With new offerings across multiple platforms like Marvel Avengers: Alliance on Facebook (which can be played on Android devices) and Activision’s The Amazing Spider-Man, TQ Jefferson, Vice President of Games Production for Marvel discusses the mobile future of Marvel Super Heroes in this exclusive interview.
How do you think the emergence of games on tablets and smartphones will impact Marvel moving forward?
We think that reduced budgets and shorter development cycles of these platforms will allow us to take some chances and develop some new games and properties that we might not have thought about doing before.
What excites you about the direction of mobile gaming today?
One thing is how far story and storytelling has come in games. I feel that games like Heavy Rain that push the boundaries of storytelling and challenge our definition of what a game is, is a blazing a new trail. Another is the “connected experience” -- games that connect through Facebook, Xbox Live, your iPhone, etc. -- have evolved to an extent that you can almost constantly be engaged with your game. That’s allowing game makers to craft an experience like nothing we’ve seen before. The next generation of games is going to be the best yet, and Marvel has every intention of being at the table.
What does mobile hold in store for Spider-Man?
We like to draw upon the rich 50 year history of Spider-Man wherever we can, so oftentimes we can take an instance in the game and point directly to the comic book issue that inspired it. Ideally, the appeal of Spider-Man will drive fans to not just play the games, but to also seek out the comics that inspired our games as well. Now that Marvel is making big plays in digital with initiatives like Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited and the Marvel Comics App, we’re bridging the gap between the game and the source material making it easier for fans to consume both.
The Amazing Spider-Man has a new game set in the movie universe. What separates comic movie games from the rest of Hollywood’s interactive offerings?
With a lot of movie licenses the depth of the lore stops at the script, there simply isn’t more to draw from and as a result you may have embellishments that don’t quite fit, or seem tacked onto the core license. Most comics have very deep pools of lore to draw from, so when the development team needs to add elements that both fit the IP and enrich the experience the source material is there for them. The end result (hopefully) is a game with a compelling story, varied cast of characters that create unique gameplay that leave fans simultaneously satisfied and wanting more.