NYCC 2012 – Interview with Marvel Interactive
Marvel Entertainment hosted a Marvel Video Games panel at New York Comic Con 2012 this past weekend. There were many announcements for new content in existing games, new trailers for upcoming hits, and the reveal of Civil War, another table for Marvel Pinball and Zen Pinball 2. After the chaos brought forth by surprise appearances from Deadpool and Stan Lee, I was able to catch up with Chris Baker of Marvel Entertainment to ask him a few questions.
PS Nation: Chris, tell us a little bit about what you do at Marvel.
Chris Baker: I’m the Interactive Manager which basically means that it’s our job in my department to get all of the assets and all of the story components and everything that goes into Marvel games, look them over and make sure they’re being represented well. You’re not going to see Spider-Man wearing polka dots and pinstripes [but] if that were to happen, it’d be my job to say ‘hey, Spider-Man wears red and blue, maybe black’. [I ensure] intricacies of costumes and making sure the characters say the kinds of things they’re supposed to say so that they sound like themselves. Every so often, I’ll get something that’s just off and it’s like ‘uh, he wouldn’t say that’.
PSN: Do you have a really close relationship with developers?
CB: Yes, with the publishers and the developers. We were just at High Moon Studios a couple of weeks ago checking out Deadpool. I work really close on the pinball games and with Civil War, we basically said that you need to make sure that you’re choosing your side. That should come through and some of the key events in the story [should] come through. [The idea] was a joint effort. We were brainstorming ideas and sent along paragraphs. The cool thing about [Zen Studios] is that they get really passionate about certain things. If they want to do a Blade or a Moon Knight table, they might not be the most marquee characters so we’ll ask ‘why them?’ [They’ll say] ‘we really like those characters and we think we could make a great table’. They’ve proven that I think, especially with Moon Knight, it’s one of my favorites.
PSN: Tell me about Civil War.
CB: We announced Civil War today, it’s got ‘choosing your side’. It’s got some unique touches as you actually start the game in multiball mode. I don’t know how familiar you are with the Civil War story but the inciting incident happens in Stamford, CT. The New Warriors team is fighting some super villains and one of the super villains is Nitro who is basically a walking atomic bomb. He goes off and kills 600 people in the town causing a push for super hero registration so that everyone who’s a super hero is an outlaw if they don’t register and give up their identities. Iron Man is for registration and Captain America is against it and they’re both the leaders of their respective sides. After the multiball, which ends as soon as one of your balls drains, you pick your side and you’ll hear them go back and forth about registration with lines taken directly from the comics. After choosing your side, you’ll have to recruit allies and you do that by nailing ramps and targets. Everybody from Spider-Man to The Vision and The Sentry, characters not in every game [are included]. We’ve even got Tigra in there. This might be her first video game appearance. The game actually plays a little bit different too depending on your side. There are some scoring differences and you’ll get events that happen in one that won’t in the other. The team of super villains called the Thunderbolts will help Iron Man like they did in the comics and The Punisher will help Captain America like he did in the comics. It really represents the story well and its Zen Pinball, you can always rely on them.
Check out the trailer for Civil War below which will hit just about every platform imaginable including Vita and PS3. No release date has been announced.
PSN: Can you talk about how Deadpool is coming along?
CB: Deadpool is everything you want Deadpool to be. I saw it a couple of weeks ago, Deadpool himself has his nose to the grind with all of those High Moon people. You saw him crash the panel today. The humor is there, it’s got the action that you want out of Deadpool, it’s really violent. I’ve only seen a little bit of the game so far and there is so much more for me to see but every time I go, I [feel] that as much as any team has ever nailed a character, they’re doing it with Deadpool.
This Deadpool trailer was first shown at San Diego Comic Con 2012 a few months back. Expect this game sometime in 2013 and although no platforms have been announced, its a safe bet that it will be available on the PS3.
PSN: Well Chris, I’m glad to see that there are people like you in place to maintain the brand and character image. I know you’re pressed for time and I thank you for talking to us.
CB: Absolutely, that’s what we’re here for.