Our thoughts on Marvel’s Spider-Man’s Release Date

After much anticipation, Sony and Insomniac Games have finally issued a release date on their latest project, Marvel’s Spider-Man. The game is releasing on September 7, 2018, exclusively for the PlayStation 4. Work on the game started as early as 2014, and a reveal trailer released at E3 2016. In the following months, we were given more details about the game and at E3 2017, we were given a 9-minute gameplay trailer. The gameplay seemed to resemble that of the Batman: Arkham Asylum series, where the game flows seamlessly between stealth and combat. Fan input on the reveal was generally very positive and has been gaining a large cult following since its debut. It was here that the game set its release date to a Q2 2018 release window. At Paris Games Week 2017, Marvel’s Spider-Man was given a story trailer that explained the narrative more in depth. Since then, we have only been given small snippets of the game. As time went on and as Q1 of 2018 passed by, the Q2 2018 release window given to Spider-Man seemed like a stretch. Now, the game is coming out closer to the end of Q3 2018.

Screenshot of Spider-Man on top of a truck fighting off armed criminals in Marvel's Spider-man

With the release set on September 7, 2018, I think I speak for most of the community when I say that I have mixed feelings. I tried to be optimistic for the game landing on shelves in the Summer, but the more I thought about it, the more it became clear that the game was not marketing enough to release any time soon. Even though I saw a later release coming from a mile away, I would appreciate it if someone told us that the game was releasing in Q3 beforehand. Since there wasn’t any warning of the game’s release window change, a fair amount of fans were probably expecting a release somewhere between now and June. If not, then the release date would land somewhere between July and August. That said, this September release still seems to be Insomniac Games optimal choice for Marvel’s Spider-Man.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m annoyed that I need to wait a solid 5 more months until I’m swinging through a virtual New York City. Especially when Insomniac promised that the game would release in the middle of the summer at the latest. However, that is realistically the only problem I have with this. There are plenty of reasons as to why they are taking the precaution of a Q3 2018 release.

First, let me tackle the obvious reason why I support this release date. We need to let the developers put more polish into the game, so that it’s the best experience possible. Like I said, I think the community knows that this game is not quite finished due to the minimal promotion the project recieved. Insomniac Games wants to make Spider-Man the best game it can be. If that requires the extra 3 months than expected, then I’m okay with it. If the development team wanted to, they could have continued work on the game into the end of 2018. However, there’s a few issues with that. Aside from the obvious backlash from fans, there’s a more pressing issue that involves the success of the game commercially.

Mr. Negative holding a weapon with a helicopter behind him in Marvel's Spider-man

If the game were to release just one month later in October, is then up against 2 behemoth games. The first is Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Whether you love it or hate it, the Call of Duty franchise, has always done very well commercially. However, the real issue is with Red Dead Redemption 2 AKA the most anticipated title of the year. If Spider-Man released in October, it would have a very difficult time selling against these two massive titles. Thankfully, most people who worked on the game knew this. Marvel Creative Development VP Stephen Wacker made a tweet in February that emphasizes his anxiety of Marvel’s Spider-Man releasing in the same month as Red Dead Redemption 2. In the tweet, he says “If the Spider-Man game and Red Dead come out near each other, I’m pretty sure I’m going to lose my job.”

Thankfully for Wacker, he is probably going to keep his job. Marvel’s Spider-Man is far enough away from both Black Ops and Red Dead that it will most likely succeed. The only games that are competing with it are Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Dragon Quest XI. While these games may have some effect of Spider-Man’s sales, they are not as soul crushing as the former competition.

To sum it up: don’t be upset at Insomniac for pushing back the release date. We want a good game, as do they. They also want something that will sell good so the release date might just be a marketing tactic. Release date aside, you can bet that Gaming Instincts will be ready for Spider-Man when it comes out.