THQ’s The Avengers didn’t survive the closure of that publisher’s Australian development studio. When development stopped on that game, it guaranteed there wouldn’t be a console tie-in game to accompany the release of Marvel’s box office record-breaking movie when it opened on Friday. That’s just fine. Games based on Marvel’s movie properties, especially those made by Sega, have been pretty awful, so it’s best that fans of The Avengers aren’t duped into playing some terrible team-based shooter.
Signs suggest that there will be an Avengers game though, but not from Sega and not from THQ. All signs point to Ubisoft prepping their own adventure for Earth’s mightiest heroes.
Brand protection company MarkMonitor recently registered the domain name avengersbattleforearth.com, as Fusible noted in a Saturday report. MarkMonitor made the registration on behalf of Marvel Characters, Inc. The domain pops up on Ubisoft’s own namesevers though, namely nic1.ubisoft.com and nic2.ubisoft.com.
Occam’s Razor is a useful principle to apply in this case: The simplest answer is that Ubisoft is publishing a video game called The Avengers: Battle for Earth in a partnership with Marvel.
The Avengers license is publicly unspoken for. Sega’s licensing deal with Marvel was only to produce games from the Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and The Incredible Hulk movies made over the past four years. If the contract between the two companies was renewed following the 2011 release of Captain America: The First Avenger, a shoddy Batman: Arkham Asylum clone released on consoles and PC, it wasn’t made public.
Ubisoft is in the business of making licensed games as well, but their track record in recent years hasn’t been the best. Last fall’s The Adventures of Tin Tin, for example, was abysmal. Developed by Ubisoft Montpellier, it’s a prime example of good ideas ruined by rushed development. That Avengers: Battle for Earth will release well after the movie shouldn’t inspire confidence either. Ubisoft’s game James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game, a sterile, buggy action game, is the poster child for generic movie tie-ins, and that game came had ample development time.
It’s not all bad. Ubisoft has made at least one great movie tie-in in recent years. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was simple but spectacular, a lengthy, lovingly made 2D brawler with gorgeous sprite animation and tight music from the band Anamanaguchi. If the same Ubisoft Montreal team behind Scott Pilgrim and the 2007 Game Boy Advance version of TMNT makes The Avengers: Battle for Earth, we’ll have nothing to worry about!
We reached out to Ubisoft for a comment on the domain registration, but haven’t heard back as of this writing.