Marvel Studios' latest film (their sixth) is not only their most successful film to date (with the biggest opening of all time), it's also the first to not have a video game tie-in coincide with its release. Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor: God of Thunder and Captain America: Super Soldier all released alongside their respective films and much to the chagrin of fans and the industry, they all more or less sucked.
The Avengers did have a game in development from THQ but it wasn't directly tied into the film from what we gather and it was canceled. With the popularity of the brand and the success of the film however, it was inevitable (Marvel was already looking for development opportunities) and so came the speculation when Ubisoft registered an Avengers domain over the weekend. Say hello to the now-official Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth.
Ubisoft's game based on The Avengers was confirmed by Ubisoft Toronto via Twitter where they announced a partnership with Marvel and that it's being developed at Ubisoft Quebec for Kinect on Xbox 360 and for the Wii U. Moments ago, Marvel shared a few details.
Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth is a fighting game based on the Secret Invasion story arc (Skrulls!) from the books. It's inspired by Marvel Comics artwork and features 20 playable characters, including Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and Thor. Villains will be playable as well.
Tony Key, US senior vice president of sales and marketing at Ubisoft:
"We are excited to team up with Marvel Entertainment to bring some of the most iconic comic book characters from the Marvel line-up to life in motion-gaming. Fans of the Marvel universe and superhero games are going to love the extensive combinations of characters, motion-controlled moves and competitive gameplay."
Andreea Enache-Thune, senior vice president of games and digital distribution at Marvel:
"For the last few years, Marvel has positioned itself to deliver the absolute best in entertainment, be it in film, animation, comics or games. Partnering with Ubisoft is a big part of that ongoing movement. We are confident that Ubisoft’s talent matches Marvel’s own commitment to making the "Avengers: Battle for Earth" the best in the motion-controlled gaming category."
The good news is that it's not a direct tie-in, the bad news may be its strict focus on motion controls since that worked out poorly with Kinect Star Wars. Better and deeper gaming experiences motion controls rarely make, so fans looking for the next X-Men Legends or Marvel Ultimate Alliance may not be getting a similar experience.
We've yet to see in-game screenshots or any hint at the type of gameplay but count us intrigued to see how motion controls factor in and what characters are involved. Hulk Smash?
Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth will undoubtedly be a part of Ubisoft's presentation at E3 and we look forward to checking it out and sharing what we learn.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.