Travis Marshall is the lead producer of Netmarble's King of Fighters All-Star. The video game is integrating WWE Superstars into their franchise and Marshall discussed King of Fighters All-Star when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
"There's this great fighting game franchise called The King of Fighters. It was released in '94 and had a yearly release for about 6-7 years. It was in all of the big arcades and had lots of iconic characters," said Marshall. "We were able to work closely with the creator of The King of Fighters franchise called SNK. They allowed us to grab every single King of Fighter character which was hundreds of characters. We were able to put them into a mobile game experience. We were able to create an action, beat-em-up style game… and we were also able to do crossovers with through game which includes the WWE one. In the past, we did a tech crossover back in December."
Marshall then talked about what drew him to working on this product.
"I had never worked on this type of game. I've done fighting games, casual games and building games. But I had never done an action beat-em-up game so I was really excited getting to work on this project for that reason," revealed Marshall. "It definitely felt very nostalgic for me and gave me more motivation to want to do some cool things with it."
Marshall was then asked how the Netmarble-WWE integration came together.
"I'm a big wrestling fan and there's a few other wrestling fans in the US office. Then, over in South Korea there's a few wrestling fans and that had a small part. Everyone was interested in the space and thought it could make a cool collaboration. But also, The King of Fighters franchise is known for having many grappling characters. Since '94 there's always been at least one or two grappling characters in the game. So, there's even a character who's a wrestler and there's one who's a luchador. So, there's wrestling lore within the franchise," stated Marshall.
"But when you think of fighting game crossovers, there's never really been a big fighting game crossover with WWE. So, we saw an opportunity to do something that felt natural for the product but also that we could make history with in a crossover that no one had ever seen before."
He then noted that some fans already have Tekken characters saved to the roster so they can do easily do WWE-Tekken fights in the game.
WWE has its own video game series with WWE 2K but Marshall talked about their involvement with the King of Fighters game.
"I had almost daily communication with the guys over at WWE," said Marshall. "They really wanted to present a product that their fans would appreciate and was authentic to the WWE brand. So, I worked very closely with them to make sure we would not disappoint the wrestling fan."
He added that the South Korean developmental team watched thousands of hours of broadcast to get every angle of the Superstars. Then in the States, their local team presented WWE with the models and then he would relay adjustments.
"That [South Korean] team is incredibly hard-working and they put a lot of effort into watching the broadcasts and reading up on the storylines so they could understand all of the WWE Superstars," said Marshall. "We got some recommendations from WWE on which particular skills we should consider for each of the Superstars and they helped us pinpoint what would be the ultimate move for all of the Superstars."
Marshall then talked about specific events within the game and how WWE characters are incorporated into them.
"The big event that we were most proud of was the Rush Event. It allows you to play five different campaigns and they have custom storylines that the WWE Superstars interact with the King of Fighters characters. That was a lot of fun and was a collaborative effort between the developer, the US office, the localization and editing teams," stated Marshall.
"We came up with these awesome scenarios where the big bad guy who's the ultimate boss comes and introduces himself to The Rock. The Rock is like, 'I don't care what your name is!' So we got to put some great smack talk in there and a lot of fans screen-captured those moments and put them up on Twitter.
"We had some great moments where John Cena arrives in South Korea and wants to know where the BTS concert is because we know that Cena is a low-key [BTS fan club] ARMY fan. Then we've got Seth Rollins going to SouthTown and he kinda throws it down on Geese Howard and his goons."
As for the possibility of there being more Netmarble-WWE games, Marshall indicated that there is a good chance of that happening.
"I think that's definitely a possibility. There's nothing we can confirm at this time but I definitely know we had a lot of fun and players would probably have fun with more," said Marshall.
Netmarble Corp., one of the fastest-growing mobile game companies worldwide, is proud to reveal an official collaboration with WWE to bring its roster of larger-than-life Superstars to the world of THE KING OF FIGHTERS ALLSTAR. Fans can collect and add WWE Superstars The Rock, John Cena, Undertaker, Becky Lynch, Seth Rollins, and Kofi Kingston to their respective rosters. Different versions of The Rock and Kingston will also be available for free to anybody who downloads the game through Wednesday, June 3.
Travis' full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of today's episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.