Board game publisher CMON, who is currently crowdfunding their Marvel Zombies board game, recently claimed they are not allowed to include the Punisher in the game due to “licensing restrictions.”
The Kickstarter campaign for Marvel Zombies, which has currently raised over $7.1 million, uses the popular Zombicide board game mechanics to bring “non-stop zombie action to the Marvel universe.”
As described in the Kickstarter, the Zombicide game mechanics have “players collaborate to fight off the relentless enemy, which is controlled by the game itself through a simple AI system.”
“The more enemies you eliminate, the more skills you unlock. However, the more powerful you become, the more enemies spawn to hunt you,” it adds.
Finally, it concludes, “Work together to fulfill the objectives of varied missions on maps using a modular tile system.”
The core game, which is called “Zombie Mode” includes a number of classic Marvel characters that have been turned into “Zombie Heroes.” They include: Captain America, Deadpool, Wasp, Iron Man, Captain Marvel, and Hulk.
It also includes “Eating Bystanders.” These include Okoye, Mary Jane, J. Jonah Jameson, Pepper Potts, Wong, Blind Al, Bob, Sharon Carter, Aunt May, Agent Coulson, Betty Ross, and Thunderbolt Ross. There are also S.H.I.E.L.D. Troopers, Guards, and Specialists.
Finally, there are “Enemy Super Heroes.” This group includes Spider-Man, Thor, Scarlet Witch, Doctor Strange, Ms. Marvel, and Black Panther.
Another option for the game is “Hero Mode.” This version of the game includes Colossus, Rogue, Wolverine, Magneto, Storm, and Mystique as the “Living Super Heroes.”
It’s “Rescuing Bystanders” includes Senator Kelly, Abigail Brand, Trish Tilby, Callisto, Ka-Zar, Valerie Cooper, Mariko Yashida, William Stryker, Shanna, Amanda Sefton, Bolivar Trask, and Moira MacTaggert.
In place of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents there are Multiple Man zombie pieces, Reavers, and Hellfire Soldiers.
Finally, the Zombie Heroes include Iceman, Juggernaut, Cyclops, Dark Phoenix, Psylocke, and Sabretooth.
There’s also an option to get Galactus, and Silver Surfer in both a zombie and non-zombie form.
However, the game will not include the Punisher, Senior Producer at CMON Thiago Aranha explained during a livestream, “Of course, we wanted Punisher in the game and we tried to get him. It makes sense to have him in Marvel Zombies. But there are licensing restrictions that means we can’t have Punisher in Marvel Zombies at least at this time. So that’s the gist of it.”
“There are licensing restrictions, which means there are some characters that we can’t use. So some characters besides Punisher that won’t show up that might be the reason. Of course, there’s also the reason that there are many characters and we just can’t do them all at least not right now,” he elaborated.
Aranha continued, “There’s also the limitations of zombie versions of characters, where we discussed this in terms of Spider-Man and Black Panther. There are others due to licensing restrictions we can’t do zombie versions of.
That’s also one of the reasons why in the end there are more superheroes than zombie heroes in the game. We wanted to include as many characters as possible but sometimes we can’t do both versions for various reasons.
Designer Michael Shinall would also add, “If we could include the Punisher, we absolutely would have, but we received a no on that one.”
This information comes shortly after Marvel announced they will be radically changing the Punisher in the comics.
Back in December, they announced a new Punisher series by Jason Aaron with art by Jesús Saiz and Paul Azaceta. The new series will see the Punisher abandon his iconic skull logo for a new one.
Not only does he abandon his skull logo, but it also appears that he’s eschewing firearms as well as he’s seen wielding a pair of extremely short swords.
On top of these changes, he will also become the head of the criminal organization known as The Hand.
Marvel explained, “After a shocking secret pushes him to become the warlord of the Hand, he now serves the Beast, a role he’s been fated to fulfill.”
They added, “Tragedy, war, and rage come together as he takes up his sword and his new armor with the most notorious clan of assassins in the Marvel Universe. Will it mean an end for the Punisher? Or a whole new bloody beginning?”
YouTuber YellowFlash reacted to the fact that Punisher was not allowed in Marvel Zombies saying, “It’s really suspicious to me that they were explicitly told no Punisher. And I just find that very suspicious considering what’s going on with the character.”
“They made all these changes to him. It’s almost like they want to suppress him. You can’t use him or use him in a very small way. Let’s go ahead and change him up and then you can come back,” he continued.
“Maybe, maybe this is a big nothing burger, but I see things — it’s kind of suspicious,” he concluded.
What do you make of the fact that Marvel and Disney blocked the Punisher from appearing in this Marvel Zombies board game?