RIP Marvel Heroes

It’s gone, gang, and I’m so sorry.

Following the disastrous silences and accusations that unfolded over October and November, Marvel announced that it had terminated its relationship with gaming studio Gazillion and canceled MMOARPG Marvel Heroes, which was then scheduled to sunset at the end of the year.

However, on Wednesday, Gazillion employees began reporting that they’d been sent a letter by company CEO Dave Dohrmann announcing the end of Gazillion, the loss of their jobs (and some of their benefits), and a rushed end to Marvel Heroes as the bank called in its debts. The letter said the game would be shut down on Friday following an announcement, causing panic among MMO players who thought they had a bit more time. But no announcement came, and the game stayed up through the weekend.

Now, players on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 report that the game has indeed gone fully offline as of this afternoon.

Gazillion, Marvel, and Disney did not respond to requests for comment last week, and it does not appear that players were told by any of the involved companies that the game would be sunsetting early – a sad end to what was once a great game and a terrible way to treat paying customers. Our hearts go out to the devs and the players.

It’s worth pointing out that players on Reddit have claimed they’ve been able to get full refunds on their Marvel Heroes Xbox One purchases from Microsoft, so that’s worth a try. MOP tipster Alex told us he has received a complete refund and was told by a Microsoft rep that the refunds will be given automatically “soon.” Other players are having differing levels of luck with PS4 customer service.

Massively OP’s MJ got a chance to stream the game over this weekend to give it a proper sendoff. We’re including the streams below.

With thanks to Boom and Alex.

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64 Comments on "RIP Marvel Heroes"

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mike foster

We ALMOST got into this when my gf was looking for Marvel stuff to play, but she hated the Captain America designs. Looks like we got lucky.

I played it on PC way back when and it seemed like a serviceable brawler, but the monetization always seemed a little aggressive to me. Either way, hope the folks at Gazillion find good work and the players find something else they can play and love.

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Chris Mc

Never played it, but still bummed to hear.

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roo woods

Marvel movies and the Netflix TV shows are doing so maybe a it’s a good time for a proper Marvel MMO to be developed .

Sadly the comics themselves have seen better days and the House of ideas has been in decline in recent years .

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mike foster

We’re big fans of Marvel in our house and I think the issue with an MMO is the same issue we see in the board games we play (Legendary, for example): No one wants to be some Shield person or other nobody in the Marvel world. Everyone wants to be Hulk or Spider-Man or whoever, and you can’t make an MMO where everyone is a known hero.

Personally I’d rather play a sick single-player Spider-Man game than have Spider-Man be like an NPC in my world who gives me quests.

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Dez Tal

Being only a casual player over the last few years I compressed as much as I could of what I planned to do over the next few years over the entire weekend and played every single character I could and kept swapping skins every couple of hours. I just kept logging in seeing if the server was up. Switch to another character.

I’ll miss the game but I think I got most of it out of my system. Sad to hear about all those employees at Gazillion. I can find another game but that’s someone’s hard earned work gone to the digital ether.

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Peregrine Falcon

I never played Marvel Heroes. However, like the pink pigtailed one, I too bow my head during a moment of silence for those of you who lost an online world that you loved.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

The sad thing is that it’s not just the end of Marvel Heroes, but the end of an entire game studio. Though they didn’t have many games left, there was a time when there was more.

Remember Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, the browser based kids MMO also by Gazillion? I had played it when I was quite young, but it suffered the same hit that all browser games took as mobile took most of their players.

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Barbara van den Berg

same as when COH went. all the people going about the game closing but Paragon studios was put into liquidation. all those people lost their jobs.

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birini

I’ll just leave this here. Be sure to notice the “Great Benefits.”

https://www.gazillion.com/careers

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Zora

I barely knew you and I feel my life is all the poorer now that you are gone…figuratively speaking, that is.

…those who actually invested money in it, less figuratively so /ducks

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Humble DG

That’s such a bummer. It wasn’t the greatest game on the planet but it definitely wasn’t bad. It should have just remained as something more simple like a local hosted diablo so that they didn’t need to fork over servers or anything. Local co-op or something. That’s really crap. And crap for dropping the employees like that.

Richard de Leon III
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Richard de Leon III

I wouldve boughtbit in a heartbeat if it was an offline arpg with lan options.

