FIT INTO THE MCU UNIVERSE
MARVEL VIDEO GAMES
By Matthew Byrd
The final episode of Loki introduced us to the MCU multiverse, but do recent Marvel games exist in that suddenly more complicated timeline?
In the early days, Marvel video games had almost no relationship to the Marvel canon. The first Marvel video game (1982's Spider-Man) was basically a toy developed by Parker Bros.
Interestingly the first game based on a Marvel movie was 1986's Howard the Duck. Like the movie itself, the game was met with mostly negative reviews.
We had to wait until 2000's Blade to finally play another video game directly based on a Marvel movie. It wasn't much better than Howard the Duck, despite being based on a better movie.
From there, Marvel alternated between games based on their movies and games based on comics. However, most Marvel movies from this time were quickly adapted into games of varying quality.
While 2008's Iron Man game was another generic adaptation, it did leave people wondering whether future Marvel games would be included in the new Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The answer to that question proved to be complicated. While some games based on MCU movies featured new plot points, it's not clear if they were ever meant to actually be part of the MCU.
Despite the MCU's popularity, 2011's Captain America: Super Soldier ended up being the last game based on an MCU film. Fans were left wondering why Marvel suddenly abandoned those adaptations.
This was a dark time for Marvel games. With no more MCU adaptations and fewer releases overall, Marvel fans were left wanting. The future looked bleak.
However, a new hope emerged in 2018 when Insomniac Games released Marvel's Spider-Man. Though released a year after Spider-Man: Homecoming, the game was surprisingly not based on the film.
This is Marvel's new strategy. They let developers make Marvel games that exist in their own worlds. That means games like Marvel's Avengers aren't based on the MCU (despite certain similarities).
Not all hope is lost, though. Recent Spider-Man games take place on Earth-1048, which is part of the Marvel multiverse. Could that world also somehow exist in the new MCU multiverse?
That remains to be seen. For now, modern Marvel games remain well outside the MCU. Never say never when it comes to comic book crossovers, though.