Marvel has dropped SEGA as a games publishing partner.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, TQ Jefferson, vice president of games production at Marvel, didn’t give details as to why the partnership with SEGA had come to an end. However, SEGA has published five Marvel-licensed games, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Captain America: Super Soldier and Thor: God of Thunder, all of which have failed to dazzle critics.
On critical aggregation site Metacritic, the games scored as follows: Iron Man 45/100; The Incredible Hulk 55/100; Iron Man 2 41/100; Captain America: Super Soldier 60/100; and Thor: God of Thunder 38/100.
Jefferson went on to explain why he believes such film tie-ins often fail.
“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.”
“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,” he explained. “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,” he concluded.
Marvel’s relationships with other publishers have borne somewhat better fruit. Activision’s Spider-Man games have scored more positively. Additionally, parent company Disney appears to have made a successful launch for Marvel: Avengers Alliance on Facebook.