Update: Sony says it was Disney's decision to end the Spider-Man deal, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Sad news for MCU fans right now, as Disney and Sony reportedly failed to make a deal for Spider-Man's continued involvement in the MCU.
In more simple wording, Tom Holland can still be Peter Parker, but his story will no longer tie into any of the other heroes' adventures. We'll probably lose all mention of Iron Man, his important mentor figure, and get a ham-fisted Venom crossover. But we have plenty of time to rage over the lost story potential of MCU Spidey. This is a gaming site, after all, so we have to wonder: what does this mean for the video games?
Wait, What Just Happened Between Sony And Disney
Well, real quick, let's break down what actually happened. Sony has had the movie rights to Spider-Man for a long time. When Disney acquired Marvel Studios and put together the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it made a deal with Sony. Spider-Man could appear in MCU movies, but Sony would take most of the money. 95% of the first-dollar gross, to be exact. Disney had to settle for the other 5% and merchandising rights. Now that Tom Holland's Spidey is an MCU institution, Disney came back with different terms. The mouse wanted a 50/50 split, says CBR, and Sony wasn't having it. So the way it is now, Tom Holland Spidey will swing into theaters for two more movies, but he won't appear in another Avengers event or have any cameos.
Meanwhile, Sony recently acquired Insomniac Games, the team behind last year's amazing PS4 Spider-Man game. What this says to us is that Sony is very confident in where the Spider-Man brand is now. Confident enough to tell Disney "no" and go it alone. For the movies, this is a massive mistake. The Venom film might have exceeded expectations, but a Tom Hardy cameo will in no way replace the Iron Man/Spider-Man dynamic, the Skrull reveal, or anything Marvel did with the character.
What Happens To The Future Spider-Man Games
For the games... it probably doesn't really mean anything. For some strange reason, Disney hasn't been too aggressive with turning Marvel movie success into gaming sales. During Phase One, a series of crappy games were made based on the big three Avengers and Hulk. An Avengers game was planned alongside the first movie, but was canceled. Since then, the Marvel brand has mainly stuck to mobile gaming. Only recently are we seeing big budget attempts again with the still-unconvincing Square Enix Marvel's Avengers and Insomniac's Marvel's Spider-Man.
In some way, it makes sense for Sony to get cocky. It had a hit with Into The Spider-Verse and Venom sold well despite bad reviews. Marvel's Spider-Man was a big hit both ratings and sales-wise. The game will get a sequel, and that sequel will do just as well if not better. But again, this only applies to the games. The hashtag #boycottsony is already trending on Twitter. The future of live-action Spider-Man movies does not look great. The future of Spidey's games, however, has just begun. And his PS4 self will probably continue to swing on with or without the mouse.