Marvel’s making an ‘interactive story’ based on the What If...? show for Apple Vision Pro

In my opinion, this kind of thing is the future of VR.


As a bona-fide hater of actual reality, virtual reality is very appealing to me. However, I’m not that into 100 hour AAA games like Asgard’s Wrath 2 or Half Life: Alyx. I’m into short interactive experiences that can’t be had anywhere else. Good news for me? The Apple Vision Pro is getting a pretty nifty mixed-reality “interactive story” that could herald the evolution of a new type of entertainment that puts people directly in their favorite shows or movies.

Marvel and Industrial Light & Magic, the company George Lucas built, just announced a forthcoming Apple Vision Pro title based on What If…?, the current Disney+ show that just completed its second season. It’ll be an hour-long experience that uses all of the technology embedded within Apple’s pricey headset, including that stellar passthrough.

The story is being kept under wraps, but you won’t play as The Watcher, that much is clear. The promotional copy says players will “learn the mystic arts”, which recalls Dr. Strange to me. The companies also promise that “fans will step into breathtaking environments that place them in new and iconic MCU locations.” Does this mean we’ll be able to virtually order shawarma with Tony Stark and the gang?

Now, I haven’t played a demo of this, but I have played the Vader Immortal series and plenty of similar titles and absolutely love them. It just seems like such a natural evolution of both games and TV to merge them together. Give the player the illusion of freedom but keep it mostly on rails and call it a day.

Director Dave Bushore agrees, calling this title “the next evolution in how we tell our stories” and that it's a “glimpse of what I’ve been waiting for my whole life.” Bushore doesn’t have a lot of directing credits, but was the interactive marketing executive for Iron Man 3, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, among other MCU films. It’s being written by David Dong and Phil McCarty, a duo best known for a short film adaptation of a David Sedaris essay. There are some heavy hitters on the EP side of things, with people who were involved with The Marvels and X-Men ‘97 signing on for the mixed-reality project.

Marvel hasn’t announced any actors returning to reprise their roles, but Jeffrey Wright as The Watcher seems like a given. For the uninitiated, What If…? is an anthology series that examines parallel universes and how things could have shaken out in the MCU if something happened a bit differently. The game/experience will be exclusive to Apple Vision Pro and is coming “soon.”

This isn’t enough to get me to part with $3,500, but come on, it’s a cool sign of things to come. Who wouldn’t want to “play” an episode of The Mandalorian or something like that?