The plot thickens: Activision's gone ahead and unceremoniously released The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for Xbox One after originally intimating the game had been delayed indefinitely. “We are working with Microsoft in an effort to release The Amazing Spider-Man 2 video game on Xbox One,” an Activision spokesperson told Eurogamer a few weeks ago.
Mission accomplished? As I type this, the full game is available for download from Microsoft's Xbox One Games Marketplace. That's a picture at right of the Xbox One sale screen snapped with my phone's camera. As you can see, the game's just under 10GB and runs $60. It may well have been released in error, though I haven't (yet) confirmed that.
Beenox's sequel to 2012's reasonably well-received The Amazing Spider-Man -- released in tandem with Columbia's film franchise reboot -- is also available today for 3DS, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Windows and Xbox 360. No one knows why the Xbox One version vanished, or why it's reappeared now, but it's probably good news for Spidey fans who happen to be Xbox One owners. And it's definitely good news for Microsoft's platform, presently battling perception issues related to performance competence (particularly in relation to multi-platform games like The Amazing Spider-Man 2). At this point, the delay still appears to be in effect for physical copies of the Xbox One version of the game, which GameStop lists as shipping July 1 (note that's probably just a placeholder date, not a serious estimate).
If the game's finished and purchasable (and by finished, I mean as bug-free and fine-tuned as any of the other versions), it stands to reason that something very strange and perhaps bureaucratic is transpiring behind the scenes. No, it wouldn't be retailers crying foul because the game's available for day-one digital download: the game is also available digitally (as I type this) on the PlayStation 4. And in Microsoft's Xbox One Same-Day Digital Availability FAQ, Microsoft writes "All Xbox One Games will have a digital version unless there is a required physical peripheral (e.g. Skylanders Swap Force)." So nothing obvious is in conflict.
If I had to guess, I'd say someone pulled the trigger by mistake and we'll see it disappear before the day's out. Activision doesn't do things by halves, especially not multi-platform tie-ins to major franchise movies (unless the retail copies unexpectedly show up in stores today, too). I've asked Activision for an explanation, and I'll update this article if my contacts respond. [Update: It looks like the downloadable version was intentional after all, and thus is here to stay; I'm also told the physical version should be in stores "in early May."]
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