Marvel's Avengers, Marvel's Spider-Man, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, are four of the biggest and most successful Marvel games to come out in recent years. Two of the aforementioned titles are exclusive to the PS4, but we'd be lying if we didn't say that most think all of them are not available on Xbox.
Having said that, there was actually a time when Xbox could have had a shot at developing Marvel games as early as Sony did.
Executive vice president and head of Marvel Games, Jay Ong, revealed in last year's book, The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 2: Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and the Billion-Dollar Battle to Shape Modern Gaming, that Marvel reached out to Sony and Microsoft in 2014 about the possibility of making AAA titles based on existing Marvel IPs. Unfortunately, as per Ong, Microsoft "passed" because the company wanted to "focus on their own IP" at the time.
On the other hand, Sony said yes and the rest is history.
Sony's success with Marvel games is mostly due to the overwhelming success of the 2018 title, Marvel's Spider-Man. Insomniac Games' first non-original IP launch was a huge hit as soon as it came out. At the moment, Marvel's Spider-Man is the third-best-selling game on the PS4 with 13.2 million units sold. On top of this, a re-release for the PS5 and a spin-off in 2020, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, adds nearly as much to this amount, giving the PS-exclusive pair of titles a total sales figure of close to 30 million units.
It's safe to say that Xbox dropped the ball by passing on Marvel's offer, which should not have happened as Insomniac had just made Sunset Overdrive. The worst part is that it has little to show for it.
It's no secret that Xbox's reputation when it comes to exclusives is far from stellar until this very day. With only Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5 to show following the unfortunate delay to Starfield and Redfall, Xbox Series S/X sure could use a Marvel game even if it's not Spider-Man.
Interestingly enough, Microsoft could have "owned" the rights to Spider-Man games after it acquired Activision. For most of the 2000s and early 2010s, Activision had exclusive rights to all Spider-Man games. If Activision declined to terminate its Spider-Man contract, which it could have done following the success of 2010's Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and its 2011 sequel, Spider-Man: Edge of Time, who knows?