Last year, Marvel's Midnight Suns developer Firaxis was able to give a dying fan have a chance to play the game before a full build was even ready.
GamesIndustry.biz shared the story of UK-based Luke Wiltshire last week, a video game fan who was unfortunately diagnosed with a rare form of cancer when he was 14. As well as being a video game fan, Luke also had a lot of love for Marvel. Unfortunately, after nine years of treatment, Luke was told last year that there were no more options left, and he would be receiving end-of-life care. In turn, he shared three final wishes with his family: he wanted a puppy, that his mum could look after when he passed, a hog roast, and to play Marvel's Midnight Suns.
That last one wasn't exactly an easy feat, in part because Firaxis is based in Baltimore, Maryland. But Solving Kids' Cancer stepped in, a charity that had helped Luke and his family previously, after Claire (Luke's sister) reached out to them. In turn, Solving Kids' Cancer CEO Gail Jackson shared a post in LinkedIn in hopes someone could help her.
"I was amazed by the response," Jackson said. "People reshared it, shared it in their networks, I started getting messages, I got a message from Disney and different gaming companies. After a couple of weeks, an email dropped into my inbox from some company called 2K, which I had never heard of. They had seen my post and wanted to know how they could help."
After numerous phone calls were made to try and figure out how at 2K Solving Kid's Cancer should speak to, the gaming publisher's social team was the one that got things moving. The biggest problem was that there wasn't actually a build ready to play at the time, and unfortunately Luke did not have much time left.
So quite literally within 24 hours, Firaxis, 2K, and Marvel came together to get a build ready to be played just for Luke. 2K's social media manager at the time Asim Tanvir brought the build on a laptop to Luke's house himself, who was told he was named as a game design consultant (you can see his name in the credits).
On top of giving Luke the opportunity to play the game's first act, developers from both 2K and Firaxis, as well as Marvel Games creative director Bill Rosemann spoke with him to share stories over a video call.
During your playthrough, you might also come across a tree with an engraving that reads "Luke Was Here." When told about this addition to the game, Luke said that he had been "forever immortalised in Marvel."
Luke passed a few weeks later on November 12, 2021. A short documentary about Luke was shared earlier this year, which you can watch above. A fund called The Big Love fund has also been setup in Luke's name, which aims to help children and young people in similar situations.