There won't be any more Sega-published Marvel games.
That's according to TQ Jefferson, vice president of games production for Marvel.
Sega has published five games based off of Marvel movies in recent years: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Captain America: Super Soldier and Thor: God of Thunder.
Most of these titles were slated by critics. The Metascores are as follows: Iron Man (45); The Incredible Hulk (55); Iron Man 2 (41); Captain America: Super Soldier (60); and Thor: God of Thunder (38).
In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, Jefferson didn't directly explain why "there are no current plans for additional Marvel games to be published by Sega", but he did delve into the reasons why movie-licensed games often "fall down".
"In my opinion, the biggest afflictions affecting movie-licensed games is the amount of development time and a strict adherence to retelling the story of the film in the form of a game," he said.
"The former is easy to understand -- less development time means less time to design, produce and polish the game, resulting in a poor or lesser-quality experience. The latter is a little more subtle, but I can sum it up thusly: If a development team were to follow a film's plot line to the letter, then you would have a two-hour experience with a bunch of thugs and one boss fight. That's simply not how we define 'movie licensed console game' now or ever.
"In order to hit the expected amount of gameplay, you need to embellish, add additional characters, story, subplots and objectives to make a more robust and satisfying experience. That's where a lot of movie licenses fall down - lack of content."
Marvel has now moved on to other publishers for its video game licenses. Activision is hard at work on a Spider-Man game to tie-in with the upcoming summer movie. That's being made by Beenox.
Then there's MMO Marvel Heroes, in development at Gazillion.
This, according to Jefferson, "will allow us to reach an entirely new and different group of fans, to tell stories in ways we've never done before and get players to interact with our characters and each other in new and exciting ways".
Apparently Marvel has "learned a great deal" from rival MMO DC Universe Online.
"We've played it, read the reviews and gauged how fans responded to a number of choices that were made in terms of design, presentation, etc," Jefferson said.
"For our own MMO, Marvel Heroes, we worked with Gazillion and chose to do a number of things differently. For example, Marvel Heroes was built from the ground up to be free-to-play. We also made the decision to allow players to be popular heroes from the start; very different than how DC Universe works. There are a number of other differences between the two, but you'll just have to play the game to find out."
Marvel, owned by Disney, has already released a game to tie in with May movie The Avengers. It's a Facebook game called Marvel: Avengers Alliance. Expect more.
"This is the first in a much larger effort to support the Avengers franchise across not just one but multiple video game touch points," Jefferson revealed.
"The Avengers are bigger than just one game, and we're planning to allow consumers to enjoy The Avengers regardless of their preference in gameplay style or platform. Look for more announcements in the weeks to come."
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