Ed Boon Talks Injustice 2 Fighter Pack 3 And DLC Selection

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  • Android
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2017-05-16

NetherRealm Studios has released six DLC characters for its massive hit, Injustice 2, and Fighter Pack 3 will bring three more characters to the popular fighting game. The Fighter Pack 3 reveal trailer will debut during the ELEAGUE Injustice 2 World Championship,which airs on TBS at 10 p.m. EST. The World Championship will also stream on Twitch, ELEAGUE.com and YouTube.

Ahead of the event, Ed Boon, creative director at NetherRealm Studios, opened up about the upcoming Fighter Pack 3 and the thought process behind choosing Injustice 2’s massive roster and DLC.

Note: The following interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

There are so many characters to choose from in Injustice 2. How do you make each feel special and different?

“It’s one of the big challenges of making these games, making characters that feel distinct from each other. The fact that these are DC characters with existing abilities really sets us off, it gives us a great starting point.

“We're not going to make a character like Atrocitus -- which is this gigantic Red Lantern, hulking fighter -- play as light as Catwoman would or Robin would. The fact that their historical presentation is there, it sets us on a certain course and then you have the personality of the characters. Then we decide if we want to make them a rush down character or a projectile-based character or teleport, crazy character. Those things, usually, we have a good idea what matches the personality of the character.”

How do you differentiate between similar characters like Superman/Supergirl and Batman/Robin/Red Hood?

“In the case of Red Hood, he has a lot of gunplay. Batman is the opposite of that. He never uses guns, so that separated the two. Robin, we decided, was going to be swordplay, so that would be his thing. Batman would have his gadgets, Robin would have his sword and Red Hood with his guns. That sent them into three different directions. As for characters like Supergirl, she’s smaller than Superman, so we’ll make her more nimble, so she has the quick teleport move. And she does have some similarities, like the heat vision and the cold breath that’s a signature to both of them, but we gave her a spin, that distinguishes her from him.”

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Supergirl's heat rays differ from Superman's Photo: NetherRealm

What’s the process of deciding and creating DLC characters?

“When the game becomes available, we typically have been done with the game for weeks. There’s the process of manufacturing the disk and distribution and stuff like that. But when the game releases, we jump right into the DLC characters. And most of the time we know several of them, but we don’t know the entire list from beginning to end. There's a lot that has to be worked out before we can get confirmation of the character is going to be in the game, especially when there’s a guest character, when someone owns the rights to that character, like Hellboy. Before the Hellboy people give us the ok, we can’t start working on him.”

Speaking of Hellboy, when you have guest characters, is there a list of characters you want to use? What is that process like?

“We always do have a list. There’s a list of “let’s just throw out names, this could work that could work” and then have like 20 characters, or something like that. And then we listen to what players are asking for. Red Hood was an absolute response from our team. Red Hood was easily the most requested fighter on the DC side from players. So we knew we would accommodate that. And some of them, there are circumstances that prevent us from doing it, whether the business aspect of it, or our team’s excitement for it, or we’re feeling it’s not a good match for the Injustice universe. There’s a number of those factors that come into play with each character.”

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Hellboy will join Injustice 2 Photo: NetherRealm Studios

Your Twitter game is very strong and you’ve used the platform to interact with fans on numerous things. Do you get enjoyment out of teasing and interacting with them?

“Yes. The range of player reactions to that is all over the place. So I definitely like to have fun with it, there’s definitely a tongue in cheek aspect to it. But it’s also fun to drop clues, start a dialogue and engage with people and speculate with people. It’s always fun to speculate who the next character will be.

“But there’s a number of players that take it totally serious and are not messing around. For those players who are insistent and get petitions and get crazy admiration for characters. We need a balance of a fun thing to it. I can never make it a serious conversation so I always try to keep it light.”

You just dropped another hint from the upcoming new trailer right before this interview.

“Yea [laughs]. I just watched the final version of the trailer and one of the fighters we’re going to reveal is going to be the biggest surprise. People are going to be ‘oh my god.’”

Interesting you say that, because each fighter pack had that one character that was a total surprise, like Hellboy. This is even bigger than that?

“This is the biggest. Easily.”

Atom was already revealed for Fighter Pack 3 and the little we saw, he’s unlike anything we’ve seen before.

“And honestly, that was a big motivation to have him in there. The whole idea of having a character that can shrink and do attacks and stuff like that, we really felt we needed to introduce new abilities, fresh ideas to mix things up. To keep things really interesting in terms of character matchups. Atom really filled that role nicely.”

What was the decision to make him Ryan Choi instead of Ray Palmer?

“Just the more modern, contemporary version of him. We love having diversity in our characters, so we feel that makes it more interesting. I don’t think that prevents us from doing a skin in the future of Ray Palmer, but we really felt the diversity part was important.”

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Atom will bring his unique style of fighting to Injustice 2. Photo: NetherRealm

Any plans for DLC after Fighter Pack 3?

“We have nothing to announce at the moment. Since we announced the game, or pretty early after the game announcement, we said that we would have at least nine fighters that will follow. We’re sticking with that at the moment, especially since some of them haven’t been announced yet. We’re really pacing our announcements.”

Any other tease for the final two characters?

“It’s a really cool video and it’s going to live up to the suspense and stuff. Another thing about dropping these new characters is that it changes the eSports. There’s been a number of tournaments where character matchups are a big thing, we drop these new characters and they mix things up. And you’ll have a character that can stand up really well against one of the other strong characters so it makes the matchup game and the meta that much more fresh and refreshing.”

You feel anyone in Fighter Pack 3 will change the meta?

“Yes, yes I do. [laughs] Atom will certainly will. There’s crazy stuff people will be able to do with his shrinking and stuff like that." 

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