Marvel’s Avengers has been in development for a couple of years. However, a big question remains on everyone’s mind: will Spider-Man be joining the roster? This question was recently answered by Sony, stating that Spider-Man will only be on the PS4 version of the game as future free DLC. At first, every fan collectively rejoiced about their favorite webhead being in the game at a later time. However, once it sank in that Spider-Man will only on the PS4 and nothing else, then every fan collectively had their blood going past the boiling point. Here’s the real question: why is Spider-Man locked as an exclusive DLC for the PS4?
“Because they own the rights?”
Many individuals believe Sony owns the movie and video game rights to Spider-Man. It is true that they own the rights to make Spider-Man movies, but they don’t own the video game rights. Case in point – Spider-Man and Miles Morales are both playable characters in Marvel’s Ultimate Alliance 3.
If Sony truly owns the rights to make Spider-Man games, then why is he playable in Ultimate Alliance 3? How is Marvel able to use him in other titles, like Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite or Marvel: Future Fight? That’s because Sony only owns the rights to Spider-Man movies. It’s not the same situation as Kratos being locked on Mortal Kombat 9 for the PS3.
I find this scenario to be quite similar when Kratos was exclusive to Mortal Kombat 9 on the PS3. It sucks that people who bought the game on different consoles probably never got to play as the Olympus destroyer, yet the uproar was minimal. The exclusive deal was understandable – Kratos came from the God of War franchise, featuring an IP exclusive to the PlayStation consoles. So, it makes sense that Kratos would only be available on the PS3. Spider-Man, on the other hand, is not a character that was made to be exclusive for their console.
Want Spider-Man content? Get our console!
Sony knows that Spider-Man also has the power to generate enough revenue to feed the world 100 times over. Consequently, they’ll be trying their best to restrict him to their console. They want everyone to believe that if you want Spider-Man related content, then you must buy their console. Sony knows there are plenty of Nintendo and Xbox players that would pay a fortune just to play as their favorite character. But if you believe that I’m over-exaggerating Spider-Man’s value, continue reading.
Marvel and fans fought tooth and nail for him to be part of Captain America: Civil War and the rest of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). Marvel’s Spider-Man (PS4) sold 13.5 million units; outselling multi-platform games like Batman: Arkham City (12.5 million units). The release of Marvel’s Spider-Man greatly increased Sony’s game profit by 65%. The majority of Spider-Man films have made more than 700 million dollars at the box office. Finally, Spider-Man merchandise usually makes $1.3 billion a year.
Why not make the PS4 costume exclusive?
If Sony didn’t want their name to be further tainted (or for gamers to keep throwing rotten tomatoes at them), then why not make the PS4 costume exclusive? I don’t think many people would have a quarrel with that. Clearly, they’ll have a million different other costumes for the webhead to wear while still playing as the same character. So, why not just do that instead? Here’s the simple answer – mods.
Mods anything and everything
Marvel’s Avengers will be releasing on Steam this September, and PC gamers are gonna have a field day with it. PC gamers are notorious for creating mods that can either drastically change a game or simply change a character’s style. So, expect to see an overabundance of costume mods for Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, and Iron Man; but unfortunately, there won’t be any for Spider-Man. If Spider-Man wasn’t locked on the PS4 and available on PC as well, then an exclusive costume on a console won’t mean anything. Modders can re-create the PS4 costume, then upload it to the web (pun intended), so everyone can have it.
Modders that are fans of the character have been doing this for many years. Just take a look at these mods that were made for previous Spider-Man games on the PC.
An overpriced paywall
It seems like their only solution is to lock Spider-Man with an overpriced paywall. Let me make this absolutely clear: this isn’t an exclusive costume tailored to the character, but the character himself. If you want to swing around, crawl on walls, bounce between enemies like a pinball machine, and insult your foe’s pride, then you must buy that $300 – $400 console. The worst part about it? There has been no confirmation that this is a timed exclusive!
Hopefully, there will be an update later stating that this is a time exclusive. However, we shouldn’t hold our breath for this outcome. Sony is fully aware of the character’s popularity and value. The result? They will do anything to make people believe he’s exclusive to the PlayStation. By tricking people into that belief, they’ll push them to buy a PS4 or PS5.
There is one more big question that is swirling in my head: why are Square Enix and Marvel allowing this?