Today, Marvel announced a deal for an extended collaboration with NetEase, the Chinese internet technology company. This deal allows Marvel and NetEase to pursue a number of new media opportunities for TV shows, comic books, and video games, which holds a lot more possibilities within that last option than the other two.
While it has long been known that NetEase has been looking for footholds into western media markets and Marvel similarly wants to get a deeper cultural foothold in China, NetEase’s western investments make this deal somewhat curious. It is important to note that neither NetEase nor Marvel have detailed what their plans are for this collaboration with any specifics, but if NetEase were looking to expand this new license deal beyond the requisite mobile phone games, their eye might look toward their recent investments in Bungie and Quantic Dream.
NetEase dumped $100 million into Bungie at a crucial time for the company’s future as their split from Activision on Destiny was already being considered, allowing them to pursue self-publishing for the title. To date, the two companies have not explained what the other plans to get out of it, but the former Halo developer would be a prime pick to develop a Marvel title.
Similarly, Detroit developer Quantic Dream also received an undefined cash infusion from NetEase earlier this year as the studio announced intentions to pursue multiplatform development rather than simply developer PlayStation exclusives. Marvel partnered with Telltale on licenses like Guardians of the Galaxy; with Telltale having closed down without paying severance to its employees, Quantic Dream makes for a logical extension of that same genre.
It could be that NetEase has no intention to be that ambitious with its Marvel collaboration, but the pieces are in place in case the company wants to pursue a big title on the level of something like Insomniac’s Spider-Man.