All Marvel video games take place in their own universes, lacking the through lines of the MCU. This was done intentionally, and here’s why.
A slew of Marvel video games have been released over the past few years, including Insomniac Games’ Marvel’s Spider-Man and Square Enix’s Marvel’s Avengers, with even more coming in the near future. They take players from the streets of New York to the far reaches of the galaxy, and most focus on original stories that aren’t connected to their Hollywood counterparts in the MCU. However, there is one important element from the MCU that doesn’t exist in Marvel games: a thread connecting all the stories together.
Recently released Marvel games, such as Spider-Man and Avengers, tell independent stories. The only games that have seen crossover between each other are Marvel’s Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, as the latter is a direct sequel. This could change, however, as Marvel’s Wolverine, also developed by Insomniac, seemingly takes place in the same universe as the Spider-Man titles.
While it has since been all but confirmed that Insomniac’s games are in the same continuity, none of the other Marvel games share this trait. Midnight Suns, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Avengers are all on their own. In an August 2021 interview with RadioTimes, Marvel Games’ VP of creative, Bill Rosemann, gave a pretty clear answer as to why most of the Marvel games aren’t connected: “Part of the success of the modern-day Marvel Games – whether it is mobile, VR, or console – is we offer our collaborators freedom.” He went on to explain that, by not connecting the stories across a myriad of developers, Marvel Games doesn’t limit the creators to a single canonical piece of information. This makes endless narrative possibilities for game studios, who don’t find themselves tied down to a specific point on the Marvel timeline or a certain iteration of a hero. Instead, they can work to create a good story they are passionate about.
How Future Marvel Video Games Could Be Connected
It would take an extraordinary amount of coordination for all Marvel games to take place in the same universe, but Insomniac is already establishing one within a single development studio, and it could theoretically be accomplished across studios with extensive communication. Alternately, there are many parallel universes in Marvel, both in the comics and now the MCU. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for Marvel Games to use established concepts like Spider-Man’s multiverse or a Sacred Timeline deviant and retcon these games into one unified story.
In his interview with RadioTimes, Rosemann pointed out a few ways in which the Marvel video games are already connected with one another, most of them behind the scenes. For example, Laura Bailey, best known for her work in The Last of Us Part 2, lends her voice as Black Widow in multiple Marvel games, including Marvel’s Avengers, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order and Marvel Powers United VR. Additionally, Rosemann said the Marvel Games team will work with artists from the MCU and Marvel Comics to share ideas and costumes, connecting Marvel video games like Marvel’s Spider-Man through their visuals.
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