The Marvel mobile hit celebrates two years of excellence!

The end of the year looms nigh over “Marvel Contest of Champions” and all of Battlerealm. The Kabam crew’s been hard at work crunching the numbers to pull some awesome data for their two-year anniversary. Wondering how many hours players around the world have been duking it out? Or how many heroes Taneleer Tivan’s collected since the game started? Let’s dig in!

First, how much time do you think you’ve spent playing “Contest of Champions”? One hour? Two? Maybe 10? Well across the globe players put in some serious time cracking skulls, with a whopping 957 million hours logged.  And in that time players opened 7.3 billion—that’s right billion with a “b,”—crystals and unlocked everything from gold to catalysts to Champions.

Speaking of Champions, the Kabam team has released 80 butt-kicking heroes and villains over the past two years, including everyone from the Uncanny X-Men to the Inhumans to the Avengers to cosmic threats like the Mad Titan Thanos. We’ve even seen entirely original Champions hit the battlefield. No doubt somewhere The Collector’s smiling.

Marvel Contest of Champions fun facts

Marvel Contest of Champions fun facts

With 574 thousand alliances containing Summoners from 243 countries, you can bet those Champions get their exercise—24 billion battles-worth to be more precise. Spider-Man’s swung into 1.45 billion different battles on his lonesome, dispensing killer one-liners and web-fisted justice. Captain America slung his shield in 575 million fights, while the feisty Rocket Raccoon blasted bad guys in 309 million melees. Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans, made sonic mincemeat of 547 million offenders while Storm brought the lightning down on just as many.

While you probably haven’t sent your Champions into a million fights, I bet you have a go-to hero, a fighter you can rely on to get the job done even with the chips down. For players getting busy with the 5-Star heavy hitters, Scott Summers, Cyclops, proved the Champion serving up the pain most often. Doctor Strange got called into action most for the 4-Stars, with Colossus, Wolverine, and Spider-Man (Classic) rounding it out for the 3, 2, and 1-Star fighters respectively.

Whew! It’s been an awesome two years in “Marvel Contest of Champions” and I can’t wait to see what Kabam brings us next year! See you on Battlerealm folks!

Check out “Contest of Comments”  the post-game Show where you stay on top of all things “Marvel Contest of Champions!”

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

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Travel to Chronopolis and more with Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 this fall!

As previously announced last week, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, The LEGO Group and Marvel Entertainment announced “LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2,” will be hitting shelves later this year. The all-new, original adventure and sequel to Lego Marvel Super Heroes brings together iconic Marvel Super Heroes across different eras and realities to battle the time-traveling conqueror, Kang!

Players can call upon heroes like Star-Lord, Spider-Gwen, Gladiator Hulk, Cowboy Captain America, and more, to go head-to-head in an epic battle across Chronopolis, an open world hub where all of Marvel realities like Wakanda and The Old West to New York City in 2099 and Sakaar converge. “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” features a four-player multiplayer mode that allows friends and family to play competitively or unite cooperatively as a team.

“LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2” picks up where the story ended in the first game with the Guardians of the Galaxy’s arrival just as the Avengers defeated Galactus. Players will remember from the tag that Nick Fury thanks the Guardians for showing up despite not needing their assistance. However, Star-Lord replied they’re on Earth for an entirely different reason. AVENGERS veteran Kurt Busiek has co-written the story for the game.

During a demo game play at a press preview event, TT Games’ Head of Design Arthur Parsons revealed the game opens moments before the Guardians landed on Earth  in the Milano. Their trip disrupted, the Guardians must battle a Celestial that Kang saved from the end of time. The Guardians’ only shot at beating the Celestial involves manipulating time. Parsons stressed the vital theme seen throughout the game is time — characters running out of time, characters coming from different periods of time, things being manipulated in time, etc. While players can manipulate time for their advantage, it can also be used against you by Kang and other enemies.

What’s a LEGO game without its charm and playfulness? Fans will delight in the fact that several characters will have quirky features. Two noteworthy features we saw during the presentation included Star-Lord’s Walkman, once played mid-battle, stops everything resulting in a Guardians dance break, while Spider-Gwen can bring in her drum set for a mini rock-out.

“LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2” will be available starting November 14, 2017 for PlayStation®4, Xbox One®, and PC. The game will be released for Nintendo Switch™ later this year.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames and @LEGOMarvelGame on Twitter for the latest on LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2!

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Play the hit MMO game for PlayStation 4 and learn when it’s coming to Xbox One!

Ready to play some “Marvel Heroes Omega”? Well the gang at Gazillion’s opening up the closed beta to everyone with a PS4. Did we mention it’s free to play?

We talked with Lead Designer Ben “TheArtofRawr” Gilbert about what the team learned from the closed beta and all the awesome stuff in store for players going forward.

Marvel.com: How’d the “Marvel Heroes Omega” closed beta go? Has the team picked up any cool learnings?

