The villain from the new 'Avengers' movie will be found in a number of video games starting this week
The age of Ultron is affecting more than just Marvel's cinematic universe. To tie in with the release of the second Avengers movie (released May 1), the robotic villain will also be invading the world of Marvel Games, with Ultron-centric content appearing in Marvel Contest of Champions, Marvel Heroes, Marvel Puzzle Quest, Marvel Avengers Alliance and even Marvel Pinball.
"Our mantra from the last few months has been 'Ultron invades Marvel Games,'" Marvel Games Creative Director Bill Rosemann told The Hollywood Reporter. "The beauty of something like this is, you can see Avengers: Age of Ultron and then you can say, 'You know what? I want to be an Avengers, I want to fight against Ultron,' and you can do it."
For Peter Phillips, EVP of Interactive & Digital Distribution, the cross-promotion is more than just marketing synergy; it's also a way to allow fans to continue the Ultron story beyond the movie. "That's part of what gaming is, to me: it really gives people an opportunity to keep the story ongoing. Movies are obviously one of the primary ways in which we deliver our stories, but we also have things like comics and games, where people can keep going almost forever."
Rosemann said that Marvel didn't demand Ultron tie-in content from the developers responsible for each game, but instead offered an opportunity that they were eager to take advantage of. "We went to our partners and said, 'Age of Ultron is happening.' We started sharing our content and asked, 'What is your game, what is it about? What is the ultimate gaming experience and how could Ultron deliver the next level?'"
It helped, of course, that Age of Ultron was a movie that was so eagerly anticipated. "Think about the thing that really jumped out at people from the first trailer: Hulkbuster Iron Man," Rosemann said. "Imagine the game makers seeing that, salivating and rubbing their hands together and saying, 'What could we do with Hulkbuster Iron Man in our game?'"
The relationship between Marvel's movie and gaming divisions ("They're literally down the hall. We walk up and down the hall to share content," Rosemann said) meant that the game designers had access to content from the movie at an early stage.
"The movie is being made at the same time that we're discussing how it could be integrated into the games," Rosemann explained, saying that the divisions "share everything that is possible at all times," a relationship that promises a high level of fidelity in terms of adaptation. "When you see the characters in the games, it's not going to be 'sort of like' they are in the movies, it's going to be spot-on," Rosemann promises.