Square Enix and Marvel, avenging in a tree

Yesterday, Square Enix announced that they’d be announcing something today, as that’s how marketing works now. Yesterday, Marvel also announced that they’d be announcing something today, but no-one knew if they meant a film, a comic, a TV series or that Ike Perlmutter had ordered that Captain America was henceforth to be depicted as an outspoken climate change denier.

Different companies announce different stuff on the same day all the time, but there was something even more needlessly vague than usual about these two, and so a few souls put two and two together and speculated that it could be same announcement – Square Enix publishing a Marvel game. Whaddaya know, true believers? They were right. Except it’s games, plural. And both Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal are on the case.

So, what we’ve got here is Crystal Dynamics – the Square Enix studio most renowned at present for the latter-day Tomb Raider games – and Eidos Montreal – they of the Deus Ex sequo-boots – tackling something called only ‘The Avengers project’, and which pointedly uses the word ‘reassembled’ in its hashtaggery.

The short video above shows some Avengers iconography in a state of distress, such as Thor’s abandoned hammer and a trashed-looking Iron Man guantlet, while a lady says broad things about needing heroes and how they need to be reassembled. Could mean anything, it’s anyone’s guess what kind of game(s) they’re talking about and all that. The video footage, though pre-rendered, has a little of the Rise of the Tomb Raider and DX Mankind Divided to it, but again, this is a promotional video for what could turn out to be anything.

While Crystal Dynamics do, broadly, action games and so we can relatively easily picture how that could turn out, it’s the presence of Eidos Montreal in the video which is particularly intriguing here. Those guys do huge, beautiful worlds full of complicated systems and a wide range of potential interactions and outcomes.

Not just in terms of the broad potential of what power sets can do. Rare’s the time that we see a superhero game wander outside the realm of straight action – and given that the Marvel movies of late have been particularly interested in exploring the grey-area morality of its heroes, perhaps that’s something an Eidos Montreal game can explore further. The Hulk, for instance, very much never asked for this.

Or, y’know, it’s just two studios pooling all resources into action games that are likely to have an almost unprecedented amount of money spent on ’em. The only license bigger than Marvel is Star Wars, after all.

For all we know, the ink on this deal has only just dried and almost no-one knows what kind of games will result from it yet. Or we’re going to see something concrete at GDC, E3 or thereabouts. Who knows – but certainly, there haven’t been many solid-gold Marvel games for a while, even though their movies have a box office chokehold. This comes across like concertedly putting big money and big studios onto it, as opposed to the usual churned-out tie-in – but again, marketing.

Note that the tweet says games rather than game, so this is likely to be a long-haul arrangement.

So: what do you want to see from this, anyway?


  1. Rao Dao Zao says:

    Thor blimey, this is Marvel-ous news!

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      A pun thread already? This takes balls of iron, man.

    • Bracknellexile says:

      Ssshhh. Keep the pun thread quiet or we’ll be overrun. I spiderman over there but I don’t think he noticed it. Let’s just keep it Loki.

    • Penguinho says:

      O Captain, my Captain, America is waiting for a well-made Marvel game.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      Let’s hope that these studios have the Vision necessary to make interesting games.

    • Holderist says:

      In stark contrast to my usual sense of humour these jokes make the organs in my thoracic cavity hurt.

      • jeppic says:

        I find these pun threads Fantastic Four providing amusement.

        As an aside, it goes without saying that the best Marvel character is the PUNisher.

  2. Ghostwise says:

    Any good game that conveys a “feels like being there” and respects the characters would be very much welcome by me.

    The vast majority of super-hero games have had some sort of distance from the material. For instance because the characters are purely gaming pieces (like Freedom Force or the Gazillion AARPG for Marvel or the brawling games), or because MMORPG genre conventions deform everything (like with City of Heroes, which was otherwise fine, or DCUO).

    A robust RPG would be cool, frex using the Netflix version of the Marvel Universe so it’s easier for people to get into.

  3. LTK says:

    The short video above shows some Avengers iconography in a state of distress, such as Thor’s abandoned hammer and a trashed-looking Iron Man guantlet, while a lady says broad things about needing heroes and how they need to be reassembled.

