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Super Hero Squad Online

Stephen Reid is 'on again' with Gazillion Entertainment

Super-hero, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes, Super Hero Squad Online

Stephen Reid is 'on again' with Gazillion EntertainmentStephen Reid, most recently one of the folks steering the consular ship that is the Star Wars: The Old Republic community, has found a home (once again) with Gazillion Entertainment. The industry vet has worked as Gazillion's Community Director previously and says he's both really happy and "strangely nervous" to be back to the job and working on Marvel games. "The future of gaming isn't certain and a 'job for life' doesn't exist. All you can do is follow your passion and your heart and hope it leads somewhere great. That's what I've done for my entire career, and I'm not going to stop now."

Reid's now working on the up-and-running Super Hero Squad Online and the soon-to-be-launched Marvel Heroes. If you want to know more about the move, hit up his Tumblr post or listen in on this TORWars.com podcast.

Super Hero Squad Online introduces Ant-Man, new Avengers costumes

Super-hero, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Family, Super Hero Squad Online

Captain America's new WWII-era costume
Avengers, assemble! In Super Hero Squad Online, that is. The fine folks at Gazillion Entertainment announced today that in order to celebrate the upcoming release of the much-anticipated Avengers film, the latest update to the free-to-play title will allow players to assemble the original Avengers team thanks to the introduction of Ant-Man and a new World-War-II-era costume for Captain America.

As comic aficionados know, the original Avengers team (unlike the team featured in the upcoming film) consisted of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Ant-Man, and Wasp. Now that Ant-Man has joined the fray, the entire roster of original Avengers characters is now available in SHSO, and not a second too soon. The mischievous trickster-god Loki is back in business, and it's up to players to protect Baxter Plaza and the fallen remains of Asgard from his destructive antics. So what are you waiting for? Assemble your team and get to work; humanity is depending on you, heroes.

[Source: Gazillion Entertainment press release]

MMO Family: Kid-friendly MMO roundup, part 1

Opinion, Free-to-Play, Casual, Kids, MMO Family, Family, Clone Wars Adventures, Super Hero Squad Online, Miscellaneous

Little space heroes
With all of the buzz centered around "grown-up" MMO titles like Star Wars: The Old Republic and Guild Wars 2, it's easy for the kid-friendly games to get lost in the shuffle. There may not be as many kid titles on the horizon, but for the games that are currently out there, there's been an amazing amount of activity going on in these virtual worlds.

I decided to take a peek at some of my (and the kids') favorites, along with a few games that we've done first impressions on, to see what they've been up to lately. Since there are too many great kid-friendly MMOs out there to fit into one column, this will be the first of what will probably be many follow-up entries covering other games, so if you don't see your favorite family-friendly game here, fear not!

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Super Hero Squad trading card game to feature bonus MMO content

Super-hero, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, Casual, Kids, Family, Super Hero Squad Online, Miscellaneous

Super Hero Squad Online - Wolverine, Iron Man, and Captain America
For those of us who grew up as sports fans during the early 1990s, the name Upper Deck is synonymous with baseball cards. Nowadays, the firm has branched out into customizable trading card games, and the latest such is a tie-in to Gazillion's kid-friendly Super Hero Squad Online MMO.

The Super Hero Squad TCG features a 300-card base set chock-full of the usual Marvel suspects. Alongside the Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Captain America cards are special loot inserts with reward codes that unlock bonus items and exclusive playable characters in SHSO. Look for booster packs at your favorite gaming retailer on April 24th.

[Source: Marvel press release]

Super Hero Squad Online gets vocal with new all-star cast of talent

Super-hero, News Items, Free-to-Play, Casual, Family, Super Hero Squad Online

Screenshot -- Super Hero Squad Online
Voice-acting in MMOs seems to be all the rage these days, and Gazillion Entertainment, publisher of the free-to-play Super Hero Squad Online, seems to be jumping on the bandwagon. In a press release today, the company announced that each and every hero and villain in the game will be receiving a full vocal makeover, and many characters will be voiced by the same actors who provide voice work for the Super Hero Squad television series.

