Marvel Heroes’ David Brevik has resigned

VentureBeat is reporting that Gazillion CEO and Marvel Heroes front-man David Brevik has left the company. Interim CEO Dave Dohrmann described the departure as “amicable” and indicated that the studio is seeking a suitable replacement.

Brevik, known for his role as head of Blizzard North and one of the founders of the Diablo franchise, originally joined Gazillion over six years ago to work on the planned MMORPG Marvel Universe, which eventually was transformed into Marvel Heroes.

“Though the time has come for me to move on, I’m excited about the future of Marvel Heroes and look forward to what’s next from studio director Jeff Lind and the team,” Brevik told VentureBeat.

Gazillion offered the site a statement of its own:

“After six years with the company, David Brevik has moved on from CEO of Gazillion to other opportunities. David has played an integral role in the growth and success of Gazillion, most notably leading the development of the acclaimed Marvel Heroes 2015 – and we greatly appreciate his many contributions to the game and the community.”

We have reached out to Gazillion to inquire further about the impact on the game.

Source: VentureBeat
Update: Gazillion PR responded to our request for a game-impact statement:

To answer your question about the status of the game more directly, it’s still very healthy. Marvel Heroes 2016 is currently scheduled to launch at the end of the month with a bunch of new features (Secret Invasion story, controller support, leaderboards, visual updates and more), and we’ll unveil some more new playable heroes for the year to come as well in the near future.

Brevik himself posted a fond farewell message on the official forums:

Almost 7 years ago, I joined Gazillion as the Creative Director for a new Marvel product. I still can’t believe that this dream came true. I have been a life-long Marvel fan and I really relished the opportunity to create a unique and fun Marvel game.

Over the course of the next year, my job really changed. I went from Creative Director to the head of all Gazillion studios (there were many locations back in those days). Slightly after that, I was promoted to President and COO of the company and I became more and more distant from the project that brought me to Gazillion. About six months before Marvel Heroes launched, I became CEO, which is the position I have held for about three years now.

As CEO, I spent most of my time running the company. I played the game a lot, talked about the game a lot and added lots of feedback and new ideas, but that is a very different job than being a Creative Director. After doing this for several years, I really want to get back to developing games and programming. I got into this industry to make games and I miss the day-to-day creation process.

That said, it was difficult, because I love Marvel Heroes. I love our community. I love the team I helped assemble. We have an incredibly talented staff here and I know that the game is in great hands. I believe in the future of the game and I know a lot of the amazing things that are being worked on. The game has some really cool features coming that I know I will enjoy. Yes, I will still be playing the game. Yes, I will still be streaming. I will still be sending the team feedback and information and suggestions. I may not work at Gazillion, but I love this game. I’m very proud of what we accomplished.

As for what’s next, I am going to go indie. I’m going back to doing the things I love most: programming and making games. We will have more information about that in the future.

Thank you team, community and family for a wonderful seven years together. I am so lucky to be a part of such an incredible experience.

Best,
David

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60 Comments on "Marvel Heroes’ David Brevik has resigned"

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Wakkander
Guest
Wakkander

SoMuchMass Wakkander WuLee1 phoenix0401 Sure, Blizzard absolutely cares about revenue. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about the quality as a consumer. A third rate storyline at best, real money auction house, and busted initial loot distribution among other issues do not get a pass simply because the game sold a lot based on the reputation built by people who haven’t worked there in a decade. Keep in mind the first two games were made by Blizzard North, and the change in studio is evident in the final product.

SoMuchMass
Guest
SoMuchMass

Wakkander WuLee1 phoenix0401  At the end of the day, Blizzard probably cares more about the revenue than “quality”.  McDonald’s type sales is not a bad thing for any company to have.  Diablo 3 had a bad launch and it was ok after that point onwards.  It is a good game that people like to hate.

MetaDune
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MetaDune

Ehh that’s not milking if the expansions are 2-3 years apart

JayBezzOfficial
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JayBezzOfficial

I can appreciate the need for a person to be a creative.  Running a business is a very different work-life than that of an ideas man who gets to program their ideas.

I hope he keeps with the superhero vein because while I am not a fan of the MOBA-like Diablo game.  I am interested to see more things happen in the superhero space as one of the most prevalent type of American literary lore.

phoenix0401
Guest
phoenix0401

breetoplay phoenix0401 MetaDune MorpayneRADIO If you believe the leaked timeline from several years ago, and I do, they had planned two expansions for D3.

Also, it’s more consistent with their more recent behavior. Early Blizzard released one expansion and then largely moved on to the next project. But WoW, SC2, and Hearthstone rely on intensive programming to get a game out, then hang expensive expansions on that initial work. Admittedly WoW and Hearthstone are very different types of games, but SC2 was built to milk money from expansions from the word go. That’s very different than the original SC/WC model.

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

phoenix0401 MetaDune MorpayneRADIO  And how many expansions did D2 get?

Wakkander
Guest
Wakkander

WuLee1 phoenix0401 Popularity does not always equal quality, look at McDonalds. No one claims they make the best burgers, but they sell more of them than anyone else.

