Spider-Man PlayStation Exclusivity Explained: Who Owns The Rights?

The Spider-Man property is perhaps one of Marvel’s most contested characters when it comes to exclusivity rights. From Sony and Marvel’s long-running feud to the strange rights Activision had for a time, it’s unclear exactly who owns Spider-Man. This is further complicated by Marvel’s Spider-Man launching exclusively for PS4 back in 2018.

With the recent announcement of Spider-Man’s introduction to Marvel’s Avengers as an exclusive character on PlayStation, many began to question exactly who has the video game rights to the beloved wall crawler.

Many assume Marvel's Spider-Man is a PS4 exclusive due to Sony's ownership of the property, but they actually don't have game rights to the character.

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IRetrouk44d ago

This was already known to be fair.

PhoenixUp44d ago

I beg to differ. You still see so many people erroneously believing that Sony having the film rights to the character somehow entitles them to videogame rights

IRetrouk44d ago (Edited 44d ago )

I didnt say by everybody lol
I'm well aware a lot dont know, my disagrees from the other day prove that😂

rdgneoz344d ago (Edited 44d ago )

Not that their film rights give them rights to the video game character (they have film rights, not game rights), but Sony and Marvel did have negotiations (last year after MUA for Switch dropped) to allow for Spider-Man to stay in the MCU for future movies. They could have asked for some game rights, least short time exclusivity for Spidey in multiplat games in the future, or used the negotiations to get Spider-Man as an exclusive for a game that was just announced (in addition to all the profit sharing for the films). Basically they already had a relationship with Marvel already through movies and PS4 Spider-Man (with PS5 Miles Morales on the way), so it wouldn't be too hard to work in something else for the future.

IRetrouk44d ago (Edited 44d ago )

Without a doubt there are deals going on, not a doubt in my head, however the conversation was really about who owns the gaming rights(disney) and weather sony had any exclusive claim to the character(the fact that cd are making their own version should point to that not being the case). Spiderman was likely being added as a character anyway(the fact its dlc after launch points to this) and sony asked for it to be exclusive, nobody really knows though, it's all just guesses.

Mr Pumblechook44d ago

BEWARE: the article sidebar has The Last of Us 2 spoiler as a headline.

RaiderNation44d ago

Does it really matter? The point is through whatever channels Sony went, they wanted exclusivity and Marvel/Disney granted it. Do we really need to know the granular details of what made that happen?

PhoenixUp44d ago

@ IR

True but not enough people know lol

I bet you in the comment section of even an article like this you’re still going to see a number of people try to say the film & game rights are tangibly related

RgR44d ago

I'm one of those who assumed. Nobody contested it so it seemed to me that I was right. I thought they had game rights too.

Learn something new everyday.

morganfell44d ago (Edited 44d ago )

There seems to be an assumption that CD making their own version of Spider-Man rather than the Insomniac characterization means that Sony’s agreement in the Avengers game is different than their current standing game rights. That is to say some think Sony must have purchased those rights separately from the Insomniac iterations. This makes little sense.

First Sony purchasing Avenger rights would not be through Square or their subsidiary CD. It would be through Marvel. It only seems logical that such rights were part of the larger Spider-Man game agreement and which may or may not have been part of the MCU Cinematic negotiations or at the very least conducted concurrently with that business deal. Sub-licensing is likely something to which Marvel would not agree preventing CD from making their own exclusivity deals.

Second, it is a tactical and tactful move to allow CD to make their own version. In this way Sony still retains the Spider-Man association while being able to generously allow CD to show their creativity. But it also prevents Sony’s first party version from being lessened through use by CD. I say this because in all of this recent rigmarole there has been a consistent overlooking of CD’s tendency to underperform and under deliver the last several years.

Lamenting or bragging about a game that may in the end be less than stellar might not be the best enhancement to one’s long term reputation. It could be the greatest super hero game ever but magic 8 ball says no. CD have a lot to prove and a long row to hoe as it were. Personally, what I have seen thus far is yawn inducing and canned with linear problem solving cloaked in lackluster gameplay. In the end it all may turn out to be Much Ado About Nothing.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 44d ago
IRetrouk44d ago (Edited 44d ago )

No we dont need to know, but it's a topic that's coming up regularly at the minute, why not discuss it? It's doing no harm.

RaiderNation44d ago

Because whats more discuss? Sony wanted exclusivity and they got it. I'm not sure what more there is to talk about.

IRetrouk44d ago (Edited 44d ago )

Plenty to talk about, judging by the amount of articles and comments the topic is getting, the fact is we dont know the nature of how sony got the exclusive, and that's what leads to discussion, why does it bother you so much? You choose what articles to read and comment on🤷‍♂️

thejigisup44d ago

I remember the many articles posted regarding insomniac choosing spidey over many other marvel heroes back when the game was still in developingand shortly after launch. I also thought this was widely known information.

