Marvel Heroes has now missed three weekly updates in a row as Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters

It’s now been two weeks since we’ve had any word on the state of Marvel Heroes, as today marks the third missed Friday update in a row and Gazillion has yet to provide the information it promised on October 20th or explain why the Halloween events were neither toggled on nor promoted. The Marvel Heroes social media accounts remain without posts over that time period, negative Steam reviews are now piling up calling the game “dead,” and the PC playerbase appears to have shrunk to its smallest size in four and a half years. There’s also been no news on the Thor promotion that should sensibly be running right now in conjunction with Thor Ragnarok’s release today, nor on the new VR game the studio casually announced via the world’s most awkward stream at the end of September.

As we reported on Wednesday, two key community reps for the studio have been confirmed to have departed in the midst of the bizarre studio silence, and both overt and oblique accusations from former studio employees have surfaced in regard to “inappropriate conduct” toward female employees on the part of current CEO Dave Dohrmann, whose removal from the studio is now the goal of some activist players. Indeed, the studio’s former creative director has publicly stated that the board and company executives were aware of Dohrmann’s alleged behavior “even before they made him CEO.”

On Wednesday in response to Massively OP’s inquiry, Gazillion issued us a statement that said “the company is functioning normally,” suggesting that “reported cases of harassment […] would be handled with the utmost seriousness.” Gazillion then followed that up by calling the standing allegations and insinuations (from high-ranking former employees, mind you) “unsubstantiated internet accusations.” The statement echoes the one made by an employee on the forums several weeks ago when the accusations first went public. (We originally stated that the employee who made this post is no longer with the company; we retract that with apologies as it’s not been confirmed.)

Having covered Marvel Heroes for many years, we dispute the normalcy of the lack of communication, and the studio has thus far refused to answer our specific questions relating to both Dohrmann’s role and history at the company and the game itself; Gazillion has not responded to inquiries about the social media radio silence, the failed Halloween event deployment, the multiple missed community updates, the state of the game’s licensing and PC platform, and the unification project that was slated for November. The company has also not named the community’s current point of contact or answered questions about when that representative will address the now-despairing playerbase on Reddit and the official forums.

Update: There are currently unconfirmed (and also as-yet-undeleted) rumors on the official forums, a second-hand claim from an alleged inside source that the company “underperformed” during the last quarter, resulting in a budgetary crisis and causing the communication shutdown.
Update: MOP tipster Kirk notes that Gazillion has posted this non-announcement to its forums:

“Unfortunately, we don’t have any news we can share this week, but we wanted to let you know that we’re still here and will be sure to let you know when we have an update. We hope to have an announcement soon. Thanks so much!”

Ouch.

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31 Comments on "Marvel Heroes has now missed three weekly updates in a row as Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters"

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Jeffrey Davis

After checking around the links and such it’s safe to say that something is definitely up, and silence plus no promo likely means the game is getting pulled, a sale or drawback considered and (if the word is true as suggested herein) a lack of proper background checks on the level of Weinstein and Spacey (and that’s just from the other side of Hollywood headlines). And this after the CCP demolition job in the VR department, the Perfect World compactor job and who knows what else.

Expecting the next update to be an “out from your feet” not seen in a Disney-owned property since that unplayable mess on PS3 (and if you know which one, then consider the Force as a strong factor thereof). Besides, when you see all kinds of people jump ship, launch into “review bomb” mode and who knows what else you can basically call it a safe bet that it’s game over.

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RJB

Maybe the company lost power? maybe their is a in house power struggle

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Squadron

This is beyond disappointing. But somehow in this day and age, I just can’t get myself to be overly surprised by things like this happening. I really enjoy MH:O as mindless click-happiness when I need a break from a real MMO. However, nature abhors a vacuum and that loud sucking sound is sound of the fan base being sucked out of the airlock of the U.S.S. IGiveACare.

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Jeffrey Meade

I played on and off for a while up until they made major changes to the game. I read about what they were doing at the time and pretty much lost any interest in playing.

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kody

The Halloween events worked perfectly fine. They just weren’t communicated.

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Tithian

It’s not just that they missed the Thor movie tie-in. They were also supposed to release the Unworthy version of Thor as a separate hero, and one that is actually ready as seen on the previews on the PS and XBox stores (the hero bundle went up momentarily, then was withdrawn).

If the company is not capable of launching (readily available) content that could easily bring in people and revenue, then it’s really bad new. Such a pity, an actually decent game is being flushed down the toilet by incompetent managers.

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A Dad Supreme

Gazillion issued us a statement that said “the company is functioning normally,”

And now for the obligatory…

im-okay-with-the-eve-nts-that-are-unfolding-currently-14044406.png
TophatKiyaki
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TophatKiyaki

The radical revamp to make the game friendly to consoles utterly killed the game, if the community hubs like the Subreddit are anything to go by. They were massively active when the console version first launched while the PC players were just lamenting being left behind, and now the PC players are the majority of those left, as most of the console crowd moved on not long after the release.

