To celebrate the second season of Marvel's "Daredevil" on Netflix March 18 and the return of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" to ABC's Tuesday night schedule tonight, CBR News has learned that five of Marvel's current video games will be getting new characters, costumes and even adventures over the coming months.
The action-oriented adventure game "Marvel: Future Fight" will get uniforms for Elektra and Punisher inspired by "Daredevil" this month, while the action-packed RPG "Marvel Heroes 2016" will add TV-inspired outfits as alternate costumes for Daredevil, Punisher and Elektra. Elektra will also be added as a playable character later this month complete with the option to use her comic book costume. Meanwhile, the connect-3 combative puzzler "Marvel Puzzle Quest" will add Quake -- AKA Daisy Johnson, AKA Skye -- from "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." as a playable character, while the fighting game "Marvel: Contest of Champions" will have an in-game event with actress Chloe Bennet, who plays the character on TV, as well as a Daredevil/Defenders crystal timed event. As if that weren't enough, later this year the cartoony action game "LEGO Marvel's Avengers" will release an add-on inspired by "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
To explain the ins and outs of the new additions, CBR News spoke with Bill Rosemann, Marvel Games' Creative Director, about what goes into coordinating an event like this, and what it all means for Marvel-loving gamers.
CBR News: We've spoken before about how Marvel Games will reach out to the developers of the games when there's a new movie or event in the comics and see if they want to do something fun with the corresponding characters. I'm curious, do the people who work on the movies, or in this case the TV shows, have any say in what the game people do?
Bill Rosemann: The people on the TV side always have approval. There's a whole system of checks and balances. Once a game studio decides they want to do something, we reach out to our friends on the TV side for reference materials, and explain what the game people want to do. The game developers then take these materials -- which can including photographs or scripts or footage from the set -- and use them to make the in-game items, with us at Marvel Games working with them to make sure it's all right. Once we think it's done, we then take it to the TV group for approval.
"Daredevil" is a decidedly more adult show than "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." Some Marvel Games, such as "Marvel Avengers Academy," are for younger audiences. In cases like this, do you guys tell the "Academy" people that no, they can't have the TV Daredevil, or do you say to them, "We don't think TV Daredevil works for your game but if you can think of a way to make it work..."?
That's a decision that we make internally at Marvel Games. It's part of our whole, "With great power comes great responsibility" agreement that we have with everyone we work with. It's why the "Daredevil" stuff is happening in "Marvel: Future Fight," "Marvel Heroes 2016," and "Marvel: Contest of Champions," because the people playing those games are older, while the "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." context is coming to "Marvel Puzzle Quest" and "LEGO Marvel's Avengers," which skew younger.
In "Marvel: Future Fight" and "Marvel Heroes 2016," you're just adding costumes inspired by the "Daredevil" show, not those specific versions of the characters. Why the distinction?
Well, some of the games have these characters already, and there's established stories in the games for these characters, so it wouldn't make any sense to add what happens in the Netflix show to what's already happened in the game. That's why it makes sense to just add the costume from the show.
As for the costumes being "inspired" by the show, that's because the games all have their own art styles, and so they do their version of the costumes. They copy the costumes as closely as possible, but they also put their own spin on them.
Speaking of the reference materials, if the costume is inspired by a comic, you can just hand them a copy of the comic. But if it's based on a costume from a TV show, can they visit the set and look at the real costume, maybe even as it's being worn by the actor?
It all comes down to logistics. "Marvel: Contest of Champions" is made by a team in Vancouver, while "Marvel: Future Fight" is made in Korea. So it's not always feasible for them to go to the set. It's also a matter of timing. We sometimes start work on this stuff before the show even starts filming, when they just have the costume designed but haven't started shooting yet.
"Marvel Puzzle Quest" is adding Quake as a playable character, but unlike the costumes we just talked about, the game character is inspired by the comics as well as the show. Why is she a mix?
When adding a new character, our game studios have access to everything: the comics, the movies, and the TV shows. But we allow the game developers to do what's best for their game. In the case of "Marvel Puzzle Quest," its had a history of being closely tied to the comics. So it made sense for them to not just look at Quake as she appears on "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," but also how she's appeared in such comics as "Secret Warriors" and various "Avengers" comics.
Speaking of Quake, the actress who portrays her on "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," Chloe Bennet, is doing an in-game event in "Marvel: Contest of Champions." What can you tell us about that?
It's like what we did previously with Clark Gregg [who plays Agent Coulson]. She'll recruit a team of heroes and villains, and players will have the opportunity to have their team battle her team in the game. But she, like Clark, won't be playing as if she was Quake, she'll be playing as herself.
And does she have to have Quake on her team?
I don't know. I wouldn't think so. I would imagine that they'd give her latitude in choosing who she wants.
Lastly, what can you tell us about the "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" add-on for "LEGO Marvel’s Avengers"?
All I can say is that later in the year there will be DLC pack that will include both characters and content from "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." We'll reveal more information later, but I think you can image what that might mean.
"Marvel Heroes 2016" is out now on PC and Mac; "Marvel: Future Fight" and "Marvel: Contest of Champions" are out now for iOS and Android; "Marvel Puzzle Quest" is out now for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, iOS, Android, and PC; "LEGO Marvel's Avengers" is out now for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, WiiU, 3DS, and PC.