Used to be movies and TV shows adapted from Marvel Comics' superhero universe were almost guaranteed to be terrible. Then, the publisher angled itself into a position of decision-making and control. It's a strategy that's led to creative and financial success for movies tied to Captain America, Thor and Iron Man. Now, it seems that Marvel wants to do the same thing for its video games.
Investment intelligence site The Motley Fool pieces together how Marvel could unify its various gaming franchises into a Marvel Gaming Universe. Part of the plan is to have the House of Ideas' writing corps serving as a braintrust for future video game ventures, like they have with recent movies. Marvel's game licenses are spread out amongst a bunch of different publishers, but that could be changing soon:
In a clear effort to bring its characters home, Marvel recently asked Capcom, Activision Blizzard, and several other companies to discontinue digital distribution of several Marvel titles. Some of the delisted games include Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, X-Men: The Official Game, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Licensing agreements with both companies will expire soon, according to EGM.
Marvel will likely bring these franchises home to Disney Interactive Studios, which recently announced the crossover title Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, which will mix together its Disney, Pixar, and Marvel characters together in a telepod-powered sandbox.
So far, Marvel has only taken baby steps in expanding its own universe. The first step was a Facebook game, Avengers Alliance, which was later tied into a full-featured mobile game, Avengers Initiative. Other games within Marvel's gaming universe include Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign, Marvel War of Heroes, Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Marvel's part of Disney now and, though the company has drastically restructured its interactive division, one could imagine that they could still either re-assemble enough developers to make games in house. Or they could piggyback on the existing deal that LucasArts -- also a division of Disney -- has with EA for the latter company to make Star Wars games, provided the upcoming titles make the powers-that-be happy. The dream scenario for most fans is a slate of games as strong as the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If they're good enough, they could even pave a console platform comeback, as opposed to the mobile games that are the order of the day. Or maybe it all happens inside Disney Infinity.