Ben Gilbert: The closed beta was great! It’s really exciting to see so many new players enjoying “Marvel Heroes Omega” and couch co-op on PlayStation 4. The response from players, press, and broadcasters on YouTube and Twitch.tv has been quite positive. But we’ve also been looking closely at critical responses and suggestions from players—as we always do. Feedback continues to be one of the most valuable sources of guidance for us.

There’s still so much that we want to improve upon and add to the game over time. However, after a series of major patches during the beta, we’re very confident about the current state of the game.

Marvel.com: And now we’re into the open beta where anyone can play right? What’s changed? What can players expect?

Ben Gilbert: That’s correct! Starting today, anyone can download and play “Marvel Heroes Omega” on PlayStation 4 completely free. Players who participated in our Head Start program will have all their progress saved and can resume playing from where they left off.

New players can expect to start off with our Prologue Mission. It’s an awesome scenario that finds players leading the Avengers to New York City where Ultron is laying siege to Times Square. It’s a great introduction to how our different heroes feel. Players will get a chance to play as Captain America, Black Widow, and The Hulk before diving into the main nine-chapter story campaign.

Marvel.com: For people who aren’t aware, how close to the full launch are we? Closed beta, open beta, then what?

Ben Gilbert: We’re very close! I wish I could tell you more, but I can say that the game’s official launch is coming very soon. Until then, we’ll be looking closely at what we can do between now and then to improve the “Marvel Heroes Omega” experience as much as possible with the goal being to update with one last major patch before launch.

Please keep in mind that our upcoming launch is still just the beginning for “Marvel Heroes Omega.” Just as we did with “Marvel Heroes” for PC, we’re committed to regular updates, improvements, and new content so players can always look forward to something new and exciting!

Marvel.com: For the players that don’t want to grind to get their favorite heroes, the Founder’s Packs are still on sale right?

Ben Gilbert: That’s correct. Players will still be able to purchase our Founder’s Packs. There’s also a variety of G Bundles, which is our real money currency. Gs can be used for all sorts of things from costumes to consumable boosts that will help speed things along. That being said, we really pride ourselves on not nickel and diming players in “Marvel Heroes Omega.” All heroes are free-to-play till level 10 and then there are Eternity Splinters. These are items that have a chance to drop from any enemy in the game and can be used to unlock additional Heroes for free.

Marvel.com: Right now the game’s just on PS4. Does the team have any plans to migrate “Omega” to the Xbox One?

Ben Gilbert: You bet! In fact, I’m happy to announce that “Marvel Heroes Omega” will be launching on Xbox One on June 20. We really would have loved to launch on both platforms at the same time, but staggering our releases this way will help us release a higher quality game. At the end of the day, that’s more important to us than anything else.

Marvel.com: What are the team’s plans moving forward?

Ben Gilbert: We’ve got an extremely busy year ahead of us! This is just the beginning, and we think players will really enjoy what’s in store for them. We’re already hard at work on a boatload of new content, features, and Heroes. The future is bright for “Marvel Heroes Omega,” and we’re excited to embark with our players on this journey together!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Heroes Omega” news and interviews!

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The deadliest woman in the galaxy gets a ‘Puzzle Quest’ upgrade!

Looking to add more cosmic Marvel heroes to your “Marvel Puzzle Quest” roster? Well Gamora’s rounding out the 4-Star Guardians of the Galaxy team, sword in hand, ready to slice and dice anyone unlucky enough to get in her way.

D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin gave us the rundown of the deadliest woman in the galaxy’s new variation and all her awesome abilities.

Marvel.com: A new 4-Star Gamora is slashing her way into the game. What kind of upgrades are we looking at for one of the toughest fighters in the known universe?

Josh Austin: Gamora (Awesome Mix Volume 2) is the only character in “Marvel Puzzle Quest” that can instantly down any character! That and her first ability delivers good damage for a 4-Star character that first deals damage to a target opponent and creates a Countdown tile that continues to deal damage each turn to the targeted opponent.

Marvel.com: Let’s talk about her kit. What is this new Gamora all about?

Josh Austin: Gamora’s first ability is called Deadly Strike and it costs 10 Red AP. Gamora uses her sword to swiftly strike the enemy landing a deadly blow. This power deals damage to [the] targeted character and creates a Red Countdown tile that deals damage each turn to the targeted character.

The second power is called The Most Dangerous Woman and it costs nine Black AP. Here is the power where Gamora uses her sword to take out her opponents permanently! This power creates Purple Attack or Strike tiles and has a Passive that at the start of the turn, if all the Purple tiles are friendly specials tiles, Gamora removes them and downs the target.

Gamora’s last power is called Incapacitate and it costs six Blue AP. Gamora knocks out the enemy, giving her allies an opening. This power stuns a target opponent and has a Passive that whenever an enemy is Stunned, creates a Purple Attack or Strike tile.

Marvel.com: So she can literally take out any enemy, with any amount of health, with The Most Dangerous Woman? And filling every Purple tile, just how easy is that to pull off in a match?

