Marvel’s superhero films – even the smaller ones – are juggernauts. From “Captain America” to “Guardians of the Galaxy” to “Iron Man,” Marvel has turned its comic book heroes into film stars.
That same success in film hasn’t translated into the realm of video games.
While Marvel’s competitor, DC, has seen tremendous success with its “Batman” games, Marvel’s wildly popular stable of characters have largely missed the boat when it comes to video games. There is no Captain America game, no Avengers game, no Guardians of the Galaxy game.
But that’s about to change: Marvel is teaming up with celebrated Japanese game publisher Square Enix, as well as two of its best game development studios (Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics), to create a new game based on “The Avengers.”
— Square Enix (@SquareEnix) January 26, 2017
Outside of the brief teaser above, we’ve got no additional information on the collaboration. Here’s what we know:
- Square Enix and Marvel are working on a game based on The Avengers. The working title is “The Avengers project.” It’s the first of several games planned in the partnership.
There’s a lot we can infer from that information that Marvel and Square Enix aren’t saying outright. First: The studios in charge of the Avengers game, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal, are known for creating gorgeous third- and first-person action games.
The major claim to fame for Crystal Dynamics? The “Tomb Raider” franchise, which has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years with a duo of fantastic new games (2013’s “Tomb Raider” and 2015’s “Rise of the Tomb Raider”).
- Square Enix
And what of the other studio involved, Eidos Montreal?
Though it’s less well-known, Eidos Montreal is responsible for the similarly fantastic “Deux Ex” franchise. Both 2011’s “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” and 2016’s “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” are gorgeous, thoughtful, well-designed games.
- Square Enix
All of which is to say one thing: Don’t expect a small mobile game to come out of this partnership.
Unless the collaboration fizzles out – a real possibility given Disney’s past with video game development – you should expect a major, blockbuster-style “Avengers” game from this partnership.
Alas, if you’re a fan of the recent “Tomb Raider” and “Deus Ex” games, you should equally expect fewer of those. Given how popular Marvel’s properties are, we’d bet Square Enix directs its studios to focus on this collaboration over its somewhat riskier in-house properties. Sorry, Lara Croft / Adam Jensen fans – it looks like Thor and Iron Man win this round.
There’s no window for when this “Avengers project” is set to launch, but we’d guess it’s planned for 2018 or 2019 when the next two Avengers films (“Infinity War” and an untitled sequel) are scheduled to debut.