The Marvel’s Spider-Man last boss fight was scoped down from the original idea, not putting the developers into a crunch.
On Gamesindustry, we can read an interview with Ted Price, Insomniac Games’ CEO, who spoke at the Develop:Brighton conference. Here’s what changed in the 2018 PlayStation 4-exclusive: “Originally, we were going to have a boss battle that took you all over New York City, and it was way out of scope. The temptation is to just brute force it, put our heads down and run through the brick wall. But the team took a step back and thought about what was essential to the players, and that was the breakdown of the relationship between Peter and his former mentor, Doctor Octavious.
They rethought the fight and realised they didn’t need to destroy half of New York to pay off the relationship. It would have worked against what we were going for. As a result, the final battle is much more up close and personal, has a far more significant emotional impact than planned, and it fit within the time we had. This permission to be creative within restraints needs to come from the leaders, who set the tone for the project. I see this in action, and it’s incredible when it works, but it takes constant repetition because I think we default to old habits.
This process is ideal. Does it happen all the time? No. We often feel we can’t take our foot off the gas pedal in the stress of hectic production, but that’s usually what it takes. The team needs to have permission to pause and come up with a better way, instead of bulldozing through the problems and causing potential health problems,” Price said.
It’s a fair move: they reworked the end of the game not to make the devs suffer from the work, and given how the result was okay (otherwise, there wouldn’t have been Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 last year, with Marvel’s Spider-Man launching in 2023 as a PS5-exclusive), it’s safe to say that Insomniac has done the right thing.