Immagaiden44d ago

“According to IGN, Sony Vice President of Product Development Connie Booth met with Insomniac to discuss the development of a Marvel game. It’s likely Sony spoke to Marvel prior to this conversation in order to gain exclusivity rights for this one title alone. However, Sony never went in to speak about a Spider-Man game specifically. Insomniac was allowed to pick any Marvel superhero to work with and ultimately decided that Spider-Man was their best bet. Sony was never given the exclusive rights to produce a Spider-Man game. They were given the ability to make an exclusive title for the PlayStation platform and Insomniac just so happened to go with Spider-Man.”

Idk how people don’t know how this game came about. This info is readily available and should be wildly known yet some people still chose to ignore it and believe Marvel’s Spider-Man came about only because of the MCU deal.

Teflon0243d ago

I mean, to be fair. I heard a slight variation of what you said as to how it came about.

What I heard was, because of the dealings between Sony and Marvel, the were willing to let Sony do a marvel game and they went to insomniac, they decided on Spiderman because he fit the stylings of things like Ratchet humour and they just know it fit insomniac as a company

neutralgamer199243d ago


That information is useless because both Sony and marvel/Disney negotiated a new deal to keep spiderman within the MCU so Sony could have gotten those rights than because for marvel and Disney movies rights are much more important

I don't know if either party will come out to confirm or deny it but there are few different possiblities

jairusmonillas44d ago

It doesn't really matter, Let's say Xbox had a Spiderman Game. It'll flop over there anyways. lol

thejigisup44d ago

Spiderman would end up like crackdown 3 and everyone would be disappointed. Uncle Ben is turning over in his grave thinking about it.

PhoenixUp44d ago

I just see this Spider-Man DLC exclusivity for this game as another in a long line of PlayStation superhero exclusive content

- Spider-Man 3’s Collector's Edition on PS3 came with a pre-installed DLC which featured the ability to play as the New Goblin (who's still only unlockable after defeating him in the game)
- Joker was playable only in the PS3 version of Batman: Arkham Asylum
- Batman: Arkham Origins featured a PS3 exclusive Knightfall Pack
- Ant-Man was exclusive to the PS3 & PS4 versions of Lego Marvel’s Avengers
- Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite had exclusive content for PS4
- Batman: Arkham Knight featured some PS4 exclusive content & skins
- Batman: Arkham VR & Iron Man VR are console exclusive to PS4

It’s clear that Sony just happens to be a fan of getting getting sorts of deals for a lot of superhero titles in general

blackblades44d ago

This shows theres nothing new about the exclusive content and certain people just making a big deal about it just like other things related to Sony in the recent months.

gamer780443d ago

sony is a fan of exclusivity, they pay to have stuff only appear on their platform to encourage people to buy into their ecosystem, its an annoying habit even though I own all of the consoles. I want to play where my friends are at and this further hinders that.

RazzerRedux44d ago

"Presumably, Marvel has owned the video game rights to the superhero this entire time. "

Presumably, but presumption doesn't mean we know anything really. We can only make guesses at this point, but it is hard to ignore the seemingly ever-strengthening relationship between Sony and Spider-Man. I still have to wonder how Sony was able to leverage Spider-Man as exclusive content in a third party multiplat game.

djl348544d ago

It's called allowing Marvel to use Spiderman in the MCU. That's the leverage.

PhoenixUp44d ago (Edited 44d ago )

“I still have to wonder how Sony was able to leverage Spider-Man as exclusive content in a third party multiplat game.”

The same way how they attained Joker to only be available in the PS3 version of Batman: Arkham Asylum as well as the various other times content in a superhero game was made exclusive to a PlayStation system to which I listed above.

It’s not that hard a concept to comprehend. Even outside of superhero titles there’s countless times that multiplat games had exclusive content(timed or otherwise) for PlayStation. Hell gaming in general is filled with numerous instances where multiplat titles had exclusive content for a particular platform.

This is nothing new. It’s really ridiculous to think there’s anything more to this Spider-Man DLC exclusivity when this kind of practice has been happening for decades within the industry.

RazzerRedux44d ago (Edited 44d ago )

You make good points. But I don't think it is that "ridiculous" to make guesses on this considering the relationship Sony and Spider-Man have had on multiple fronts. This isn't exactly typical. Having said that, you are probably 100% correct and this is nothing more than standard exclusive DLC. Fully acknowledge that is probably the case.

Bathyj44d ago

I'm thinking they didn't get a one game deal originally. They got a limited time period like maybe 5 years or something. They're doing Miles Morales. So they either had a limited time period or they renegotiated for the extra game and then they would have to negotiate again if there's a Spider-Man 2.

Marvel (Disney) wanted Spiderman in MCU. I'm not sure about the timing of all those deals but I think they were all close together. That could have been Sony's leverage. That and the fact Insomniac had a great pitch and Marvel knew the game would be done justice.

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