HonestDragon (User)

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Marvel Taking Control is a Good Thing

HonestDragon | 304d ago
User blog

So, it's been awhile since I have had the time to really buckle down and write up something new for the site, but I have been keeping up with recent developments regarding a couple of subjects that I really want to talk about. One of these subjects particularly is that Marvel was taking down various titles within digital stores at an alarming rate. Steam, PSN, and Xbox Live saw titles like Marvel vs Capcom 3, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, and Deadpool being removed for digital purchase. While it is true that you can still find physical copies of the games at your local retailers, the rumors have started floating about. Why has Marvel removed their games? Why was a recent addition like Deadpool pulled from these digital services? If the following theory turns out to be true, I will tell you why this is a good thing from both the standpoint of a gamer and an avid fan of Marvel comics.

That theory is that Activision and Capcom have lost the licensing rights to Marvel's characters. Further, it would appear that Marvel is now going to produce their games in-house like they have done with their movies when they expressed interest in doing so with their own people. That's not a bad thing by any means. This is truly a good thing. Take it from me as a fan of Marvel comics when I say that most of the games that Marvel licensed out before were either very bad or extremely mediocre.

Something amiss happened in the licensing out of these great characters hence there were many people taking liberty with what they were working on. Too many studios, developers, and publishers got their hands on a license and held on to dear life just to make money off of it. For video games, Capcom was milking fans with Marvel vs Capcom 3 back in 2011 and Activision pumped out game after game of Spider-Man and X-Men that were lackluster. For movies, the same can be seen in their lack of direction and understanding of the source material. It shows a complete lack of respect for Marvel and their characters.

Believe me when I say that the movies were in need of some work. You don't even have to look at films in recent memory like Spider-Man 3 and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance to know how bad Marvel movies were. Universal Studios' Howard the Duck from 1986 was horrendous. Personally, the in-house Marvel movies have been incredible. The movies leading up to and including The Avengers crossover (something many people said could not be done) was fantastic. I cannot get enough of that movie and I'm eagerly waiting for Age of Ultron. That is my standpoint as a Marvel comics fan. As a gamer, I can only have hope for the future of Marvel games. The only one I can ever recommend as a good game from the last ten years to buy and play is Marvel Ultimate Alliance, but Marvel taking control allows for even greater experiences and products.

Like I explained about Marvel's interest in doing movies in-house and doing so their way with people who know the material, the same benefits can happen with video games. Third parties who publish works using licensed characters is always a slippery slope. Such is the case with the multiple movie tie-in games that have barely any effort put into them (even though The Amazing Spider-Man was pretty good). Instead of getting their characters taken advantage of by studios eager to make a quick buck, Marvel can do their characters justice. No longer would we have to put up with mediocre annual releases of Spider-Man and X-Men games.

Activision and Capcom being out of the fold will be monumental. While it stings that this theory pretty much solidifies the idea that there will not be a Marvel vs Capcom 4, I don't really believe that Capcom would be in the position to be able to make a faithful game. I think that Capcom took advantage of gamers with Marvel vs Capcom 3. They made so many promises and so many guarantees, yet the game is bare-bones and average. Further, they release Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 not nine months later. This was a ripoff provided that people bought special editions from the original release and once again had to shelve out more money for the game because the new characters were not available to be purchased online.

Activision doesn't get off the hook with their Marvel games either. They covered games from Spider-Man to the X-Men to the massive crossover Marvel Ultimate Alliance. Now while I highly support the first Ultimate Alliance game, it's successor is more deserving of the opposite. Frankly, Ultimate Alliance 2 was a mess as they completely dropped the ball on both the roster and story. Honestly, how could they screw up making a game about the Superhuman Civil War? The same could be said of games like X-Men: Destiny, Spider-Man: Edge of Time, and Spider-Man: Web of Shadows which were all painfully disappointing.

As it stands, quality beats quantity. Video game publishers have a very nasty habit of putting AAA pricing for their games despite the game not living up to a single iota of that price tag. For that matter, it comes off as unbelievable that the game should be fifty or sixty dollars. I think that Marvel would be very upfront with their pricing of the games they would produce. I know their budgets may not be huge and that they won't have all of the resources they want, but if their movies are any indication of quality in a separate medium then I have faith they won't screw us or their own games over. Here's hoping that Marvel producing their own games is true and to a better future in video games for this awesome universe.

MasterofMagnetism  +   303d ago
I really wanted another X-Men Legends game instead of that god awful X-Men Destiny. Both X-Men Legends and MUA were great but I agree that MUA 2 was not good. Vicarious Visions completely screwed up the storyline and the online was terrible. I did really like the addition of the fusion powers because you could create some pretty awesome fusions. They should have left Raven as the developer. Here's hoping we can get a decent X-Men game again.
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HonestDragon  +   303d ago
Yeah, X-Men Destiny was really disappointing. If the developer wanted to make a faithful X-Men game, they should have worked more on the focus of the X-Men and the mutant/human relations in San Francisco like Marvel did in the comics. A good X-Men game would do that, but also give you control of the various characters in a way so you can experience their power sets and get inside their heads on the conflict in the game.
MasterofMagnetism  +   303d ago
That would have been much better than what they did in X-Men Destiny. Why the heck would they make an X-Men game and not let you play as any of the X-Men? Seriously?

