Two powerhouses team up once again for the highly anticipated return of a celebrated franchise!

Capcom, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, today announced “Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite”, the return of the highly revered action-fighting game series. Marvel and Capcom universes collide like never before as iconic characters team up for action-packed player-versus-player combat. “Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite” is currently in development and will simultaneously release on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One®, and Windows PC worldwide in late 2017.

“For the last two decades, Marvel vs. Capcom has been one of the most celebrated franchises among fans,” said Mike Jones, Executive Producer, Marvel Entertainment. “To deliver on that legacy, we’ve worked closely with Capcom to create a game that honors the heritage of the series and combines Marvel’s unique brand of storytelling with Capcom’s world-class gameplay. We’re raising the bar with ‘Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite’ and are excited for players to get their hands on it next year.”

Imagined and created through a shared vision between the two companies, “Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite” will feature a variety of exciting and accessible single player modes and rich multi-player content for new players and longtime fans alike. In addition to single player Arcade, Training, and Mission modes, a visually stunning and immersive cinematic Story Mode will put players at the center of both universes as they battle for survival against a sinister new threat.

“It was deeply inspiring for our development team to join forces again with Marvel and we can’t wait for our fans to experience the benefits of that collaboration first hand,” said Michael Evans, Director of Production for Capcom USA. “With ‘Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite’, our goal is to provide memorable experiences and infinite gameplay possibilities for players of all skill levels.”

“Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite” is being built to highlight a combination of iconic and fan favorite characters and stages from both universes, including Captain Marvel and Iron Man from the Marvel side, and Ryu and Mega Man X from Capcom. More characters, stages, modes and features will be revealed in the coming months. Tune in to ESPN2 on Sunday at 5:30PM PST, December 4 during the Capcom Cup 2016 broadcast to see an exclusive first look of an extended gameplay trailer from “Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite”.

In anticipation of the new game, “Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3” is being re-released for current generation systems; with the PlayStation®4 digital download version available today and the Xbox One® and Windows PC versions coming in March 2017. “Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3” for current-gen systems includes a new gallery mode, is packed with all previous DLC, and features an improved 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second. The re-release of “Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3” is being offered as an individual download title on all systems for $24.99.

Read More

The hero known as Ironheart makes her mobile gaming debut!

Riri Williams, the newest hero to incase herself in iron armor takes to the “Marvel Puzzle Quest” stage this week. Armed with her own improvised Iron Man suit and ready to kick bad guy butt, the hero called Ironheart will be a force to be reckoned with. D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin dropped by to chat about Riri’s powers and just what she’s capable of in-game.

Marvel.com: We’ve had a couple strong heroines enter the fray recently: Medusa, Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers), and now Riri Williams joins the fight. What was the thinking behind pulling her into “Puzzle Quest”?

Josh Austin: After adding some well-established heroines to “Marvel Puzzle Quest” with the Queen of the Inhumans and Carol Danvers, we are super excited about the new Ironheart (Riri Williams) character and the recent handoff of Iron Man to this new strong female character.

While Medusa and [Captain] Marvel are super powerful, Riri is still finding her way but already surprising Tony Stark in his new AI form with her amazing intellect. It’s been great working with Marvel on a bringing this new heroine to “Marvel Puzzle Quest.”

Marvel.com: Right now there are five different versions of Iron Man armor and one War Machine suit shooting people to heck and back. How did the team focus on making Riri feel unique?

Josh Austin: Riri Williams’ design focuses on what we’ve seen so far from her in the comics: she’s still learning and not as strong as Iron Man, she’s more of a support character at this stage. So our version of Riri uses features [what] she knows about Iron Man but mixed with her wit to make these attacks her own.

For example, instead of just shooting fists at the enemy, she shoots them to flank the enemy and uses magnetic repulsors to bring together enemy special tiles to disarm the enemy. Her charge into battle attack sends her airborne after initial damage, also causing the enemy to go airborne, like she does in the comics currently where she runs by flying off, but it’s still a great tactical move that benefits the player if they want to disable someone for a bit.

Marvel.com: And let’s talk about her abilities; what can Ironheart do?

Josh Austin: Riri’s first ability costs nine Blue AP and is called Magnetic Repulsors. Riri uses her magnetic repulsors in her armor’s gauntlet to disarm her opponents. This power attracts enemy special tiles to the center of the board. What’s great about this is if you have a character that makes a specific color special tile like Protect Tiles, it has a strong chance to match them away after they are pulled into the middle of the board!

Riri’s second ability, Remote Control Gauntlets, costs 11 Red AP. Riri launches her gauntlets, maneuvering them remotely towards her opponent. The gauntlets attack from the flank dealing damage to the target opponent and also places a Four-Turn countdown tile that unlocks and removes special tiles.

Riri’s final ability, Selfless Intervention, costs 8 Green AP. Riri makes a split second decision to fly into the action causing damage and her armor to react to the impact sending [her] Airborne for two turns and her target Airborne for one turn.

