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.
“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!”