Marvel’s Avengers has found itself courting substantial controversy as of late.
Earlier this week, Sony, clearly eager to get ahead of the leaks, confirmed that Spider-Man will, in fact, be lending his considerable power to the superhero team as a post-launch DLC character. That, of course, is fantastic news for fans of Peter Parker’s alter ego. What hasn’t been prompting rapturous applause, though, is Spidey’s PlayStation exclusivity. As you’ll undoubtedly know, Sony Pictures – and, by extension, every division of the company – owns the movie rights to Spider-Man.
This contract, however, does not encompass video games, so while Insomniac’s standalone title released in 2018 is a PS4 exclusive, it would seem, based on publicly available documentation, at least, that Sony doesn’t have the final say on which gaming platforms the wall-crawler appears on.
What it does have, on the other hand, is leverage, and according to Crystal Dynamics head Scot Amos, a healthy relationship with Marvel. As part of a recent interview (H/T, NewsWeek), Amos discussed the sensitive subject, stating:
So the beauty of Spider-Man and what Spider-Man represents as a character in this world is, again, it comes back to the relationship with PlayStation and Marvel. We happen to be ones who can execute and deliver when it comes down to choices of where and what Spider-Man can be, that’s a relationship question that you know PlayStation absolutely has the rights to that as you guys know with Sony’s ownership there and Marvel with Sony saying, ‘hey, this is something we can do, this is something we can do on this platform’ and as creators, we have this opportunity that we can make something unique and fun and awesome.
In regards to the inevitable disappointment felt by Xbox and PC users, Amos more or less brushes off the criticism by referencing the fact that another new character, Hawkeye, will be available for everyone, regardless of platform. “I really do think people look at this and say ‘yeah, okay, we get that we understand the business behind that,” Amos continues, in what comes off as surprisingly dismissive.
The final decision, of course, lies not with Amos or any member of Crystal Dynamics, and it certainly seems as if this is a case of Spider-Man either being a PlayStation exclusive or simply not being added at all. Will the anti-consumer move pay off for Sony, though? We’ll have to wait and see.
Marvel’s Avengers is out next month, September 4th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and Stadia.