The countdown to this year's Evolution Championship Series tournament continues and one game that received a special bump from the event last year was Iron Galaxy's Divekick. The game wasn't a part of the official rotation, but its side tournament setup drew a significant number of spectators and participants that were eager to try out the two-button fighter. It was arguably the most exposure Divekick had received to that point and a great boost for the game's release on PC, PS3, and Vita a short month later.
Fast-forward one year and Divekick is coming off a free upgrade to Divekick: Addition Edition. On top of that, the roster has continued to grow and even received its first crossover character in the form of Saints Row's Johnny Gat. So what's next for Divekick: AE? Shacknews spoke to Iron Galaxy's Dave Lang to talk about Divekick's upcoming next-gen console releases (dubbed Divekick: Addition Edition+), the story of how Johnny Gat found his way onto the roster, and whether there's concern of the developer stretching too thin given its simultaneous commitment to the next season of Killer Instinct.
Shacknews: How are the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of Divekick: Addition Edition coming along? Are they close to being released?
Dave Lang: They are both in submission right now, hopefully we can get through without too many issues and release them very soon.
Shacknews: As far as the Divekick: AE versions out right now, what changes have you noticed from previous versions of the game? Do you personally feel that the game is optimally balanced in its current state or do you feel there's more work to be done?
Lang: We did our first big balance patch when we updated all existing versions of the game to Addition Edition, and Addition Edition+ (which is in submission now) has all of these changes. I believe there have been some bug fixes and enhancements that are new to AE+ but it's relatively a small list of changes compared to the massive balance overhaul that we did with AE. Balance in any competitive game is always a fluid situation. You're only one player-discovery away from finding something that dramatically alters whatever existing character tier list is currently in favor. We're really happy with AE+ right now, all the characters feel "fair," and are super fun to play.
Shacknews: Let's talk about Johnny Gat. Can you tell the story of how the collaboration with Deep Silver came about and what led to his addition to the game?
Lang: [Iron Galaxy's Adam Heart] was playing through Saints Row 4 shortly after Divekick launched (they both released on August 20th last year!) and really loved the Saints of Rage portion of the game. A fan of both games tweeted at the official Divekick and Saints Row accounts, and suggested that Johnny Gat should be in Divekick. From there the Divekick and Saints Row accounts tweeted at each other a few times and we were off to the races. In a lot of ways I still don't believe it happened, it's just too crazy right? The teams at Volition and Deep Silver have been amazing to work with on this project, and we're all super grateful they let us drop one of their babies into Divekick.
Shacknews: Do you see any other crossover characters making their way into Divekick? And are there any that you personally would like to see?
Lang: Yep. We're committed to releasing characters for the game for free on all platforms: PS3, Vita, PC, PS4, and Xbox One, so long as people are playing the game online. To this end, we started working on one more character when we submitted the PS4 and Xbox One version, and she/he/it is amazingly fun to play, and I can't wait until we can talk more about it/him/her. Not prepared to spill the beans on what the crossover is at this time, though.
Shacknews: Evo has meant a lot to Divekick, having drawn a large crowd for its side tournament last year. Are you guys planning on anything similar for this year's event?
Lang: No, sadly we couldn't get anything worked out with the Evo guys this year, but we will have a casual station open running AE+ so people can check out Johnny Gat if they are so inclined.
Shacknews: Iron Galaxy has been really busy trying to get Killer Instinct's next season off the ground. Is there any concern that work on Divekick may suffer because of this split focus?
Lang: No, not at all. We've always worked on lots of projects at once. When we were doing Divekick, we had also been working on other stuff like Bioshock Infinite, Batman Origins, Dungeons and Dragons, Shadows of Mystara, and a handful of other things. We're used to this.
Shacknews: What's next for Divekick after the next-gen console versions are released?
Lang: Well, we hope people keep playing AE+ for a long time! As long as there's a sizable group of people playing online we'll keep making characters and releasing them for all platforms for free. We love the Divekick community and the fans of the game, and I'd for one be super happy to keep making characters for a long time.