Disney has canceled Marvel Heroes, Marvel has ended its relationship with Gazillion

We can now confirm this as real, following a statement made by a Marvel representative to Massively OP. We’re updating below.

According to Kotaku, Disney has canceled Marvel Heroes – on all platforms – and nuked its business partnership with Gazillion. Here’s the message Kotaku says it received:

“We regret to inform our Marvel Heroes fans that we have ended our relationship with Gazillion Entertainment, and that the Marvel Heroes games will be shut down. We would like to sincerely thank the players who joined the Marvel Heroes community, and will provide any further updates as they become available.”

The news will not come as a shock to MMORPG players, as we’ve been chronicling the mess over at Gazillion for weeks now. We’d gone an entire month since the last formal update from the team, social media accounts have lain dormant, Halloween was bungled, negative Steam reviews were flooding in, the PC playerbase shrunk to its smallest size in four and a half years, the Thor Ragnarok promotion never happened, two community reps for the studio departed, and accusations flew from former studio employees in regard to “inappropriate conduct” toward female employees on the part of current CEO Dave Dohrmann, whose removal from the studio became the goal of some activist players.

While Gazillion issued us a statement earlier this month claiming – bizarrely – that “the company is functioning normally,” it downplayed the standing allegations as “unsubstantiated internet accusations.” The studio also refused to answer direct questions about the company’s leadership, communication plans, and missed updates. All the company said last week was that it had no news and would update everyone when it could. Reportedly, a studio rep reiterated that statement this past weekend and told in-person visitors to stay away from the company HQ (thread now deleted).

This week, former Creative Director Jeff “Doomsaw” Donais – the developer, you’ll recall, who lodged the most direct and public accusations against Dohrmann – returned to the official forums, and Redditors circulated a leak from a PC test server, which we now assume will never launch.

Kotaku also claims that “several individuals who work on the game were asked not to come into the office” earlier this week.

Update: When we reached out to Gazillion for comment, a Marvel representative told Massively OP,

“We regret to inform our Marvel Heroes fans that we have ended our relationship with Gazillion Entertainment, and that the Marvel Heroes games will be shut down. We would like to sincerely thank the players who joined the Marvel Heroes community, and will provide any further updates as they become available.”

It is not clear how long the game will remain online or why the cash shop remains active. Our sympathies to all players and staff of the studio.

Get caught up on our detailed coverage of this story up to now:

Update: The official shutdown date will be December 31st, according to Gazillion.

“We’re sad to inform our players and our entire Marvel Heroes family that Marvel Heroes Omega will be shutting down. The Marvel Heroes servers will stay on until Dec 31, 2017, and we’ll be removing real money purchases as soon as possible. Players will be able to play the game entirely for free once this sunset period commences. We will share the exact date things go completely free as soon as we can. We’ve had the privilege of entertaining and collaborating with our players for over four years. We’re extremely humbled by that privilege and wanted to get this message out: Thank you. Thank you to our players, our tireless employees, and everyone involved in the life of Marvel Heroes, Marvel Heroes 2015, Marvel Heroes 2016, and Marvel Heroes Omega.”

Thanks, TJ. :/

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212 Comments on "Disney has canceled Marvel Heroes, Marvel has ended its relationship with Gazillion"

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plannick
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plannick

you should really mine discord for info.. apparently the pc license had ran out already and they were renegotiating it whilst making the console version.

MichaelMayhem – Today at 05:40
so… when you build a ‘new’ game with an existing one below it with 3+ years of players, everything’s a lot harder to build. You have to take into consideration what every single action you do is going to affect a player’s Live accounts. What happens if you change this item, delete this power, delete this item, delete this entire map/story mission
And… something happened… that made us kinda not care about that for awhile.

Zurick – Today at 05:41
Basically people were kind of wrong about the PC contract and it had already expired. We were renegotiating it while creating the console version and basically this axe almost came to PC about 6 months ago
So when we thought for sure we were going to be closingn the PC version
we started to blow up those systems to improve them for console
We were about 3 days from informing you guys about the wind down on PC when it was renewed

MichaelMayhem – Today at 05:43
it was a sudden “it’s saaaaved!”, and while most of the office was celebrating… I knew what damage we’d done. I knew there was no going back.