Marvel.com: I like her special tile manipulation moves. That definitely feels different. Selfless intervention though—it’s been a while since we’ve seen a move that sends characters Airborne. What’s the strategy behind taking both yourself and the enemy out of combat?

Josh Austin: Sending an opponent out of the fight is advantageous for the player to get one of [their adversaries] off the field for a bit. This allows the player to remove a threat for at least one turn or two at higher levels. For example, if you’re playing PVE with one hero character that can manipulate the tile board, it’s great to be able to send that opponent flying if you see a match four or five that you would like to utilize instead of the opponent’s team!

Marvel.com: Who does she team well with? And can she team-up with other Iron Man armors or is she included in their number?

Josh Austin: Actually Riri can team up with Iron Man, she’s her own entity. So a player could add Ironheart with Iron Man. As far as teaming up, Ironheart is a bit of a support character. She is good against teams that use special tiles.

Since she removes tiles effectively, she’d pair pretty well will Luke Cage (Power Man) since his red deals more damage if there aren’t any opposing special tiles. The new Four-Star Captain Marvel can take advantage of the red countdown tile created by Riri’s Red ability.

Marvel.com: Also, I heard “Puzzle Quest” is going to be celebrating some Jack Kirby monster madness soon. Care to give us a breakdown of the festivities?

Josh Austin: We will be swapping out some covers and promoting the Kirby Monster event in game for a limited time. Comic swaps will be for X-23 (All-New X-Men), The Hulk (Totally Awesome), Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange), Spider-Man (Classic), Devil Dino, Thor (Goddess of Thunder), Deadpool (It’s Me, Deadpool!), Medusa, Vision, and Kamala Khan.

The swaps are a fun way to celebrate some of the recent Marvel news in [“Marvel Puzzle Quest”]! There are also some cool materials and offers at the Marvel Digital Comics Shop and Marvel Insider.

Marvel.com: Is there anything else players need to know?

Josh Austin: You can earn Riri in the Thick as Thieves event starting on January 19, or in the Vault for the Event Hearts of Darkness that starts on January 23. Riri’s upcoming Versus Event will be called Flight Test.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews!

Read More

Download the latest updates including new characters and costumes!

The latest update for “Marvel Future Fight” brings a double whammy of content drawing inspiration from the latest Marvel comics. Most of the new characters and costumes come by way of Marvel NOW! while one familiar hero takes a monstrous turn with a new look as the uniform system overall sees a big change. All of this comes on the heels of the Lunar New Year event starting later this month.

“One of the aspects we love about ‘Marvel Future Fight’ is that it gives players the chance to play with unique versions of the Super Heroes they love, and not just their traditional depictions,” said Seungwon Lee, Chief Marketing Officer at Netmarble Games. “We want to consistently continue to diversify players’ gameplay and strategy by including new features—like the Uniform Upgrade, for example.”

The uniform upgrade system allows players to accrue experience for individual outfits and use it to unlock stat boosts on those costumes. Train up your hero’s uniforms to unlock different stat boosts and swap them in and out to give your heroes the edge they need for the battle ahead.mff_v280_1280x720_global

Alongside this new feature, five heroes receive new looks in this update: Yellowjacket, Captain America, Red Hulk, Squirrel Girl, and Hulk (Amadeus Cho). The first four receive Marvel NOW!-themed upgrades, while Hulk gains a new uniform based on an upcoming variant cover for the Monsters Unleashed event kicking off later this month.

Three new heroes also join the interdimensional battle. Kate Bishop as Hawkeye, Inhuman Queen Medusa, and teen prodigy Ironheart all eagerly bring their unique skill sets to the team. And there will be plenty for them to do as the Lunar New Year event kicks off in a few weeks. As the New York of “Marvel Future Fight” becomes blanketed in snow, players can collect special tokens as they clear stages to unlock new exclusive items. We’ll have more details to share on the event closer to its launch on January 24.

“With their new Marvel NOW! series hitting over the past few weeks, the pinpoint timing of the ‘Marvel Future Fight’ team for their latest update–which allows you to jump from the game to comics and back again–gets a virtual high-five from my inner True Believer,” said Marvel Games creative director Bill Rosemann. “Did you love U.S.AVENGERS? Check out the patriotic versions of Red Hulk and Squirrel Girl in ‘Marvel Future Fight!’ Intrigued by the Super Soldier’s new uniform? Learn how he’s pulling everyone’s strings as a secret Hydra agent in CAPTAIN AMERICA: STEVE ROGERS! Love playing as Medusa? See her lead her kingdom against the mutants in Inhumans vs. X-Men! Want to learn more about Kate Bishop after you kick butt with her in the game? Read HAWKEYE! Can’t get enough of RiRi Williams [as] Ironheart? Take her for a spin! If it’s the latest and greatest you crave, we have your Marvel NOW!

