Spider-Man team ready for Arkham challenge

Kotick wants his franchise to stop â??suckingâ??, while Beenox is looking to match its peers
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Canadian studio Beenox is developing Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions with two key pressures in mind; Bobby Kotick and Batman.

Earlier in the year, Activision CEO Kotick suggested that recent Spider-Man games had “sucked” – a comment that has likely heightened expectation for the company to deliver from its next spin of the wheel.

However, the associate producer on the next Spider-Man title – Kevin Umbricht – believes the main pressure to raise the bar has come from London studio Rocksteady, developers of the breakthrough title Batman Arkham Asylum.

“Arkham is a fantastic game,” he told Develop, “and it did raise the bar of comic-book games, it elevates the genre and it steps your game up.

“[Developers Rocksteady showed] that you can make a hardcore comic-based game that appeals to the masses. That was very intriguing, as it’s usually a movie licence that brings comics to the masses.

“So our focus is to stay really true to the source material. Every time a triple-A title comes out, and redefines the genre, it will affect your decision making.”

Umbricht was confident, however, that Activision was up to the task, and conveyed Beenox’s relief in not being tied to any upcoming Spider-Man movie.

“There are definitely challenges with movie based titles,” he said, “especially in terms of time-frames, and the game’s content is usually limited to whatever comes out in that movie as well. So you have two hours of plot to play with.

“With Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions we can pull from 50 years of comics, thousands of storylines and thousands of characters – we can craft the story that we want to, so there’s definitely more freedom.”

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