Insomniac’s Spider-Man launched in September 2018, and the Marvel’s Avengers game from Square Enix is due for release in May 2020. The projects have totally different developers, but could they actually be connected? Is Marvel covertly creating a Marvel Games Universe to offer an interactive alternative to the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
At the moment, we don’t know for sure. There is evidence both for and against a connection between Spider-Man PS4 and Marvel’s Avengers, and nobody involved in either game has come forward to confirm or deny the rumors. This leaves us to squint at clues and come up with our own guesswork, which is exactly what this article is for.
If you’re looking for a definitive answer to the question of whether these games are connected, that information does not yet exist in the public realm. But if you’re happy to join us on a clue-squinting journey of speculation and prediction, read on.
Let’s look at the evidence…
The Evidence For Spider-Man PS4 and Marvel’s Avengers Being Connected
“Marvel’s Spider-Man is intended as ‘the Iron Man of Marvel video games,'” said Marvel Games executive Bill Roseman, around the time that Spider-Man was released. He told GameSpot, “As with that first MCU hit, [Marvel’s Spider-Man] kicks off a new era for Marvel console games.”
That was our first hint that Spider-Man connected to a wider universe of Marvel characters, which was backed up in the game by references to Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther and many more iconic Marvel heroes. The presence of Avengers Tower in the game also confirms that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have already assembled in Spider-Man‘s universe.
This is where things get interesting. When you make Spidey take a photo of Avengers Tower in Spider-Man, he says this: “Avengers Tower, so cool! Too bad they’re never around to use it. They’re on the west coast or something. Probably surfing.” At the time, we took this to be a coy reference to the West Coast Avengers, a team from the comics that lacks the street cred of its New York counterparts.
However, jump forward to E3 2019, and the new trailer for Marvel’s Avengers game shows Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow and Hulk heading over to San Francisco – a city on the west coast of the USA – to unveil a new Avengers Tower. Things go wrong, though, with a supervillain attacking the ceremony and Captain America getting killed in a blast.
Could this mean that that Spidey was talking sense during Spider-Man‘s West Coast Avengers Easter egg? Maybe, while the wall-crawler was battling the brand new Doctor Octopus, the Avengers were off in San Francisco preparing for the big reveal of the West Coast Avengers HQ.
There are two options here: either it was a complete coincidence that Spidey’s dialogue about Avengers Tower foreshadowed the San Francisco setting of Marvel’s Avengers trailer, or it was a deliberate piece of synergy orchestrated by Marvel and intended to suggest that these games take place in the same universe.
How might the two games fit together, we hear you ask? Well, one interesting factor to take into consideration is the fact that there is a five-year time jump in the Marvel’s Avengers game trailer. Five years after Cap lost his life in San Francisco Bay, the remaining Avengers have to reassemble to tackle a new threat, in what looks to be the game’s main storyline.
So, if Spider-Man takes place around the same time as the San Francisco tragedy segment of Marvel’s Avengers, that could mean that there is a gap of half a decade between the main plot of Spider-Man and the main plot of Marvel’s Avengers.
This would leave a nice empty slot for the Spidey developers at Insomniac, which they could utilize if they wanted to release a sequel to Spider-Man that followed on closely from their previous game. And it would also give Square Enix some breathing room, allowing Marvel’s Avengers to weave Spidey into its main storyline without having to hew too closely to where Peter Parker was left at the end of Spider-Man.
And while we’re on the topic of evidence that points towards the games being connected, it’s worth noting that the villainous Taskmaster appears in both games. He served up some bothersome challenges as a side-villain in Spider-Man, and he also pops up fleetingly in the Marvel’s Avengers trailer. The character is masked, though, so it’s impossible to tell if both versions are meant to be the same bloke. We’re optimistic, though.
The Evidence Against Spider-Man PS4 and Marvel’s Avengers Being Connected
The appearance of Taskmaster in the trailer for Marvel’s Avengers is promising, and the reference to the West Coast Avengers in Spider-Man provides another reason to be hopeful of a crossover, but there’s one big reason to think that these games may not be connected after all: at E3 2019, when Square Enix shared that Avengers trailer, they didn’t make any mention of Spidey.
This, of course, didn’t stop people from speculating and asking questions. Bill Rosemann, the same Marvel exec that made those comments last year about Spider-Man being the Iron Man of the Marvel games, was asked about the potential connection during an E3 panel. Rosemann didn’t let anything slip, though, and joked that “the roof would fall on his head” if he commented on the rumor.
For now, then, the party line from Marvel seems to be a simple ‘no comment’. They’re not confirming or denying that Spider-Man and Marvel’s Avengers are connected, so we’re just left with our own assumptions and guesswork for the time being.
When Will We Find Out For Sure?
If Captain America: Civil War‘s marketing campaign is anything to go by, press teams can’t resist putting Spidey in their promo materials, even if keeping him a secret could’ve resulted in an awesome surprise for punters. If we’re remembering correctly, Spidey wasn’t in the very first Civil War trailer, but he did show up at the very end of the second one. “Hey everyone,” indeed.
Perhaps Square Enix is planning a similar approach with Marvel’s Avengers game. The E3 2019 trailer introduced the concept of the game and its core roster of heroes, and perhaps the next trailer will throw a bone to Spidey fans. Imagine the excitement if Spider-Man, as played by Yuri Lowenthal in Spider-Man, swung into the next Marvel’s Avengers trailer.
Failing that, we’ll know for sure who is and is not in Marvel’s Avengers when the game is released for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia on 15 May 2020. We’d welcome an appearance from Nadji Jeter’s Miles Morales, too, if that isn’t too much to ask!