The team at Netmarble constantly work to improve players’ overall experience with the game, even while they bring new content in the form of heroes, villains, stages, raids, uniforms and more. To that end, a handful of UI upgrades that streamline ISO-8 usage and Hero Gear round out this latest update.

“Marvel Future Fight” is available now on the App Store and Google Play Store, and you can follow the latest game news on Marvel.com!

Read More

The unlikeliest of candidates gets her shot in The Contest!

Did you have fun wrecking faces with Howard and the Iso-Loader in “Marvel Contest of Champions”? Well now you can take Gwen Poole, comic book trivia queen and all-round ne’er do well, for a spin!

We talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Game Designer Simon Cameron about the blonde bomber and the chaos she’s bringing to Battlerealm.

Marvel.com: So the Collector’s picking up comic book nerds now? Who’s he gonna collect next, me?

Gabriel Frizzera: Nobody is safe. The Collector has noticed you’ve been working out, so you could wake up trapped in a crystal at any point!

Marvel.com: Well thanks for noticing! But Gwenpool’s slightly less conventional than a lot of the other Champions in the game and her particular brand of weird is very Deadpool-y. What makes her special?

Gabriel Frizzera: She does have the Deadpool vibe, but there’s a distinction: she’s just a normal person who’s very knowledgeable in story tropes and Marvel lore. Deadpool is part of the Marvel Universe and can’t help being who he is, while Gwenpool is very methodically manipulating in what she thinks is a fictional universe for her own benefit. And she does that in the game too. She has played [“Marvel Contest of Champions”] in her “real” universe, so she knows how the gameplay goes, and how to exploit it.

Marvel.com: And she’s looking fly in that pink and white. Any special “Contest” flare?

Gabriel Frizzera: She’s such a new character, we wanted to keep her really close to what we have seen in the comics. One thing we paid special attention to was not to make her body idealized: she’s a normal teenage girl playing Super Hero, not a muscled athlete. We also gave her some interesting weapons, like the pink bazooka, the football bomb and the Special-Edition Collector Plushie, which she uses as a shield when blocking.

Marvel.com: Plot Armor sounds like a really interesting ability. Essentially this puts a hard cap on the special damage her opponents can dish out right?

Simon Cameron: It’s actually even better than that. It caps based on her current health. This means once her signature ability is unlocked, Gwenpool can’t be killed by a special attack, though she’ll come really close to death! Turns out knowing all your opponent’s powers and abilities is a pretty big advantage!

Marvel.com: Are there good times to use Gwenpool specifically because of this ability? Maybe in a really tough boss fight?

Simon Cameron: Definitely! Tough boss fights are definitely a place where she can shine. This is especially true for bosses with really scary special attacks.

Marvel.com: What about her other abilities? How do they fit into her kit?

Simon Cameron: The rest of her kit is built around Debuffs. The most important of these is Bleed. She has two different Bleeds: one comes from her basic attacks but is relatively short, the other involves landing a heavy attack on an already bleeding target but lasts a long time.

Her other Debuffs come from her Special Attacks, each with their own—Incinerate, Ennervate, and Armor Break respectively. Then when one of these Debuffs expires, she will remove a Bleed to re-apply her Special Debuffs. She definitely needs to play aggressively to keep lots of Bleeds stacked up. With clever timing of when she applies her Debuffs—you don’t want them to all expire at the same time!—she can stack several of them or keep one Debuff alive for as long as possible.

Marvel.com: And when can we break her out of a crystal and recruit her for ourselves?

Simon Cameron: She’ll be available on January 5!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews!

Read More

The hit mobile game comes under siege from a variety of old enemies!

Throughout the various battles threatening “Marvel Avengers Academy” and the world last year, the students and faculty locked up their most troublesome enemies. Ronan the Accuser, Mephisto, Carnage, Kingpin—these number as just a few of the villains with a grudge against our heroes.

And now they’ve broken free.

The students must band together to redeem one of their own and fight back against the most powerful threat they’ve ever faced

We snagged Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to get the lowdown on how these former foes break free and what it all means for Avengers Academy.

Marvel.com: With these villains breaking free, what characters will be coming to the Academy to aid our heroes this time?

Allen Warner: We’re bringing back a total of 15 recruitable characters from 2016, with some battling the bosses, and others needing to be rescued from the escaped villains. This includes Winter Soldier, Union Jack, Punisher, Electro, Blade, Green Goblin, and more. It’s an opportunity for longtime players to get some of the characters they may have missed in previous events, and for newer players to get a bunch of characters who weren’t available when they started playing.

Marvel.com: Will players who have unlocked all of the cages so far see something different than those who only have some of them?

Allen Warner: The team of escaped villains is comprised of Ronan, Kingpin, Carnage, and Mephisto, so anyone who has any or all of those imprisoned villains on their campus will notice that their cells are empty until the end of the event.

Marvel.com: Similarly, what will players who’ve unlocked all the returning characters have to work toward in this event?

