Do you remember the early Christmas (or late Hanukkah) present Insomniac Games recently gave everyone who owned a copy of the PlayStation 4 exclusive Spider-Man? You know, the digital re-creation of the suit from the legendary Sam Raimi Spider-Man films? It wasn’t a spur of the moment gift.
According to Insomniac Games’ Community Director James Stevenson, the suit was “in the works for MONTHS,” and he doesn’t mean the devs worked on it since October or something. Stevenson claims the studio was developing the suit well before the game released.
Of course, this raises the question of why nobody at Insomniac ever teased the suit. Well, Greg Miller of Kinda Funny fame has an explanation. In fact, Stevenson’s tweet was meant to confirm Miller’s statement.
Over the course of fourteen separate posts, Miller goes on a rant that spares no detail on the trials Insomniac endured to get the Raimi suit into Spider-Man. The suit had to be built, scripted, bug tested, and most importantly, approved by multiple parties. Any disagreement would have meant Insomniac had to throw out all their hard work.
Spider-Man fans wanted the suit in the game. Players wanted the suit in the game. Insomniac wanted the suit in the game. But, because of what is essentially the video game industry equivalent of draconian bureaucracy, Insomniac couldn’t say anything no matter how much they wanted to, and boy oh boy did they ever want to.
Even though Insomniac released DLC with new story missions and suits, the silence angered fans. Players got the Marvel Mangaverse suit but no Raimi suit? Blasphemy, said some fans, and they let Insomniac know they were displeased that the company wasn’t working on something that was actually being worked on. So, when the Raimi suit was finally ready, what was Insomniac to do? Should the company not release the suit to spite these disgruntled fans, thus wasting numerous months of time and effort, or should they give the suit as a gift and hope gamers are understanding?
Since the suit was released this morning, I think you know the answer.
So, let this story serve as a reminder: game development is a long, arduous task that is formed out of a labyrinth of blood, sweat, tears, and red tape. Just because a studio isn’t teasing an upcoming feature, doesn’t mean they aren’t working on it.