The Guardians of the Galaxy are a ragtag group of space heroes, and they’re coming to your smartphone as well as the big screen this summer.
Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon is out today for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and PC. It’s an action role-playing game that will have players exploring a new story. The game sells for $5 on mobile and $8 on Microsoft’s Windows Store on PC. That price might seem a bit high, but it’s only that way because Marvel decided not to lock any content behind microtransactions. This is an unusual move for a developer these days, and it means that fans of the Guardians and those interested in the latest Marvel movie get to experience the adventures of the galaxy’s biggest “a-holes” without having to think about grinding or spending cash to get more out of it. While many fans might welcome this, it is going against a trend that has helped some free-to-play games rack up hundreds of millions of dollars in spending by selling virtual goods.
“We all viewed this as a great opportunity to build the first ever Guardians game,” Disney Interactive senior producer Aaron Norstad told GamesBeat. “Sure, this is also a great promotional opportunity for the film, but it’s going to live beyond the window of the movie. We were really focused on delivering a quality experience first.”
The Universel Weapon stars Earthling Peter “Star-Lord” Quill, assassin Gamora, gun-totting raccoon Rocket, walking tree Groot, and maniac killer Drax the Destroyer. Players take control of the team as they investigate the identity of their shadowy nemesis.
Norstad says his team focused on narrative because that’s what Disney Interactive thought was most important about making a Guardians game. The story doesn’t retell popular arcs from the book or movie. Instead, the developer took the opportunity to come up with something original that captures the spirit of Marvel’s silly Avengers-in-space.
“It’s pretty cool for us because gaming is a new territory for the Guardians,” said Norstad. “Getting to make an original story gives us the confidence to make something our own.”
The game will tell its story through comic-book panels in between gameplay sessions. Disney knows that players consume games on mobile in quick bursts, and it hopes to appeal to that style of play while also providing an engrossing single-player experience you don’t typically find on smartphones or tablet.