Josh Austin: Gamora can take down any character in MPQ! The fun of this power is finding teammates that will help the player initiate this power. The Most Dangerous Woman power that the player uses AP to initiate already brings out at level one, four Purple Attack or Strike tiles or six, at level five. Team her up with people that remove enemy Special Tiles and/or help stun the enemy when getting the board ready for The Most Dangerous Woman and you have a great chance of destroying the enemy.

Marvel.com: What kind of teammates is Gamora looking for? Obviously her Guardians buddies, but who else makes the cut? I’m thinking she wants people who bring stuns on her side…

Josh Austin: Definitely want people that will help contribute to the events that can trigger The Most Dangerous Woman’s passive. This includes Ant-Man (Scott Lang) with his Pym Particles. There are also characters that remove enemy Special Tiles like Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) and Quake (Daisy Johnson) either separately or even together since they use both Purple and Blue to eradicate Purple basic tiles.

Marvel.com: And how are we building her? Where are you putting the points in her covers?

Josh Austin: For me, I’m still building my other characters, so I’d probably go with 3/5/5 so I could get the most out of creating Purple tiles and that stun with her third power. However, if I had more decked out characters I would go with 5/5/3 so I could rely on other characters for the stun and have that damage that comes from Deadly Strike since it delivers a good amount of damage!

Marvel.com: Is there anything else we need to know about the baddest swordswoman out there?

Josh Austin: Gamora (Awesome Mix Volume 2) goes live on Thursday and is a placement reward for the Hearts of Darkness event. She will be available in the Vault for The Hunt that runs between May 21-26. She will also [helps] conclude the three part Guardians story event called Plan C that will run between May 25 and 30. And finally, her Versus Tournament is called Sworded Affairs and runs between May 25 and May 29.

Unleash your inner Gamora here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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Marvel heroes and villains from different eras and realities come together for epic adventure!

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, The LEGO Group and Marvel Entertainment today announced LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2, an all-new, original adventure and sequel to the smash hit, LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes. Bringing together iconic Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains from different eras and realities, along with signature LEGO humor, the latest epic adventure from TT Games transports players into a cosmic battle across a myriad of Marvel locations ripped from time and space into the incredible open hub world of Chronopolis. LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2 will be available starting November 14, 2017 for PlayStation®4, Xbox One®, and PC. The game will be released for Nintendo Switch™ later this year.

“With a completely original branching storyline, LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2  introduces amazing new gameplay features, including the ability for characters to manipulate time and a four-player competitive Super Hero battling mode,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. “With a huge array of brand new characters from the Marvel Universe, including old favorites in new guises, this game is sure to thrill both LEGO and Marvel fans, as well as newcomers to the series.”

“The LEGO Group is delighted to continue the stories of the legendary Marvel characters in a new LEGO adventure,” said Sean McEvoy, VP Digital Games, The LEGO Group. “Fans young and old will love playing through this all-new cosmic saga spanning the Marvel Universe as seen through the LEGO lens.”

“As we look to bring amazing games to Marvel fans of all ages, we’ve teamed up yet again with our incredible partners at LEGO, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games,” said Jay Ong, SVP, Games & Innovation, Marvel Entertainment. “LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2 brings characters from across Marvel’s history into an original story told in a way that only LEGO games can, offering hours of epic gameplay.”

Players will go head-to-head with the time-traveling Kang the Conqueror in an epic battle across Chronopolis, from Ancient Egypt and The Old West to Sakaar and New York City in 2099. Along the way, gamers will be able to take control of a host of iconic characters, from Cowboy Captain America from the past to Spider-Man 2099 from the future along with Thor, Hulk, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Green Goblin, and dozens of other Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains.

Packed with entertaining LEGO humor for fans of all ages, LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2 features a four player multiplayer mode, allowing friends and family to play competitively or cooperatively as a team.

Stay tuned to Marvel.com and @MarvelGames on Twitter for the latest on LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2!

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Creative Director Bill Rosemann gets you caught up on all the updates on Marvel Future Fight

Marvel.com’s got a man inside Marvel Games.

For over two decades Bill Rosemann has a part of the Marvel family, from his time as a freelance writer for Marvel Age magazine, to marketing copywriter, to “Your Man @ Marvel” blogger, to writer of the Deadline limited series, to editor of dozens of comic series including Nova, Black Panther, Thunderbolts and Avengers Academy. Bill also helped launch the Disney Kingdom imprint and was part of the team that co-created the modern day Guardians of the Galaxy. Bill is now Creative Director for Marvel Games, where he uses his knowledge and passion for the House of Ideas to collaborate with partners around the world on hit titles for console, PC and mobile devices.

Every few weeks, Bill and talented members of the Marvel Games team join us to share their stories as well as exclusive news and scoops on what’s happening in the world of gaming!

