Marvel has a number of games based on its comic book properties in the works, including Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Insomniac Games’ PlayStation 4-exclusive Spider-Man, but don’t expect these titles to necessarily tie into the either the comic books or the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“We want to give our partners … freedom to look at all the Marvel history and to pick from what interests them,” said Marvel Games creative director Bill Rosemann in an interview with IGN. “It’s a bit like we’re saying, ‘Hey, you’re the chef, you’re going to make this meal. Here are all of the ingredients. You pick the ingredients that you like and make a new meal.'”
This would certainly open up these games to feature characters — both heroes and villains — that have been killed in the recent Marvel films, but the studio is also making a conscious effort to keep the adaptations similar enough to the films that they are still recognizable. This is particularly important with Guardians of the Galaxy, which wasn’t exactly a household name before James Gunn’s film released in 2014. But don’t expect “tie-in” games that launch alongside films to maximize interest.
“We’re also not going to try to do the very tricky balancing act of trying to make a game that adapts a movie and get it out in the same window as the movie,” Rosemann added.
This is a similar strategy to that of Warner Bros., which released its Batman: Arkham games primarily during “off” years for its superhero films. Batman: Arkham Knight, the latest full entry in Rocksteady’s acclaimed series, was released nearly a year before the film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hit theaters.
Still, Marvel would be wise to look back at its own history for an example of successful film-to-game adaptations. Spider-Man 2, which released alongside Sam Raimi’s film, is still widely considered to be one of the best comic book games of all time.