Midnight Suns Studio Allows Dying Fan To Play The Game
Marvel’s Midnight Suns, Firaxis Games’ delayed game, contains a touching tribute to a fan, Luke Wiltshire, who passed away due to cancer last year. Luke’s story affected the team at 2K and Firaxis, who went out of their usual way to visit Luke, bring him a copy of the game, and assign him the position of a design consultant on Marvel’s Midnight Suns to honor the passion he had for the project.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, there’s a tree in Marvel’s Midnight Suns with an engraving on it — Luke Was Here. At age 14, Luke was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a form of particularly aggressive cancer that attacks nerve tissue and is the third most common cause of cancer in children. Unfortunately, the disease progressed despite treatment, and in 2021 — nine years following the diagnosis — Luke and his family received the devastating news that there were no more curative options remaining and that he was to receive end-of-life care.
Luke relayed his final wishes to his family members, one of which was to play Marvel’s Midnight Suns, the game that was just recently announced at the time. Solving Kid’s Cancer, a charitable organization that offers access to life interventions and information about the disease progression, had supported Wiltshires through their experience with Luke’s neuroblastoma and knew that Luke didn’t have the time to wait for the official launch of the game. So, the charity’s CEO, Gail Jackson, contacted the publisher, 2K, to try and grant this young man his final wish.
The BioShock game publisher and Firaxis were more than willing to grant Luke his final request, but the game still didn’t have an actual build that was even remotely playable, and there was no way for Luke to travel to the US in his condition. So, Firaxis and gaming developers and Marvel hauled together to provide a playable build of the game’s first act, with 2K’s social manager, Asim Tanvir, personally couriering Marvel’s Midnight Suns to Luke’s home for Luke to play. Needless to say, what ensued was an emotional tsunami.
The collective at 2K, Firaxis, and Marvel Games even jumped on a video call with Luke to share stories with him, and the young man shared his own Marvel-style comic designs with Bill Rosemann, Marvel Games’ creative director. The team also told Luke about the engraved tree on the grounds of the Abbey in Marvel’s Midnight Suns, forever immortalizing him and the impact he left on others within the Marvel Universe.
Unfortunately, Luke died on November 12, 2021, only weeks after he got to play Marvel’s Midnight Suns. His legacy left a significant mark on everyone involved. Besides introducing Solving Kid’s Cancer to the gaming industry, which led to an increase in the number of people who support what they do, Luke’s story is also one about the very best in humanity and their ability to work together to achieve great feats, even on behalf of complete strangers. It’s stories like Luke’s that have introduced more accessibility options in games, making them more accessible to a wider audience.