Allen Warner: Players who already have all 15 returning characters will have another opportunity to get cells for every escaped villain.

Marvel.com: How will we tackle the villains leading this siege of the academy?

Allen Warner: Main game Avengers like Black Widow and Falcon will battle the escaped villains alongside some of the returning characters like Dracula and Captain Britain. They’ll be fighting to progress the story, and return the escaped villains to their cells, and every victory gives them a greater opportunity of recruiting returning characters.

 

Marvel.com: What other new actions or content will we see?

Allen Warner: There’s a brand-new storyline for the event. Marvel Games Creative Director Bill Rosemann had the great idea to have the event inspired by the classic “Under Siege” Avengers story where Baron Zemo brings some of the world’s most powerful villains together to form the Masters of Evil, and get revenge against the Avengers. I wouldn’t necessarily call our version of Baron Zemo kind and gentle, but he’s definitely not the reprehensible force of evil he is in standard continuity, so this story is more about Mephisto exploiting Zemo’s insecurities to manipulate him into setting the villains free. Zemo eventually realizes that he’s being played, and does what he can to right his wrongs, and help the Avengers return the villains to their cells, and save their friends.

I had a lot of fun revisiting some of these returning characters, and watching them interact with each other I purposefully paired them off into weird combinations just to see what would come out of it. You’ll see how Jack O’ Lantern reacts to Winter Soldier’s gloomy poetry, how Groot responds to Electro’s relentless hyperactivity, how Blade and Captain Britain plan to deal with England’s supposed vampire problem, and many more. It was a lot of fun, and creating unique scenarios and conversations like these is what I love the most about our game.

Players who get any of these characters for the first time will also get access to each character’s personal storyline, and unique animations. If you’ve never seen some of these awesome animations, like Jack O’ Lantern’s dance or Punisher trying to make it through a metal detector, you’re in for a treat.

Marvel.com: This event will be a brief one, so can you give us a preview of what’s coming soon?

Allen Warner: There are two major things on the horizon. First, our next major event, revolving around Ultron leading a robot revolution, and Hawkeye arriving with some of his low-tech friends to save the day. I still don’t want to give away too many details yet, but I’m really excited about some of the surprises we have in store, including a fun and unexpected aesthetic that makes for some great outfits and adventures.

We’ll also soon be adding hangouts to the main game. We got a great response to the hangout feature during our Halloween event, which allowed players to send pairs of characters off to do cool dual actions. This expands upon that feature, allowing players to use any combination of characters from the main game or previous events to take part in original and brand-new dual actions. It’s a really fun feature that gives players the freedom to create their favorite pairing while earning new decorations, and ultimately unlocking Ares as a playable character for the first time.

That’s just a small sample of the exciting characters and features on the way, so stay tuned!

And stay tuned to Marvel.com for all the latest on “Marvel Avengers Academy”!

Read More

Carol Danvers gets a powerful update to start the new year!

Have you been waiting for another Carol Danvers to take into battle? Well wait no longer gang!

D3 Go! and “Marvel Puzzle Quest” ring in the new year with a 4-Star, high-flying, cosmically-powered Captain Marvel ready and raring to clean bad guy clocks. We talked to D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin about the blonde bomber and everything she brings to the game.

Marvel.com: Another year gone, but another year of incredible “Puzzle Quest” action no doubt in front of us. Can you give us a little taste of what’s to come?

Josh Austin: Happy New Year! We are busy working on a few features in 2017, including one that should be coming very soon that will improve the overall player experience and hopefully makes everyone very happy. We’ve gotten some really good feedback in our recent in-game survey and we hope to get started on some fun new events in 2017 based on the info we have received.

We are also working on our process to [ensure] more general testing is getting done and we also want to facilitate more community requests. Sorry we can’t be too specific until we lock something down, but players will have plenty to be happy about this year and we have more great characters coming soon!

Marvel.com: And we have a new 4-Star character coming down the pipeline. A new Captain Marvel right?

Josh Austin: Yes, Carol Danvers is coming to “Marvel Puzzle Quest” as our newest 4-Star character. We have a modern and an older variation already released, [but] this new Carol Danvers design focuses on the recently released variation with her newer short hair look.

Marvel.com: How is she different than her 2/3-Star versions? What did the team want to focus on for Carol this time?

Josh Austin: Where the other two Captain Marvels have two attack powers and one strategic or reactionary power, this new Carol Danvers is more about taking charge, rallying her team, and causing more tile manipulation [than] straight up damage with some board affects. So she is more of a support character that creates specials tiles to do damage against the enemy team.

Marvel.com: And let’s talk a little about her abilities?

Josh Austin: Following the theme of Carol’s appointment to Commander of the Alpha Flight Space Station, Captain Marvel (Carol Danver)’s first ability is a new variation of Photonic Barrage. For 8 Black AP she strategically fires off Photonic Blasts at her enemies while soaring around the battlefield. This power converts a chosen Black tile into a 5-turn Countdown tile that creates a Strike tile every turn and deals damage when it expires.

