Marvel’s Avengers: Spider-Man PlayStation Exclusive Explained by Crystal Dynamics

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Marvel’s Avengers, a new action-adventure game starring Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, is out in a month and developer Crystal Dynamics is using the run-up to the release to tell players much more about what they should expect when servers go live. One thing the studio has confirmed is that Spider-Man is joining the Avengers in 2021, but what should have been great news quickly left some fans outraged when it was revealed that the webslinger was only coming to PlayStation versions of the game. On top of that, PlayStation owners will also get exclusive challenges, cosmetics, and other downloadable content for at least a limited time.

Naturally, the Spider-Man news left Xbox and PC gamers wondering whether Spidey will be a timed exclusive or a permanent bonus for PlayStation owners. During a Q&A with Crystal Dynamics this week, we were able to ask just that.

“It’s what we’ve announced so far is that it is exclusive to PlayStation. So it has no other limits on it at the moment. It is just exclusive to PlayStation players,” Crystal Dynamics head Scot Amos told Den of Geek on a Zoom call, declining to answer whether the fan-favorite hero would ever appear on other versions of the game.

Fortunately, Amos did confirm to IGN that Spider-Man is the only character in Marvel’s Avengers that will be exclusive to a platform, saying, “That is the only character that we are doing that way.”

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Hawkeye, who was notably missing from this very MCU-inspired lineup of heroes, is also being added to the game post-launch. It’s good to know that every platform will get to enjoy the Purple Archer.

“Because of the relationship Sony and PlayStation have with Marvel, there was a unique opportunity for PlayStation fans to be able to have that hero brought to them,” Amos told us of the decision to make Spidey exclusive Sony’s consoles.

When asked by IGN how Xbox and PC players should feel about the fact they won’t be able to play as Spider-Man, Amos said that the PlayStation exclusive shouldn’t deter fans from exploring Marvel’s Avengers on other platforms as there’s still tons of content in those versions of the game.

“I would say that Marvel’s Avengers has a lot of heroes, and with the scope and the breadth of this game and this universe, players are going to have their hands full with a lot to play with. And as we have just announced with Hawkeye, there are more heroes to come,” Amos said. “So this is an opportunity to celebrate (Spider-Man’s addition) uniquely for those players (on PlayStation) because of that relationship, but I think there’s so much of a world for people to explore, I wouldn’t look as that as a reason not to embrace it (the opportunity to add Spider-Man on PS4 and PS5). I would say, look at all this stuff you get to play with.”

However you feel about this particular decision, it does make sense that it’s PlayStation who nabbed the webslinger, especially after the success of 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man, the critically-acclaimed open-world game from developer Insomniac. That game saw a seasoned Peter Parker take on the Sinister Six, and it also introduced Miles Morales, a teenager destined for superhero greatness. A new game, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, is coming to PlayStation 5 this holiday.

In a post on the PlayStation Blog, Crystal Dynamics stressed that the studio was working on its own take on Spider-Man unrelated to the one who stars in Insomniac’s game. But Amos also revealed to us that both studios spend some time together discussing the hero and comparing notes.

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“Marvel did an introduction between Crystal and Insomniac,” Amos explained to us. “We could sit there and look at each other’s content and game. Marvel and Insomniac have done something brilliant with what they do with their Spider-Man hero.”

Some eagle-eyed Marvel fans will recall a reference to the Avengers in Marvel’s Spider-Man. At one point in that game, it’s mentioned that the superhero team is on the West Coast, thousands of miles from Peter’s New York City. It may not be an accident, then, that Marvel’s Avengers opens in San Francisco. While this in no way means the games are connected and set in the same universe, it’s possible that the studios planned these sort of winks at each other nonetheless.

“I will say we have had drinks together tonight and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if…’ So it could be something like that may have led to getting a couple of these little nuances. But the actual fiction in the worlds themselves, what you get to play, they are different worlds. And it’s our Spider-Man and they have their Spider-Man,” Amos said. “That particular line or any other lines in there, certainly I will put it to you this way, that the worlds are the worlds, but they’re their own.”

The 2021 launch date means that PlayStation owners are still going to have to wait a while before swinging around the game as Spider-Man. Fortunately, anxious Marvel fans will have a chance to try out the core team of heroes this month.

A PS4 beta launches this weekend that gives players a pretty good taste of what’s in store in the full game. Last week, Den of Geek got early access to the beta and we tried out everything it had to offer. We came away very impressed with the world-building and combat system but the environments, level design, and enemies were a very mixed bag. Black Widow and Kamala Khan rule, though! You can check out full hands-on impressions here.

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Marvel’s Avengers is out on Sept. 4 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia. It’s coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X later this year.

If you’re interested in participating in the beta, here is the schedule of when you can do so:

  • August 7-9 – PS4 pre-order customers can join the closed beta
  • August 14-16 – All PS4 owners can join the open beta, and PC and Xbox One pre-order customers can play the closed beta
  • August 21-23 – Open beta across all platforms

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