Opinion: Video Games Should Take the MCU Approach

Marvel completely changed the game in 2008 with the release of Iron Man as they introduced their then-groundbreaking concept of an interconnected world of mega-franchises spanning TV and film. Just this past Thursday, they released their 27th film, Spider-Man: No Way Home, which is unsurprisingly dominating the box office, even during the pandemic. According to Cinema Blend, the movie is now the third biggest Thursday night opening ever, coming in behind Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: The Force Awakens by earning $50 million in just one night. This is an especially big deal when you consider that those two other movies did not open during a pandemic, signaling that audiences are ready to return to theaters.

Other film studios have tried, and failed, to replicate the success of the MCU, with the most infamous example being DC’s attempt to bring the Justice League to the big screen. Instead of taking the time to establish each individual hero and then bring them all together, the studio frankensteined what should have been a sequel to Man of Steel by adding in Batman and Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and then rushed an unfinished and poorly conceived team up film that did not light the world on fire.

However, there is something to be said about the approach Marvel is taking on film. It’s a long-game approach, for sure, where they take the time to get to know each character before raising the stakes and having them meet other characters from different franchises. They hire great directors, writers, and actors and really focus on each individual project, earning the audience’s attention and hard earned money. It obviously works, when done right.

So, what if video games took a similar approach?

Imagine, for a moment, if Nintendo did something similar with their biggest characters: Mario, Zelda and Metroid, for starters. They could start with Mario, and create a new game that takes place in the Mushroom Kingdom, similar to Super Mario 64. Next would come an original 3D Zelda game, less focused on traditional Zelda lore and more about the mechanics we have come to love over the years. Then a Metroid game, again, less focused on connectivity to previous games, but still a phenomenal Metroid adventure. After three years of establishing these new ‘side-quest’ games, Nintendo could then release a game and a villain that would combine the worlds of Mario, Zelda, and Metroid, and have a new, unique franchise where players could choose which character from each series they were playing as and gameplay would be unique combinations of traditional gameplay from the series.

How cool would it be to see a story-based game with Link, Samus, and Mario fighting and exploring side-by-side? I’m not talking about something out of Super Smash Bros., but a true, unique story that would go on to impact the individual series the characters came from for years to come. Nintendo could replicate this cadence of individual games, one per year, and then a massive team up game every three or four years. After the first crossover game, other characters could be added, such as Kirby or Star Fox, for example.

It’s ambitious, a little crazy, but also kind of perfectly Nintendo? But it doesn’t have to be limited to Nintendo. Imagine a world where Kratos, Alloy, and Spider-Man come together to fight some big baddie on the PlayStation. Or a team up of Master Chief, Marcus Fenix, and Jack Joyce on the Xbox? It seems a little impossible, but if handled well, could really do something special for video games.

For now, I’ll enjoy my self-contained worlds from the franchises I love, and if I need to scratch the itch of seeing characters interact, I’ll pop in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. But, a guy can dream, right?

Mark Pereira is a senior writer for Boss Rush Network. He loves all video games, but his top three favorites are Skyward SwordSuper Mario 3D World and Batman: Arkham Asylum. You can find him on Twitter where he’s usually talking about Nintendo, video games, movies, and TV shows.

Featured Image Source: Nintendo Life

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