Since its release last September, “Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes” — the toy-based cartoon action game which also lets you set up your own adventures in its “Toy Box” mode — has added a number of new playable characters, including Green Goblin, Yondu, and Ronan the Accuser.
In talking to executive producer John Vignocchi, however, it seems adding new playable characters to “Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes” isn’t as simple as just asking them nicely if they’d like to play a game.
CBR News: First off, who decides which characters will be added, and what goes into those decisions? Obviously, if there’s a new movie coming out, like “Ant-Man,” that’s an easy one, but if there’s not a movie…
John Vignocchi: Right. It’s actually a combination of our team, the fans, and Marvel. We listen to what our fans are asking for on Twitter and Facebook; our character team talks about what characters would be the most fun; Marvel then looks at our choices and makes suggestions as well; and eventually, we come to a consensus about what characters to add.
What was it about Loki and Falcon that made you think they’d be good additions to the game?
When we were making the game, one of the things we recommended was including some villains, because the idea of being able to pit superheroes against supervillains when you’re telling your own stories in the “Toy Box” seemed really fun and compelling. So we recommended Loki, Green Goblin and Ronan.
As for Falcon, we thought he would be a lot of fun from a gameplay perspective, especially since he can fly. Marvel thought so as well, especially since he’s part of the animated series, “Avengers Assemble,” and the Avengers playset is based on that cartoon. Plus these discussions were all going on while “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” was out, so he was on people’s minds.
Speaking of which, while the Loki toy looks like Loki always looks, Falcon’s costume is the one wears in the “Avengers Assemble” cartoon, as opposed to what he wore in the film. How do you decide which versions of a character’s uniforms they’ll have in the game?
Our art team works very closely with Joe Quesada at Marvel to define how all of the Marvel characters will look. The thing is, these characters have to fit in with not just the other Marvel characters, but all of the characters in “Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes.” So Buzz Lightyear has to look good standing next to The Hulk.
When designing Loki, was there any concern that his helmet would make him look too much like Maleficent?
[Laughs] No, but there was concern — and it’s part of the reason why we chose the pose for him that we did — that he wouldn’t fit in the packaging thanks to his horns and his Chitauri Scepter.
That’s funny. Switching gears, when it comes to the voices of the characters in “Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes,” you’ve sometimes gotten actors from the movies, such as Samuel L. Jackson [Nick Fury] and Kristen Bell [Princess Anna from “Frozen”], but Falcon and Loki are voiced by Bumper Robinson and Troy Baker, who do their respective voices in the cartoon “Avengers Assemble.” Did anyone reach out to Anthony Mackie, who was Falcon in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and Tom Hiddleston, who’s played Loki in the “Thor” movies?
To be honest, I don’t know. We always ask Marvel who we should use for the voices, and their suggestions were based on what inspired the characters in the game. So because the look of Loki and Falcon were based on the “Avengers Assemble” cartoon, we went with the people who voice them in that cartoon.
Are there any characters’ toys that have sold surprisingly well?
In the first version of “Disney Infinity,” it was eye opening to see how popular Violet [from “The Incredibles”] was. It really indicated how popular the game was among girls. We thought the mix was going to be 70/30, boys to girls, and it ended up being closer to 55/45.
Though we’ve also, from looking at data of people playing the game, noticed that a lot of boys are playing with our strong female characters, like Black Widow and Gamora.
You’ve said that Loki and Falcon are the last Marvel characters being added to “Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes.” But will there be any more Marvel characters added in future versions of “Disney Infinity”?
What I can say, to answer your question, is that “Infinity” is a platform that continues to grow and evolve over time, and as long as Marvel are making exciting content, we are excited to include it in the “Infinity” platform.
Okay. You read that very well.
Thanks. The PR people are clapping for me.
Finally, if you were able to add a DC Comics character to “Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes,” who would you most want to add and why?
I wouldn’t because there are so many great Marvel characters that we haven’t put into “Disney Infinity” yet.
“Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes” is now available for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, WiiU, PC, and iOS. The Loki and Falcon figures are on sale now.
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