Insomniac Games has done a remarkable job with Spider-Man, which has performing admirably well since its release this past Friday. It's already sold like gangbusters in the U.K. and will likely follow suit in other markets.
But what's really great about the game is that it's truly Insomniac's own. It had every decision nailed down pat with its design, with Marvel letting them do their own thing. In fact, the company even let the developer decide which character they wanted to make a game around in the first place.
We learned this from a new episode of IGN Unfiltered, in which host Ryan McCaffrey got to speak with Insomniac head honcho Ted Price about the game's creation.
Price explained that Marvel let the studio decide which kind of project they wanted to work on. "Connie Booth, who is a great friends, and also one of our partners at Sony, was down at Insomniac," he explained. "And she said to me, one day, 'What would you think about working on a Marvel game?'" He said his reaction from the question was "fairly neutral," mainly because the company "hadn't really considered working on someone else's IP."
But then he got positive feedback when he talked to other developers about it. "The response I got was eye-opening for me," said Price. "The answer was, 'Are you crazy? Of course we're going to work on a Marvel game!'"
And what's more, Marvel didn't present the idea to tie in with a pre-existing product, and instead let Insomniac choose its own path for creation. "(Marvel said) 'Look, we've got a lot of characters. Pick a character that you guys think works for you, and then we'd love to hear your take on it.'"
Price didn't mention specific names as to who the studio was talking about, but Spider-Man was an instant favorite amongst the team, mainly because he's just as much an underdog as they are. But they also saw the double side of Spidey's life, as both a superhero and an everyman with his alter ego, Peter Parker.
"He's so human, and he's so relatable," Price explained. "He's also the most popular Marvel character in the world, I think, but it was more Peter and Spider-Man that drew us to that particular character."
The studio also considered mobility, since its previous release, Sunset Overdrive, was all about getting around in a hurry. "We realized that this game we had just made, Sunset Overdrive, really does help us think about how we could take traversal to the next level in a Spider-Man game," said Price. "Because we had been focusing on many of the same challenges within Sunset Overdrive.
"(For example), how do you traverse through a city quickly in an entertaining and skullful fashion without (it) being too hard or too easy?"