Sony's Marvel's Spider-Man games clearly play a very important role in the PlayStation portfolio, racking up millions of sales over and over again. But what if the IP was instead exclusive to Microsoft? The head of Marvel Games Jay Ong has revealed how this could have been the case as the company approached both Sony and Microsoft at the same time, with the latter turning them down.
Ong makes the comments in The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 2 by Steven L. Kent, revealing how both companies were approached after Marvel cut its exclusive Spider-Man deal with Activision short. Ong told Activision that Marvel would "find a better home" for the IP, to which it responded: "Good luck finding your unicorn."
Marvel then held talks with Microsoft and Sony, with the former turning the offer down because it reportedly wanted to focus on its own IP rather than using an external license. In the case of Sony, however, the Marvel Games lead sat down with former Sony execs Adam Boyes and John Drake in August 2014. Ong told Sony: "We have a dream that this is possible, that we could beat [Batman] Arkham and have one game at least and maybe multiple games that could drive adoption of your platform."
The rest, as they say, was history. Sony handed the Spider-Man IP to Insomniac Games, which despite still being independent at the time, was considered "one of Sony’s most important partners" prior to the acquisition. Do you think Xbox having exclusive rights to the Spider-Man IP would have chanced the course of the prior generation at all? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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