Spider-Man PS4 ‘Puddlegate’ Controversy Takes Over Social Media

Marvel’s Spider-Man causes controversy following ‘Puddlegate’, as fans accused developer Insomniac Games of downgrading the game’s graphics before release.

Marvel’s Spider-Man is one of the most highly anticipated games of fall 2018, if not all of 2018 itself. The game launches next week, and fans are eager to get their hands on the PS4 exclusive title, which will let them swing through the streets of Manhattan and use their web-slinging to put a stop to crime. But not everyone is feeling so enthusiastic about the game due to a perceived graphical downgrade.

Marvel’s Spider-Man is currently involved in a controversy that is being referred to by many as “#Puddlegate”. Puddlegate refers to a Reddit thread posted by a fan who accused developer Insomniac Games of downgrading the game’s graphics, as evidenced by two screenshots of the game’s puddles.


In Spider-Man‘s E3 2017 gameplay trailer, said the fan, the puddles looked a lot larger, sharper, and more defined than in the release version of the same scene. The post has quickly become one of the most upvoted threads on Reddit, currently sitting at 29.9K upvotes.

Some were concerned that the game they’d been waiting for wouldn’t look quite as good as the promotional trailers and material. A few even accused Insomniac of trying to pull the wool over their eyes. As a result of Spider-Man‘s growing Puddlegate controversy, Insomniac did eventually respond, taking to Twitter to state matter of factly, “It’s just a change in the puddle size, there’s no downgrade at all”.

James Stevenson, the community director at Insomniac Games, also chimed in on the controversy. Stevenson explained to a follower that “the puddles being moved had nothing to do with performance” and that it was likely due to a design, art or usability choice. “We have spots with tons of puddles in the game with no performance issue,” added Stevenson in a follow-up tweet, confirming again that the change was nothing to do with the game’s performance.

For most, it seems that the comments from Insomniac and Stevenson have done enough to alleviate concerns. But for a few others, the concerns still remain. Insomniac may be telling the truth, but other games, including Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs, have actually undergone graphical downgrades between the initial marketing and release phases, which is why so many have their hackles up.

Some have even demanded that Insomniac release some sort of post-launch patch, a la the  Effect Andromeda facial animations to address the Puddlegate controversy, and prove that no downgrade has occurred. It’s unclear whether the developer has any plans to do that, but watch this space.

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