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: Bill, have you recovered from E3?
Bill Rosemann: Patrick, I don’t think any of us who were present at E3 will ever recover or be the same again.
Marvel.com: Your lives are changed forever!
Bill Rosemann: It’s funny, I said to my wife the other day that this year’s E3, and specifically the PlayStation press conference, was a seminal moment for Marvel Games. A “before and after” event. Once our Spider-Man game was announced, everyone sort of looked at us in a different light and said, “Oh! You guys are for real in consoles? Okay!”
Marvel.com: “You guys can surprise us!”
Bill Rosemann: It was, to quote the comics, “Amazing and Spectacular.” And to set the scene for our readers, E3 takes place in downtown L.A., our backyard, so it’s our Super Bowl. It’s a multi-day affair where game makers from around the world gather, and it’s really a show by pros for pros, but we’re all fans, so it’s really just a bunch of game fans showing each other all of our cool stuff!
So Marvel Games, Insomniac Games and Sony knew that E3 was the right time to unveil our new Spider-Man game. We had enough cool footage to show, a hot trailer, and the perfect location in the press at the famous Shrine auditorium. If you missed the live stream, I recommend you go check out the whole press conference, which was epic from start to finish. We didn’t know exactly where in the show that our trailer was going to appear, and suddenly the great Hideo Kojima appeared along with his jaw-dropping trailer for “Death Stranding”! And so the team was in this “Kojima fog” of awe and we were looking at each other like, “Oh my gosh! What do the dead whales and the people floating in the sky mean? And–”
Marvel.com: And why is Norman Reedus there?
Bill Rosemann: Exactly! Why is he naked and has a baby and like whaaaaat? And as we’re all floored, we heard the music and we said [gasp] “Our trailer’s on!”
Marvel.com: So it was nice of Kojima to open for you.
Bill Rosemann: There’s no way you can follow or top the legendary Kojima, but he certainly electrified the audience and had all eyes on our trailer, which was created with our friends at Insomniac and Sony under the guidance of Bryan Intihar, the creative director for the game at Insomniac. Bryan is a huge Spider-Man fan, a deeply experienced game maker, and if you heard his interviews with @AgentM on the “This Week In Marvel” podcast, you know the game is in the best of hands.
So the trailer begins, and it’s a bit mysterious. You hear the Peter Parker voice-over, but he doesn’t say his name, so you don’t know who’s speaking and then you see this shot of New York City, the rooftops, and it begins to build and you see the first logo…oh, it’s a Sony game, of course, we’re at the PlayStation press conference, it makes sense.
Marvel.com: Of course!
Bill Rosemann: Then next, BOOM! Insomiac logo and the crowd went crazy! Seeing that Insomniac is making the game instantly let the fans know it’s going to be quality.
Marvel.com: For those unfamiliar, what are some of the big Insomniac titles?
Bill Rosemann: “Ratchet and Clank,” “Resistance,” “Sunset Overdrive.” Those games clearly prove that they are great at world building and storytelling. More importantly, and this is key to Spider-Man, is Insomniac’s strong sense of a personality and fun. Even though Spider-Man is always in serious situations with high stakes and drama, he has that trademark humor that’s always present and we wanted to capitalize on that sense of humor and joy that we saw him express in Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” and say, “Remember, Marvel’s not all grim and gritty…we have fun!”
Marvel.com: Next, the trailer shows the streets of New York.
Bill Rosemann: Yes, we’re down on the street and it’s busy and you see that it’s alive. We hoped to show how much effort is being poured in to this open world New York City…the traffic and the people and all the authentic details. As a New Yorker, I appreciate that there’s scaffolding, and piled up trash bags, and manhole covers with the mysterious vents on top and the steam coming …it’s New York…you can smell it!
Marvel.com: Then we see the Marvel logo….
Bill Rosemann: And audience was like “Whaaaaat? Wow, it’s Marvel, but what character?” And then BOOM! There’s Spider-Man sticking to the wall and the crowd just lost their minds.
Marvel.com: And it wasn’t a Spider-Man we’ve seen before.
Bill Rosemann: It’s Peter Parker, but he has a different costume. We like to think that it’s inspired by the classic design. But yet, it’s clearly different. And we know people have questions, they want to know why it’s changed.
Marvel.com: And you’re going to give them all the answers!
