Ah, Marvel Heroes. The game would’ve turned nine years old this month, had it lived, but of course as veteran MMORPG players know, it wasn’t to be. Back in 2017, the game shuttered under unusual circumstances. The game’s public-facing channels and update pipeline had gone eerily silent following a troubled console rollout and public accusations from former Gazillion employees that the company’s then-CEO Dave Dohrmann had engaged in inappropriate conduct toward female workers. Disney then abruptly announced it had ended the Gazillion contract and pulled down the game, which caused Gazillion itself to fold. All in all, the sunset was a huge clusterfudge; we named it the biggest MMO industry disappointment of that year, while our readers selected it as biggest MMO industry blunder of 2017 as well.
All of this has become a bit of ancient history, so we were surprised to see that Dave Dohrmann himself began posting on Twitter about the game just a few weeks ago, having been silent since before the sunset. This particular message appears to be aimed at Marvel Heroes developers specifically; it does not reference players or the accusations, though he does apologize to his former team.
“This is way overdue, in large part because I’ve struggled with how to address my time spent at Gazillion,” he writes. “To my former team… It was heartbreaking how things played out. I could / should have done better to protect all of you but ultimately I failed.”
“I want to apologize to everyone who worked so hard to try to make Gazillion and Marvel Heroes a success. You deserved better and I will never forget this. Many of you were hurt and suffered by our shutting down and that’s on me.
This gets to the heart of the matter, which is choices made over the years in my personal/professional life and understanding how they have affected those around me I unfortunately didn’t always take choose the right path when I knew better. Selfish, arrogant , immature.
So what has been learned along the way? What I can tell you is that I have spent a long time looking inward and understanding what I needed to do to start being the Man I should have been all along, while realizing that every day I have choices to make – so make them count.
To my team at Gazillion, who worked tirelessly and with so much passion in the 2 years – Thank you for everything. I am sorry I let you down and didn’t finish the job and I know many of you were deeply affected by our shutting down and in the way it happened. I still feel it too. My hope is that all of you are now in a good place, that you are healthy and happy in your lives. Please take care! – Dave”
Whether or not that brings anyone any closure is up to the devs, of course, but we suspect the players would just prefer to see the devs employed, victims compensated, and servers back online.