So Marvel Heroes has about six weeks to live thanks to the impending shutdown of the game following Disney’s decision to drop Gazillion as a business partner. That’s going to leave some superhero MMO players once again without a home, and though the game’s current Steam numbers can’t hold a candle to the number of players affected by the City of Heroes closure five years ago, we’re left with the same situation – and a similar roster of games vying for refugees.
The big superhero MMORPGs are still DC Universe Online and Champions Online, the former of which is certainly better supported with content, the latter of which may have more of that Marvel feel. There’s also three strong crowdfunding superhero MMOs still trying to fill the CoH vacuum: Ship of Heroes, City of Titans, and Valiance Online. Which MMO would you recommend to Marvel Heroes refugees? Would it be another superhero MMO, another superhero game or ARPG altogether, or something else? If you’re a former MH player, where are you getting your fix?
No no no nonononono. As much as Massively OP’s MJ does not want it to be true, Marvel Heroes will be shutting down. She actually expected it after the misconduct allegations: Disney would never want that kind of reputation attached to its own. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t mourning the loss of her favorite loot-pinata superhero game. Tune in live at 6:00 p.m. and commiserate the game’s impending doom with MJ.
What: Marvel Heroes
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, November 16th, 2017
Marvel Heroes players are dealing with the fallout of yesterday’s announcement that the superhero MMO is being shut down by Disney and will officially sunset on December 31st. At least before this happens, the community will have the opportunity to play or wear anything they want.
This is thanks to Gazillion’s decision to dish out 1,000 Gs — Marvel Heroes’ premium currency — every singe day from now to its closure. Even better, all store options are now 50Gs across the board. “This is the best current solution we have with limited resources and technical limitations of the PC, and wanted to make sure this got out to you,” the studio said.
Former Creative Director Jeff “Doomsaw” Donais popped back up on the forums yesterday to praise the work that the team did on the game and urge other studios to hire those laid off: “The actual people who worked in every department on Marvel Heroes were the definition of epic. They accomplished an amazing amount of work with a relatively small budget and an approval process that made everything a little tougher.”
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.
I’m afraid we still can’t say that Marvel Heroes is going to be OK, as we’ve now gone an entire month since the last formal update from the team.
As we’ve previously covered, Gazillion hasn’t provided its regular Friday update since October 13th; social media accounts have lain dormant, Halloween was bungled, negative Steam reviews flood in, the PC playerbase has 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 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.
While Gazillion issued us a statement claiming “the company is functioning normally” (when anyone who ever played can tell you it’s not), 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).
On this week’s show, Justin and Bree dig into the exciting news from BlizzCon, mull over the troubles at Marvel Heroes, mourn the passing of a great studio, and cover a handful of MMO updates.
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
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.”
Something weird is going on at Gazillion.
On October 20th, the studio delayed its regular Friday Marvel Heroes update summary, promising details on Monday. Almost two weeks later, that update still hasn’t arrived, nor has the Marvel Heroes Twitter account been active, even through Halloween, traditionally a big season for the team – but there was no event at all on PC this year.
What has arrived? At least one key studio community rep leaving – Frank “Fenixion” Sanchez aka PhoenixRed, who announced yesterday he’s “made a decision to move on” – and casual posts from Gaz’s TheDink regarding Thor skins, which have thus far been announced only on the German-language PlayStation blog (update: that’s since been removed, but now it’s on the Dutch blog).
A month ago, the studio first shocked fans by casually announcing a new VR game for consoles and then frustrated PC fans by releasing a console-exclusive patch and continuing to promise to “unify” the three platforms in November. Which, you might notice, is now.
Hope you enjoy hearing about the reincorporation of characters that were already in a game a long time ago, because there’s a long road ahead for Marvel Heroes Omega
on console as it strives to expand its hero roster to the same size of its PC brother. This week’s reprise? Thor’s half-brother Loki
Is it a coincidence that Loki will be coming back to the silver screen for Thor: Ragnarok in a couple of weeks? You can never tell with that crafty character.
“Today, Loki joins Marvel Heroes Omega on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as the console version’s 44th playable character. With an ensemble of spells ranging from arcane magic and illusionary tactics to powers of ice and fire, Thor’s half-brother has the goods to cause plenty of damage in battle.”
Well, this is a bit awkward. I appear to have run out of things to say.
This is not inherently a bad thing. My time with Guild Wars 2 has not been unpleasant (but you can read more about that next week), even if it hasn’t been perfect; I’ve been having fun. At the same time, once you’ve dissected the game’s various map-based offerings and the story’s general flow, there’s not a whole lot else to be said. I could pick apart bits and pieces of the story that work better or worse, but at that point, isn’t it largely perfunctory?
Of course, there is something to be said for the paucity of other things to talk about. Path of Fire is an interesting experience to come back for, because while you can see that the game is putting in overtime to address some of the issues from Heart of Thorns, there are other issues that either aren’t addressed or aren’t addressed terribly well, both of which are interesting to analyze. From my perspective, anyhow.
Console Marvel Heroes
fans have another thing to look forward to this week: Gazillion has launched playable Black Bolt on PS4 and Xbox One, a tie-in to the Marvel’s Inhumans TV show currently running on ABC. The studio is promoting the character for both vets and noobs, in part thanks to his ultimate, Royal Decree, “a reality-rending yell that instantly vaporizes non-boss enemies and decimates everything else.”
“The king of Attilan may not have as much to say as the other 42 playable Marvel Heroes Omega characters but, thanks to his ability to channel and manipulate electrons and particles, a mere whisper from the King of the Inhumans can destroy an entire civilization. His actions don’t speak louder than his words—his words are his actions.”
The character has been live on PC since February of this year.
has had a fairly quiet summer following the Omega showdown earlier this year, but there’s a clear reason for that: Gazillion
is working on a new VR game for PC and consoles, possibly Star Trek-related, due out in March of next year
, or so the studio’s recent (and utterly bizarre – it’s a rabbit hole
suggested. In the meantime, the game has a huge patch and event live today, at least for players on Xbox One and PlayStation 4: Age of Apocalypse.
“This Apocalypse Awakens content will challenge even the most seasoned Marvel Heroes Omega players with heroes at level 11 or higher. Alone or in teams of as many as five heroes, players will confront En Sabah Nur’s forces in his Egyptian resurrection chamber. The new content will also feature all-new original Horsemen designs that unlock for Jean Grey, Storm, Psylocke and Magik. […] This new event not only allows players to fight against Horsemen versions of Jean Grey, Storm, Psylocke and Magik, it also allows players to unlock these versions as part of the new Apocalypse Loot Box or as a part of the Age of Apocalypse Event Omega Pack, both only available for a limited time. These four heroes will join Spider-Man as Omega Prestige characters, increasing their combat potential. Apocalypse Awakens introduces Omega items that can be earned through the new Omega difficulty setting, which can be achieved by passing the Omega Trial.”
Of course you don’t wish it wwere Sunday because that would mean no Marvel Heroes
Monday! It’s been a little while (read: much, much too long!) since Massively OP’s MJ enjoyed a Marvel Heroes
Monday. But that changes as she dives back into the fray tonight. She’s ready to stomp out evil everywhere, so join us live at 9:00 p.m. to get in on the adventures.
What: Marvel Heroes
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, September 18th, 2017