Marvel’s video games span multiple platforms, and at San Diego Comic-Con International, representatives from across the line shared news and breakthroughs on many of their hit titles. In attendance at the panel were vice president of Marvel’s video game marketing Javon Frazier, vice president of Marvel’s game production TQ Jefferson, Kabam’s Cuz Parry, video game producer Justin Woods, “Marvel Heroes” producer and developer David Brevik, and executive producer of “Disney Infinity” John Vignocchi.
Jefferson started things off by sharing Marvel’s mission statement for their video games line: “our core vision for great games is compelling storytelling,” relating, “We are Marvel fans first, and we create games for Marvel fans.”
Cuz Parry of Kabam revealed a video for a new game that will be out in the Fall called “Marvel Contest of Champions.” The mobile fighting game features characters from across Marvel’s publishing line like Spider-Man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Panther and many more. The new game features fast paced fighting with interactive environments to throw opposing fighters into.
“Marvel Puzzle Quest,” out now, “is laughably addictive,” Jefferson said. The puzzle game will update, losing the “Dark Reign” subtitle, as it adds new characters and features and themes. Deadpool will now be a playable character, and players now has the option to bring in three extra characters to use as special attacks or “bombs” to help win the game.
“Spider-Man Unlimited,” an endless runner game coming out soon for the mobile phone based on an upcoming Spider-Man event, will feature over 23 different versions of Spider-Man from across Marvel’s 50-year history. Besides just “running,” the game has Spider-Man fighting, swinging, crawling and skydiving. Jefferson described the story as “the biggest little mobile story we ever put Spider-Man into.”
Justin Woods spoke a bit about the ever-popular “Avengers Alliance” game that features storylines pitting a player’s S.H.I.E.L.D. agent teamed with various Marvel heroes against different villains. Currently, the game is in the middle of a variation of Marvel’s “Fear Itself” storyline from a few years ago, announcing that the next villain players will come up against is Luke Cage as Null, the Breaker of Worlds. The 99th playable character just released is Groot, and funnily enough, every one of his unique moves is called, “I am Groot!” The next big storyline for players in “Avengers Alliance” will be based on the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie, with new content and characters based on the franchise.
“Marvel Heroes” has been rebranded to include 2015 as part of its title to mark the games recent release on Mac OS and its new content now available. New characters and missions will soon be available based on “Guardians of the Galaxy,” as Star-Lord, Drax and Gamora will become available along with the already playable Rocket Raccoon and Groot. A code was shown to all attendees for a temporary free character unlock in “Marvel Heroes 2015,” ‘SDCCMH2015.’
Marvel’s next big movie has its own new game release for mobile, “Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon.” The new action RPG is written by veteran scribe Dan Abnett, and will also feature playable characters from all aspects of the Guardians franchise. The game costs $5, but will not have any in-app purchases, nor will it require an Internet connection. It’s a one-time fee for the entire game and all content updates.
Besides the team lineup from the movies, players will also be able to choose villains and other characters from the comic series such as Ronan the Accuser, Charlie-27 and Wraith.
John Vignocchi had a lot of news to share about the September 23 release of “Disney Infinity 2.0” that will feature characters from “The Avengers,” “Ultimate Spider-Man” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Along with the Guardians characters, there will be a new toy box game mode called “Escape the Kyln.” It will allow players to play as their favorite Guardian — or as their other favorite hero or Disney character — in escaping the space prison Kyln featured early in the Guardians movie. Also just announced is that villains will now be playable with Green Goblin, Loki, and Ronan the Accuser all being available. More will be released and made available in the future.
At this point, Brian Michael Bendis surprised the panel from the audience microphone by joking about how they have not yet mentioned any of the writing in the games, followed up by the question of if they could choose any Marvel writer to help with the games, who would it be. Vignocchi joked Matt Fraction, much to Bendis’ chagrin, as the prolific comic writer has had a hand writing many of Marvel’s video games, specifically “Disney’s Infinity 2.0” and “Marvel Heroes.”
Bendis joined the panel and explained how he first took the job on “Infinity,” “I got an email about the job while my daughter was playing Infinity 1.0 and yelling at the screen!” He was very aware of the game, and was excited to take part, and like almost every game he’s worked on, he was very happy with how much “these guys knew their stuff.” His job is simply to “help guide the voices so they sound the same in the comics and the movies.” Asked whom he would want to see in the game, Bendis said Miles Morales, Devil Dinosaur and Squirrel Girl.
Many fans asked about their favorite characters appearing in games. Agent Coulson will not be appearing in “Infinity,” but fans have asked about the character more than once, so he’s on the list of characters to hopefully put into the game in the future. Also, Stan Lee will not be a playable character. If any fans want to see their favorite character in the game, they should go to the “Disney Infinity” Facebook page and take part in a fan poll on who fans most want to play in the game.
Howard the Duck is not set to appear anywhere new yet, but is available in “Marvel Heroes 2015,” Jefferson shared, “I’d love to see Howard the Duck, I campaign for him constantly” in all the games the VP has worked on. In reply, Woods of “Avengers Alliance” reassured him, “I will put him in for you, TQ.”
Lastly, X-Men will not be coming to “Disney Infinity 2.0” any time soon, but the Winter Soldier will be a playable character as part of a new ‘Team Up Disc’ that goes along with the figures that will allow players to use the character as backup or help as they play the game.