Marvel's Wolverine almost certainly isn't coming in 2023, despite Microsoft claims

(Image credit: Insomniac Games)

Marvel's Wolverine is coming in 2023 - according to Microsoft, which isn't developing it.

The messy back-and-forth between Sony, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Microsoft over the latter's acquisition of Activision-Blizzard has lead to both developers noting their opponents' strengths. While Sony is leveraging Game Pass and other recent major purchases against Xbox, Microsoft is responding by pointing to PlayStation's enviable array of exclusives.

That leads us to Microsoft's recently-submitted response to the current phase of the discussion, in which it says that "in 2021, PlayStation had at least 286 exclusive titles," notably more than its own [redacted] number. Microsoft goes on to claim that "PlayStation also has a spate of first- and third-party exclusive titles lined up for launch in 2023, including Spider-Man 2, Wolverine, Horizon, Final Fantasy 16 and Forspoken."

Several of those are known about - FF16 has long been targeting a release date next year, while Forspoken's many delays have pushed it back to 2023, and Insomniac reiterated that Spider-Man 2 was on track for next year mere days ago. Some of those other titles, however, remain without a public release window. The odds of a Horizon release next year seem likely, whether that's the PSVR2's Call of the Mountain or an expansion for Forbidden West, but neither Sony nor Guerilla have confirmed that.

Significantly less likely, however, is that Wolverine release date. Announced last year, Marvel's Wolverine was said to be "very early in development," with motion capture for the game seemingly only kicking off in April of this year and no real update since then. For Insomniac to go from mocap to release in the 20 months from April 2022 to December 2023 would be seriously impressive even if the studio wasn't also working on pushing another Marvel game out in that same time. It's likely that Insomniac will move its Spider-Man 2 developers over to Wolverine, but only after development on the web-slinger has more or less wrapped up. Unless Microsoft knows something we don't about the size of the studio, it seems near-impossible for Logan, Peter, and Miles to all show up in the same 12 month-window. 2025 seems a more likely date at this point.

In all likelihood, this is a slight stumble amid Microsoft's many attempts to embellish Sony's position to diminish its own. Crucial to the CMA's eventual decision is Microsoft's status as a monopoly, so if it can prove that Sony is still the bigger fish - something it's been trying to do around Call of Duty, in particular - it's more likely to push the deal through.

Sony's dealings mean that Call of Duty won't come to Xbox Game Pass for "a number of years."

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.