A single game based on the sterling reputation of previous titles is also likely to sell well, it isn’t until the series takes a hit people become more skeptical. 

Diablo III is not a bad game per se, but it is a definitive step back in terms of replayability, a massive misstep in terms of story, and just wasn’t as fun as its predecessor. It along with StarCraft 2 has shown that Blizzard has lost a step or two when it comes to storytelling, both featuring over the top anime-esque plot lines at odds with the tone and style of their predecessors and which even outside of those shifts are poorly written and conceived.

ihatevnecks
Guest
ihatevnecks

Tridus Armsbend Don’t bother.  Every time someone mentions Pillars of Eternity or the myriad other successful indie game/book/tabletop Kickstarters, Armsbend mysteriously bows out of the discussion.

ihatevnecks
Guest
ihatevnecks

A Dad Supreme You probably can’t convince many people here it’s a win/win; in the mind of most gamers the concept of someone ever leaving their job is some foreign thing that can only point to complete disaster for the company/game that person is leaving.

ihatevnecks
Guest
ihatevnecks

phoenix0401 MetaDune MorpayneRADIO Yeah I loved that second D2 expansion, you too huh? Oh, wait….

hadizaheer
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hadizaheer

phoenix0401 MetaDune MorpayneRADIO I mean if you want to desperately pay for expansions its probably not the game for you. We’re happy with the nice regular updates that we get and not having to put up with cashshop BS.

Ceder
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Ceder

Lights_andMusic  With as many attempts, even by Cryptic studios (the failure became the backbone for Champions Online) to make a Marvel MMO, Im pretty sure Marvel Heroes is as close as you’re ever gonna see it get.

Ceder
Guest
Ceder

Gee another head of a game company leaving to go “indie” until they get the muli-million dollar “private funding” and then they’ll leave to go “indie” again.

ammalis
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ammalis

I’m sure we will hear about his new project soon.

MetaDune
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MetaDune

phoenix0401 MetaDune MorpayneRADIO yes takes blizzard a few decades to make a game lol

phoenix0401
Guest
phoenix0401

MetaDune phoenix0401 MorpayneRADIO Really? That’s awesome! I can’t wait to play the next expansion pack they’re going to announce at BlizzCon 2015. Oh, wait….

MetaDune
Guest
MetaDune

phoenix0401 MorpayneRADIO Eh its doing well, only some of the d2 fanboys hate d3

Cujo H
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Cujo H

Not too shocking. He said like a year ago that he was sick of making ARPGs.

phoenix0401
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phoenix0401

WuLee1 phoenix0401 Have you noticed that second XP has disappeared? It sold based largely on the name but it also turned people off almost immediately. They made their money off the name but they can’t make more because it turned off too many loyal players. That’s the definition of destroying a brand.

WuLee1
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WuLee1

phoenix0401 Yeah, i mean, being one of the best selling games of all time really is taking a dump on a brand….

Lights_andMusic
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Lights_andMusic

Today I learned there was going to be a Marvel MMO – today I got sad that there isn’t one :(

breetoplay
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breetoplay

Xijit That would be epic!

phoenix0401
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phoenix0401

MorpayneRADIO You could write a business textbook about Diablo III. “How To Destroy a Billion Dollar Brand With One Terrible Game.”

MorpayneRADIO
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MorpayneRADIO

I remember when Blizzard designers cussed him out online because he said D3 wasn’t as good as it could have been. Good times.

IndigoSalma
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IndigoSalma

Well , he most likely gathered money to fund his own game company for indie games. That’s probably what he wanted , to make his own games.

phoenix0401
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phoenix0401

They keep talking about how great they’re doing while simultaneously losing people. I wish free-to-play would die. I think it’s done more damage to the industry than good. I wish someone would release a buy-to-play MMO that is so compelling it makes a fortune and drives this business model out of the industry. The problem isn’t the buy to play model, it’s the content that’s being produced.

purewitz
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purewitz

Maybe now with David Brevik gone, Gazillion will finally make a real Marvel MMORPG with a create your own hero/villain character creation and story line. I like Marvel Heroes, but it does get ridiculous to see a whole guild that only play as Iron Man and they’re all wearing Mark 42 Iron Man armor running around. In a single player ARPG that’s fine to play as a well-known hero or villain, but in a MMORPG, you’re supposed to be able to create your own character and be that up and coming hero or villain.

ObiFunTimeKonobe
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ObiFunTimeKonobe

Long live the cow king!!!! We will all miss you and hate to see you go

Winterskorn
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Winterskorn

while sad that he’s leaving Marvel Heroes I’m interested to see what he brings to the table with development of new games.

Lhumierre
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Lhumierre

Join Runic Games to put Blizzard North back together and make a real fucking Diablo 3.

Xijit
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Xijit

Well, the comment isn’t showing anymore, but Double Fine is Broken Age / Brutal Legend / Psyconauts … Double Damage is Travis Baldree (Fate / torchlight) and Erich Schaefer (Diablo / Hellgate / Torchlight) after they both left Runic for the same exact reasons this guy is giving.