Marvel.com: In a very competitive environment, Marvel and Netmarble are celebrating the 2nd anniversary of the blockbuster mobile RPG, Marvel Future Fight. How does it feel seeing this game embraced by players for this long?

Bill Rosemann: It’s awesome. Marvel Future Fight holds a special place in my heart because it was one of the first games I was lucky enough to work on from launch. When I joined the Marvel Games team two and half years ago, on my first day here it was, “Okay, this game is going to launch in five months. Get to it!”

We hit the ground running and were instantly impressed with the amount of effort, imagination and passion that the Netmarble team poured into it. From the number of characters to the rich detailing of the costumes to the depth of the story and gameplay, Netmarble roared out of the gate and hasn’t taken their foot off the gas for 24 months.

Marvel.com: That’s awesome! One of the great things about Marvel Future Fight is that it’s widely available on iOS and Android. And now it’s hit 50 million downloads.

Bill Rosemann: Yeah, it’s amazing, 50 million players worldwide! As our handy infographic points out, that’s approximately six times bigger than the population of New York. It’s so cool to see True Believers around the globe having so much fun with it.

Marvel.com: Another of the cool things about it is that it’s really easy for new players and casual gamers to pick up, but there’s also so many features and layers for anyone who is a long-time player to dig into. Was accessibility a key factor in developing this game?

Bill Rosemann: Definitely. Marvel creates our games in the same way we do our comic books, TV shows and films, and that’s with an eye on accessibility. We want to share these characters with the world.

Part of achieving that is making the stories of the adventures and the characters easy to understand, relate to and jump into. You need to have a clear entry point and know who the characters are and what their goals and motivations are. In this case, we quickly laid out the mission of the heroes and what they were facing. In the beginning, it was M.O.D.O.K. and his evil alliance who were creating dimensional rifts that were causing realties and alternate versions of characters to collide. And as with all good games, on the surface it’s quick and easy to learn, but the more you play, you see how deep it can get. It’s really about learning to master the strategy and complexities. You can jump in right away, and over time, you can spend a lot of time digging deeper and then experiencing all of the new content that arrives on almost a monthly basis.

Marvel.com: Speaking of that new content, you’ve done a lot of alignments with publishing, TV and film. Currently, there’s the event inspired by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Bill Rosemann: Part of our goal with all of our games is to keep players happy with cool new content that’s introduced in a thoughtful and impactful way. Instead of just releasing characters when we feel like it, we strategically align with our friends in Publishing, TV and Studios. We look ahead where the characters are heading in the next six to twelve months, and when we know something is going to hit – for example one of our upcoming Netflix shows like Defenders — instead of having Daredevil or Jessica Jones appear at a random time with TV-inspired costumes, we wait until when the show is going to hit and then we’ll introduce the content at the same time. As a Marvel fan, that’s really fun because you can go read a comic, watch a TV show or movie, and then in Marvel Future Fight, you can play as the characters or go on a mission that’s inspired by what you just saw. It’s more of what you love, but experienced in an awesome new way.

Marvel.com: For the second year anniversary, what else do you lined up for fans?

Bill Rosemann: In true Marvel Future Fight fashion, the gang at Netmarble is going all out to throw a huge party for all the players. To start, they’re introducing two new characters – Mantis and Agent Venom – as well as uniforms inspired by GOTG Vol 2 for Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket Raccoon. To top it off they’re unleashing the World Boss Ultimate and Alliance Quest modes.

What I also like about the second year anniversary is that it’s a chance to take a step back and look at what the team has done in the past 24 months and what players have responded to. If you look at our infographic, it’s a bit surprising to see who the most popular characters are and see which characters have meaning and impact for the game. We were really happy that our most popular female character is our all-new hero, Sharon Rogers, the Captain America we created together during our Captain America 75th Anniversary.

For those who haven’t played it yet, in our game we introduced a reality in which Steve Rogers was not frozen in ice during WW2. Instead, after he helped the Allies win the war, he and Agent Peggy Carter got married and had a daughter that they named Sharon. On her world, she has inherited her parents’ training and has inherited the mantle of her reality’s Captain America.

Another thing we’re doing with Sharon for the second year anniversary is all-new and FREE digital comic book you can read right here at Marvel.com. It’s written by Marc Sumerak, who is now the new writer of the game, and it’s drawn by artist Andrea Di Vito, who I’ve worked with for years in Publishing on titles like Nova. It tells the story of the first meeting between Captain America Sharon Rogers and the Guardians of the Galaxy…and features a two-page sneak peek at some surprises coming your way in the game over the next year!

Marvel.com: We’ve talked about what the fans responded well to, but what are your personal favorite characters and events you guys have had in the past two years?

Bill Rosemann: Wow, it’s hard to pick just one. In fact, what I like is the variety and range of the characters introduced. From Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to Spider-Verse to Marvel NOW! to Monsters Unleashed, it’s great when we can work very closely with Marvel Publishing or TV and have new characters and costumes hit in our game in the same month or even same week when they’re appearing elsewhere.