Her second power is called Executive Decision where Carol is taking charge and rallying her team to get things done. For 5 Yellow AP the player can reduce a chosen friendly Countdown tile to 0. There is also a Passive that triggers for this power every time a friendly Countdown tile expires, that improves a random friendly tile by increasing its base amount.

Her last ability is called Energy Manipulation and it’s a Green Passive, which means no AP is needed. This power is similar to Captain Marvel (Modern)’s damage absorption ability, powering up her own abilities, gaining 2 AP every time the enemy matches their strongest color. If the enemy’s strongest color matches the player’s strongest color she deals damage to the enemy team when the opponent matches their strongest color tiles.

Marvel.com: Who does she fight best beside? With all this Civil War stuff going on right now, how does she match with Tony Stark?

Josh Austin: If you are unable to find an Iron Man version to fight with, we are working on one that may actually work well with her in future that we can’t reveal yet. In all seriousness, with all the tile and board manipulation she’s really great when she is matched up with Tony’s friend War Machine, especially since she was designed to synergize well with him!

Since War Machine creates multiple Countdown tiles, they can play off each other’s powers to create a very reliable and simple strategy to utilize Countdown tiles. Pair them up with Medusa who relies on/creates special tiles and you have a solid team! She also works well with Green Goblin to immediately retrieve his glider, Scarlet Witch’s Arcane Incantation to gather Purple AP to make quick matches using the Purple tiles, or Hulk (Bruce Banner)’s The Other Guy tile can also be manipulated to launch as soon as the Countdown tile appears on the board to get him to transform faster.

Marvel.com: Sounds like players are going to have some pretty awesome teams to play around with. Is there anything else we need to know about the new Captain Marvel?

Josh Austin: Carol will be available and featured in Deadpool vs. MPQ on January 5, in the Vault Story Event happening on January 8, and the Versus Event called Flight and Fight starting on January 12.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews!

Read More

Iron Man, Spider-Woman, Wasp and more suit up for the A-Force event!

In the currently ongoing “Marvel Avengers Academy” Winter Event, Malekith uses an ancient artifact to plunge the world into eternal winter. With the help of newcomers from A-Force, the heroes attending the Academy battle the evil dark elf and his army of frost giants.

And what would a battle with elves and giants be without the proper attire?

Many of the Academy students—including each of the A-Force newcomers—don new fantasy themed outfits to inject a little joy into their fight against this latest threat. We grabbed Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to get the rundown of his favorites.

Rogue Spider-Woman – “Inspired by the look of thief and assassin outfits in classic fantasy games and films, Spider-Woman wears this outfit to enhance her already impressive stealth and espionage skills. The outfit unlocks a fun storyline about Spider-Woman uncovering secrets behind Malekith’s true plan as well as Nick Fury’s hidden agenda, and features unique animations of her scaling the Academy walls, and picking Odin’s pocket for intel.”

Healer Singularity – “Singularity is a kind and gentle soul who is always looking out for her friends, so it makes perfect sense that she’d play the role of Healer in this group of fantasy archetypes. The outfit plays to her bright and whimsical personality, and features a unique storyline about her offering to heal some of her toughest classmates, including Punisher and Jessica Jones.”

Archer Wasp – “No stranger to alternate outfits, Wasp becomes an elven archer in a storyline befitting her infectious excitement and wild imagination. She tries to embody every characteristic of every possible incarnation of elves, seeking advice from everyone from the dark elves she’s currently fighting to arrow aficionado Hawkeye. The outfit comes with some fun animations, including playing a fantasy-inspired flute throughout the campus, and attempting to shoot an apple off the top of the head of one of Iron Man’s hapless helper robots.”aforce_asset_fantasycostumes

Huntress Angela – “Inspired by her awesome design in the ANGELA: QUEEN OF HEL comic series, this outfit plays to Angela’s strengths as a master hunter and assassin. It’s one of the most detailed outfits ever included in the game, and features a unique storyline about Angela recruiting famous hunters like Blade for the ultimate Super Hero hunting party to track a once in lifetime target.”

Blacksmith Iron Man – “Always the master craftsman, Tony Stark indulges in his fantasy dreams to become an archaic blacksmith, crafting weapons and armor for the Avengers and their new A-Force teammates. It features a fun storyline about Tony using the dark elves’ fear of iron to his advantage, and unlocks unique animations like him using his repulsor beams to smelt iron ore, and using his engineering genius to craft a rapid-fire procession of weapons and items ranging from swords to what appears to be Ultron’s head.”

This is just a small sample of some of the awesome outfits, unique content, and fun adventures available in the current A-Force Winter event in “Marvel Avengers Academy,” ending January 5. Stay tuned for all the latest news, interviews and more!