    ‘Reassembled’ huh… LEGO Marvel Avengers then?

  4. FriendlyFirePhoenix says:

    After the own goal square enix scored with their Deus Ex marketing, I’m surprised they have any marketing people left to announce an announcement. I reckon they would have sold more copies if they’d done no marketing at all.

    • Zandolar says:

      Yeah I think so. Just a “New Deus Ex coming soon” and then not making the game run like arse and I’d have considered buying it. As soon as they pulled the “Augment your pre-order” nonsense and saw fit to charge money for single use cheat codes, no way am I rewarding that with money.

  5. kud13 says:

    What would I want to see? Well, the same thing I want to see every time I head Crystal dynamics mentioned:

    An Avengers/Legacy of Kain cross-over.

    Okay, jokes aside, my guess is Squeenix wants to do smth with the Avengers license in the vein of Batman Arkham games (hence bringing in CrysDyn), with EM handling the RPG systems, progression, and “multiple approaches” . If you’ll be given a chance to play as different heroes with different powers, the levels would need to be designed to allow for “multiple approaches” .

    In any case, seems like an ambitious project.

    • Jalan says:

      All the jokes out of the way, I have to admit that when I saw Square Enix’s tweet I started to hope beyond hope it had something (…ANYTHING) to do with Legacy of Kain. Deep down inside, I knew better than to expect a miracle.

  6. Derpkovsky says:

    I’m really hoping this is go be Marvel’s version of the Arkham games, as in that it’s going to be a good and proper game using the characters and heroes it’s based on in a good way, while simultaniously doing something new and cool. I have high hopes for this one!

  7. Penguinho says:

    There’s a rich tradition in comics of introducing a character specifically for a single story arc, then letting them fade into the background a bit. Take Vision, who’s gotten three solo arcs since 1968 for a total of 20 issues. I’d like to see that taken advantage of for a true RPG, allowing the player to create a superhero rather than just play as the main MCU types. I imagine that’s, uh, overly ambitious, but even a ME/Witcher/DE version where your character’s name, face and to an extent power set are already decided could be a lot of fun.

  8. keefybabe says:

    Devs of Tomb Raider and Deus Ex?

    Captin Murkur?

    I’m in!

  9. mpk says:

    Ultimate Marvel Hugging Simulator!

    Cure the worlds ill and defeat all the worlds evil, not through violence and fighting, but through the medium of hugging!

    Use your knowledge of the Marvel universe to judge which Avenger hugs best in which situation – if the Abomination is looking a little teary, do you want Black Widow or the Hulk? If Ultron’s diodes are down, is Vision best, or Iron Man?

    Only you can decide!

    • Penguinho says:

      This would be a great game for obscure villains to make an appearance. Is Speedball or Hollywood, Man of Wonder, best to squeeze away Eraser Man’s Christmas blues?

    • phlebas says:

      So basically a big-budget toned down version of Marvel Brothel?

  10. Rituro says:

    Wild theory: they’re making a new Freedom Force.

    …nah, it’s probably Arkham Marvel-sylum: Hero Revolution. Ah well.

  11. Urthman says:

    It is mind-boggling to me that, in the 5-6 years since the Marvel movies became one of the biggest licenses on the planet, there hasn’t been any AAA video games based on those movies. The closest things are the LEGO Marvel and Disney Infinity games, but those seem to be more closely tied to comics, cartoons, and toys than any of the live-action movies.

    • Penguinho says:

      The only AAA Star Wars game since Disney acquired the license is a graphical update to an Xbox game. It’s an avenue of monetization that they seem to neglect. Hopefully that’ll change with Rogue One, which seems to owe a lot to Battlefront 2 and TIE Fighter.

  12. solymer89 says:

    I would only make one request. Please, please, please do Eddie Brock’s Venom justice.. you know, if he’s in it.

  13. Spungles says:

    My inner child is still loving these superhero movies. Given that I had to wait years for decent technology to make them happen, I’m happy not to have been flooded with dreadful cash-in games.

    Whatever the genre, please be good!