Late last week, Square Enix announced that its beleaguered 2020 live-service game, Marvel’s Avengers, will no longer receive new content or major updates after March 31. And all official support for the game will end on September 30, 2023, with digital sales ending on that date too. While you’ll still be able to play it offline and online with friends after these dates, it’s effectively game over for the troubled online action game. Yet, even in death, developer Crystal Dynamics just confirmed that the character of Spider-Man will remain exclusive to the PS4 and PS5 versions.
This saga began when, shortly ahead of the release of Marvel’s Avengers, Crystal Dynamics announced that Spider-Man would be added to the game at a later date. However, the famous web-slinger would not be coming to the Xbox or PC versions. Instead, only PS4 (and later PS5) players would have access to the character. It took longer than expected, but eventually, in November 2021 Spider-Man popped up in the PlayStation versions. At the time fans theorized that it was because Spider-Man was owned by Sony and therefore Spidey was only on PlayStation. (That isn’t the case, as Sony merely owns film rights to the character.) But since then, the famous superhero has appeared in Midnight Suns across all platforms. So it’s not like Spider-Man can only exist on PlayStation consoles.
And yet, Crystal Dynamics confirmed in a blog post on January 20 that Spider-Man will still not be coming to Xbox or PC. What a shame! Even as the failed live-service game dies, none of Spidey’s corporate overlords can agree to let him swing free across all platforms for the few Avengers players out there still enjoying the game.
Kotaku contacted Marvel, PlayStation, Square Enix, Embracer Group, and Crystal Dynamics for comment, but didn’t hear back before publication.
I already know people in the comments or quote retweets will claim Sony completely owns Spider-Man (it doesn’t) or that Sony can’t legally allow the character to appear on other platforms (it can). Yet he’s in Midnight Suns, a game released on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC. He’s in mobile games released across iOS, Android, and PC, too.
So it’s totally doable to have Spidey show up on other consoles if the people pulling the strings, cutting the deals, and making the contracts can agree to it. But apparently nobody cares enough about Avengers and its community to muster one last gesture of goodwill for players and let the web-slingin’ hero show up on Xbox and PC. If you want to play the complete version of the game after support ends in September, it seems you’ll have to own a PlayStation. Say it with me once again: Console-exclusive DLC sucks.