Marvel.com: You guys have what, over 120 characters to choose from? It’s a huge roster!

Bill Rosemann: That’s right! Marvel Future Fight holds the record out of all our mobile-only games for the greatest number of characters. We’re only able to do with the hard work of the Netmarble team and the cooperation of everyone in all the different divisions at Marvel. For example, my friends in editorial know that when they’re introducing a new costume or character, they will email me — even if it’s a black-and-white sketch – so we can immediately reach out to all our partners for all our games and say, “Hey! Here is this new hotness, and it’s going to hit in this month, and if we get started now, maybe we can get it in the game. Netmarble has been amazing at embracing the new content and putting it in the game month after month.

And I have to mention that the inclusion of all the new content – and the fact that the game has been a hit for two years – is also the result of the efforts of the entire Marvel Games team, especially our assistant creative manager Isabel Hsu and producers Mike Jones, Tim Hernandez and Danny Koo. It truly takes a village, and I’m proud of the efforts of everyone on the Netmarble and Marvel teams who have helped to make Marvel Future Fight the success that it is.

Marvel.com: That’s awesome! Now, as we look ahead, what can you share with us that we can expect from Marvel Future Fight?

Bill Rosemann: Hmmm…what can I reveal? I can say that we will continue to work with all our friends at Marvel to make sure that if there’s a big event — whether that’s in TV, film or the comics – we’ll bring gamers the excitement right here in our game as well. We also have the freedom to do our own themes and introduce characters that players have been asking for. I also hope to work with Netmarble again and create all-new costumes characters. When we listen to players and then do our best to deliver a character we think they will like and get behind, we’ll have more success! So look forward to that as well!

Marvel.com: That’s amazing! Happy anniversary and here’s to the next 50 million players!

Bill Rosemann: 50 million more players! And hey, two more years, why not? Say it with me: Future Fight!

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The daughter of Thanos comes to Battlerealm, hunting for vengeance!

Thanos always manages to bring out the worst in people, including his adopted daughter Nebula. Forced to fighter her sister Gamora and mechanically enhanced when she lost, this fierce warrior unleashes her fury and combat prowess on Battlerealm, and if she runs into daddy dearest all the better.

We talked to Kabam Art Director Gabriel Frizzera and Champion Designer Piero Herrera about Nebula and her seriously awesome abilities in “Marvel Contest of Champions.”

Marvel.com: Has Nebula finally found out that Gamora has been hanging out on Battlerealm? Has she entered The Contest looking to take down her sister, or for some more nefarious purpose?

Gabriel Frizzera: The Collector captured both Gamora and Nebula back in 2014, but for some reason preferred to add Gamora to The Contest and keep Nebula in storage—story of her life, really. The Guardians bump into her again when they travel back in time to 2014. All I can say is Nebula might tag along for future adventures, if Gamora and her can make up.

Marvel.com: And what’s going on with the new monthly quest? Can we get some details on that bad boy?

Gabriel Frizzera: This month’s quest, “Guardians Vol. Zero” is a throwback to the distant year of 2014, when The Contest started. Kang the Conqueror—who has a truce with the Avengers—hires the Guardians to salvage the wreck of his ship, the Damocles, where he keeps some important equipment. But Yondu gets there first, and after some shenanigans they’re all accidentally transported two years, four months, and 23 days into the past. Star-Lord sees this as a chance to warn The Collector about releasing Thanos in The Contest, but the time portal is closing; if they don’t find The Collector fast, they might get stuck in the recent past, forever—or I guess they can just wait for two years, four months, and 23 days.

This event is a great chance to look back and fill some of the untold backstory. Like in our new motion comic, where you see into the Collector’s thought process when picking Champions for his brand-new Contest of Champions. His selection process is less than perfect, as you can see here.

Marvel.com: It looks like Nebula is rocking her Ravager outfit from “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” What went into making sure her style stayed true to the movie look?

Gabriel Frizzera: We got lots of cool reference ahead of time from Marvel Studios for both Nebula and Yondu that allowed us to build models that are very similar to the movie characters—but of course we infused our own unique Contest style to them!

Marvel.com: Would you mind breaking down her kit for us? She doesn’t have a sword to swing around, but she’s got cybernetic implants and a mean left hook right?

Gabriel Frizzera: We decided to keep the two electric batons she fights with in the first “Guardians” movie, and that’s what Nebula uses most of the time. I think the animation team came [up] with a very unique fighting style that leverages the double weapons. She can also build up energy in her electric arm and discharge a powerful pulse to disable enemies!

Marvel.com: So what exactly is her style? How are we playing her and what do we need to look out for when relentlessly hunting down our sister?

Piero Herrera: Nebula is able to quickly charge up “Electroshock charges” when holding block. Those charges [enable] Nebula to deal high amounts of damage in a very short period of time and also can be used to lock the opponent’s Power Bar, temporarily disabling their ability to get Power. Hold block to get charges, land a Parry, and use Special 1 for Power Lock, or Special 2 for the high Shock damage burst. On top of it, Nebula also has a pretty good Self-Repair ability.