Jay Minn, vice president of The Amazing Society -- the development studio behind the games -- is obviously quite pleased with the decision to give voice to the game's dozens of characters, stating that "the heroes and villains in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online have always had their own unique personalities and attitudes... We're excited and very proud to let our heroes and villains speak their minds!" The statement adds that the game currently includes over 3000 lines of spoken dialogue (with over 100 attributed to everyone's favorite Merc with a Mouth), so players can expect plenty of witty quips from their characters of choice.

To get in the game and hear the new voiceovers for yourself, just click on through the link below to Super Hero Squad Online's official site.

[Source: Gazillion Entertainment press release]

Gazillion Entertainment's Jason Robar speaks on making MMOs for kids

Interviews, MMO Industry, News Items, Kids, Family, Super Hero Squad Online

Screenshot -- Super Hero Squad Online
We all know that creating an MMORPG is a daunting task. But what is it like trying to create an MMORPG for kids? Jason Robar, vice president and general manager of Gazillion Entertainment, sat down with Gamasutra recently to answer that very question. Robar states that the principal priority when creating a kids' MMO -- such as the studio's Super Hero Squad Online -- is the safety of the game's younger players. He also elaborates on the difficulties of making a game that's fun to kids and still interesting to parents who log in with their children.

For the full interview, just click on through the link below.

Super Hero Squad Online wishes you a merry X-Men Month

Super-hero, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Casual, Family, Super Hero Squad Online

Super Hero Squad Online
If you're gearing up for Xmas, then why not invite the X-Men over for some casual MMO gaming? Gazillion has declared that December is "X-Men Month" in Super Hero Squad Online, as the title turns its attention to Professor X's extraordinary students and their action-packed outings.

Enrollment is open for the School for Gifted Youngsters, and signing up for superhero mayhem are several brand-new heroes for the game. The MMO is also unleashing four new quests -- two for Wolverine and two for Rogue -- to go with its signature card battles.

Vice President Jay Minn is (sorry) super-psyched for the theme month: "X-Men month has been a long time coming since the launch of our game. Nightcrawler, Phoenix, Angel, Iceman and Shadowcat have always topped our list of most-requested Marvel heroes. We are very excited that our fans will finally be able to show off and fight evil as the X-Men! Happy holidays everyone and Hero Up!"

[Source: Gazillion press release]

MMO Family: Heroing-up in Super Hero Squad Online

Super-hero, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Kids, MMO Family, Family, Super Hero Squad Online

Super Hero Squad Online
There's a growing number of great kid-friendly MMOs available, and one that I've been meaning to check out for a while now is Super Hero Squad Online. The game has only been out for eight months, yet in that short time, it's reached over a million registered users and added lots of new content and characters.

I've spent some time in the game, along with my two young testers, to find out what the buzz is all about. We formed up a squad and set off to check out missions, the card game, our headquarters, and the opportunities for exploration out in the world, and our first impressions are found below. If you've ever wanted to know what the little super heroes eat or what holiday treats are available at the Parker household, you'll definitely want to read on!

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Super Hero Squad Online reaches the one-million-player mark

Fantasy, News Items, Free-to-Play, Kids, Super Hero Squad Online

SHSO
Fun missions, quirky emotes, and customizable superhero hideouts seem to have carved out a comfortable space in the MMO gaming world: Marvel's Super Hero Squad Online announced today that it's reached one million registered users.

SHSO, which launched just back in April, has been a big hit with the younger crowd (and presumably with parents) by offering up free and easily accessible gameplay as well as a focus on a kid-friendly environment. Jay Minn, vice president of Gazillion's Amazing Society, is predictably happy with the number and promises to keep the updates coming: "We'll keep adding new content and characters all the time, it's truly wonderful to see the game alive with over a million registered players having fun brawling, battling, exploring and making super heroic friends!"

[Source: Gazillion press release]

Receive the Nova Force in Super Hero Squad Online

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, News Items, Free-to-Play, Kids, Family, Super Hero Squad Online

NOVA FOOOOOOORCE
Have you ever wanted to have the Nova Force all to yourself? Well, you're in luck, as Gazillion has announced that everyone's favorite space cop is coming to Super Hero Squad Online. To get a look at what Nova's bringing to the game, jump past the cut and check out his announcement trailer. Then head over to the game's official site and join the mayhem.

