In September 2018, Marvel and Insomniac Games rocked our webbed socks with the launch of Marvel’s Spider-Man, a PlayStation 4 exclusive that deservedly brought one of the greatest fictional characters of all-time into the videogame spotlight once again.
Saying the title was well-received is an understatement, as it web-zipped up Game of the Year-lists faster than Stan Lee could say “Excelsior, true believers!”. Marvel’s Spider-Man was a resounding critical and commercial success, selling over nine million copies as of January 2019 and proving that the demand for this character, and narrative-based Marvel titles, is as abundant as it’s ever been.
With the success of Spider-Man still fresh, and Crystal Dynamics due to release Marvel’s Avengers in 2020, we feel like there’s no better time for an Avengers/Spider-Man game crossover. After all, millions of players fell in love with Insomniac’s take on Spidey and his supporting cast, so introducing thatPeter Parker (or Miles Morales) into Marvel’s Avengers post-launch seems like a bona fide no-brainer, right?
Let’s explore how the potential crossover could happen.
PlayStation is making money moves
The marketing machine for Marvel’s Avengers, set in motion following the game’s reveal at E3 2019, focuses on the idea that the game will “introduce a universe gamers can play in for years to come”.
This bold claim forms the basis of our theory about how Marvel could introduce characters from Marvel’s Spider-Man (and other upcoming Marvel titles) into Marvel’s Avengers.
During the game’s E3 reveal, it was announced that PlayStation had secured a marketing deal for the title that will see PS4 owners get priority access to the online beta, as well as a few unannounced future “surprises”.
Now, it may well be a little too optimistic to expect those “surprises” to include our PS4 Spidey as a playable Avenger, but aren’t we allowed to dream? It’s not completely out of the realm of possibility either, as Crystal Dynamics has been very open about post-launch plans for the game. The studio has confirmed that new playable heroes and regions will be added to the game for free in the years to come after the game launches in May 2020. We simply cannot fathom that the most famous and beloved Avenger wouldn’t be one of those post-launch DLC heroes on PS4.
Yes, Crystal Dynamics could easily have its own version of Spider-Man waiting in the wings, but it would be an enormous missed opportunity to ignore Insomniac’s character and start afresh. It’s not just because we love his suit or Yuri Lowenthal’s incredible performance as Peter Parker, a crossover could be so much more than a surface-level tie-in.
With some extensive communication and understanding with Insomniac, Marvel's Spider-Man narrative could continue in Marvel’s Avengers, and vice-versa. We could even see the characters’ appearance in Marvel’s Avengers bridging the narrative gap between Spidey’s first outing and the sequel.
Imagine: Tony Stark hits-up Peter for his scientific brain (something already hinted at, more on that later), something goes wrong and boom, Spidey’s an Avenger for a while. Then, in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Mary Jane or Miles Morales could mention how great it is to have Peter back in New York after all his Avenging on the West Coast, that the city feels safe again.
We don’t need an Avengers: Infinity War-style epic from a crossover, just enough to build a believable world full of heroes, a world where characters are aware of events happening across multiple videogames.