You should release the Marvel Superheroes games, or Marvel Vs. Capcom on Xbox Live Arcade.
JL: Yeah, those are among my all time favorites. I’m a huge 2D fighting fan.
Yeah, me too.
JL: Yeah, the Marvel Vs. Capcom stuff has a definite close place in my heart, so we definitely wanna see that stuff live on.
Yes. Get on it!
JL: (laughs) Yes, your majesty!
Will you guys ever consider an internal studio for this stuff? I mean it seems like you’ve been doing a lot more.
JL: You know, the movies have definitely been taking a more hands-on creative approach than just licensing [the properties] out to the studios, and there probably could be some parallels done in the games industry. There are some relationships that are probably similar to that. Currently we’ve got some long-term deals with publishers that we’re very excited about working with. We’ve got a lot great, top-tier partners that we’re excited to work with, so anything’s possible.
The creativity and what’s been going on at Marvel, I think the sky’s the limit, which is really exciting for me. But definitely, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, in some regards, too. So I think there’ll be things we’re exploring, the West Coast office is growing for Marvel, and there’s a lot of crazy new stuff going on. So nothing’s out of the question, but it’s not a focus currently.
Alright. So that’s a “maybe” (laughs)
JL: (laughs) Yeah I won’t confirm or deny anything, but I know I’m not doing anything for you right now. I’m definitely focused on 2008. It’s gonna be such an insane year for Marvel games.
Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff happening with Sega Are those games coming out in 2008?
JL: Yeah, absolutely. So the movies Iron Man and Hulk [come out in] May and June, respectively, and then their game counterparts, which I’m very excited about. The Marvel Studios slate, starting off with those two films, is a huge initiative for the whole company, so the games, naturally, are some really huge titles for us. And we’ve just announced the fighting game, and I’m sure there’ll be other stuff that’ll be being announced in the next several months that we’ll be talking about too, in the future.
This is maybe a loaded question, but, why have there not been very many good comic book games? I mean, that’s my opinion, but I haven’t seen a lot of them.
JL: Well, one thing, it’s tough. One of the big things -- back on the original Playstation, Spider-Man came out, the first one from Activision and Neversoft, that was a pretty seminal game. You were able to do all the things Spider-Man could do. And that’s one of the big challenges. These guys can do so many different things, from over forty, fifty years of comic book history, so it’s a lot to do.
I think there have been some great successes we’ve had: we’ve had some great Hulk games, Ultimate Alliance, X-Men Legends has been a great success, the Spider-Man franchise has done extremely, extremely well, and ever since the first game I just mentioned. And you know, it’s a challenge, and we’ve got a lot of different people collaborating, and there’s a lot of different reasons. And I think we’ve learned a lot from past titles, and sometimes there’s a myriad of reasons. As every game developer knows, that certain things happen along with every project, and those things happen to superhero videogames as well. So I’m hoping it’s not the IP.
I think part of it is: it’s a tough IP to tackle. It something that isn’t necessarily built for a game, there’s some characters that aren’t as gameable as others, yet there’s still games made for them. There’s characters like, Iron Man, I think are an absolute perfect fit, but it’s a very complex game, and there’s a lot to it. So your first iteration out the door, you’re going from zero to a thousand miles an hour; you gotta get it all right or else people are really upset with you. So the team there, I’m really excited. The game looks great right now, and I hope it’s gonna be one of those on the hit list.
Yeah, there was an old Iron Man game, a really weird one.
JL: X-O Manowar.
Yeah, that game was odd.
JL: It was an odd game. That’s one of those things I don’t know very much at all about, except as a fan, I played through it a bit.
I just remember that it came out on the Saturn. That’s all I really remember.
JL: And a lot of 2D fighting games on the Saturn. Anything 2D and fighting on the Saturn, I definitely owned.