While the team at Netmarble planned this latest update to introduce new six-star skill sets while tweaking and improving many of the available heroes, the opportunity to bring Jessica Jones into the game proved too good to pass up. We sat down with Marvel’s own Tim Hernandez, who works on coordinating between Marvel’s various departments and the game developers, to get the low-down on what went into bringing Jessica to the world of “Future Fight.”
Marvel.com: Jessica Jones is the big draw for this update, along with some uniforms for other characters to go with the tweaks, balances, and six-star skill sets. How long have you been planning to time this with the Netflix series?
Tim Hernandez: From about two months ago. We knew the Netflix series was coming, and once we finally locked in on a date and talked to the Netmarble team, we realized that timing-wise, the end of November worked well with their update plan, so why not add Jessica Jones, a popular character in the Marvel Universe, and a good connection with the show coming out in the same timeframe. We presented them with the idea, they loved it, and away we went.
Marvel.com: In what capacity did you work with the team behind “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” here, like with the “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” team for that update?
Tim Hernandez: We work closely with the Television department here within Marvel, and they also loop Netflix in. The new content is inspired by the show, but bridges the gap across both the comics and TV universes taking elements of the character from both to get a good foundation of who Jessica Jones is and making it work within “Future Fight,” whereas [with] “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” it was a larger story, and also a direct synergy with the TV show writing team. But yeah, the TV team was involved in very early concept and planning phases of this introduction of the character.
Marvel.com: Was the actual character design modeled after what we’ll see in the upcoming Netflix show?
Tim Hernandez: I think the look is definitely more modern and geared towards what you’re going to see in the show: the leather jacket, the worn jeans. And also her fighting style, I think, is definitely going toward the street-level heroes that are being introduced in the Netflix series; less focused on their super powers and their super hero costumes, and more street-level, touching on their daily actions within Hell’s Kitchen.
Marvel.com: Speaking of her fighting style, what are we going to see from her skill set in “Future Fight”?
Tim Hernandez: I would say she’s a brawler [Laughs]. Definitely a street fighter, learning her powers again. She was a super hero, now a lapsed super hero, but not necessarily graceful, not a trained assassin. Just using her powers as needed when situations arise. In the game, she definitely has some super powered elements to her, but more of the melee style is what you’re going to get with Jessica.
Marvel.com: Is Jessica going to factor into any story content coming along with this update?
Tim Hernandez: This update’s definitely geared more toward new character costumes and six star updates. There’s not any new story this time around. We’ve done a lot of added missions, lots of special missions in the last several updates, so we’re letting players catch up with that content, while continuing to roll out new characters, plus people have been asking for more six-stars for their favorite heroes. That’s more the focus for this update, giving everybody just a chance to breathe and catch up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the last big drop for Halloween.
Marvel.com: There are a ton of new six-star sets, though. How many are players going to see?
Tim Hernandez: We’re doing 11 new six-stars this time. A lot of them are really cool. I don’t want to give too many spoilers, but I think Ultron’s is really my favorite new addition. Beyond the new six-stars, he and some other [characters] are also getting some changes to their other animations to make them even cooler, like Daredevil and Captain Marvel. Some of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. characters are getting their six-stars too. And Daisy’s getting her season three uniform added to the game, which a lot of people were asking for.
Marvel.com: With as many different types of media that Marvel is involved in now, I imagine it makes it even easier for this synergistic content to happen. How often are you looking toward these things for inspiration in games like “Future Fight”?
Tim Hernandez: We’re constantly looking at it. It’s definitely now a major focus for the Marvel Games team, just to always keep an eye on the calendar, talking with different departments within the company to see what we can do to offer our fans the best, newest, freshest content that the other areas of business are introducing. I think that’s part of the new medium of live operations; games aren’t just launching and out there to sink or swim, it takes a constant stream of updating with new content and new material to keep users engaged. It works well having that constant funnel throughout all the different departments within Marvel to provide a never-ending flow of new characters, new storylines, new films, new television shows, and new animated series. It really helps make our job easier, but, also exciting, because it’s always fresh and exciting for our fans.
Marvel.com: The kind of turnaround time that we’re seeing now has been amazing. The Secret Wars update hit a little over three months after the Secret Wars event started. The coordination between Marvel Publishing, and you guys at Marvel Games, and Netmarble, and getting all of that out in the middle of the event must have been a challenge.
Tim Hernandez: Yeah. [Laughs] It’s actually really fun. Sometimes, it’s funny, the biggest challenge is not having enough reference for new costumes or new characters because they’re being introduced at or around the same time that we want to get them into the game. But the new era of mobile game production allows for much quicker turnaround. If we were talking about console development, you’re talking years in advance that you need to lock down designs. But we’re able to be really flexible and dynamic, and the Netmarble team is definitely always eager to exceed our expectations. For Secret Wars, we went to them with a huge list of characters expecting them to come back and say “Yeah, we’ll take a handful of those”, and they actually just said “Yeah, we want to do them all!” We always point back to that as the attitude and the partnership that we want to work with. They’re excited to always keep delivering and over-delivering.
Learn more about “Marvel Future Fight” and play the game now!