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Gaming: Marvel holds first Kickstarter for Marvel United; Anthem overhaul; Switches invade airports
Like all those presidential candidates, a new Marvel game is — for the first time ever — asking for fans’ financial support. That’s because Marvel United, the upcoming co-op superhero board game from Spin Master Corp. (5 Minute Marvel, Sinister Six, and Wakanda Forever) and CMON Limited, is Marvel’s first-ever Kickstarter project.
Unlike its more movie-skewed video game properties, Marvel United brings a chibi art style to its five heroes (Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, and Black Widow) and three villains (Red Skull, Taskmaster, and Ultron) as 2-4 players team up to fight the good fight with powers and planning across the heroic mission. According to a release, its Kickstarter launches today, allowing backers one or two potential goodies from a game partnering with one of the highest-grossing properties of all time.
Those who pledge $60 get the Marvel United standard edition plus some exclusive goodies, including three new figures (Nick Fury, Hawkeye, and Corvus Glaive) alongside an Infinity Gauntlet-themed expansion pack. And these don’t include possible stretch goals that could spring up depending on the success of the campaign.
“We are excited to unveil the first-ever Marvel game on Kickstarter, delivering a truly unique and original game to fans,” said Elizabeth LoVecchio, VP of Spin Master Games, in a release. “Launching Marvel United on Kickstarter gives us the opportunity to bring the ultimate version of this game to superfans with exclusive expansions and characters that can be mix [sic] and matched in the game.”
The campaign is after $150,000 over its 22-day run (about .00536% of Avengers: Endgame’s box-office haul, in case you're counting), with its primary goal to deliver its core set to backers at the same time it hits stores this fall.
Update: In another release, Spin Master Games and CMON revealed that their game reached full funding in only 31 minutes and is already past $590,000. Phew.
Next, one of gaming’s biggest recent flops is getting a complete overhaul. Anthem, the multiplayer exosuit shooter from the studio behind Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age, missed sales goals upon its launch and garnered only tepid reviews.
BioWare faced criticism for the game’s repetitive, sparse content and unsatisfying mechanics — all exacerbating performance issues and an unfinished feel. Now the company is stepping back its production of new content for the game in order to redesign it — while it’s already released.
It’s not just a patch: This large, “fundamental work” on Anthem will “reinvent the core gameplay loop with clear goals, motivating challenges, and progression with meaningful rewards” while keeping the factors that gamers actually enjoyed about the experience. That doesn’t mean the game will shut down, as the current state of the game will continue to be supported with in-game events and new store items — but players shouldn’t expect any new content releases until the new design is ready to take over.
Kotaku broke the news of a planned Anthem 2.0 in November, assuring fans that the developers hadn’t abandoned the AAA game simply because of its disappointing reception. Now, with months of work ahead on that project, Anthem’s biggest obstacle to overcome in the move toward its redesign is maintaining its current player base.
Finally, flying may soon become a more enjoyable experience for gamers. Nintendo’s consoles have long been the bastion of long-distance travel for those looking for a little handheld fun to pass the time on a long trip. Now they won’t even have to get their Switch out of their bags at the airport.
According to a release, Nintendo is opening up gaming lounges in four airports across America over the next few weeks, allowing fliers to stop by and take a break at these Nintendo Switch On The Go areas. While other gaming companies have offered similar installments in the past, this will be a big move for Nintendo. Chicago’s O'Hare International Airport, Washington D.C.’s Dulles International Airport, Seattle’s Tacoma International Airport, and Dallas’ Love Field Airport will all enjoy game demos and charging ports for their favorite Nintendo games — including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Mario Odyssey, and Super Mario Party.
An added bonus to visiting these locations is that if passengers want to buy a Switch for themselves, they’ll get a free carrying case if they order one at the lounge. In fact, stopping by at all will grant visitors a luggage handle wrap and a $10 Nintendo coupon for Target.