‘Marvel United’ – Enter the Spider-Verse!

Enter the Spider-Verse box. Image by CMON.

Thanks to some fan-favorite characters popping up in optional expansions, the Marvel United Kickstarter campaign has been growing at a strong pace. Let’s take a look at what’s popped up since my last look:

Marvel United Updates for 2/22-2/25

Over the weekend, Okoye and Falcon were unlocked, bringing the total raised to $1.3 million and putting the Vision on deck as the next stretch goal hero. Additionally, voting concluded on the size of the optional playmat, setting the size at 90cm in diameter.

Falcon. Image by CMON.
Vision. Image by CMON.

With the addition of the new Into the Spider-Verse expansion as an incentive to back the Kickstarter, the Vision soon unlocked.

This expansion includes Spider-Man, Miles Morales, Ghost-Spider, Green Goblin, and Kickstarter-exclusive fan favorite Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham. Additionally, the expansion adds a “Secret Identity Challenge” to the game, where reporters may uncover your secret identity!

 

Spider-Ham. Image by CMON.

At the time of this writing, the campaign had just unlocked the Kickstarter-exclusive Nova, showing off  Scarlet Witch as the next stretch goal.

With 13,550 backers so far and with 7 days to go, calling Marvel United a successful Kickstarter project is an understatement .

If you’re interested in reading more about the campaign or backing it yourself, head over to the Kickstarter campaign page to check it out.

Nova. Image by CMON.
Scarlet Witch. Image by CMON.

What are Kickstarter Quick Picks?

Kickstarter Quick Picks are short looks at projects currently on Kickstarter that are of interest to me, and by extension, many of our GeekDad readers. A Quick Pick is not an endorsement of the Kickstarter campaign, nor have I (as yet) received any product copies to review. If you like what you see here, go check out the campaign and decide for yourself if you’d like to back it, or wait until GeekDad has had a chance to go hands-on. As always, caveat emptor- let the buyer beware.

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New to Kickstarter? Check out our crowdfunding primer.

What Is Marvel United?

Marvel United is a game from CMON and Spin Master Games currently in a Kickstarter campaign. You can read more about it here.

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This post was last modified on February 26, 2020 12:18 pm

Paul Benson: Paul is a comic book writer, screenwriter, an avid board and tabletop gamer, reader of comics and collector of statues and figures. He is the creator of the webcomic "Heroines for Hire" and co-writer of "Disaster!: The Movie." He currently writes "E.I.: Earth Invasion" for Wunderman Comics.

View Comments (2)

  • This is the second article I’ve read lauding the “success” of Marvel United and I’m going to post a pretty similar response: maybe we should actually check out some of the comments for update 37 and make some comparisons to other Kickstarter campaigns before we pop the cork on that champagne to celebrate.

    The Spiderverse op-buy did not receive a lot of love. The Spider-sculpts are... let's go with not good. Read the comments and you’ll catch on pdq. And people thought PJ Masks surfer dude version of Bucky no-respirator-or-gun and Falcon no-guns-too was bad. As for how well the campaign is doing... really? How about a comparison with Zombicide Black Plague (ZBP), and its follow-ups Green Hord (ZGH) and Invader (ZI).

    ZBP had a goal of US$125K and was funded in 16 mins, had US$2.1 mil by day 14, and finished with just over US$4 mil with almost 21K backers.

    ZGH (2018) had a goal of US$300K and was funded in 7 mins, had US$2.75 mil by day 14, and finished with just over US$5 mil with over 27K backers.

    ZI (2019) had a goal of US$250K and was a terrible campaign, like, really, really bad. Horrible. Like watching the Hindenburg crash and burn when all the passengers are adorable puppies and kittens. And it still got funded in 15 mins, had US$2 mil by day 14, and finished with just over US$3.35 mil with almost 18.5K backers.

    Now look at Marvel United. A soft-target goal of US$150K Funded in "just over half-an-hour". Had just over US$1.4 mil by day 14. Struggling to break K14 backers at that time. A good backer total, but terrible when you remember this is Marvel, a product that sells itself so well Endgame made US$2.8 billion and won awards... and it was utter crap with more plot holes than excuses for standard political scandals.

