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Marvel Looks To Shake Its Poor Gaming Reputation

Marvel Looks To Shake Its Poor Gaming Reputation”

For all its creative brilliance, Marvel has had a hard time making meaningful video games. There have been plenty of attempts, and if you’re not picky you can find dozens of Marvel games out there. Unfortunately, most of them have traditionally been viewed as lazy or unfinished, either designed to accompany film releases or built purely as moneymaking devices. There doesn’t ever seem to have been much care for the quality of the games coming from the company.

The busiest corner of Marvel’s gaming business is probably in mobile app stores, where titles like Marvel Future Fight and Marvel Contest Of Champions attract enormous populations of players. The former is effectively a roaming RPG and the latter is a classic fighting game, and both offer frequent updates as well as the ability to collect and upgrade heroes and villains. The games are well designed with attractive graphics and extensive content, but neither is viewed as a flawless experience. One reviewer described Contest Of Champions accurately when he declared that it could have been so much more than what it is, instead opting for characters devoid of personality and a structure that highly incentivizes in-game payments. Similar complaints have been made with regard to Future Fight. And though both games cater to millions of players, you’ll find forum comments in which those loyal users are constantly complaining about updates.

Another busy area of the gaming industry for Marvel has been online casino sites, where there are a surprising number of games based on popular fictional characters. Playtech in particular has populated its collection of games with lots of different Marvel titles, usually using the likes of the X-Men or Avengers as backdrops for arcade slot reels. These games tend to be actually well done for what they are, and in a way they’ve been the pride of Marvel gaming. That said, Playtech has recently indicated it may be dropping its Marvel licensing agreements, which could bring successful branch of the gaming business to a close.

Marvel has mostly been a non-factor when it comes to major consoles, which are arguably the most important area in which a company would want to excel in gaming. There have been a few exceptions over the years, but most Marvel games released for high-end consoles have been poorly reviewed and largely ignored.

Add it all up and you have a pretty rough picture of Marvel games today. There are mobile games that people play but get annoyed by, casino games that might be on their way out despite their success, and console titles that even some hardcore Marvel fans would have a hard time recalling. It’s no wonder that the company responsible for some of the biggest characters in modern entertainment seems to be determined to revamp its presence in this particular industry. This time around, they’re focusing primarily on consoles, and by the look of things the effort is off to a pretty good start.

Telltale Games partnered with Marvel this past spring to put out a game based on the Guardians Of The Galaxy characters, and it went over quite well. The real story is the forthcoming Spider-Man game, designed by Insomniac and meant exclusively for PS4.

The game has been rumored for some time, and approaching its release it was recently revealed in greater detail at E3. The game resembles a modern version of some of the Spider-Man movie tie-in games, but that might not be a bad thing as these have also been some of the Marvel's better titles.

The success of this game will go a long way toward determining if Marvel’s renewed focus on high-end gaming will prove to be worthwhile. It's refreshing to see Marvel taking consoles more seriously. With such a die-hard fanbase and recognizable cast of character it's mind-blowing that this didn't happen sooner, but for fans it's still a welcome development.

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