I haven’t played since before the revamp. Path of Exile has become my go-to Diablo-like, and finding out how much depth to the combat and classes/heroes the console update caused killed any desire I had to revisit the game. Would be like if Warframe axed mods.

I did find a rather disturbing thread on the official forums – https://forums.marvelheroesomega.com/discussion/10750/interesting-news-update-bring-on-the-von-doom-and-gloom

A lot of the community seems to feel as though Doomsaw is the only individual still communicating properly with the playerbase…which is disturbing, since he isn’t even a member of the company anymore. What little comes out from day to day seems to just be more and more bad news.

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Number_Anon

It really is a shame to see what they’ve done to this game over the past bit.

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Armsman

Methinks perhaps Disney is involved and doing something behind the scenes. It’s really weird to see gazillion PR take a stance of “Oh, everything is business as usual otherwise”, when EVERY METRIC (IE promotion, usual update schedule, etc.) shows the Company’s current method of day to day/week to week operation is anything but.

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Tanek

I had to deal with Disney licensing in a very minimal way about 20 years ago. It was a pain in the rear and, more often than not, more trouble than it was worth. I can’t imagine they have mellowed in the decades since, so yeah, I’d have no problem believing Disney is the cause here.

I mean, look at what they already did to MH because of their cold war with Fox.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

eh disney lets assholes like tb and angry joe run free under their umbrella, and disney has been giving a lot of latitude to alot of their properties under their umbrella from a stand point of corporate governence especially if you look at their marvel comics division.

and their cold war with fox is a myth. they’ve done nothing but cross promote with fox xmen movies if not f4 movies as well. especially through mh.

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Tanek

Right up until MH had to quickly remove F4 from the game, you mean? I’m still not sure why that had to happen or who was calling the shots on it.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

the latest f4 movie happened long enough ago that idk that it relates directly so who knows.

either way marvel is clearly cross promoting with their movie rights partners despite the internet memes to the contrary.

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Mark Mealman

It’s shocking how quickly they smashed what should’ve been an up and coming action rpg into smithereens. I played quite a bit of the game before they went nuts and it was a really good game with a few issues here and there(mostly balance of some heroes, content and a few minor mechanics issues).

I would say that hopefully they get bought out before they go down, but buyouts like that usually end up happening by companies like Daybreak that just cash shop milk the property and barely put anything back into the game.

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Darthbawl

Wow, sounds like a whole army of people are gathering their hammers and nails and building a coffin for the game.

Skoryy
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Skoryy

Well…

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life_isnt_just_dank_memes

this is so sad. besides LOTRO this was my favorite community ever. the game was fun, the devs were cool and the people playing it were always fun to talk to.

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Carlo Rossi

MH died when they changed movement powers.

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mistressbrazen

Not comparable I’m sure, but, before the kids’ game went down there was radio silence for about 6 months. Then Halloween didn’t happen. Xmas came in late and then–> close game.

Even if there is some crisis going on, a good PR approach is to reach out to customers and keep them calm, which is not happening.

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Joshua Dickerson

While they may be dealing with internal struggles, I would caution that they continue to support and communicate to the community as much normally as they can.

Yes these legal situations could tend to be messy and involve a lot of office unease, but I would hope that those involved who are still on payroll understand they are also being employed to provide a service to their community. So personal issues aside, and as cold as it may come off (really trying to be understanding about the speculations), I would hope they find some sort of middle ground to still handle the game and its functions without letting it be swallowed up with whatever internal conflicts they may have.

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Joshua Jericho

To be fair, the Friday updates often show up later in the day so there’s still a chance.

That said… the longer they wait to speak again the worse it’s going to be. And while a lot of the PC people are saying “they’re gonna drop PC” it has to be more than that. No communication on twitter, or the console forums as well in the same time frame. It’s like the lawyers told them to not comment on anything.

Given the speculation on the CEO a lawyer shush could be possible, though it seems smarter to just have your weekly touch-base with the community and not talk outside of that. So, with that in mind I’m actually thinking there’s something else entirely going on. My guess is that it may have to do with possible changes in ownership. Some of the board may be changing. A buyout may be in negotiations. It’d be more likely to resist the pull to speak about the game’s events and future if the game may be changing hands or leadership in some way.

Still, even in that case… it’d be wise to at least say SOMETHING to your fanbase. As a player of the game I can tell you – and I privately messaged a few of the devs to tell them – that there are people in the game who talk about wanting to spend money and not doing it simply from fear of Gaz’s total and sudden silence. If the game isn’t going away they need to do something before things become dire. And it’s sad to think that even after three weeks it’s not quite dire yet. Why? Because there’s still a chance at any moment they’ll say “hey, sorry for the silence but the new patch hits this week!”

… slim hope but still hope.

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Indigo Salma

Seems like they are having serious internal problems.
Kinda expecting game closure maybe =O .

Still waiting for the Aura update though…

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Armsbend

Yeah if they are missing a movie tie in on an old character that’s it.

wpDiscuz