Even though Marvel doesn't have the rights to the X-Men movies, I'm still hoping that they are able to do game to coincide with the release of the Days of Future Past movie.
FogLight  +   303d ago
Great blog man but I am still skeptical about Marvel games. How do we know that in-house Marvel developers will give justice to the games they make like the Marvel film makers do with the movies? I got used that only very few comic/movie game adaptation will be good while others would be just mediocre and just to grab cash (THANKS ACTIVISION!)

Deadpool was a good game but it wasn't marketed that well by Activision which is unfortunate since the humor was great in that game. I wonder if in-house Marvel developers will market their games even better and not screw us over as it turned out that their games are great and fun.

I am going to wait and see until all of this passes. For now I am skeptical about this but hopefully I would be proved wrong.

Thanks for the blog :D
HonestDragon  +   303d ago
I think that in-house will be better because (again) Marvel can bring in their own people to write the stories and direct. They have done the same with their movies. People like Kevin Fiege, Avi Arad, J. Michael Straczynski, and Ed Brubacker could be brought in to advise or work on the games. I trust that if they work on these in-house, then the true potential with the talent they have and (provided) a good developer they bring in will be faithful to the characters.
FogLight  +   303d ago
Hmm... Okay I didn't think about that thoroughly so I am cautiously optimistic now. I sincerely hope that would be the case then.
Deadpool616  +   302d ago
I don't know. There's also a possibility that Marvel will just release ios games and not even focus on console games anymore. I hope that doesn't happen though.
HonestDragon  +   297d ago
Only release ios games?

http://www.youtube.com/watc...

I hope not, too! Sure, some Marvel games needed some work, but I know a lot of console owners who are chewing at the bit for some good quality games. If Rocksteady can deliver a solid Batman game twice with advisement and help from DC people, then all Marvel would have to do is find a developer that respects Marvel's characters enough to create just as awesome games. I would love to see Daredevil and Iron Man get some good games! :D
coolbeans  +   302d ago
If it's true that Marvel's making games in-house, wouldn't that mean it's really under Disney's in-house video game development company? If so, I agree with Deadpool616 in worrying that this could, but hopefully not, go in a much more unpleasant route than you're anticipating. It could be a rein of freemium and mobile-based games from them for all we know.

"You don't even have to look at films in recent memory like Spider-Man 3 and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance to know how bad Marvel movies were."

Ouch...I actually liked Spiderman 3 quite a bit. It has some warts, but I thought the daring to have so much bombastic action, separate plot threads, and still try to tell a sensitive story was a rather audacious attempt for a finale to a trilogy.

"The movies leading up to and including The Avengers crossover (something many people said could not be done) was fantastic."

Bah! Iron Man 2 and The Incredible Hulk entries kind of stunk imo.
HonestDragon  +   297d ago
I really hope that that isn't the case. While it is true that Disney is the parent company now, Marvel still exists as their own independent branch. The difference now is that Disney can pretty much use the licenses in their own works anytime they want and publish bigger works (like movies and television shows). Like that crossover they had with Phineas and Ferb...which should never have existed to begin with.

"Ouch...I actually liked Spiderman 3 quite a bit. It has some warts, but I thought the daring to have so much bombastic action, separate plot threads, and still try to tell a sensitive story was a rather audacious attempt for a finale to a trilogy."

It's funny. At first, I did like Spider-Man 3. Then I watched it a second time. The cinematography and action sequences were all good and well, but the one thing that held it back for me was how poorly and rushed the characters seemed (especially Venom). Venom was only there out of pressure and I have no idea what the point was of having the Stacy family be there other than to piss off Mary Jane with Peter's shenanigans when under the symbiote's influence. I really liked Thomas Haden Church as Sandman, though.

"Bah! Iron Man 2 and The Incredible Hulk entries kind of stunk imo. "

I can understand your viewpoint, but at least they weren't like Hulk from 2003. For me, though, I really liked both Iron Man 2 and The Incredible Hulk.
coolbeans  +   297d ago
I see. Does that also mean we'll be seeing a Marvel Game Studios solely dedicated to this? Is there one already that I don't know about?

"The cinematography and action sequences were all good and well, but the one thing that held it back for me was how poorly and rushed the characters seemed (especially Venom)."

Yeah, Venom was that corporate decision that felt so obviously pried in. I figured the Stacy family part was just there for the big romantic turnaround they were going to pull off at the end. I respect the idea of having so much happening within a romance plot thread more than the execution of it here though.

"I can understand your viewpoint, but at least they weren't like Hulk from 2003."

Haha...ouch again. I actually liked Hulk (2003). The comic-book storytelling idea was so well made and I actually appreciated how much more thoughtful it was trying to be in comparison to the one with Norton.
HonestDragon  +   295d ago
"I see. Does that also mean we'll be seeing a Marvel Game Studios solely dedicated to this? Is there one already that I don't know about?"

There hasn't been any word about a Marvel Game Studios as far as I know. Unless they knew about the licenses going up beforehand and began working on it from that point, I think they would most likely go with an already established developer. The last time a license expired was Daredevil with Fox and they took that license back quickly.

"Haha...ouch again. I actually liked Hulk (2003). The comic-book storytelling idea was so well made and I actually appreciated how much more thoughtful it was trying to be in comparison to the one with Norton."

Ugh! I can't win with you can I? Lol! Okay, what about Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance? You have to admit that that movie was just awful in every way possible. This was the Marvel movie that I almost walked out of the theater on, but didn't because I was there out of obligation. My family paid for my ticket so I had to stay.

EDIT: I would enjoy continuing this conversation, but I'm down to my last bubble. XD
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