Weekend Whammy

Weekend Whammy: Control & No More Spider-Man In The MCU

Hello my little wolfpack of awesome, how are you all doing? Another week has gone blasting past like it stole a jet, snorted some cocaine and decided to head for the Bahamas. That means it’s time for another Weekend Whammy, so let’s get right into chatting about why Control is worth keeping an eye on and WHAT THE HELL SONY AND MARVEL!?

Kicking off the week I reviewed Rebel Galaxy Outlaw and came out talking like a space pirate. I mean, I would have if I knew how a space pirate would speak, but I’m honestly not sure. Would they still say “YAAAAARRRRRRR!” in space? Anyway, I had a lot of fun just flying around space, chasing down bounties and trading commodities. And then I went and rewatched Firefly for the billionth time.

And my next review was of Wolfenstein: Youngblood where I spent nearly 3,000 words trying to figure out what worked about it and what didn’t. For such a straightforward game there sure was a lot I wanted to say about it, but hopefully I didn’t ramble too much and made a couple of valid points. Overall, it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great, either. Both the co-op and the RPG elements needed a lot more work before being uncomfortably jammed into the tight Wolfenstein mechanics.

I’m also in the middle of playing Gibbous – A Cthulhu Adventure. Yeah, I know, it’s another freaking Lovecraftian game, but this one is actually a super cool point and click puzzles with a cartoon graphical style and a strong sense of humour. The review will turn up at some point, but in general I’m liking it a lot and think it’s worth playing.

So the really exciting news is that review code for Control came in a few days ago and I’ve been playing the absolute McFuck out of it. If you didn’t know Control is the newest game from the boffins over at Remedy and has you becoming Director of a federal bureau that deals in the paranormal, including fridges which will eat people if it isn’t watched at all times. Sadly the NDA is in full effect and the official review embargo doesn’t lift until August 26th, and thus I can’t say anything about it.

Well, almost nothing. I don’t think I’ll get in trouble for a simple, vague sentence: it’s very, very good. Be excited it, it’s going to be worth your time.

I’m really interested to see if it’s finally the breakout success Remedy have been on the cusp of for so long. Sure, the Max Payne games were amazing, but since then they’ve struggled a little. Alan Wake and its standalone expansion managed to reach combined sales of 4.5 million copies but it took around five years to reach that. Quantum Break was an interesting idea that mixed a video game and a TV show together, but the reception was quite mixed and the sales number didn’t seem strong, though to be fair finding any concrete data is tricky.

The hype for Control seems relatively small so far, so I’m hoping word of mouth will get it into the public’s attention.

Alright, on to some news that I read about five minutes before writing this up and that blew my mind – according to a report from Deadline Spider-Man will no longer be part of the MCU, and that Sony and Marvel no longer have a deal.

So, if you didn’t know basically Sony actually own the movie rights to Spider-Man. They worked out a deal with Marvel to allow the character to appear in the MCU, and in return Marvel would help craft the new Spider-Man solo movies. Sony would keep almost all the profit from those solo films (5% would go to Marvel owing to the original 1996 deal for the Spider-Man character) and wouldn’t get any of the money from the MCU movies in which the character appeared. This seemed to be a perfectly sensible deal with Sony benefiting from the raw power of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which would drive audience members to the solo Spider-Man films, which have of course done brilliantly at the box office.

No more Tom Holland in the MCU?

Now, though, the report says that Disney requested that the deal be amended so that the solo films would be a 50/50 split. Sony apparently don’t agree with this, though, and believe that Tom Holland and Jon Watts are more than capable of carrying on the momentum of Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home. In other words, while the deal which involved MCU over-mind Kevin Feige helping out was valuable, Sony don’t think it’s quite that valuable.

Look, from a business perspective I honestly don’t think either company are in the wrong as such. Disney and Marvel are within their rights to ask for a larger cut, and since we don’t know how much involvement they actually have it’s difficult to say if asking for a 50/50 split is fair or not. And it’s understandable that Sony would see no reason to alter the deal or to give up half the profits from its current biggest movie franchise. Personally, I think the deal was fine as it was and both companies were earning obscene amounts of money from it, so why get into an argument?

No, I’m more worried about it from the perspective of a Marvel and Spider-Man fanboy. If the report is true and Sony are planning on backing out of the deal then that means no more Spider-Man in the MCU and no more MCU crossover in the solo movies. This is huge as the Spider-Man character has been positioned as massively important in the overarching MCU thanks to Far From Home pushing him as the new heart of the Avengers and a possible successor to Tony Stark. To suddenly remove the larger MCU from the solo films will certainly make them feel strange, especially as your average viewer may not even be aware that the deal has fallen through and thus be confused as to why the Avengers aren’t being mentioned any more. Likewise, Spidey just disappearing from the MCU would be a hard pill to swallow.

I hope they can sort this out and keep Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where he firmly belongs. As a lifelong Spider-Man fan it’s been glorious to see him on-screen with the Avengers, and to lose that would be such a crushing shame.

Oh, and sticking with Spider-Man news, did you hear that Sony just bought Insomniac, the guys who gave us the bloody awesome Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4 exclusive? That’s one hell of a purchase for Sony who continue to cememt themselves as the company when it comes to exclusives.

Anyway, take care my friends and please do let me know what you’ve been playing, reading and watching this week.

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