know about you guys, but it sounds like we're in for a really exciting E3 next month. And Ong's¬†next few comments really have us wondering what we're going to see there.
Marvel's Diving Head-First Into VR
One subject that Ong returns to multiple times is virtual reality. "We did a deep dive in looking at the space towards the end of last year, and it offers some pretty incredible opportunities, in terms of delivering really cool experiences. We can't say anything yet, but believe me, we're not shying away from it."
He goes on to explain at length how Marvel views VR as a viable platform for their games to shine. "We see VR in the same way we see the other platforms in terms of if you want to do something, you need to do something truly amazing," he said. "Absolutely expect some announcements in VR, that's something we're really excited about. I think our fans are going to go crazy. The things we're doing there are absolutely amazing."
"We think if we do something there, it shouldn't be just for the novelty of it. It should be something that defines the platform, that defines the experience. Certainly we're looking to build when Spider-man comes out, it'll be one of the best games on the platform, and when Avengers comes out, it'll be one of the best games on those platforms. We think our efforts in VR will be the same thing."
It's All About Original, Compelling Content
You heard Ong mention that riding on novelty when it comes to VR is not an option, and that's not something the team is looking to do in the traditional gaming space, either. Going forward, expect Marvel's video games to take unique risks, tell unique stories, and inspire fans in a unique way.
"Our executive creative director," Ong notes, "he's from the comic book side of the business, and he's an incredible storyteller. He understands how the sauce is made, so to speak, and he collaborates with our partners to make sure that the stories are interesting, original, authentically Marvel, and unique to our games. That's on the story side.
"You know, Spider-man's costume in the [2017 Spider-Man] game, for instance, is original, right? It's neither the theatrical costume nor is it from the comic books. The white spider design is totally original. We've come a long way. I think we used to be a support unit; now we're big, not as big as theatrical or TV, but we're growing."
If you're wondering how to crack the code and figure out what else Marvel might be working on, we have an idea of what to look out for...
Marvel's Video Game Code Names Are Snack Foods
This was a really fun little tidbit from the¬†interview. Ong mentioned in passing that all of their unannounced games and projects go by special code names. When GameSpot's Justin Haywald asked for a specific example, Ong of course declined to provide one. He did give us a clue, though:
"All of our games' code names are named after food items. Different snack food items. It's just funny that they're this common theme. I used to work at Blizzard and the code names there were named after mythological creatures, but we were like, 'You know, we don't want something too grandiose. We want to keep it simple.' We all like to eat, and so literally every single game I saw on the screen has a code name that's related to food in some way. "
So what do you think the next big Marvel game should be? Let us know in the poll below.