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I recently re-stumbled on an animated video on YouTube, which features Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Hulk all fighting a handful of giant robots in the streets of New York. At the climax of the video, Iron Man lifts a bomb out of the city into space; his suits suffers a malfunction from the resulting explosion, and just before he crashes to the ground Hulk jumps to catch him.

Of course, all of the is reminiscent of the end battle from The Avengers, minus the inclusion of Spider-Man.

Was the production of this animated short directly tied to the development of the MCU or, in particular, The Avengers?

On searching, the earliest upload of this video I can find is from August 4, 2008. However, I was able to find this article from June 4, 2008, which discusses the video having appeared two months prior, placing it in early April 2008 (around the release of Iron Man):

This has been around for almost two months, but I just caught up with it last night and had to share. It’s apparently a viral promo short created to boost comic book sales. It’s the best CG version of The Hulk I’ve ever seen, and the Spider-man and Iron Man characterizations seem spot on. I wonder who made it. Anyone know?

There doesn't seem to be any information on who created the short. Many comments on the article and video suggest it was BLUR Studios, though I was not able to find the video in the "Work" section on their site.

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TL;DR : No, the video is not related to the Avengers movie. It was part of a marketing campaign in 2008 designed to increase comic sales & Marvel.Com traffic.

The video you're referring to was originally released in three 5-minute segments on the MARVEL.COM site in April 2008. As others have stated, it was a promotional project intended to boost comic book sales, although the timing of the release (a month before Iron Man) probably wasn't a coincidence. In fact, when looking at a snapshot of the "High-Res Videos" page from 04/14/2008, the three video segments are labeled as "Iron Man's Adventure":

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The video was indeed created by a team at Blur Studio, which is mostly known for its video-game cutscenes. The video segments were an early collaboration project between Marvel & Blur, which may be why the project doesn't appear in Blur's "Work" gallery. The project was obviously very successful, with Marvel using Blur for several later projects. In fact, Blur Studios has since collaborated with both Marvel and owner company Disney on numerous projects, including CGI work on several popular video games starring Marvel, DC, Disney, & Star Wars characters.

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The videos were actually a fairly minor part of a huge overall project to ramp up fan interest in Marvel properties, most likely in preparation for Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition to a site-wide redesign in mid-2007, MARVEL.COM also introduced its digital comics database in November 2007, about six months before the videos were released. The marketing campaign was a huge success, with 2008 seeing the highest traffic EVER to the site.

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  • Interesting stuff. Clearly there were some common ideas kicking around the Marvel writing universe at the time. – Chris B. Behrens May 22 '15 at 20:20
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The Marvel animated universe(s) are completely separate from the MCU, which is separate from the comics and so forth. This one is not officially part of any of them. It is indeed an unrelated promo video, as the one site suggested.

It was available on the Marvel website for a time, but I am no longer able to find it anywhere on there. I do remember it from a few years back however.

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