iron galaxy he’s a very deserving developer, in my book. Responsible for almost 15 years of great contract work, the studio is also known for producing its own projects from time to time, all of which bear marks of its own brand of action. You may know them from the last few seasons of Murderous instinct, diving kickand now Rumbleverse.
An adventure in the battle royale genre, albeit with guns and gunfights swapped for a very different gun show full of big muscles and wrestling – this is the studio’s first major in-house IP release in a while. To find out the origins of this game, as well as how the Iron Galaxy team plans to differentiate their game in a crowded market and their overall hopes for the title, I sat down and spoke with Co-CEO Chelsea Blasko about all of Rumbleverse. .
It has been widely reported that Blasko was the source of the original idea for the wrestling battle royale, stemming from his desire to recreate the fun of classic wrestling and the high-flying stars of the Macho Man era.
“I just wanted something to be fun. Who doesn’t remember wrestling his brother on the living room floor? Blasko exclaims. “I have two sisters and a brother, we fought all the time, I fought with people in college! It brings joy and foolishness. Sure you’re working on some aggression, but it’s just fun.”
It’s that borderline after-school cartoon style of fighting, with colorful characters and wacky antics, that is expressed in the world and characters of the Rumbleverse. “Definitely one of our goals is to make it fun and accessible. The art style is a bit cartoonish, it’s colorful. We go back to the characters, things get a bit squashed, it’s a bit over the top. It’s not realistic and it’s meant to be fun, to remind you of the early days of cartoons and that fun that was always there at the time. Things like bouncing off cars and running up the side of buildings play into that over-the-top silliness.”
So with all this emphasis on wrestling, why hasn’t it been marketed as a battle royale fighting game? Well, this appears to have been a conscious choice, made to remove any perceived barriers to entry. “I think fighting games can intimidate people. I love them because I like to jump up and punch someone’s butt, but they can be very technical and it takes a lot of practice to become a proficient player. We wanted to make this title much more accessible, to give it some depth, but also to make it something you could learn without having to remember too many combos or things like that.
“So that’s really why we say a ‘brawler royale.’ We also added this sense of verticality which in turn brings another layer of strategy to the game. The idea is that even though we have this combat system that has a lot of depth, anyone can pick up the Rumbleverse and have a good time.”
That desire for accessibility, or more accurately, inclusivity, extends to one of the most popular tools in the live service toolkit: personalization through cosmetics. Rumbleverse features costumes that come in pieces, meaning you can combine each slot or mix and match to create your own unique fighter.
“We really wanted the title to be as inclusive as possible and allow players to create a character that was really special to them! Also, when you’re running, having a lot of customization points allows you to differentiate between different players at a glance. One thing I’m really proud of is the fact that we have 14 different slots for character customization, I don’t think I’ve seen that in another game. Even if everyone seems to be wearing the cat head, which seems to be very popular, there are plenty of ways to differentiate players in the game.”
Customization is important, of course, but the future of the Rumbleverse comes in more ways than dripping cool for your character. With launch just around the corner, future seasons are being planned.
“We definitely have a lot of ideas for Season 1.5 and Season 2 where you can interact with players and have a cooperative experience, whether it’s through duos or quads. We will continue to provide tons of customization. We will introduce different places to fight, new environments, new things to interact with, and some other ideas that we will also add.”
All in all, this is set to be a major springboard for Iron Galaxy, bringing lessons learned from earlier shells into this vibrant spin on the BR genre. Blasko explains: “I see everything we do at Iron Galaxy as different rungs. We’ve had the honor of working on several different fighting games. It started with Street Fighter 3: Online Edition, where we learned each other, and Killer Instinct Seasons 2 and 3, where we were able to show off our creative skills. We learn a lot from everyone we work with and every project we’re on.”
But can it outperform the competition? Even though Rumbleverse seems to be the battle royale genre as well as the broader live service market, it seems unable to fit into more and bigger games these days as an old-fashioned fighter struggling to fit into his leotard. spandex.
Despite the odds, Blasko doesn’t seem sure, but he has high hopes. “You know what, I have no idea! I dont know! It really depends on the fans. Hopefully what we’ve created will be fun for them and accessible to many people. We hope that you will get the joy of wrestling, costumes, and color that we have put into the game. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that people will love the game once it’s released, and that it’s also positively received! So far, during playtesting, people seem to really enjoy it. We hope that it will be carried out, we are very proud of it”.
“We hope that with RumbleVerse people will see that Iron Galaxy can make great triple-A games and that it will lead us to make more great games in the future. We still love doing our work with our partners, dock work and firefighting technology, but we want a part of our business to continue to create and develop our own intellectual property.”
As a last lighthearted question, I had to ask if co-CEO Adam Boye’s other legendary fried chicken has him reigning supreme as the best cook in Iron Galaxy. Turns out the studio is packed with talented cooks, beating up the studio’s founder.
Chelsea Blasko tells me: “I haven’t had the pleasure of eating everyone’s food at Iron Galaxy. Alex Boyes would have said. He was on a Canadian cooking show and he can crack 20 eggs in a row. But we have a lot of great chefs – before we released an Iron Galaxy cookbook last year, we were doing cooking shows, and one guy, Micheal Metts, made a fantastic dish on video. It all originated from our ERG Hispano/LATANX (employee resource group) putting together their own cookbook.”
We’ve been finding ways to keep ourselves entertained while working from home during quarantine. Enjoy this look at some of our kitchens over the past year! pic.twitter.com/QUjvYcrpb8
— Iron Galaxy Studios (@IronGalaxy) September 2, 2021
“I have to say that we now have a former boss on staff: Cleastus Friedman. He was boss here in Chicago for many years. He would be failing if he didn’t mention them. We used to do a Chili Cook-Off: Chad Simpson makes the best cookies, for sure. In addition to the cookbook, we made an iron pan with our logo on it and gave it to all the staff members.”
Rumbleverse is launching in August 11 on PlayStation, Xbox and PC.