    I mean, that movie was so bad even my kids came out of it asking WTF (F is for Frootloops and jellybeans) happened because it didn’t make sense even to them. I’m not kidding. I had to write a 400 page sequel for the eldest one to explain how it could have possibly worked and what happened to Cap! Mind you, she cried at some points, laughed at others, but said she loved it so much she wants me to ask Marvel Studios to make it... like that’ll ever happen.

    But what can happen is this MU kickstarter could improve. It still has a few days before it all comes to an end, but while these things sometimes make a good last minute push, it feels like this one has been struggling for days. It feels like a fizzer. What went wrong? Maybe the totals for each SG were too high. They seem pretty ham-fisted too, a single mini each, and the Core and Op-buy boxes have limited mini content. Sparse, man. Seriously, like positive feedback for Indiana Jones 4 or Tron 2.

    Zombicide games had around seventy plus minis in the Core box, and often around thirty or more in Expansion boxes, but MU… sure, around half the cost to back but only 8 plus 3 KSE in the Core, and 4-5 in op-buy expansions with one of these (in most cases) being a KSE. And even then some of these feel like they're in the wrong box, and some of the SG should have been in the Core or op-buy box as standard.

    The usual sycophantic backers are trolling negative-feedback from other backers (as usual, and CMON doesn't discourage them, a practice that drives potential backers off, and leads to what you'll read below), but even the 'Marvel royalties' excuse doesn't change the fact that potential backers are not feeling like they’re getting value for money. As a result, some are just dropping their pledges and leaving. That’s not good.

    Sure, CMON builds in one or two "we're listening" bits where they present an epic fail and then do a 'rework' that appears pre-planned, but are they really listening? Dodgy sculpts are still there in this project and we should be grateful CMON wasn't involved in the MCU. I can see Coulson now, taking on Loki with his god-smacking, kick butt, prototype rolled up newspaper and no shades. "Bad, Loki!"

    But what's the solution to retain disgruntled backers? CMON is offering SG and pledge levels in exchange for additional stuff, as usual, but if ZI taught us anything, it’s that backers don't like to feel like they're getting cheated: you have to pay more or miss out… so a lot of them walk. And at retail, people pay the same as backers but get even less content. How'd that work out? Oh, yeah, it irks people and things go pear-shaped.

    2018. CMON has losses of US$4.1 mil and its stock-price drops 30%. Bad decisions. Unsuccessful projects. And here we are again, with Marvel, a product that sells itself, but isn't doing as well as it should. Heroes and villains, cool, but there's no henchmen. Everybody loves henchmen. Spectacular? That word should apply to Spiderman, just not in the MU op-buy. Seriously, that sculpt blows. In that case, as with this campaign, craptacular would be more accurate.

    Sure, most of the sculpts are nice, despite being Chibis, but now perceived value rests not on mini content, but solely on the quality of that plastic and the wishful thinking it will look as good and solid as when you get it as it does in the promo. Bubble bursting time: ZGH models did not. Can’t help but think that a horde of henchmen and a Zombicide style mob generator game would have sold this better. Zombicide style plus Marvel? Awesome!

    As it is, the next biggest anti-backer phase is about to hit. As the project enters its final days, CMON will start piling on more op buys, hoping people don’t notice how much they are paying for (in this case) so little in return. What started as US$60+P&H rapidly becomes US$200 or more +P&H. Some backers just do the math and decided it's toomuch and since their set will be incomplete, they’d rather get nothing and save the money.

    And at retail? Who wants to pay US$60 for a Core box with just 8 minis, including one that’s a Thanos henchman that should have been in the Infinity Gauntlet op buy. Hell, the entire range of op buy minis and content should have been better designed and divided between the Core Box and a single expansion with henchmen tossed in for good measure. The only thing more disappointing than this campaign will be when backers get it in the post and realise they just blew all that cash for so little in return.

    This project really needed a huge rethink. With all the cards and tracking admin depicted in the game play video it feels like the start of a "dear-Lord-what-have-they-done,-no!”-Star-Wars-Ep-1 moment. Nobody wants all those cards when they could have minis and argue over dice rolls that land sideways or under the couch. Cardboard is for packaging, and backers are paying about +15-20% of their pledge in P&H already.

    • * Whoops! In my previous response I listed ZGH and ZI funding years as the year of delivery (2018 & 2019), not campaign (2017 & 2018)! My bad.

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