Marvel.com: How does her self-healing compare to some of the other regenerative characters in the game?

Piero Herrera: The way Nebula activates her Self-Repair is quite unique. Whenever she takes a lot of damage from a single hit, she will be able to heal all of the damage taken from that hit if she has a Self-Repair charge ready to be used. This also means that she is very strong against an opponent’s Special 3, since the damage from a Special 3 is just calculated in one big chunk after the cinematic sequence. Basically, the Self-Repair will activate whenever you need it the most.

Marvel.com: And when can we harness Nebula’s fury for ourselves?

Piero Herrera: Nebula is just about ready to start electrifying opponents with her electric arms and energy pulse discharges; be sure to check her out when she comes to The Contest on May 11!

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

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Travel to the Symbiote homeworld and more with the Spider-Man mobile game!

Spidey and his friends have gotten themselves into a super sticky interstellar situation in “Spider-Man Unlimited.” Players will get to check out all-new scenery on the Klyntar homeworld and a host of other new features.

We talked with Gameloft Product Marketing Manager Vitaliy Gladiyenko about the upcoming update and all the fun ahead in the hit mobile runner!

Marvel.com: We have a big “Spider-Man Unlimited” update coming down the pipeline. Can we get a tl;dr of some of the big changes to expect?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: The biggest and the most awaited feature of this update is a new level: Symbiote World. As far as I know, the symbiote homeworld has never been featured in any game before, which makes “Spider-Man Unlimited” the first game that allows all Spidey fans to visit the [birthplace] of one of Spidey’s greatest nemeses: Venom.

Marvel.com: We’re headed to the Klyntar homeworld? I can’t imagine that’s a very hospitable place for Spider-Men and Women—or anyone really.

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: Indeed, the planet isn’t rolling out the welcome mat for our heroes. If you dare to travel there, make sure you’re ready to face local symbiotic baddies. The most common symbiotes have a giant red spike protrusion while others have big shields and can only be taken down with a slide. There are some symbiotes packing bio-weapons that fire gooey projectiles and even a creepy flying fiend.

Players should also keep an eye on the local flora because it’s not even flora in the truest sense of the word. A tree behind the corner may want to take a chunk out of you!

But let’s not forget, that not all symbiotes—or Klyntar—are bad. Actually, none of them were bad originally. I suggest our readers get themselves a copy of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #23, which tells a story about the Klyntar origin, which, by the way, was our main reference for the symbiote world location.

Marvel.com: Dang, so we’re facing a host of new symbiote baddies and if I’m seeing this correctly, a trio of psychotic symbiote bosses?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: Venom, Carnage, and Scream were here for a while already, but we made one small improvement to their behavior: now they swing around like any other Spider-Man does! Try to catch them now!

Marvel.com: Players will also get a shot at a couple new characters right?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: Yes, we’re releasing a bunch of characters with this update. Most of them are updated versions of the old Spideys, like Bulletproof Spider-Armor suit, Aracnido Jr., and few others. But there are two totally new guests to [the] “Spider-Man Unlimited” universe: Prowler, who was also featured in the recent Clone Conspiracy story arc, and one more Spidey, which we’ll talk about just in just a moment.

Marvel.com: For players that brave the alien landscape and defeat all the biological threats the planet has to offer, what kind of rewards are they picking up?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: Besides some generic stuff like portals, hard and soft currency, all players will be able to win our second new character, someone you might not expect to see in “Spider-Man Unlimited” so soon. A small hint: this guy also played an important role in the Clone Conspiracy story, his identity was a big surprise to Spidey fans, and now he’s back with his own comic book! Can you guess who?

Marvel.com: I heard that the game was also getting some UX improvements?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: Yes, besides the new location, we’ve also updated the main menu and a few other important sections of the game, like the pre-run and result screens, plus the Shop. We’ve been improving the player’s flow for a couple updates already and plan to do so in future.

Marvel.com: Do you have anything else you want to tell players before we sign off?

Vitaliy Gladiyenko: Make sure you tune in for more “Spider-Man Unlimited” soon!

Pick up “Spider Man Unlimited” on Google Play and iTunes and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more news and interviews.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy step up, and more on ‘Marvel Heroes Omega’!

With “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” hitting theaters this week, the “Marvel Heroes” MMO has tons of new Guardians-themed action headed your way. From new costumes, to team-ups, to updates on “Marvel Heroes Omega,” Gazillion Lead Designer Ben “TheArtofRawr” Gilbert digs into everything players can expect with this cosmically awesome update.

Marvel.com: Let’s talk about all the cool new “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” content coming down the pipeline! Can we get a tl;dr of this stuff?

