Marvel reboots approach to video game tie-ins as it eyes an Avengers game

At some point, the arrival of new superhero movies was routinely heralded by the the release of video games based on the movies. The games would generally offer the opportunity to play as the lead character (or characters) from the film in a narrative loosely tied to the theme of the film. This trend held true for Iron ManCaptain America: The First Avenger, and Thor, but when The Avengers hit theaters, the usual tie-in game was conspicuously absent from shelves.

According to Marvel’s head of games, TQ Jefferson, the decision not to release a game based on The Avengers was actually the first step in rebooting the company’s attitude toward movie tie-in games.

“I think the fact that there wasn’t an Avengers game turned out in time for the film is indicative of Marvel’s new attitude and the approach to how we find partners and build games,” Jefferson told IGN. “I think in the heyday of the movie licensed game, these games were popping out all the time and most of them sucked.”

Jefferson indicated that the company would prefer not to release a game at all rather than release a sub-par product, and cited the underwhelming response to both the Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor games as one of the factors influencing their decision to rethink their approach to movie-licensed games.

“We got a bloody nose on both of those,” he said, adding that for a game to make the cut going forward, it will have to succeed on multiple levels, Marvel’s three key pillars: “Fun and engaging gameplay, true to the characters, [and] compelling story. Without hitting those notes, we shouldn’t do it.”

Still, Jefferson said a game based on The Avengers released at some point down the road isn’t out of the question.

“The Avengers game will come when we have the right partner, that has the right vision, that has the time to develop a strong, competitive triple-A title and wants to do it right,” he said.

Of course, anyone who simply can’t wait that long will soon be able to play as Captain America, Thor, Hulk, and the rest of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the recently announced Disney Infinity 2.0, which integrates the Marvel superheroes into the popular toy-based game environment of Disney Infinity.

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