Spider-Man is one of the most popular heroes in the Marvel canon so it’s no big surprise that the Peter Parker version of the character will be playable in the upcoming Marvel’s Avengers. What might surprise, and disappoint some fans, is that Spidey will only be playable on PlayStation consoles.
The announcement of the web-slinger’s inclusion in the game came via Marvel’s Avengers’ Associate Art Director, Jeff Adams on the PlayStation Blog. The post is essentially a love letter to Spider-Man and the character’s history in Marvel properties. At the end of the post, Adams addresses the exclusivity of Spider-Man in the game’s roster,
“We can’t wait for you to add Spider-Man to your Marvel’s Avengers roster in early 2021, and as we’ve promised before, he will be available at no additional cost to owners of the base game, exclusively on PlayStation.”
This could be read to mean that Spider-Man will be unavailable on non-Sony platforms or that the character will be free on PlayStation and players on other platforms will need to buy him.
The post notably contains no in-game footage or images of Spider-Man which supports the 2021 date for the addition of the character to Marvel’s Avengers which is scheduled for a September 2020 release.
Marvel’s Avengers has been a bit of a disappointment to fans since its reveal at E3 2019. The character roster shown in the early footage of the game was somewhat light. The fact that it included only characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s original team came across as uninspired. The models and costumes for the characters seemed off in some way. And, finally, the gameplay seemed generic even for a third-person action game.
Since the reveal, the game has managed to gather some positive buzz around the addition of some popular heroes like Kamala Khan / Ms. Marvel and the villain M.O.D.O.K. This announcement serves as a reminder that many playable characters will be locked behind a paywall or unavailable because of licensing problems.
The main appeal of Marvel’s Avengers is getting to play around with characters in a virtual world the way kids do with action figures. Limiting access to characters so that they can be an additional source of income makes a certain amount of business sense. There’s more money to be made selling toys than toy-chests. Refusing to sell toys to people who don’t own a specific brand of toy chest, on the other hand, doesn’t seem like smart business. A timed exclusive or making Spider-Man available on PC would probably make the most sense for Marvel’s Avenger’s but unfortunately for the game, Sony still owns the rights to the character.