The recent announcement of the inclusion of Statesman (from defunct MMORPG City of Heroes) in Master X Master has stirred quite a bit of controversy, with players fond of the superhero MMO criticizing NCSoft for this move and seeing it as provocatory, while a minority – possibly those who didn’t play or care for City of Heroes – thinks of it as a normal addition to the character roster.
An interview of Lorehound with Sean Orlikowski, the Brand Manager on MXM, sheds some light on the subject. What was ultimately NCSoft’s motive for adding Statesman? Obviously, it was far from foul play, it was more of a tribute to the game:
“Let me start by saying that including Statesman in MXM has been my passion project for the last 2 years. I’ve personally been working on including him in the game because I saw MXM as an opportunity to add him to a universe with our other characters. I’ve read a lot of different theories over the last couple days as to why we included him, but the real reason is simply that he works in this setting and I saw it as a way to include a game I loved into my current project.”
“Like I said above, I saw it as a way to incorporate a character from a beloved title into our universe. Myself and the producer for MXM were both big fans of City of Heroes (I was more on the CoV side, myself) and we worked together to make sure we got his skills, look, and even his VO right since he’d only ever been voiced for a single sentence of a single trailer in the past. The bottom line for me was that nearly all of NCSOFT’s properties were being represented in the game; Aion, Blade & Soul, Lineage II, WildStar, Guild Wars 2, even Death Knight from the original Lineage MMO are in the game. I wanted the West to have proper representation, so we started brainstorming ideas for Western characters to add to Rytlock and Mondo Zax who were already in development. I made the argument for Statesman because the MXM universe offered a way he could be prominent again, and the rest is history.”
The interview also includes a detailed explanation as to why Statesman is back (he died in City of Heroes) and ends leaving in the air the possibility of other “dead” franchises from NCSoft seeing some heroes entering the Master X Master arena: Auto Assault, ExTeel or Tabula Rasa would be some strong options.
A new master from an NCSoft IP is in the works (Statesman is the 36th playable character but only the 10th character from an NCSoft IP), but we’ll only know more about it after the closed beta.
Master X Master enters its first closed beta on April 6 and ends on April 27, and you can sign up for the beta here.