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Suikoden

I started playing Marvel Heroes right after the BUE (Biggest Update Ever), so maybe 9 months.
It’s too bad because I was really enjoying it. I would have preferred more queued instances, but it was a very fun game. Loved the open world stuff.

Well I’m back at Champions now, so maybe I’ll see some of you there.

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Jeff

I had no skin in this game, I always thought a Marvel version of Diablo was a bit ridiculous and the pre order packages were insane as were the costume packs.

I’m sad though that it was nothing more than a cash grab bu unscrupulous people, and I hope that folks remember the names of those who are responible.

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Castagere Shaikura

Diablo 3 was more fun. Or i should say is more fun.

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Kickstarter Donor

Subjective opinion. I found M:H a lot more fun than D3, especially for the first year+. In the past year, M:H started going downhill pretty steadily, while D3 improved a lot from its initial launch. Still, there are plenty of people who played M:H specifically because of the license, and those people are left out in the cold at this point.

Zariarn
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Zariarn

Shady indeed

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Jeffery Witman

It was a fun game, but always looked like it was meant to be a mobile title will the locked view and controls. It’s sad it had to end this way, because every time a game or studio goes out like this it hurts the whole genre. Everyone becomes a little more reluctant to put money into unproven games or to spend a few dollars on digital goods in a game they otherwise enjoy. Hopefully we can get a new and better Marvel game in a few years. DCUO has a pretty good comic universe model for how to do it decently, as long as they avoid SOE.

MJ Guthrie
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MJ Guthrie

Not sure what you mean by avoiding SOE, since the company that was SOE (now called Daybreak) still owns and develops the game. Unless you mean, you want another company that is not SOE to use that model?

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Eamil

I think they’re saying a new Marvel MMO should look to DCUO for inspiration but steer clear of Daybreak?

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Jeffery Witman

New name, same bull. DCUOs big problems seem to have come from the publisher/business side. The game is solid and has had regular content updates that are generally awesome. The quality of life for free players is a bit of a joke, though. Still, it’s a good model for a comic universe game to follow and would serve Marvel well. They just need to avoid having anything resembling SOE-level shenanigans involved with it.

Nick
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Nick

I was hugely active on the forums and will miss them possibly more than the game. On the bright side, it’s good for me that they are gone as I was still wasting too much time on them.

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Peter Couse

Easily one of my top 10 gaming moments was in this game, me, the Thing, my daughter, the Hulk. The last time we played we practically ignored the game and just went about seeing who could do the best smash, laughed our asses off.

Now she’s in college, I haven’t played since and another page turns.

RIP

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wratts

Very similar to me and my boys, though they’re younger. This was the only MMO we’ve had where, aside from inventory management, I could put the mouse (later controller) in their hands at around age 4 and let them go to town, then take a turn and just switch characters and do something more challenging, and all of us would have a great time just bashing things and switching characters to whichever caught our attention.
Probably the first MMO sunset I’ll genuinely mourn, more for those times with my kids that the game helped make special

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Tiresias

It doesn’t sound to me like you have anything at all to be sad about. Life is about making memories, and it seems like you have a cherished one there.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Another hero gone to join the legions in the hall of legendaries.

‘Nuff said.

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Brix50 .

Forums are gone now as well.

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Tiresias

I think this game could serve as a case study on the whims and vicissitudes of the MMO market.

Not that long ago this game was riding high as one of “The Games” the play. It was fun, had a steady stream of content, and a monetization model that wasn’t abusive.

Suddenly, despite VERY few changes, it’s gone. Just like that.

Perhaps it’s a problem with online games in general: since it’s not possible for a player to “own” them, they can vanish on a whim.

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Kickstarter Donor

In addition to the other responders, who correctly pointed out that there were large, wholesale changes to the game in the past year, I’ll also add that, per people in the know, the game was basically breaking even at its heyday. The BUE and console move were an attempt to rectify that, but between their middling reception and the news of their newish CEO’s sordid history, that attempt backfired severely.

bereman99
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bereman99

I think you may be underselling a couple things here:

1) Though there weren’t massive changes, there were a number of key ones related to changing the game to be more like the Omega version found on the consoles…only they never completed those changes.

2) They seemed to be on the rise during the time when things were regularly being added to the PC version (which is obvious if you think about it) but it’d been quite a while since anything outside of the unfinished changes were added.

With those two things combined, I’d say it’s more a case study on what happens when a studio shifts direction without really considering what makes their game “their game.”

