Was EA the first choice for this? Did you look at other people, or was it like “well, we’re gonna work with EA again on this.”
JL: Well, we had signed a long term deal before I started at Marvel, for them with the fighting game franchise.
Ah, so it’s an extension of an existing deal.
JL: Yeah. So they're just trying to -- reimagining, trying to figure out exactly. And obviously, since [Marvel Nemesis] the EA Chicago studios has really grown into prominence, and I don’t know if [the studio had come into] creation since then, since it’s only been around for a few years. So, it was kind of a natural extension as we’re progressing through this series of projects.
I hope it’s more Fight Night quality than Def Jam quality.
JL: Well, there’s definitely elements of each that they learn from, and they’ll be able to incorporate. And I hope, and as Kudo said earlier, I think it’s going to be it’s own unique animal.
Oh it should be, it better be. If it played like either one of those that would be a mistake.
JL: (laughs) It’d be very strange, I think so. You wouldn’t be able to withstand as many punches from the Hulk as you would from Muhammed Ali, so there’s definitely some differences there, too. (laughs)
Indeed. Is there anything else that you’d like to mention about what you’re doing right now?
JL: The next game that’s coming out is Spider-Man: Friend or Foe, which is actually exciting for me, because it’s a youth-oriented game. So that’s one of those things that’s really exciting for us at Marvel, is making sure we get that young audience. We were talking about the crossover between games, and film, and comics, and all that sort of thing.
So for me, that’s a great way and entry point for the younger generation to get into it. I mean, obviously everybody knows Spider-Man, but it’s a great game. The next-gen games are pretty complicated, there’s a lot of stuff going on with them.
JL: Yeah. Getting down to the core. It’s great comedy, all the things that make him a great character, the web action, the fisticuffs, and then they’re lining him up with other characters, and using the movie characters and the movie moments that probably a lot of people have seen, but then we introduce them to the comic book stuff. So yeah, I’m really excited about that game. It’s a lot of fun, and I think it’s a good idea. It’s been the year of Spider-Man, with the big movie coming out, so it will be cool to see for this holiday season.
It seems like with the exception of the one Spider-Man game that did come out, Marvel’s interactive efforts have mostly been focused on the top-tier consoles, not so much on the handhelds, and that sort of thing. Is that going to change in the near future?
JL: For me, personally, the Marvel IP has such a huge fanbase. It spans age, generation, and all that sort of thing. For me it’s really important if there’s a particular game, for like, Spider-Man 3. Everybody who goes to see that movie, they’ll want to have that movie experience in a video game. Everyone. So we want to put that on every platform.
So for me that’s really important to see in everything we do. And even branching out in new ways and different ways they’re being played, and that’s another thing that’ll be interesting for me. And right now we’re really focusing on the consoles, the PC, and major handhelds. But again, there’s no limits to the fans of Marvel, and we’ve got to figure out a way to get everyone to enjoy the experiences of the characters that they love.
You know, I don’t know if this has been attempted yet, but it should be. A first person Spider-Man game on the Wii.
And you can shoot the webbing out and swing through the city. That’d be insane.
JL: You know, I would love to see an appropriate Marvel character be put on first person. I think there’s different challenges, different kind of gameplay, but it’s something that frankly, we don’t have. We’ve got a lot of third person stuff, we’ve got roleplaying, and different genre stuff. First person’s a huge part of the gaming audience.
I think we can probably find some characters that might fit in there, whether it’s the game you mentioned or other properties or the characters that we have. I think we’ll try to find a fit for that one of these days, and make sure we’re into those gamers as well. Because yeah, it’s a great number of franchises out there that do really well.