Last month, Gazillion Entertainment and Marvel unveiled the first game to be released under a ten-year publishing agreement between the two companies: "Marvel Super Hero Squad Online." Developed by The Amazing Society, "Super Hero Squad Online" is based on Marvel's popular line of toys, comics and the animated series of the same name. The browser-based, Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game will allow players to assemble and lead groups of Marvel heroes against a variety of enemies and challenges throughout both Super Hero City and Villainville.
While the development team is not yet revealing all the details about the heavily anticipated upcoming game, CBR News was able to speak with The Amazing Society's VP Jason Robar in order to get a better idea of what fans can expect and some info on what the team is showing at E3 this week.
CBR News: Jason, Marvel's "Super Hero Squad" is a property that is generally aimed at younger audiences. What's your target age range for the game?
Jason Robar: Our primary audiences for the game are kids 6-12 and their families. It's especially important to us to create opportunities for inter-generational play; parents who grew up with these popular Marvel characters able to share game experiences with their kids. We also expect that, being the first Marvel MMO, we will have appeal outside of that main audience, with Marvel fans and core gamers.
Overall the game is like a superhero amusement park where you can become your favorite superheroes, explore new locations in the Marvel universe and make new friends along the way. You can use all of their superpowers in combat as well so there is a great deal of play to be had by going through the game with all of the characters you've collected. There are a few more key experiences that we will reveal throughout the summer.
How are you making the controls and gameplay accessible for younger audiences but still satisfying for more experienced gamers?
The mouse controls are simple and intuitive for just about anyone, including the youngest of fans. In our focus testing, we found that kids as young as 4 were up and running in no time. For the more experienced gamers we've amazingly managed to create a combo system with the two button mouse! When you get your hands on it, you'll see how powerful such a simple system really is!
Collecting heroes seems to be a big part of "SHSO." Can you give us an overview of this element of the game?
Who wants to be a sidekick when you can be Spider-Man? Collecting heroes is the core of the game; you can play as any of the characters you've collected in any of our game modes.
Another big element of the animated series is humor. Will the tone of "SHSO" match the animated series, or are you opting for a more serious take?
We're big fans of how the series handled its humor - hilarious for kids, but with a lot of subtle "winks" for Marvel fans of all ages to appreciate. Humor is absolutely key to our world.
Are you taking mission storylines directly from the animated series, or are they created specifically for the game? Are you free to pull from other Marvel comic storylines outside of "Super Hero Squad?"