Xbox players want to boycott Marvels’ Avengers, but are they angry with the right company?

Would you believe it? Xbox and PC players are miffed that Spider-Man will be an exclusive character for PlayStation versions of Square Enix’s Marvel Avengers. It’s got up some people’s nose enough that they’re calling for a boycott of the game (something that always works out exactly as planned).

Here is the post from KonLiber on Reddit.

First of all I want to clear up that this isn’t a cry of fanboyism. This is about consumers standing up for themselves. With the official confirmation that Spiderman will be available in the new Avengers game but only for PS4 owners, I can’t help but feel as if I am being scammed. This isn’t a PlayStation exclusive but a multiplatform game sold to us at the same full price BUT with less content. We are paying the same price for LESS. We are consumers and we have the ability to be heard with the power of our wallets. Have some self respect and refuse to be treated as a second class customer. Don’t buy this game.

All valid points. If you are paying the same price as someone else you should get the same content, but who is responsible for Spider-Man being exclusive?

Sony have published the most recent Spider-Man game and the forthcoming Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Spider-Man came out in September 2018, but almost a year later Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order was released on Switch and Spider-Man was a playable character. From that we know Sony do not own exclusive rights to Spider-Man appearing in video-games, so it’s not Sony stopping the character from appearing on Xbox… or is it?

There seems to be no logical reason for Square Enix to keep the character locked to one console, they would try and make every version the same else there would be a backlash, which leaves us with what I shall call ‘business shenanigans’.

This is what Avengers team-ups will look like on Xbox in 2021. Note: no Spider-Man.

We asked Crystal Dynamics Creative Director Shaun Escayg for comment about the backlash:

The Spider-Man [backlash] is very delicate. It’s above us in terms of the relationships – it’s a Marvel and Sony relationship and we really don’t have much say in that.

We are excited about putting out our version of Spider-Man and having that Spider-Man live in our world. That’s crucial for us, that this Spider-Man belongs to the Marvel’s Avengers world and the world dominated by AIM.

Other than that, I can say that Spider-Man will have his own story, his own story arc, villains that accompany it and live in this world. For the time that’s probably all I can say on it.

That quite clearly pins the blame on Sony and Marvel, and not Square Enix. Although Sony do not own the rights to Spider-Man in video games they do own the movie rights and have a working relationship with the comic book giant for Insomniac’s blockbusting Spider-Man game. It’s entirely plausible that, given the ties between Sony and Marvel on multiple levels, they agreed to make Spider-Man an exclusive character, in addition to other PlayStation timed exclusive content.

Who could have been an Xbox exclusive hero? This green guy looks like he’s the right colour.

Exclusive content on cross platform games is nothing new, and it absolutely goes both ways. Call of Duty maps were timed exclusives for Xbox 360, before Sony took over that partnership for PlayStation 4, but then The Division had Xbox timed exclusive DLC.

Timed exclusives are going to play a big part in the next generation as well. Who could forget the scandal when Microsoft secured Rise of the Tomb Raider as an Xbox One timed exclusive, but these days the company has become more open about which games will be “console launch exclusives” going into the next generation. STALKER 2, The Gunk, The Medium, even the heavily marketed and Microsoft published CrossfireX will be timed exclusives. Two can play at this game, and Sony have been playing hard for years now. Bugsnax, Godfall, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, Oddworld: Soulstorm, Stray, Project Athia and more are all timed exclusives from the PlayStation 5 reveal event, and that’s alongside the special in-game bonuses that they’re snapping up.

For Marvel’s Avengers, PlayStation players will have 30-day exclusive access to a Legendary Outfit, Legendary Emote, Epic Takedown, and nameplate for each Super Hero as they are released. However, Spider-Man there’s no indication that Spider-Man is a timed exclusive, and other heroes like Hawkeye will be arriving on all platforms at the same time. We’ve asked Square Enix for clarification.

It’s unlikely that this ‘fan’ backlash will hurt sales of the game, but what it has done is made it easy for those who want to play Marvels Avenger’s but don’t currently own a console to decide which platform to buy. Can you guess which version is higher up on the pre-order charts?

Written by
News Editor, very inappropriate, probs fancies your dad.


  1. Spider-Man is coming to the PS version exclusively in 2021. Clearly this is just a timed exclusive, and the XBox fans need to stop moaning about it.

    Well, that’s the logic that was applied to Rise of the Tomb Raider anyway. If you didn’t complain about that, you don’t get to whinge about this.

    Actually, the Spider-Man announcement said “early 2021” and “available at no additional cost to owners of the base game, exclusively on PlayStation”. So late next year as paid DLC for non-Sony platforms? Or maybe it’s a permanent exclusive and Sony aren’t lying about it? Unlike MS did with RotTR?

  2. Sony gave them a big bag of money obviously. I’d guess Spiderman will now be exclusive to PlayStation after the success of the spiderman game. I do recall plenty of people calling for a boycott of rise of the tomb raider, a few of them regulars on here. I look forward to their condemnation of this deal, ha ha.

    • We’ll wait for you to condemn MS for buying timed exclusivity of an entire game and lying about it first, shall we?

      I guess it kind of sucks if you really want Spider-Man and don’t own a PS4 (or a PS5 in future), but it’s just a single character. Not an entire game. And we’ll have to wait and see if Sony were lying about it being exclusive and not just a timed exclusive.

      • I had no issue with the tomb raider exclusively, how about you? Oh its different when it’s Sony handing over the big bag of cash isn’t it? It’s not like Sony haven’t lied about all their supposed exclusives that turned up on pc later on. Can’t have it both ways.

      • Sony’s exclusives turned up on PC years later. Nobody really believes they were just timed exclusives, do they? More of a “Oooh, that made lots of money. Let’s port it to PC and make more now”.

        Tomb Raider was always going to come to other platforms, and MS lied about it claiming it was exclusive. I’m surprised you can’t see how the 2 are different. A huge number of games have been exclusive to 1 particular platform and then come to another years later.

        And none of that is the same as an extra character coming to 1 particular platform.

        Sure, it’s probably mildly annoying if you particularly like Spider-Man (personally, he’s an annoying twat after about 5 minutes). But the XBox fans are making themselves look a bit stupid moaning so much about it.

      • I don’t like exclusives like this on either side – however in the case of Rise Of the Tomb Raider, as far as I am aware the game would not have been made at all if Microsoft had not put up a load of cash to fund the development – the previous Tomb Raider had fallen short of sales expectations – so while the exclusivity was bad, it was probably better than no one ever getting to play the game.

      • And people do need to stop going on about organising a boycott, that just makes people sound petty.
        If people don’t like it, then don’t buy the game and move on, but it’s not worth so much time and effort to try and convince others to do the same… either they are outraged already, or they are not.

  3. How is it any different to Epic “buying” Zombie Army 4 exclusive for a year from Steam? Sony have the Playstation and they certainly have the movie rights to Spider-Man so where’s the surprise.

    Does not having Spidey make that big a difference? Probably find some of the whingers prefer to play as Ironman anyway :D

  4. September 2019 Sony almost pulled Spider-Man out of the MCU. Spider-man is one of marvels biggest characters if not their biggest.

    This exclusivity must be part of why Spider-Man is still an MCU character. What’s the bet Spider-Man doesn’t appear on anything other than a Sony console for the next few years (at least until MCU Spidey’s arc is complete and they’re willing to leave him out).

  5. It’s a situation which is bad for Playstation gamers as well as Xbox gamers.

    Spiderman, one of the most important characters to the Avengers comics, now can’t take a central role in the storylines, or it wouldn’t it make sense on any non-Sony platform.

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