Nickelodeon Extreme Tennis interview: Serving on Apple Arcade

Apple Arcade is hitting the tennis court with some of Nickelodeon's biggest stars. We learn more about Nickelodeon Extreme Tennis before its Apple Arcade release.


Nickelodeon has a rich roster of characters that goes back decades. We've seen many of them enter the fighting arena with the recent Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. After a day of trading blows, these beloved mascots are now heading to the tennis court. Nickelodeon Extreme Tennis is a follow-up to the 2015 mobile hit Nickelodeon All-Stars Tennis and features a slew of familiar faces. The biggest difference with this sequel is that in addition to mobile devices, it will also be released on Apple Arcade.

Nickelodeon Extreme Tennis is just a few days away from release, so to learn more about it, we reached out to Adrian Wright, the VP of Games for Nickelodeon. He talks about the roster, Story Mode content, and the art of tennis itself.

Shacknews: So this is actually the second time that Nick's all-star roster has gotten together for a round of tennis. So I'd like to start by asking, in what ways does Nickelodeon Extreme Tennis differ from 2015's Nickelodeon All-Star Tennis?

Adrian Wright, Nickelodeon VP of Games: Nickelodeon Extreme Tennis approaches the sport in a more arcade-like fashion. We wanted it to be something a player could easily pick up and understand quickly, so they can jump in and play against others. The controls are deceptively simple, but like tennis, there are many techniques and strategies players can discover and master to take their game to the next level.

Shacknews: You had such a rich history of Nickelodeon characters to choose from. How did you decide on the game's roster?

Wright: We wanted to bring back some classic characters from Nickelodeon’s past, and choosing was tough since there are so many greats. We’re excited that we can bring in characters that are fan favorites for our older Nick fans and at the same time introduce some of our historic characters to our younger fan base, in addition to characters they already love.

Shacknews: How would you describe the Story Mode and will it differ between each character?

Wright: Each character has their own tennis story that you can play through, where they engage in a tennis tournament against other characters. As you progress, and matches get more challenging, you are able to learn how to best play as that character and often are introduced to unique mechanics thrown into the mix.

Shacknews: With so many beloved Nick characters, I can't imagine everyone's favorite made it in. So is there room for the roster to expand in the future?

Wright: Yes! We have plans to introduce more characters in upcoming updates.

Shacknews: Going into the actual tennis, what sorts of standard techniques and individual abilities can players look forward to seeing?

Wright: Players can use classic tennis moves like the lob and sidespin to change up the game and keep their opponent on their toes, as well as, unique shots for each character. Factors like a character’s unique speed and hitting power also allow for a variety of play styles on the court.

Shacknews: We're seeing characters with abilities unique to them and stages that are faithful to their worlds. What else have these unique IPs opened up for you? In what other ways are you seeking to bring these characters and their worlds to life?

Wright: Customizable outfits, racket designs, and ultimate abilities have allowed us to revisit these IPs in a really fun way. There is a lot of variety and we hope fans will enjoy the references to classic episodes and character moments as much as we do.

Shacknews: Lastly from me, how will multiplayer work? Is it strictly online 1v1? Or will people be able to play locally or set up private matches with their own rule sets?

Wright: Multiplayer matches are conducted online and are 1v1. Players can matchmake with others, participate in events or challenge friends directly online.

Nickelodeon Extreme Tennis will be available through Apple Arcade this Friday, January 21.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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