Read More

Howard the Duck Brings the Weird to the Battlerealm

Just when you think the Collector couldn’t make “Marvel Contest of Champions” weirder he goes and recruits a cartoon duck to handle his less-than-vital backend operations. As you can probably imagine, Howard the Duck has better things to do than be someone’s lackey. We talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Game Designer Justin Ostensen about the Contest’s first feathered fighter and how the short-tempered duck’s leaving his mark on Battlerealm.

Marvel.com: Howard the Duck is an… Interesting character. Unique. Some might even say one of a kind. Would the Collector consider him a special edition waterfowl?

Gabriel Frizzera: I think he considers Howard more of a jack-of-all-trades employee. The Collector put him in charge of endless menial tasks that the Deadpooloids are too stupid to do, like organizing his crystal collection and filing catalysts by class and rank.

Marvel.com: I gotta ask though, how is this guy going to hold his own out there with the Hulks and the Thanos’?

Gabriel Frizzera: I think Howard himself initially doubted his skills as a fighter, until he retrofitted an ISO-Loader Suit into a powerful mecha battle armor. Now he stands 9-feet tall armed to the teeth so he probably could go a few rounds against the best Champions in The Contest…that is if the mech’s arms don’t fall off first, of course.

Marvel.com: How did the team come up with the ISO-Loader? It looks absolutely perfect for Howard.

Gabriel Frizzera: I was trying to come up with the oddest combination of heroes to fight together in our holiday story quest… I already knew we were going to do Hyperion, so I challenged myself to come up with another character that would be weird but strangely fitting as his buddy. So I thought of Howard the Duck. I know there was a lot of resistance in putting what is essentially a cartoon duck in a mostly serious fighting game, so I took that as a challenge. I wanted the lovers of “badass” characters and mecha robots to find Howard the Duck irresistible. The ISO-Loader looks pretty powerful but at the same time has the giant duck bill which can break apart, so it rides that line between serious and ridiculous that makes a character attractive. By the responses we got so far, I think we convinced many haters that Howard can be pretty awesome as a fighting character, without being overly cartoony or breaking the fiction.

Marvel.com: Let’s talk about his abilities. Mash All The Buttons! doesn’t sound like the most useful of attacks.

Justin Ostensen: Well, when all of those buttons are all set to cause destruction and fix up the ISO-Loader, it can certainly be a helpful ability. Basically, whenever the ISO-Loader starts to become too badly damaged, Howard will frantically mash the buttons on the console. This can either cause the ISO-Loader to go into its Self-Repair routine and fix up some damage, or let loose a massive Thunderquack to deal a large burst of Energy Damage over time.

Marvel.com: And Howard’s breaking out the Quack-Fu right? How does that help him out in fights?

Justin Ostensen: We wanted to tie Howard’s abilities not only to his legendary Quack-Fu, but also to his infamous temper. Basically, as Howard lands hits on his opponent and he himself gets hit, he builds up his temper gaining boosts to his Attack and Critical Damage stats. But, if the player plays too defensively and doesn’t stay aggressive, Howard will cool off and lose his stacks of Quack-Fu. Gotta stay angry when you’re fighting with Howard!

Marvel.com: I love that Howard gets bonuses when he’s fighting with Rocket. Woodland creatures need to stick together huh?

Justin Ostensen: Well, not to split hairs, but technically Howard is just from another universe. I’d say their friendship in The Contest is more about small Champions wanting to be taken seriously. And with his massive B.F.G. to settle a few scores, Howard is definitely going to accomplish that goal.

Marvel.com: Is there anything else you want to tell us about Howard?

Justin Ostensen: Keep your eyes peeled on in-game messages to see when you can grab Howard and his Mech Suit in Contest of Champions!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Contest of Champions” news and interviews.

Read More

America Chavez Bolsters Her Video Game Resume with ‘Marvel Avengers Academy’

America Chavez joins her A-Force teammates in the battle against Malekith in “Marvel Avengers Academy.” With the hero soon to debut her own solo ongoing series – America – in March, fans are eager to add her to their teams. The team at TinyCo had a lot of fun developing their take on Ms America, but she still brings the same uniqueness to the game that she does to the comics.

We spoke with Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to get a look at the process of designing not only this version of Ms. America, but also the set of fantasy outfits our heroes are donning during this event – including America’s Knight outfit.

Marvel.com: America Chavez, Miss America herself, lands in “Marvel Avengers Academy” this week. With her upcoming solo ongoing, there’s a lot of fan excitement around the character. What was it like bringing her to the Academy this winter?

Allen Warner: It’s always great when we can support what’s going on in the comics and vice versa. I’m really looking forward to her having a solo book, and it’s been fun adapting her for the world of our game. There are a lot of tough and capable female heroes attending the Academy already, but America brings diversity, swagger, a unique backstory, and some crazy powers that make her really special. Of course, our version of America doesn’t share the exact same history as her comics counterpart, so there are a lot of surprises and opportunities to tell stories that can’t be told in the books. I wanted to focus on making her more than just a bruiser for the team, and make her motivations more personal to explore what’s under that tough exterior.

