Marvel's Avengers spun a controversial web when it announced that Spider-Man would be joining the game as post-launch DLC exclusive to PlayStation. Now we know that he was a late addition to an already established roster.
"We had a full roster already in progress of all the heroes we were going to release, plans for years in advance, and certainly all the ones we've currently got underway," Marvel's Avengers (opens in new tab) head of combat Vince Napoli tells me. "And then we added Spider-Man as well."
I ask if the PlayStation exclusivity meant a lighter workload for devs, or required less work time because of its single platform status. "There's no savings there," Napoli says before going into detail regarding the decision-making process. "I remember the first time it was discussed, it was like 'Hey, what if we just did Spider-Man also?' And I was like, 'Is that a joke? Are you guys kidding? Is that for fun? Are we actually serious?'" They were, and the team had to "think outside the box" in order to slot Spider-Man into the pre-existing schedule.
Despite this late addition, Spider-Man will be a fully-fleshed out character when he joins Marvel's Avengers on PlayStation in early 2021. "Anytime that we're talking about players getting a new hero there's no shortchanging," Napoli says. "There's no 'Let's just throw this one on the slab, get this one out quick or we'll redo a budget version of it.'"
While we didn't discuss the decision to make Spider-Man a PS4 exclusive, Crystal Dynamics head Scott Amos did during a media roundtable, as reported by Newsweek (opens in new tab). "Because of Sony's unique relationship with Marvel and PlayStation, specifically, that gives us an affordance with Spider-Man that we wouldn't have otherwise," Amos says. This is a confusing statement, as Marvel owns the rights to a video game version of Spider-Man, not Sony, according to Screen Rant (opens in new tab).
Amos did elaborate a bit further: "So, the beauty of Spider-Man and what Spider-Man represents as a character in this world is, again, it comes back to the relationship with PlayStation and Marvel. We happen to be ones who can execute and deliver when it comes down to choices of where and what Spider-Man can be, that's a relationship question that you know PlayStation absolutely has the rights to that as you guys know with Sony's [movie rights] ownership there and Marvel with Sony saying, 'hey, this is something we can do, this is something we can do on this platform' and as creators, we have this opportunity that we can make something unique and fun and awesome."
If another new addition to the roster is getting announced anytime soon, it'll be during the next Marvel's Avengers War Table, so stay tuned.
Here's all Marvel's Avengers beta (opens in new tab) details.