Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men: Days of Future Past may have set box office records around the world for their respective film franchises this year, but on the video game front, all they got was some mobile tie-ins. While we do love GlitchSoft's Days of Future Past sidescroller (which honors the comics more than the film) and it is a big improvement over Aeria Games & Entertainment's X-Men: Battle of the Atom, where are the triple-A games? Where are the Marvel games that earn spots on most anticipated games lists and end of year award shows?
It's sadly nowhere to be found in the latest version of Disney Infinity, nor in the free-to-play Marvel Heroes, so Marvel fans and gamers to be will have to keep looking towards the mobile market where there are two new Marvel games on the way from Kabam.
That's not to say we want a return to the old days of rushed, cheap, ugly (read: generally terrible) Marvel games of old that came to consoles and PC every time a movie came out, but with so many rich characters, stories, environments and action set pieces to draw from, it's shocking that Marvel doesn't have several equivalents to DC Entertainment and Warner Bros.' Batman: Arkham series.
Marvel does however, have developers working away on casual titles and mobile offerings and that's where Kabam comes in. Kabam is no stranger to working with licensed properties, having developed The Godfather: Five Families (based on the films) for browsers, Fast & Furious 6: The Game for Android and iOS devices, and a pair of games based on The Hobbit (the Facebook one shutdown earlier this year). This month they have the fighting game Marvel: Contest of Champions coming to Android and iOS and today announced a second collaboration with Marvel, an RPG coming next year.
Kabam's San Francisco studio, which previously developed Castle Age and Underworld Empire, is working on the new Marvel RPG which is tentatively scheduled for Fall 2015. Both this untitled RPG and the soon-to-be-released Contest of Champions are free-to-play. There are little to no details on this second new Marvel mobile title other than the fact it's a free-to-play RPG. Marvel Entertainment EVP/GM of Interactive & Digital Distribution Peter Phillips:
"Marvel Interactive is continuing our commitment to delivering innovative, high-quality games for mobile devices by expanding on our relationship with Kabam. Kabam’s development teams do a great job of creating original, true-to-character gameplay experiences which supports that commitment."
I'd love to see some "true-to-character gameplay experiences" on PC and the new consoles...
Marvel: Contest of Champions releases Decembe, 2014 and the Untitled Marvel RPG releases Fall 2015.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.