From a visual standpoint, our art and animation teams did their usual outstanding job with her designs and animations. We wanted to showcase her personality and raw power, and use some of the things that make her unique like kicking in star portals for interdimensional travel, and throwing giant sharks at people because it’s awesome.

Marvel.com: When did America Chavez enter the discussion for new characters coming in this event?

Allen Warner: We’ve talked about putting her in the game for a long time. She got very close with an earlier release, but we decided to go in another direction. As soon as we knew we were doing an A-Force event, it was a given. She’s an integral part of this team, and one of the best young Marvel heroes, so there was no way we were going to leave her out.

Marvel.com: Off the bat, she gets a new secondary outfit as part of the Fantasy set releasing with this event. How did you and the art team go about designing her “Knight” outfit?

Allen Warner: Yeah, each week the new character who’s introduced also gets an awesome fantasy outfit. She was a tough one to figure out to be honest. We tried a few angles, but it just didn’t feel like her. We hadn’t introduced a knight yet, and I started thinking about how it could be fun to tell a story about how America adapts to traditional knight protocol and armor. She’s fiercely independent, and doesn’t have much use for armor, but these are special circumstances facing Malekith and the Casket of Ancient Winters, so she decides to give it a shot. It’s a lot of fun to see how she reacts, and who she seeks out to try and figure out how to meld her personality and powers with something so traditional.

Marvel.com: How did the team come around to this set of outfits as part of Malekith’s attack on Earth?

Allen Warner: We wanted to have all of the outfits feel like part of a set, and with everyone battling elves and giants, fantasy made sense. It’s not something you usually see in Marvel outside of the realms of Thor or Doctor Strange or the Black Knight, so I think it feels really fun and fresh to see some of these other characters in that setting. The art team outdid themselves with all of the outfits, and the response across the board has been really positive.

Marvel.com: The outfits look to be drawn out of the characters’ roles or traits – Blacksmith Iron Man and Paladin Thor, for example. What went into the creation of these?

Allen Warner: Yeah, the first step with each one was to think about what made sense for their personality, and what kind of stories we’d be able to tell with the quests and animations. In some cases, we went for the one that immediately made the most sense. Other times, we purposefully went in a different direction because we thought it would make for some fun results. I bounced my ideas off of Tim Hernandez and Bill Rosemann at Marvel Games, and after getting their feedback and go-ahead, our art team went to work trying to combine what makes each character iconic with what you’d expect from these classic archetypes. I think they turned out even better than anyone expected.

Marvel.com: What about Wasp led you to create her “Archer” outfit?

Allen Warner: To be honest, before we had the idea of these all being a cohesive set, I’d planned on having her be more ‘toy workshop’ elf than ‘arrow-shooting’ elf. When we decided to go with the set and fantasy approach, I started thinking about how it would be fun to keep her as an elf, but in a fantasy setting. Elves are great archers in various fantasy stories, so I started to get excited about what being an elf means to Wasp, and seeing her interact with the Dark Elves on an ‘elf-to-elf’ level, and getting archery lessons from Hawkeye. Archery will also be a major part of our next event, so it felt like a great bridge to the next story.

Marvel.com: Similarly, how does Singularity embody the “Healer” role for her outfit?

Allen Warner: Singularity is so sweet, and generous, and self-sacrificing that it just made sense. Singularity’s powers aren’t technically magic, but still feel very mysterious and magical, and are usually used for protecting others. It’s another outfit that’s really beautiful, and we even added unique functionality, so that each time Healer Singularity battles a Frost Giant, it drops a health pack to heal your heroes.

Marvel.com: Was there any one design in particular you had a lot of fun putting together?

My favorite has to be Huntress Angela. It’s a really natural fit for her personality and backstory, and the outfit turned out incredible. It’s influenced by her awesome “Angela: Queen of Hel” look from the comics mixed with a sort of forest hunter vibe, and just looks amazing. It’s one of the most detailed outfits we’ve ever made for any character, and I think people will be really excited when they see it.

Marvel.com: Anything you can tell us about what’s coming up next?

Allen Warner: We’re about to introduce Angela, Lady Loki, and Captain Marvel, who’s another iconic character we’ve been wanting to include for a really long time, and we’ll also be giving players the opportunity to get some of the heroes they may have missed in previous events.

There are a lot of things stirring just under the surface of the Academy. Malekith and the Casket of Ancient Winters are causing a massive distraction that’s giving multiple villains the opportunity to put their plans into action. Previously defeated villains are about to activate the next phase of their plan, and a well-known villain is about to make his presence known for the first time. Not only that, but our most sought-after hero is about to join the school, and he’s bringing our most awesome and unlikely playable character with him.

Play “Marvel Avengers Academy” today and stay tuned for further updates and events!