Zurick – Today at 05:43
and when we got the news internally we basically went
lol
“Well fuck. This puts a new wrinkle in everything we just blew up”

MichaelMayhem – Today at 05:43
that’s why it took so long for the PC to get the console’s changes. We had to work backwards to make it actually work

Zurick – Today at 05:47
Well, when we thought PC was dead
We stopped asking “but what about the pc people with these items ect”
since that question stopped existing
and in turn we blew shit up trying to make it better
Every time we wanted to change something we had to think about what you guys had previously earned before that
I honestly believe we needed a few more months (about 6-8) to turn things arounnd

etc

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Desiree Nevado

Hello, we are trying to get noticed by Disney to let them know we love the game and we would like an alternative solution to continue playing
https://www.change.org/p/the-walt-disney-company-save-marvel-heroes

If you could share and sign the petition that would be awesome.
Also, there is this twitter account that is trying to concentrate the affected players and make the hashtag #SaveMarvelHeroes popular:

We know it’s really really difficult to be noticed by Disney, but it’s only 3 or 4 clicks to contribute to the cause.

boredinBC
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boredinBC

A day late and a dollar short but…

I want to issue my heartfelt condolences to all of the people at Gazillion who worked their butts off for years to bring us one of the best games in genre. I was sad to see the game decline, but I know that it wasn’t for lack of love or effort on your part.

Thank you for giving us a game that was stuffed to the brim with fun, over the top, unapologetic fan service.

May you have the good fortune to work for and with people who love video games as much as you, and may they have the vision to just let you do you.

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Suikoden

Dangit. So Marvel backs out of Cryptic for Gazillion, and look what happens.

So all that work on the BUE, and the console port, all flushed down the toilet. I do feel bad for the console players that are enjoying the game, spent money on the game, and are now getting screwed even harder because they only had it for less than a year.

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Vicarious Fan

While I haven’t played in years (not enough new content ) kind of bumbed i bought the Founders Pack.

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Neurotic

Very sad news, although personally I was most upset when they ended Marvel SHSO back in January. For me, that game captured the spirit of colourful comic book fun much as the LEGO Marvel games do — precisely because they don’t take themselves so seriously.

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Baemir

This game was one of the best online ARPGs, what a shame.

Reader
kidwithknife

Sad news, I used to be a huge fan of this game and thought the much-maligned “biggest update ever” was genuinely a huge improvement. I did some digging around and found the allegations against their CEO really credible though, and Gaz’s response to them was about as bad as it could be without just saying “Creepy harassers are awesome, we want to hire more of them!” Given that the shutdown appears to have been forced by Marvel/Disney, I feel pretty safe assuming it’s a reaction to those allegations and not purely a reaction to declining revenue. So it’s sad, but overall seeing a game I used to love shut down is a price I’m okay with paying to make the industry just a little less welcoming for horrible asshats.

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Simon Morris

I’ll be honest – never liked isometric MMOs, and MUO never felt like a proper personalised experience with multiple versions of the same character standing around or in teams, i thought that a really unimmersive and dumb decision.
In my opinion Marvel completely missed the point of a superhero MMO and that was players creating their own heroes and villains to team with and battle against the official Marvel characters. DCUO does it, Champions does it (albeit less successfully because Cryptic can’t be arsed to develop for it anymore much). As a superhero fan i was gutted that Marvel and Gazillion so spectaculatley missed the ball and whole point of the superhero MMO.
I’m glad i never invested time nor money in it but i feeel for those who liked it and have lost out. Disney sure as hell are brutal with their culling.

rahkeesh
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rahkeesh

Good thing they never even tried to make an MMO or call it one?

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Simon Morris

Pontificate much?.
MassivelyOP covers many games that are not technically MMOs, albeit multiplayer and online.

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qweazdak

Disney, just don’t give the IP to EA, k? :

amkosh
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amkosh

It probably will go to a pure mobile dev, bunch of iPad/iPhone/Android games incoming.

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Suikoden

Oh please, no no no no no no no