TophatKiyaki
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TophatKiyaki

…”very few changes”.

Mate, look up the “Biggest Update Ever”. It was the NGE of Marvel Heroes, and it was far from a “few” changes. It stripped the game of most of the things long-time players liked about it…and it was just the tip of the iceburg. That’s not even going into the PC being abandoned, the whole allegations of sexual assault scandal situation, and Gazillion laying off long-time community beloved members of their team and offering nothing in return but radio silence for very long spans of time.

Marvel Heroes also was never really riding as one of “the games”, it was just a favorite of the MassivelyOP community. In the grand scheme of even the MMO market it was locked firmly into a niche. Still this was in no way indicative of anything to do with the market or the industry as a whole. It was simply a mixture of mismanagement and insidious priorities in regards to the higher ups of a singular company, ultimately biting them in the knickers in spite of their best efforts to persevere .

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Jeffery Witman

I wouldn’t call weeks of silence from the studio and devs, abandoning any development in the PC side of things, and a major scandal among the studio executives as “very few” changes. Those are pretty major things.

I’m actually reminded of the implosion at CME sitting development of Stargate Worlds. The game itself, by all accounts, was going smoothly, but the executive/business side of things screwed it up (a far too common story).

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traja

My main issue with Marvel Heroes was always that the isometric style didn’t allow you have as much fun with super powers as other games of the genre do. Other than that it was a decent action rpg that I am sad to see go.

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Utakata

*Bows pigtails in a moment of silence*

…it wasn’t my game, but it’s very sad for me to see those players and those who worked for the game for it to go. I wish the best of luck for those who are all affected by this.

As for those who have caused all this, I’ll reserve my opinion for them in silence as I don’t to spoil the moment. :(

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Duane Does not check email

Any time a community online loses their game and a company treats customers like crap it is a mark against the computer gaming industry and another nail in the mmorpg coffin.

I hope people get refunds.

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Schmidt.Capela

Most likely they won’t. The company is closing down and doesn’t have money to even pay the devs what they are due.

Xijit
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Xijit

I would say that there is a 90% chance that the rights to the game will get picked up at auction.

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syberghost

Based on Disney’s past with Marvel game licenses, that 90% number is off by at least 89.99999%. Marvel has a multi-game multi-year deal with Square Enix now, and the first game in that partnership is an online 3-rd person action game, which would be in direct competition with Marvel Heroes. The only hope for this game was if Disney bought it, and they didn’t.

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Schmidt.Capela

Yep. Games that use licensed content and don’t have a transferable license in perpetuity for it are very unlikely to ever be brought back if the developer folds, because anyone trying it would need to negotiate with both the company that made the game (or whoever now owns their assets) and the owner of the licensed IP.

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syberghost

That’s why when Marvel pulled the license on Cryptic, instead of licensing Champions to replace it, they BOUGHT Champions outright and licensed it back to the people who make the pen and paper RPG. I’m guessing that license is fully transferable, but that’s a guess.

Nick
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Nick

This was one of my main games for 2 years. I spent a lot of money on it. I had a lot of fun. It was terribly mismanaged the past year which is a huge shame. It had a lot of potential to be really great. I’m sorry that we are losing it and that potential will never be realized. The crappy mobile games we are getting are no replacement.

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Jon Sleeper

I put in almost 700 hours into that game. I’m sad to see it go. But I’m also a bit peeved at what they did to the game after Brevik left.

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Bryan Turner

Sorry for your loss.

Dantos
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Dantos

So long to the 3000 eternity splinters I never used.

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zeko_rena

Never played it, but always sad to see an MMO close..

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Koshelkin

R.I.P.

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Sorenthaz

What a crappy way to go.

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

Damn guess no more spamming annoying people in chat with hundreds of spiderman fortune card packs :(

bereman99
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bereman99

Glad I got to chill in the game for a bit last week with my favorite hero Captain Marvel and her biggest fan (well at the time she was introduced) Ms Marvel. A good final memory.

R.I.P.

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Koshelkin

Captain Marvel <3

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Number_Anon

Still sad to see this go, but it just wasn’t the game I and my friends enjoyed anymore.

Hope the best to all of those who lost their jobs with its closure.

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Boom
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Brix50 .

Forums are gone as well so your links are no good.

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Boom

Thanks for that but at the time of posting they werent.

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ThreeSpeed

R.I.P.

wpDiscuz