Marvel Entertainment is engaging in its first-ever collaboration between TV and gaming divisions: The studio will bring nine characters from ABC’s “Agents of SHIELD” to the free-to-play “Marvel Future Fight” mobile game.
The idea behind the Mouse House synergy: to both promote season 3 of “Agents of SHIELD,” which premieres Sept. 29 on ABC, and the Marvel role-playing game to drive fans between the platforms.
“It’s about making two things much stronger,” said Peter Phillips, exec VP and G.M. of interactive and digital distribution for Marvel Entertainment. “Part of the strength of our mobile titles is that they enable us to integrate very contemporary content.”
On Oct. 7, “Marvel Future Fight” will add the following “SHIELD” characters: Phil Coulson, Daisy Johnson (in her Quake costume), Deathlok, Melinda May, Bobbi Morse, Lincoln Campbell, Sif, and bosses Raina and Gordon.
“Marvel Future Fight” is a role-playing game featuring more than 50 Marvel characters, including the Avengers, Spider-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy. The game has been downloaded more than 20 million times since launching May 1. It’s free to play, with in-app purchases that let players enhance their characters’ powers and weaponry.
For the TV side, the “Agents of SHIELD” game tie-in is a chance to try to stand out from the crush of fall premieres, said Dan Buckley, Marvel’s president of TV, publishing and brand management. “It’s always nice to get some extra publicity in the second week (of the season),” he said. “That’s when marketing dollars start to become thinner.”
Adding the “SHIELD” gang to “Future Fight” also affords Marvel the chance to extend storylines and build on backstories to engage fans in a brand-new experience, said Marvel Games creative director Bill Rosemann. But, he added, “we created this game for whether you watch the show or don’t.”
The actors from “Agents of SHIELD” TV show aren’t voicing the game characters, however. Marvel produces “Future Fight” in partnership with South Korea’s Netmarble Games, which recently invested $130 million in L.A.-based game developer SGN.