Read More

Bring the Mad Titan home in time for the holidays!

This holiday season Thanos, not Santa Claus, will be delivering gifts to all the lucky “Marvel Puzzle Quest” players. And he’s bringing Death with him!

We talked to D3 Go! Producer Josh Austin about the Mad Titan’s “Puzzle Quest” landfall and everything the team has planned to keep us warm through the holidays.

Marvel.com: It’s been an awesome year for “Marvel Puzzle Quest,” there’s no doubt about that, but how are you ringing in this holiday season?

Josh Austin: This year we are ending with the mighty titan Thanos! We aren’t just bringing him in as a 5-Star character and disappearing for the holidays, we are also releasing a Thanos PVE event called Crash of the Mad Titan, a 3-Star Thanos, and we’re bringing back the popular Naughty or Nice Versus Tournament! Players have been begging for a new villain for a bit and what better way to end the year than making their wishes true with an Infinity Gauntlet bang!

Marvel.com: Thanos is another 3/5-Star split in the style of Doctor Strange. Previously the team had mentioned they were moving away from 3-Stars. What changed?

Josh Austin: We are super excited to be able to do this again, especially considering how popular it was when Doctor Strange was released a few weeks ago. Our overall focus is doing what is best for the entire community and we needed to rethink how new 3-Stars will add or take away from the player experience.

The game continues to evolve and we learn new things from both player feedback and behavior in the game. Once upon a time we wanted to progress with even stronger characters—hence the introduction of 5-Star heroes—but we have come to believe that releasing a couple of new 3-Stars each year will help the balance for players both old and new. But in all seriousness, I earned a 3-Star Doctor Strange and he is now one of my favorite characters to use in events so I am definitely a fan of us reintroducing 3-Stars.

Marvel.com: Thanos, the Mad Titan himself, finally crashes the “Puzzle Quest” party. What can you tell us about the cosmic calamity’s moveset?

Josh Austin: I can tell you Thanos is totally rad! His animations are great, one of his powers even brings out Death. I mean you do not want to mess with this guy. Both the 3-Star and 5-Star abilities go by the same name so I am going to run them by you according to the ability name starting with the 5-Star.

The first power is called Court Death and shows how Thanos’ desire to please his mistress Death can make him a terrifying threat and volatile ally. It’s a Black AP Passive that activates when Thanos downs an enemy, causing him to stun all characters except Thanos—allies and enemies—and then deals damage to all characters, a set amount to enemies and half that to his allies. The 3-Star Thanos Court Death power deals the same amount of damage to both enemies and allies.

His second ability, Infinite Power, shows everyone just how invulnerable, immortal, and nigh all-powerful Thanos is as he bends his foes to his will. This power costs 8 Purple AP and creates a 3-turn Purple Countdown tile. While the tile is on the board, Thanos deals an extra 15% match damage and no tiles may be destroyed or changed except by Thanos; tiles may still be matched away. The 3-Star Thanos version of Infinite Power gives Thanos an extra 150% match damage which is a lot higher than the 5-Star match damage, but 3-Star Thanos doesn’t get the added board control that 5-Star Thanos has.

His final power is called Come and Get Me. Thanos stands against the tide of his enemies before unleashing his wrath. This power costs 12 Green AP and places a 4-turn countdown tile that moves Thanos to the front of the team at the end of his turn. When the Countdown tile goes off, it causes damage to the entire enemy team. This ability is similar for both 3 and 5-Star variants.

Marvel.com: So on top of some awesome new characters we also have some Thanos-themed holiday fun ahead of us. What exactly can we look forward to?

Josh Austin: So much stuff for the holidays! We have the Crash of the Mad Titan event, which is a special version of Deadpool’s Daily Quest that has five pins with rewards and a Crash Pin featuring Thanos as the enemy for five days. Each day has a unique group of allowed characters including Guardians of the Galaxy, Inhumans, Villains, etc., with plenty of Thanos-themed quests. This event will include a special Thanos Vault for the duration with tons of great stuff! And ring in the New Year on January 1 with a new Thanos Versus Tournament, Behold Thanos.

Marvel.com: Is there anything else we need to know?

Josh Austin: Along with this Thanos event, there will be a 30% bonus sales for Iso-8 and Hero Points between December 20 and 26, a special holiday vault (featuring 80 items) from December 22 [to] January 1 attached to certain events, double Iso-8 rewards will be given in the upcoming Galactus Hungers (December 22), Crash of the Mad Titan (December 22), Naughty or Nice (December 22) and Unstable Iso-8 (December 25).

And finally, I want to wish Happy Holidays to everyone and thanks for playing “Marvel Puzzle Quest.” We have a special free token that we are giving out in the upcoming Vault as a thank you and we can’t wait to share more MPQ news with all the Marvel.com readers in 2017!

Take a crack at Thanos and all the “Puzzle Quest” holiday cheer here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews!

Read More