last year, Marvel’s Midnight Sun developer Philax Being able to give dying fans a chance to play the game before the full version is ready.
GamesIndustry.biz last week shared the story of Luke Wiltshire, a British video game addict who was tragically diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at the age of 14. For Marvel. Tragically, after nine years of treatment, Luke was told last year that he had no choice but to be placed in hospice. In turn, he shared three final wishes with his family: He wanted a puppy that his mom could take care of when he died, a pig roast, and a play on Marvel’s Midnight Sun.
That last one was no easy feat, in part because Firaxis is based in Baltimore, Maryland. But Solving Childhood Cancer stepped in after Claire (Luke’s older sister) reached out to Luke and his family, a charity that had previously helped Luke and his family. In turn, Solving Kids’ Cancer CEO Gail Jackson shared a post on LinkedIn hoping someone could help her.
“I was surprised by the response,” Jackson said. “People retweeted it, shared it on their networks, and I started getting messages, and I got messages from Disney and different game companies. A few weeks later, an email from a company called 2K came into my inboxes from a company I’d never heard of. They saw my post and wanted to know how they could help.”
After numerous phone calls trying to figure out how 2K Solving Kid’s Cancer should talk to them, the game publisher’s social team pushed things forward. The biggest problem was that there wasn’t actually a playable build at the time, and unfortunately Luke didn’t have much time left.
So, literally within 24 hours, Firaxis, 2K, and Marvel came together to prepare a build for Luke. 2K’s social media manager at the time, Asim Tanvir, personally brought the build on a laptop to Luke’s house, where he was told he had been appointed as a game design consultant (you can see his name in the subtitles).
2K and Firaxis developers and Marvel Games creative director Bill Rosemann gave Luke the chance to play the first act of the game and share the story with him via video call.
During your playthrough, you may also come across a tree with the inscription “Luke is here.” When told about this new addition to the game, Luke said he had been “immortalized in Marvel forever.”
Luke passed away a few weeks later on November 12, 2021. A short film about Luke was shared earlier this year, which you can watch above. A fund called the Big Love Fund was also set up in Luke’s name to help children and young people in similar situations.