Xijit
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Xijit

Please be joining Double Damage

flatline4400
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flatline4400

Chaz_Lawler lol… that snow on the ground is so BRIGHT, it’s like what actually going outside would be like… if, you know, we had any snow here in southern Ontario in January…

joshua12jd
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joshua12jd

shadowblender Bree just posted his official response. He was just bored and never really wanted to be at the CEO level.

Tridus
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Tridus

For a change, this sounds like an actual happy split. CEOs don’t do a lot of creative work, and if that’s what he’d rather be doing, it’s best to go somewhere else to do it. Going from CEO to a lower position in a company tends to not work out due to the power issues involved.

He can go back to doing more creative stuff now, but that management experience will be very helpful if he tries to launch his own game. The business side of things matters for a successful game, and he’s got experience in that.

Armsbend
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Armsbend

Damonvile Tridus I edited my longer post to remove the saltier salt :)

Damonvile
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Damonvile

Tridus Armsbend Someone replaced his happy pill with salt again. Don’t mind him.

A Dad Supreme
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A Dad Supreme

Pretty smart move. You want to leave when the leaving’s good, not when it’s bad because it’s a win/win. 
You get credit for making a good game that’s doing well (by most accounts) and that follows you because if it goes to Hell after you leave, that’s not your problem (see: Hartsman/Rift pre-F2P). That keeps you in demand in the market.
The company wins because the game is still healthy and attractive enough to bring in new people.
Good to see a mutual split between him/company.

Tridus
Guest
Tridus

Armsbend I don’t know, stuff like Pillars of Eternity was crowdfunded without a publisher and that turned out pretty well.

This guy actually ran a successful game studio and has made games before. If he just wanted money, there are easier ways for him to get it than going indie and trying to raise money.

Xyggy
Guest
Xyggy

Good luck, David! I hope you’re new adventure is even more rewarding and enjoyable for you.

Armsbend
Guest
Armsbend

This way he can begin his kickstarter and make even more money using other people’s money without them owning a thing.  He is no dummy he is going to exploit this tide before it dries up.  He will get whatever he asks for and then some.

Chaz_Lawler
Guest
Chaz_Lawler

Looking forward to what he gets involved with next.
I stopped playing MH more or less about 4 months ago.  Not super excited about where they focused more of their attention (though finally some new story, might do that with one character), and really not excited about the whole “we’re going to change all the costumes you spent your money on to make them safe for humanity or whatever” thing.
Having said that, I’ve been enjoying playing in the snow in ICP and MTM with Squirrel Girl in her holiday outfit with reindeer squirrels one last time (most likely).

dorn2
Guest
dorn2

shadowblender 
There’s no way to know.  It will definitely be seen negatively though after all the other departures.

breetoplay
Guest
breetoplay

Updated post with Brevik’s farewell message from the forums and a new PR statement.

joshua12jd
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joshua12jd

shadowblender Not really, he is a high level person in the company who is also creative. People like him who are pioneers in certain games, they tend to get bored or want to switch it up after a few years.

Usually for them, most of the thrill is in building the game, and getting it to a stable and working product. After the product is on “auto-pilot”, typically these high level creative people want to go do something else.
They sometimes look at it as “im kinda bored now, someone else can manage the game from here on out”.
The creation cycle is very exciting for some people, lots of variables, new ideas etc. When the game gets stable and they have a year to two years of stuff in the que waiting to be made, someone like Brevick will want to go do something new, or possibly take a break for a while.
Sometimes it has nothing to relate to the viability of the game itself.

ihatevnecks
Guest
ihatevnecks

shadowblender Why’s that? They’ve got a great team and have recently brought in people from within the community who contributed a lot of things (art, design, etc). The guy’s been at the helm for a long time, but they’ve been running on a well-established and successful game plan for the last year or so.

MrCrunch26
Guest
MrCrunch26

i don’t disagree with what you are saying; you are right about the itemization.  But i would like to point out the loot explosions were pretty and perhaps you were not casual enough to enjoy them.  (just kidding)

Karl_Hungus
Guest
Karl_Hungus

I hope Brevik goes on to work on a different kind of game because it seems like he’s been living in the shadow of his past accomplishments. Of course, much of that is Blizzard’s fault due to the initial problems with Diablo 3 so he’s just been answering the player demand. But I’d like to see what else he can do, especially with a budget suited for his scope.

shadowblender
Guest
shadowblender

Doesn’t sound like good news for MH?

DugFromTheEarth
Guest
DugFromTheEarth

MrCrunch26 not sure id agree with the “Brevik always seems to know what the psychological needs were for loot with the casual gamer” part concidering that one of the most bland and dead end aspects of Marvel Heroes is the games itemization/loot.

Loot explosions were made a thing because players were so bored and unsatisfied with loot, they had to take an extreme concept and make it a normal gameplay mechanic to cloud the fact that what you are actually picking up, is just boring.

So boring that the game implimented a system that auto loots 90% of all items in the game for you, instantly converting into game currency as if you had sold it.

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