Marvel’s comic book universe continues to reach new audiences through film, television and lately—a whole lot of video games. With a growing lineup of interactive titles, Marvel is flexing its brand-recognition muscles to build strength and reputation in the $1.9 billion gaming industry.
As expected, Marvel was a huge presence at San Diego Comic-Con this year armed with trailers, posters and panels for its upcoming films and TV shows. What might not have been expected was an equally huge Marvel Games activation. The comic book giant was on hand with games like Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 and Marvel Powers United VR, which allows players to assume the role (and powers) of superheroes.
While it’s not uncommon to for a franchise to venture into video games, it normally involves a movie tie-in or one-time mobile spin-off. However, Marvel isn’t venturing into video games—it’s smashing head-first into it like The Juggernaut.
Titles launched and launching this year include Guardians of the Galaxy: A Telltale Series and Marvel Heroes Omega (Open Beta) along with Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2. Meanwhile, Marvel Powers United VR and Marvel’s Spider-Man are both scheduled to launch in 2018.
But wait, there’s more. The Disney-owned powerhouse of over 8,000 characters isn’t stopping there.
FoxNext Games and its newly acquired Aftershock Studios have announced an all-new mobile game based on the Marvel Universe. The unnamed project revealed on Thursday is an action-RPG that will have fans “battling players from around the world.” This new mobile title will be Aftershock’s second announced game since separating from Kabam—the first being a mobile MMO based on Avatar.
Aftershock Studios was created after Netmarble acquired Kabam’s Vancouver studio in June. Kabam is no stranger to the Marvel Universe, having developed Marvel Contest of Champions, which fetched over $1 million in its first seven months when it launched in 2014.
Marvel is releasing games across platforms from console to VR, but mobile is an especially lucrative market worth exploring. The mobile segment accounted for nearly half (45 percent) of all interactive entertainment revenue in 2016, according to analyst firm SuperData. For Marvel, it seems, each game is paired with the platform that will best tell its story.
In January, Marvel announced that it teamed up with two Square Enix-owned studios—Crystal Dynamics (Tomb Raider) and Eidos Montreal (Deus Ex) for a game based on The Avengers. The project is “a perfect example of how Marvel is making games a key part of the landscape for storytelling alongside comics, television and film,” Jay Ong, senior VP of games and innovation for Marvel Entertainment, told Variety.
More details on The Avengers Project will be announced in 2018.
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) January 26, 2017