Xbox apparently turned down an offer to work with Marvel Games, inadvertently leading to the company signing a partnership with Sony to develop Spider-Man on PS4. The news comes from an excerpt from Steven L. Kent’s book The Ultimate History of Video Games Vol 2, which revealed that Microsoft refused the offer to work with Marvel, choosing to focus on their own IPs instead.
According to executive vice president of Marvel Games, Jay Ong, the company wasn’t happy with the quality of Spider-Man titles being produced by Activision. Ong began shopping around IPs following the company cutting ties with Activision, which responded, “Good luck finding your unicorn.”
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Ong apparently approached both Sony and Microsoft with the hopes of striking a partnership. At the time, Xbox turned down the offer, stating that its strategy was to focus on its own IPs at the time. This led to Ong approaching Sony next, who happily agreed to a partnership.
Ong then sat down with some Sony executives to discuss exploring the partnership:
“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’.”
Development duties for the next Spider-Man game then passed onto PlayStation, who enlisted Insomniac Games to take on the project. This eventually became the PS4 exclusive Marvel’s Spider-Man, which now sits among PlayStation’s most acclaimed and best-selling exclusives.
Given how popular Marvel was back in the 2010s, especially amidst the hype and box office success of the rapidly growing Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s bizarre that Xbox passed on the offer entirely. Thankfully, Sony responded optimistically and the rest is history.
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Source: Video Games Chronicle