To explore the huge MARVEL Realm of Champions 3.0 update, our Head of Content Alex Sinclair-Lack sat down with Kabam**’s Creative Director Gabriel Frizzera, their Development Director Ethan Young, and their Executive Producer Bryan Brandt (a name we might add that would fit all too well in the Marvel multiverse).
The MARVEL Realm of Champions 3.0 update introduces Thor as a playable hero, as well as new game modes such as Showdown and Pinnacle Quests and the introduction of new features such as Gear Levels, Summoner’s Quest, and Seasons. As well as discussing all these updates, we spoke about hidden Marvel easter-eggs, future additions to the game, the merging worlds of mobile and console gaming, and a very big hint as to who the next playable Champion will be.
Alex: Thor is a formidable addition to the MARVEL: Realm of Champions roster. What was the most exciting aspect of introducing him?
Ethan: Thor is one of the most well-known Marvel Champions, so the team was really excited about taking iconic moments from the movies and comics and bringing them to life in the MROC battlefield. Additionally, the gear on Thor is some of the most unique and awe-inspiring that we have in the game; when he’s fully geared he looks truly resplendent.
Alex: What are your recommended tactics for making the most out of Thor’s ability and the mighty Mjolnir?
Ethan: Thor is one of our more well-rounded Champions, meaning he is able to do a bit of everything. He can get in the middle of the battlefield and deal damage, but also has the durability to withstand attacks from opponents. Players will want to use Thor’s God of Thunder ability to call down lightning that weakens enemies around him, and then fully charge up his Lightning Charge ability to deal damage to enemies in his path and give him an additional armor buff. These two abilities combined will make Thor almost invincible for a short time.
“The next House is a cosmic one, with lots of cool tech.”
Alex: What heroes can we expect next? Can you give us any hints?
Gabriel: Hints, let’s see… When we decided the list of the first 20-50 characters to bring to Realm, we followed a few rules: Is that character a pillar of the Marvel universe? Is that character at the core of a family of characters that follow the same identity or themes? Can this family be expanded into a whole nation, complete with culture, history, locations etc? If we bring that family of characters to the game, what would they add to the ongoing story and what kind of dynamic or conflict would they have with the existing Houses? And last but not least, would they bring variety to our world, in terms of both gameplay and the fantasy for the players to explore? If they tick all the boxes, you can make sure they are at the top of our list. Not much of a hint, I know… oh well, here’s one: the next House is a cosmic one, with lots of cool tech.
Alex: While Thor, Black Panther, Storm, and Hulk go by their most well-known names, instead of Captain America, Iron Man, Spiderman, and Dr Strange, MARVEL Realm of Champions offers Super Soldier, Iron Legionnaire, Web Warrior, and Sorcerer Supreme. Were those iterations of the heroes selected due to multiverse-based narrative choice or because of other limitations?
Gabriel: We are very beholden to the logic of the story we created; everything needs to make sense first in the fictional world we’re building. While marketing-wise people might argue that just keeping the well-known names would be an easier choice, some of them just didn’t make sense in the context of Battleworld. Certain characters like Steve Rogers or Peter Parker were historical figures in this world, so their hero names are linked only to the people they belonged to. Same goes for Doctor Strange, there’s only one of him in this world. So in some Houses, we kept names like Hulk and Thor because they are titles that could be applied to many people, while in others we pulled titles that were related to the original characters in the comics so they can be better applied to a whole army of Champions belonging to that nation.
The launch of Showdown and Pinnacle Quests expands Realm of Champions’ selection of game modes, do you plan to keep adding more?
Ethan: Absolutely!! We have a ton of really exciting ideas for new game modes. Without giving away too many details, I am personally excited about the opportunities to have large-scale cooperative (and potentially competitive) boss fights.
“We draw from every Marvel source imaginable, and many times we blend them into something new.”
Arena Conquest is likely to remain the most popular game mode for the foreseeable future, do you have plans to expand or modify it? We suspect there are a lot of players intrigued to see how it would work with longer battles and more Champions.
Ethan: While there aren’t any immediate plans to expand or modify Arena Conquest, we are exploring additional modes that could be added. That being said, we are always looking for ways to improve Arena Conquest so it isn’t totally out of the question.
Alex: You’ve included a satisfying amount of Marvel universe (or should we say multiverse) lore such as a Bifrost infusion customization option for Thor. Are there any big undiscovered Easter Eggs that fans should look out for?
Gabriel: Only about a million! We draw from every Marvel source imaginable, and many times we blend them into something new, but still recognizable. We have written vast stories not only for the Houses but each of the arenas, landmarks, NPC characters, weapons and to each piece of gear you get. Those can be found around the game, as codex pages or blurbs, and infused in dialogue. We want the players to explore this wealth of lore at their own pace as they play the game.
What are the challenges of getting console and PC gamers to appreciate a game on mobile?
Ethan: I think historically there has been a difference in the types of games that were possible on console and PC compared to mobile. However, as mobile hardware and network infrastructure improves, we’re beginning to see mobile games that more closely resemble games on PC and console (and even ones that have cross platform play!). On MROC, we focus exclusively on delivering an experience that is tailored for mobile but of AAA quality, which is evident in everything from our controls to the length of a battle.
Where do you see MARVEL Realm of Champions in two-years-time?
Bryan: In two years, I see MROC as the one place where players can fully customize Champions from a wide roster of Marvel characters. As the one place where you can engage in highly competitive PvP battles with your friends or take on epic challenges pulled straight from the comics with your Alliance mates. As the one place where all players will contribute to the story of Battleworld on a massive scale, with the fate of the Houses in their hands.
“The next House is a cosmic one, with lots of cool tech.” - Who do you think they were hinting at for their next Marvel hero? MMOGames.com is committed to bringing you all the freshest, funniest, and most insightful MMO news. If you enjoyed this content, why not share it with your community? And make sure that you never miss our updates and exclusive giveaways by following and favouriting us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.