[Source: Gazillion press release]

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Super Hero Squad Online introduces new heroes, reveals Challenge System screens

Super-hero, Galleries, Screenshots, Patches, Previews, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Kids, Family, Super Hero Squad Online

Screenshot -- Super Hero Squad Online
Time to assemble your heroes, Super Hero Squad Online players! A few new heroes are joining the ranks of SHSO's characters. Players can now take on the role of the telekinetic Psylocke, the arcane master Doctor Strange, and the quasi-vampiric vampire-hunter Blade. We've also got some new screenshots of the recently announced Challenge System, so head on to the gallery below to check out some shots of the new heroes and the Challenge System interface. And to get in on the action yourself, just fly, swing, or teleport your way to the game's official site.

[Source: Gazillion Entertainment press release]

Super Hero Squad Online's challenge system offers a new way to earn special characters

Super-hero, Classes, Game Mechanics, Free-to-Play, Casual, Super Hero Squad Online

Super Hero Squad Online
If you're playing Super Hero Squad Online, chances are you have the collecting bug already -- you want to collect every cool hero you can find. With a new feature, Gazillion's players can now flesh out their roster for free (as long as they're willing to put in some effort!).

Dubbed the Challenge System, this feature opens a series of achievements for players to tackle. Successfully completed challenges earn money and tickets, and span the entire game world. The best rewards, of course, are new heroes that are exclusive to this system, so if you want any of them, you're going to have to step up and knock out these challenges.

The new heroes coming as Challenge System rewards include Colossus, Daredevil, Firestar, Future Foundation Spider-Man, and Sentry.

[Source: Gazillion press release]

Win an Ultimate Comics Spider-Man character in Super Hero Squad Online

Super-hero, Classes, Free-to-Play, Kids, Promotions, Super Hero Squad Online

Super Hero Squad Online
In Marvel's Ultimate Comics edition of Spider-Man, Peter Parker is dead and Miles Morales has stepped up to become the new friendly neighborhood webslinger. As with any reinvented superhero, you know a costume redesign is not far behind.

To mark this solemn-yet-cool occasion, Gazillion is giving Super Hero Squad Online players the opportunity to add Ultimate Comics Spider-Man to their rosters. The character comes with not only a sleek new look but special powers and emotes.

Unfortunately, there can only be 30 recipients of this limited-edition superhero. SHSO players are encouraged to enter in the code "MILES2011" on the official website for a chance to win one of these characters. The sweepstakes ends on the 28th, so sling your web fast and true if you want in on the fun!

[Source: Gazillion press release]

The dark side of Super Hero Squad Online

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Expansions, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Trading Card Games, Casual, Kids, Super Hero Squad Online

SHSO Villainville image
Who says good guys never go bad? In Villainville, the newest expansion to Marvel's kid-friendly Super Hero Squad Online, players can do just that. Situated beyond the borders of the pleasant Super Hero City, Villainville is home to Doctor Doom's Lethal Legion and his evil minions, and within the dark city's walls and sewers, players go beyond merely fighting the bad guys -- they can become fallen versions of some of their favorite heroes, like Dark Surfer, Red Hulk, Iron Patriot, and Red She-Hulk. Players can also explore the all-new game world and jump into new missions like Abomination Obliteration and MODOK's Mo' Problems.

SHSO, which released last year complete with housing and a trading card game, is a F2P browser-based MMO that's heavy on the comic mischief and perfect for a quick superhero-flavored dungeon romp.

Be you big kid or small, check out the new Villainville trailer behind the break!

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Super Hero Squad Online teasing Villainville

Super-hero, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Browser, Kids, Super Hero Squad Online

Detroit.  It's Detroit.
Super Hero Squad Online is sold on the strength of its characters, and up until now, it's been firmly on the heroic side of the equation. But Marvel Comics isn't limited to heroes like Spider-Man, Captain America, and Wolverine -- it's just as defined by villains like the Green Goblin, the Red Skull, and Sabretooth. So while we might not yet have much in the way of information, it's a good thing to see that the game has an incoming addition in the form of Villainville.

As of yet, the designers haven't released any information beyond the name of the locale -- whether it will be a new area for heroes to fight against their nemeses or a chance for players to take on the role of said nemeses is yet to be seen. Even so, if you appreciate the game's more kid-friendly approach to the Marvel universe, there's reason to be excited at the prospect of some home ground for the villains as well.

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