5 Ways the Marvel Games could Change the Movies

thanos and other marvel heroes
Credit: Original Image by: Bayani Miguel Acebedo; Credit: NetEase Games and Epic Games; Fair use for news and promotional purposes

thanos and other marvel heroes
Credit: Original Image by: Bayani Miguel Acebedo; Credit: NetEase Games and Epic Games; Fair use for news and promotional purposes

Video game tie-in games are essentially a thing of the past—specifically around the 2000s decade—but that hasn’t stopped fans from asking when they’ll be getting a game directly tied to the MCU films.

Interestingly, there is a rumour that some MCU-canonical games are in the works. Admittedly, there haven’t been any official updates on the Marvel front, but fans are speculating exactly how Marvel video games can enhance the established movie franchise.

Marvel Video Games Can Put the Spotlight on Obscure Characters

As great as the Avengers movies are, filmmakers can only squeeze in so much character development in a limited 2-hour runtime, resulting in some characters in the film being pushed to the side in favour of major players like Captain America and Iron Man.

When it comes to video games, though, there is always a chance for an obscure character to get the spotlight, and it doesn’t even need the developers to flesh out their backstory; simply being able to play as a character can get players in the long run.

Take, for example, Kamala Khan, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel. Ms. Marvel was a relatively obscure character for general audiences, but when Marvel Studios was ready to give her a TV series and a spot on the Captain Marvel sequel, Kamala was introduced as a playable character in Square Enix’s Avengers: A-Day, which was released before the series and the film.

This gave players a chance to get invested in Kamala as a character. They didn’t need to read the comics, but her story in the game pretty much summed the character up with her intense love for all things Avengers and her weird, shapeshifting powers.

Admittedly, the game didn’t do so well on release, but by the time Ms. Marvel came out on Disney+, most people had a general idea of who she was and how she was different from Carol Danvers’ Captain Marvel.

Flesh Out Minor Characters from the Films

Though the MCU gave up on tie-in games today, the heroes of the first phase—specifically Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America—were able to get the video game adaptation treatment around the time their films were coming out.

While the main adversaries for the films also appeared in the tie-ins, supporting roles in the movies ended up getting expanded in the game. One good example was Arnim Zola from Captain America: The First Avenger. Though Zola was just a scientist for the Red Skull to push around in the film, the video game Captain America: Super Soldier was able to take Zola’s character and turn him into a boss, which was inspired by Zola’s comic appearance.

The tie-ins also try their best to match the aesthetics of the film, so even though fans never got a robot Zola in the movie, the Zola mech in the video game is the next best thing.

Extend the Story of Some Movies

Though movies are made to last for roughly 2 hours at best, video games are designed for players to stay in the world for as long as they possibly can. This results in several kinds of game mechanics like random quests and progression systems that reward new skills.

While the world is opened up to explore as a hero, the games also extends the story that it’s based on—filling in the gaps that were otherwise left in the films. A great example would be the original Spider-Man 2 game starring Tobey Maguire. Sure the game had the main conflict with Doc Ock, but it also introduced several other villains for Spidey to fight like Rhino, Shocker, and Mysterio.

Mysterio never even got to appear in the Sam Raimi films, but in the game he gets a fully fleshed out arc where he causes some legit trouble for Spider-Man. Players can even tell themselves that this totally happened behind the scenes of the movie—enhancing the overall experience.

Have an opinion on this article? We'd love to hear it!

Prepare Audiences for Upcoming Movies

Like any piece of merchandising, video game tie-ins are always made to help hype up the movie that they’re trying to sell. Star Wars clearly mastered this with the toys and merch releasing months before the actual films.

That being said, the same kind of strategy could definitely work for Marvel when it comes to games. Admittedly, making full tie-in games has gotten pretty expensive when it comes to the current gen—that’s why Phase 2 Marvel tie-ins ended up being mobile games, but several IPs have found a workaround in that they make tie-in DLC.

Games like Fortnite are able to release specific characters as DLC to help promote the launch of a movie or television series. Even games like Overwatch and Call of Duty sometimes release themed gear and skins for the cross promotion of anime.

With Marvel set to get its own Overwatch clone with Marvel Rivals, there’s clearly a lot of profit to be made from exclusive skins—specifically skins that are accurate to a hero’s appearance in a specific comic or movie. Think of all the Iron Man skins they can milk out of the MCU alone. They can even release skins of heroes that are going to be in upcoming movies. Before the release of No Way Home, Spider-Man players were able to get the Black and Gold suit and the Integrated Spider-Man suit in the game.

Marvel Video Games Can Help Expand the Multiverse

Marvel Studios is currently building what it’s branded as the ‘Multiverse Saga’ and it’s established that several versions of a character can exist across alternate dimensions. This was best played out in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but the concept has also been explored with Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, Loki, and Spider-Man: No Way Home.

With the video games telling the story of alternate versions of established characters, there is a chance to flesh out the multiverse and give more versions of a Marvel character that people can enjoy. Crystal Dynamics’ Guardians of the Galaxy follows an original take on Peter Quill and his gang, but at the core they are still very much the same characters that were made popular by the MCU back in 2014.

Plus, with the Multiverse concept, creators are able to tell their stories without the usual constraints of having a consistent timeline. They can simply just say that these characters exist in a parallel dimension.

As of this point, no major crossover has happened with the MCU and the games, but Insomniac’s Spider-Man has already made a cameo in the animated Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

The upcoming Marvel Rivals is also completely embracing the multiverse concept with its heroes being brought together from all over the multiverse to clash in teams in random locations. While the game does have its own original take on characters, it’s possible that some fan-favorite versions can also come out in the game.

Imagine the money people would spend to get a whole roster of the X-Men ’97 skins or every Iron Man armor from the MCU?

Stick with us here at Gfinity for all the latest Marvel gaming news.

This Article's Topics

Explore new topics and discover content that's right for you!

Marvel GamesFeatures
Have an opinion on this article? We'd love to hear it!