Ben Gilbert: Everyone here has been looking forward to seeing the return of the Guardians of the Galaxy. So to celebrate, we’re launching a ton of new content for players inspired by the film. Both “Marvel Heroes Omega” and “Marvel Heroes 2016” players can look forward to brand new costumes for Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, and the Guardians of the Galaxy Team-ups: Drax and Gamora—all inspired by the film.

Marvel.com: So we have new costumes for Star-Lord and Rocket? What goes into preparing new Hero costumes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Ben Gilbert: There’s so much that goes into creating new costumes. Our treatment of the Cinematic Universe is fundamentally no different than our approach to comics, TV shows, etc. At the end of the day, it all comes down to deep respect for the characters and careful attention to detail. The look, sound, and gameplay feel must all come together to evoke the essence of the character or context that we’re working to bring into the game.

Marvel.com: And holy crap, is that a tiny Groot?! Tell us about tiny Groot!

Ben Gilbert: It is indeed—and it’s one of the best examples I can think of that demonstrates the care and attention to detail we like to put into each of our themed costumes. Rocket Raccoon’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” costume isn’t just a new coat of paint. We put in a lot of love to make sure his abilities, gameplay, and effects all capture the unique look and feel of Rocket and his little companion Groot. We hope fans will appreciate our complete expression of the beloved characters in the new film.

As I’m sure folks have noticed from all the trailers, Groot is now much smaller than Rocket—and so we’ve played around with that big size change in subtle ways. The best example that comes to mind involves the “We Are Groot” talent tree for Rocket, which augments the “Warpath” ability. With previous costumes, this talent/ability combination would find Rocket hopping on the back of Groot, who lumbers about while Rocket unleashes a giant barrage of blaster fire. With Rocket’s new costume inspired by “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” we instead have Groot climbing onto Rocket’s back! The destructive duo then commences to laying down heavy fire while Rocket flies about by his jetpack. It looks great and we hope Rocket and Groot fans find the juxtaposition as amusing as we do.

At the same time, even players enjoying other Heroes can still make sure that little Groot is always by their side with the new Groot pet. In fact, as a thank you to our PC audience, we’re holding a special login event this weekend that comes with a free Groot pet inspired by “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”

Marvel.com: The team’s pulling out all the stops with Drax and Gamora coming out swinging and slashing as the game’s newest team ups. What are these two capable of?

Ben Gilbert: We’re very excited to add “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”-inspired team-ups for both Drax and Gamora to our roster of team-up Heroes for “Marvel Heroes 2016” for PC and Mac. For any readers who aren’t familiar with “Marvel Heroes,” team-ups are only available in “Marvel Heroes 2016” at this point. Team-ups are companions who aid your Hero in battle. They level-up, grow in strength, learn new skills, and can even equip gear!

[The] Drax and Gamora team-ups both come with kits that capture their attacks seen in the films. Drax’s level 60 power “Vengeance” sends him into a state of rage, boosting his attack speed, critical hit chance, and brutal strike chance. On the other hand, Gamora’s level 60 power “Flashing Blade” sends her blazing across the screen for an incredible 10-hit combo chain.  Drax’s infinite thirst for brutal vengeance contrasts nicely with Gamora’s graceful, elegant combat maneuvers that make use of high-power firearms and her lethal blade. We think fans will enjoy their new look, inspired by “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”

Marvel.com: But awesome Guardians content aside, how’s the “Marvel Heroes Omega” closed beta going?

Ben Gilbert: The PlayStation 4 closed beta for “Marvel Heroes Omega” is going great! It’s so exciting to see players and press sharing their impressions of the closed beta; all the great gameplay and let’s play videos on YouTube and Twitch.tv are fantastic. We’re especially delighted to see lots of players enjoying local couch co-op for the first time. We think it’s a great new way to enjoy “Marvel Heroes Omega.”

Marvel.com: Super psyched to hear that the beta is going well, but a focus on the beta doesn’t mean the team is slacking on the PC updates right?

Ben Gilbert: That’s absolutely correct! We’re committed to continued support of “Marvel Heroes 2016” on PC with new content and improvements; we talk about it every day here in the office. In fact, our Creative Director Jesse Decker recently shared a roadmap for new content Gazillion is working on for “Marvel Heroes 2016.” There’s some really exciting stuff there, including teases for Carnage, new Terminals, and more. I invite all “Marvel Heroes 2016” players to check it out, ask questions and share any feedback. We read it all. Seriously. Both positive and negative feedback from our players plays a critical role in our long-term goals for improving the game.

Marvel.com: There’s a lot happening in “Marvel Heroes” land right now—what do players need to know?

Ben Gilbert: For PlayStation 4 players, the “Marvel Heroes Omega” closed beta is live! Players interested in immediate access can select from a variety of Founder’s Packs for sale on the PlayStation Store. But we’re also working with a lot of media and free closed beta voucher codes are out there in the wild. For PC players, there [is] lots of exciting new content we’re working on for “Marvel Heroes 2016” that I wish I could tell you more about right now. In the meantime, I’d encourage you to check out the PC roadmap for “Marvel Heroes 2016” mentioned earlier. For Xbox One players, expect more news about “Marvel Heroes Omega” very soon!

