Ultimate Spider-Man Canceled Sequel Details Surface
The canceled sequel to the popular 2005 Marvel video game Ultimate Spider-Man would have featured the Green Goblin as its main antagonist, lead texture artist Chris Salazar has revealed.
During an interview with YouTuber Matt McMuscles, Salazar dished on Ultimate Spider-Man 2, a game that was once planned, but ultimately scrapped very early in development. According to Salazar, the Ultimate Spider-Man sequel would have taken place during the winter, allowing players to web-swing through a snow-covered New York City. Salazar also made "several" assets for the game before its cancellation.
One of Ultimate Spider-Man's various villains was the Green Goblin. A popular theory regarding Ultimate Spider-Man 2 is that the canceled sequel would have featured Gobby as its second playable character (as opposed to the first game, in which players could take control of Venom when not playing as Spidey). Salazar says he doesn't know if this was actually the final plan or not, though admits it is within the realm of possibility. Salazar was able to confirm, however, that the Green Goblin would have indeed been the main villain of the Ultimate Spider-Man sequel.
"When [development] ends and the product ships, teams are often in a holding pattern as the powers-that-be determine the next course of action. We were working under an assumption, which, you know how that story goes," Salazar said regarding actual cancellation of Ultimate Spider-Man 2.
"I would guess that Activision never wanted to invest in promotion to the extent it would need. Hence, the soft sales on Ultimate Spider-Man," he continued. "There's a funny 'chicken-and-egg' situation, where the company is trying to forecast sales to determine how much to spend on promo, but if you don't spend on promo, you don't get sales, so... I got the impression that Activision didn't have strong, long-term plans in those days." Salazar also revealed that theUltimate Spider-Man team briefly worked on a Marvel game titled Battleworld, which was quickly shelved as well, with little more than a logo having been created.
Ultimate Spider-Man Remains a Fan-Favorite
Based on Marvel Comics' Ultimate Spider-Man series -- a Spider-Man reboot set in the alternate, Earth-1610 continuity -- the Ultimate Spider-Man video game was developed by Treyarch and published by Activision. Ultimate Spider-Man originally released across various platforms in 2005, one year after Treyarch's beloved Spider-Man 2, a video game adaptation of the Sam Raimi film of the same name.
Written and co-directed by Ultimate Spider-Man comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis, Treyarch's Ultimate Spider-Man takes place a few months after the comic book's Venom-centric story arc. The game carries over the popular open-world design of Spider-Man 2, though uses a more stylized, comic-inspired art style and features two playable characters, letting players be Spider-Man by day and Venom by night.
However, while Treyarch's Spider-Man 2 and Ultimate Spider-Man are both acclaimed titles, Ultimate Spider-Man did not sell as well as the former. As such, Activision opted to pull the plug Ultimate Spider-Man 2 rather early on. That said, in addition to Salazar's assets, the canceled game did receive a story treatment by Bendis, as well as a piece of concept art by Ian Hosfeld, featuring Spider-Man and the Green Goblin. (Hence, the theory that the Goblin would have taken Venom's place as the second playable character.) After the game was scrapped, Bendis reportedly re-purposed its story treatment for the Ultimate Spider-Mancomic's "Death of a Goblin" story arc.