INTERVIEW: Chris Baker, Interactive Manager at Marvel Talks ‘Xmen: Battle of the Atom’

x-men-battle-of-the-atomBernice and Shane of the GS Xmen podcast Children of the Atom caught up with  Chris Baker, Interactive Manager at Marvel to talk about the upcoming mobile card battle game, Xmen: Battle of the Atom which will be coming later this year to iOS and Android. One of the selling points of the game is that has been revealed that the game will link into the Battle of the Atom event.

Developed by GREE and in close collaboration with Marvel, the game will feature narrative tie-ins with the upcoming X-Men crossover comic book event and will allow fans to experience 50 years of mutant X-Men history and beyond. X-Men: Battle of the Atom is a next-generation card battle game that enables fans to collect hundreds of character cards, upgrade abilities, and participate in epic team battles that will shape the X-Men universe.

GS: While duking it out with the X-Men’s greatest foes sounds like a blast, is there any PvP aspect to the game? Can you match up against your friends as well as co-op?

CB: PvP is actually one of the things that sets Battle of the Atom apart from other card-battle games. When you start the game, you join an Alliance of twenty guild members, and there will be predetermined times when your Alliance convenes in the Danger Room to take on a rival Alliance of twenty. Our game’s fiction draws upon alternate time-streams and realities, so it’s sort of like a clash of the time/space continuum whenever this happens. Fun stuff.battle_of_the_atom_storm_a_p

GS: How many characters will be available to play?

CB:Starting out, we’ll have well over 100 different characters represented and close to 200 sets of cards. That number will only grow as time goes on, and you’ll get to see different takes on your favorites throughout time and space. I can’t wait for the “Old Man Logan” Wolverine card myself, whenever that happens!

GS: Can you give us an idea of what stories the game might cover?

CB:If there’s an X-Men story that most fans would recognize just by hearing its name, odds are you’ll see it represented or even straight-up adapted throughout what promises to be a very long life for this title. We’re starting things out with takes on big events like “Schism” and “Messiah CompleX” – and of course, the name of the game comes straight from Marvel’s big comics event beginning September 4, “Battle of the Atom.” It’s celebrating 50 years of X-Men in style – and so are we!

GS: Are there any particular stories, characters, or otherwise included in the game that you are particularly excited about?

CB:I keep hearing the developers bandy about the phrase “Age of Apocalypse” – a HUGE favorite of mine. Other than that, I really like how enthusiastic they are, not only for the big-name characters everybody knows, but for the lesser-known mutants that true comic fans know and love, like Kid Omega and Broo. Even though we’ve got more than 30 years of Marvel games under our belt now, I suspect that somewhere around half the game’s roster is making its first in-game appearance with Battle of the Atom.

GS: As the game matures, is the plan to update it based on current events in the comics? Or is the shelf-life of the game tied to the Battle of the Atom event?

CB:The “Battle of the Atom” story is our launching ground, basically. Its story serves our game well as a basic idea, but from there the sky’s the limit. We’ll definitely hit all the classics along the way, and I’m sure we’ll represent whatever’s happening in the comics for the months and years to come.

GS: If the game is a success are there any plans to expand to other Marvel properties?

CB: GREE’s license is for the X-Men, so we’re focused on making the best single X-Men-based game we can with them for now.

GS: Is there a release date for the game?

CB:We’re planning on a fall release for this title, but we haven’t announced an actual date yet.

GS: How much will it cost and will there be extra pay-for DLC?

CB:Battle of the Atom is free to play, with microtransactions. And, as a live service, you can expect constant updates throughout its life cycle – which we’re all hoping has the same lifespan as Wolverine.

GS: Marvel have been heavily pushing digital comics with an emphasis on tablets lately… Has this played into your thinking for releasing this game specifically for mobile? We presume there is no desktop/web version.
CB:This is purely a mobile game, but we’re definitely exploring ways that we can have Battle of the Atom and Marvel Digital Comics work hand in hand. Stay tuned!

Interviewers: Bernice and Shane

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