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The Guardians' dynamite duo reloads for another run!

The next characters to receive a “Marvel Puzzle Quest” upgrade bring bombs, bullets, and rocket fuel to the party.

Prepare yourself for Rocket and Groot reloaded as 4-Star brawlers to celebrate the release of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” We talked to D3 Go! Senior Producer Josh Austin about the pint-size pair and how they fit into the “Puzzle Quest” universe.

Marvel.com: Following close on the heels of Star-Lord (Awesome Mix Volume 2) we have a revamped Rocket and Groot! How do they differ from their 3-Star incarnation?

Josh Austin: The most obvious difference is the size of Groot! Other than that obvious size difference, this 4-star Rocket and Groot (Awesome Mix Volume 2) is more atomic, focusing on their last power, where an Atomic Bomb Countdown tile is created and will damage the enemy team, or if it’s matched before it resolves, it will damage both the opposing team and the players team.

Marvel.com: Thinking about Rocket and Groot’s dynamic as inseparable pals, what’s it like creating different abilities for two characters who work as one?

Josh Austin: Actually for these two it’s a lot of fun. Their characteristics from the trailer sparked the final animation sequence and power change. The “Don’t Push this Button” part of the trailer was fun and found its way into the game. Since Rocket and Groot are so inseparable, it makes it fun to combine them. Though, I have heard the community would like a 5-star “baby” Groot.

Marvel.com: Let’s talk a little about Rocket and Groot’s kit. What kind of trouble will these two be stirring up?

Josh Austin: Rocket and Groot (Awesome Mix Volume 2)’s first power is called Rocket’s Pack and it costs 12 Blue AP. For this power, Rocket zips around the battlefield with his new Aero Rig, blasting any poor schmo that gets in his way. If a Blue Countdown tile hasn’t been created for this power already, this power creates one that deals damage and creates a Black Attack tile each turn.

Their second power is called Welcome to the Team and it’s a Yellow Passive, which means it costs 0 AP. At the start of the battle, this creates a bunch of Strike tiles. If there is another member of the Guardians of the Galaxy on their team, this creates stronger Strike tiles instead. Welcome to the frickin’ Guardians of the Galaxy.

The final power is the most involved! The last power is called Don’t Push This Button and costs 10 Green AP. Rocket yells at Groot to not push that button [because] it will kill everyone! Using this ability first creates a 3-Turn Atomic Bomb countdown tile that deals damage to the enemy team. If it’s matched away, it deals slightly less damage then if the bomb went off to the enemy team and about 1/4th the damage to the players team.

While the Atomic Bomb countdown tile is on screen, this power becomes “I Aaaaaaam Grooooot!” which is a Green AP Passive. At the start of each turn, Groot makes a match for you. This clears lines and creates critical tiles as normal, but no extra turns. When the Atomic Bomb Countdown tile is matched or goes off, this power becomes Don’t Push This Button again.

Marvel.com: Welcome to the Team is really interesting. There aren’t too many abilities in the game that change depending on your team composition. Is this something the team is looking into exploring for other characters?

Josh Austin: We hope to be adding a lot of these before the end of the year; there isn’t much we can talk about yet, but we are hoping this becomes more of a thing very, very soon.

Marvel.com: And with I Aaaaaaaam Grooooooot!, does Groot make a move before, or after the player makes a move?

Josh Austin: Groot makes a move before the player does, which gives the player AP. This basically gives the player a few rounds of extra AP generation which is nice!

Marvel.com: Who fits best fighting beside the tree and space rodent? Obviously the Guardians work awesome together, anyone else?

Josh Austin: Because the Don’t Push This Button power is so strong, the player may want to focus on characters that fortify the player’s Countdown tiles like Green Goblin, Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers), or Hawkeye (Clint Barton). The player could also select someone that enhances or is enhanced by special tiles including Medusa, Punisher (Max), Mr. Fantastic, and Professor X.

Marvel.com: And when do we get a shot at these two troublemakers?

Josh Austin: Rocket and Groot (Awesome Mix Volume 2) are available starting on Thursday, May 4. They can be found as placement rewards in the Meet Rocket and Groot event that is running from May 4 through May 8 and features their new art. Rocket and Groot (Awesome Mix Volume 2) will be featured and available in the Vault for Thick as Thieves that runs May 7 through May 12.

Their special Guardians of the Galaxy story tie-in event is called Backup Plan, which continues the journey in the I Have a Plan event featuring Star-Lord. This event runs May 11 through May 16 and features Rocket and Groot (Awesome Mix Volume 2) and grants the player covers in mission rewards. Their Versus Tournament is called Best Buds and runs May 11 through May 15.

Pick up the new 4-Star Rocket and Groot here and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more “Marvel Puzzle Quest” news and interviews.

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