As Injustice 2 quickly finds its place in the libraries of gamers around the globe, there are a lot of questions that fans still have about the future of the fighting game series. Sorting out the identity of future downloadable characters that'll be making their presence felt throughout the remainder of 2017 is one major talking point amongst fans, but the process for selecting these fighters and the mapping of their corresponding move sets is another interesting look into the development of the title.
Fortunately, I was able to speak with the Creative Director of Injustice 2, Ed Boon, during the game's launch event in Toronto where the legendary game creator pulled the curtain back a bit on DC Comics' fight title.
What are some of the factors in choosing characters? Is it more based on plot or play style?
“There’s a bunch of factors that influence just a character. Let’s see. Where do we start. Probably where we start with Injustice 2 was “Who did we leave out in the first game that everyone was clamoring for?” You know, a lot of them were yelling for Red Hood, Swamp Thing, Atrocitus, Starfire, Doctor Fate, and Super Girl. And then the second one would probably be the story. What’s good for the story, you know, working characters in."
"And the third would be who we would want to see. You know? Like, I always wanted to have Doctor Fate in the first game and he just didn’t make the cut for whatever reason and there were other characters that we had to get in there. So in this game I was like “We’re getting Doctor Fate in this game.” Those are probably the big three factors."
When developing movesets for characters, how do you go about making them and do you draw influence from actual material arts for some of the characters?
“The main starting reference is how they’ve been represented in comic books, animated series, movies, tv shows. Kind of signature stuff. Things that everyone is kind of expecting them to do. Wonder Woman is always going to use a lasso, Batman is going to have gadgets, The Flash is going to have super speed. That’ll get us 70% there and then we kind of come up with twists and things like that to mix it up. But it’s mainly their characteristic abilities.”
You’re pretty active on Twitter and people accuse you of trolling fans a lot which I’m sure is very entertaining on your end.
“Yeah, it is.” [laughing]
But I’ve also noticed that some of the suggestions that they’ve had have influenced the final game. So how seriously do you take those interactions?
“Very. If one person tweets me a thousand times saying the same thing it just becomes noise. But if a thousand people all collectively tweet the same suggestion then we’re going to notice a pattern. We’re going to notice a thing. So that is a big part about what we do. We want to hear what players want to see in the game.”
Building off of that, I know you mentioned Watchmen at one point. Is that something that’s completely outside of the realm of possibility?
“It’s not outside the realm of possibility at all. Unfortunately, there are still so many cool characters that we haven’t done that we’ll be getting a few of them done with DLC which will be cool. But inevitably someone is going to not make the cut.”
So no Rorschach?
“I’m not ready to say that yet…” [laughs]
How closely do you work with the people at DC to make interesting characters, to make sure they tie to everything, and creating the narrative as a whole?
“Very close. We are in constant communication with them. It’s way more of a collaboration than it is a licensee/licensor relationship and it’s kind of, philosophically, we’d say it’s more of a conversation of what we can do that’s cool as opposed to “You can’t make Batman do this” or “You can’t make Batman do that.”"
Going back, you mentioned Doctor Fate being one of the characters you wanted to include in the first one. Is there a character you really wanted that you couldn’t put in this time around?
“Oh, absolutely. I don’t want to say because then it’s going to confirm that they’re not in the game, but after all of our DLC is announced, I’ll be happy to mention it.”
You’ll tweet it out, I’m sure.
“I will. I will.” [laughs]
It's interesting to hear Boon touch on the potential of Watchmen characters being added in the future, especially since a number of fans have been pulling for a crossover of the property into the main DC Comics universe. Perhaps the likes of Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan aren't all that far behind, but even then the final roster included in Injustice 2 is nothing to shrug at as is.
Injustice 2 is now available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.