Bill Rosemann: In due time, my friend! One day, when the time is right, we will go into great depth about why certain decisions were made. But one thing I can say now is that extensive thought was applied from the top of his mask to the bottom of his feet. We know how much people love Spider-Man and his costume. In my opinion, it’s the best-designed super hero costume of all-time. If you’re going to alter it, you have to understand what the original design achieved and be very thoughtful and have a reason for everything. Another thing I want to say is that Insomniac and Marvel are known as great storytellers, and there is story behind everything in the game, and as the months go on, we will dig into all of that.
Marvel.com: You took inspiration from the classic costume and I’m sure tons of questions you got were, “Is this ‘Civil War’ Spider-Man?”, “Is this Marvel’s ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’?” And you wanted to be unique.
Bill Rosemann: Exactly. One of the questions we’ve been asked right away was, “Is this game set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or an adaption of a movie?” And our answer has consistently been – and this has gone back for the last two years, since Jay Ong came to Marvel Games with a mandate to great games for our great fans – is that we are going to create unique, standalone games that give our partners the freedom and time to deliver the game they want.
Marvel Games is giving Insomniac the freedom to tell their Spider-Man story. We’re here to collaborate with them and embrace their vision and help them execute that to the fullest. And by giving them that freedom, they’ll deliver something new and unexpected so you, as the player, won’t know what is going to happen next. You’re not going to think, “Well, this is set between this movie and that movie, so I know how things are going to end.” In this game, you have no idea what is going to happen next and where it’s going.
Marvel.com: So back to the trailer…
Bill Rosemann: Okay, so by his voice and body shape, you can tell he’s not a teenager. He’s a little more experienced and again, we’ll talk about this more, maybe it’s these experiences that have led to why his suit is the way it is. We all learn and grow from our experiences and this Spider-Man has been fighting crime for a bit and he’s mastered his abilities, which you’ll experience from the very first scene. The trailer footage — which is gameplay captured on a PS4 — was specifically chosen to show the wish fulfillment of being Spider-Man, web-slinging, wall-crawling and parkouring through New York City like it’s your playground. The evolution of his traversal skills, and bringing that into combat is also a unique new element to the game. You see in the combat scenes the thinking and fun that Spider-Man puts into fighting the bad guys. You see that scene where he grabs the box and spins around and BAM! nails someone with it. And I love that scene where he comes flying in and BOOM! lands on the guy. The combat you’ll experience here is everything you want Spider-Man combat to be, and the trailer does a great job of showcasing that.
Marvel.com: If you’ve been living under a rock for the last week, the best advice we can give you is watch that trailer right now.
Bill Rosemann: We can’t stress enough how happy we were with the E3 debut. We said, “Spider-Man is a hero of the people, for the people,” so let’s have everybody see it worldwide at once and feel that surprise and that shock and that thrill and that WHOA! And you remember where you were when you saw the Spider-Man trailer.
We’ve been working a long time on this. I can’t say exactly how long, but we’ve working intently every week with Insomniac and Sony. The Insomniac offices are only ten minutes away from our offices, so Executive Producer Mike Jones and I have been there every week meeting with Bryan Intihar and his team and it’s just been an intense and awesome working experience. We’re all fans and we love what everyone’s brining to the table. And the fact that people responded so positively to the trailer was gratifying and a symbol that we’re off on the right foot.
Marvel.com: And I know we’re speaking with a lot of broad strokes and vague details, but we’ll be revealing more in the months to come.
Bill Rosemann: That’s right, we will eventually announce the release date, and talk about why it’s coming out, when it’s coming out, and we’ll talk about its title. We’ll get into a lot of behind-the-scenes details, and we’ll bring it to you here at Your Man at Marvel Games. But I’ll say in the meantime, on Twitter you should follow @Marvel, @InsomniacGames, @MarvelGames, @bryanintihar and me, @BillRosemann, and we’ll all be releasing cool stuff… like the fan art that’s already coming in!
Marvel.com: Oh yeah?
Bill Rosemann: Yeah, people are drawing the new suit and they’re sending it in to @InsomniacGames, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s great to see the fans embrace it, get behind it and get pumped.
Marvel.com: Well, Bill, we appreciate all the time and info you’ve given us, and we’ll all stay tuned for more hotness. In Marvel we trust!