Ever since Marvel Studios struck gold with the MCU, connected universes fueled by sequels, spin-offs, and multimedia expansions have grown to become the norm. DC, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and more have all set out plans for grand expansions in the coming years.
So, with connected universes growing increasingly common, especially in the superhero world, one can only wonder whether video games are next. Both Marvel and DC are currently working on games from various developers in different genres, styles, and universes.
Marvel Games currently has multiple games in the works across the gaming industry, including Wolverine and Spider-Man 2 at Insomniac, an untitled Captain America and Black Panther game at Skydance, an Iron Man project from Motive, Midnight Suns from Firaxis, and more updates for Square Enix's Avengers.
But is the comic publisher's gaming division looking to bring these Marvel tales together for an ultimate crossover, just as has been done on the big screen with the MCU? Well, a new update may have revealed the answer, and fans have shared some strong thoughts.
Marvel Touts Gaming 'Multiverse,' Denies Connected Games Universe
Speaking to Games Industry Biz, Marvel Games creative director and vice president Bill Rosemann addressed the potential of a gaming-connected universe along the lines of what Marvel Studios has created with the MCU.
Rosemann shut down the idea as he revealed that they want to give creators "freedom to tell their own story," especially as audiences grow more "accepting of the multiverse" as the concept continues to enter the mainstream:
"The world is, amazingly, very familiar and accepting of the multiverse. We have all these different realities. Now they’re all real, and we want to give everyone the freedom to tell their story."
Responding to a Twitter post sharing the news, fans offered strong reactions to Marvel Games maintaining a Multiverse rather than an interconnected universe.
@ArthurRibVale was pleased by the news, revealing their belief that people "don’t even care anymore about the quality" and just want "connections and Easter eggs:"
"Thank god I’m tired of Marvel shoving of our throats that everything that make is connected. Nowadays people don’t even care anymore about the quality of the MCU, they just want to see fanservice, connections and Easter eggs."
@_ustLike_uicide said there is "no need to have several games feeling and looking" identical for the sake of connectivity:
"This is excellent. No need to have several games feeling and looking the same. Watering down games for “universe” building would be awful. The gaming world doesn’t need a “mcu” swallowing up everything."
@skgw2010 noted their hope to see stories be "fleshed out and compelling in their own right" as long as developers are "passionate in keeping with the DNA" of the characters they adapt:
"Definitely no need. As long as each story is fleshed out and compelling in their own right, different takes of the characters will be fine. Hopefully the devs are passionate in keeping with the DNA and lore of each character they decide to do like insomniacs Spider-Man."
@F0rg0tt3nPr0f1t pointed out that a connected gaming universe could lead to titles becoming exclusive to consoles that "not everyone could have access to," preventing them from experiencing the whole story:
"Good. The worst thing that Marvel could do is try and force a shared universe. Then we would end up with exclusive pieces of content on exclusive consoles that not everyone could have access to. That would cause so much whining that it wouldn’t be worth it."
@kayjune_ shared their fatigue with connected universes as there ends up being "far too much to keep up with," but revealed their desire to see Insomniac's Spider-Man and Wolverine games in the same universe:
"Good, cross-universe/multiverse has gotten so boring and far too much to keep up with over time (look at how many movies you have to watch to understand the MCU, for example). Although I do hope Insomniac’s Spider-Man and Wolverine are both in the same universe!"
@fieryspy64 revealed their interest to see "more characters pop up in the respective games," citing the lack of fellow heroes who appear in Insomniac's Spider-Man as an example of an unrealistic scenario:
"I hope more characters pop up in the respective games. Like in all that Spider-Man ps4 chaos it's crazy that we didn't even see one other superhero pop up or even talk to Spider-Man even though the landmarks clearly indicate there are tonnes of them around in the city."
Does Marvel Need a Connected Gaming Universe?
Marvel Games clearly doesn't have aspirations to bring together its many gaming projects to tell a larger story, but is that a missed opportunity? Well, no, there are many reasons why a connected gaming universe would be even tougher to create than a cinematic one, even if that was the plan.
Firstly, unlike the MCU which is all developed under the watchful eye of Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige, these video games come from many publishers. So, creating the same level of connectivity, continuity, and endgame would be near impossible, which in itself makes the idea pointless.
There's also the factor of the exclusivity and contracts that are wrapped up in the gaming side of things. With some titles, such as Spider-Man and Wolverine, being exclusive to certain platforms, players without access to every platform would ultimately miss out on parts of this larger story.
But just as was said by Rosemann himself, tying everything together reduces individual creativity as developers would be compelled to build within the confines of this story, style, and tone. Right now, fans are being treated to varied experiences that are suited to the expertise of their specific creators.
For those looking for that connectivity, Insomniac are developing Wolverine and Spider-Man for PlayStation, and both will likely occupy the same world. This case ought to work well if the two crossover, as both titles are coming from the same developer and are exclusive to one platform.
As audiences become to the idea of the Multiverse, never say never to these characters jumping between universe to meet, but the chances are certainly slim. Each of these worlds can have their own takes on heroes to meet and interact, allowing each developer to carve out their own universe in this Multiverse.
The next Marvel game comes with Firaxis Games' Midnight Suns which will release on December 2 for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.