As rumoured several months ago, Marvel Universe Online is indeed as dead as Jean Grey Colossus Harry Osborn Bucky Jason Todd. Erm. Ah. Roger the Homunculus?

Shane Kim, head of Microsoft Games, dropped the entirely unsurprising bombshell to MTV:

“I’ll confirm. Marvel and we have agreed to end development on the MMO. It was an amicable decision…. It’s just something that we felt that, for us and for them, it would be better if we ended development. Which is disappointing, because that had a lot of promise. But sometimes you have to make these decisions… It’s a tough space. It’s a very competitive space. And it’s a space that’s changing quite a bit. …When we first entered into the development and agreement of the development of ‘Marvel Universe Online,’ we thought we would create another subscription-based MMO. And if you really look at the data there’s basically one that’s successful and everything else wouldn’t meet our level or definition of commercial success. And then you have to look [and say]: ‘Can we change the business model for that? Is that really viable given how far we are in development? And so forth. Does Marvel want to do that?’ There’s a whole bunch of factors.”

Am I sad about this? Yes, I am sad about this. I’m dead interested in what Cryptic do after City of Heroes, which still remains the the MMO I’ve had the most fun in, despite Walker being a shit healer, and, dammit, I want to go play in the Marvel Universe despite my futile attempts to become a grown-up. But it’s not to be. I guess the Microsoft-Marvel axis of corporate evil makes it unlikely, but I would still love the design briefs and concept art someday, just to know how Cryptic were planning to tackle this tricky beast.


  1. The_B says:

    I’m more sad about this than the death of Captain America!

  2. StolenName says:

    God I hope Captain America stays dead.

  3. mister slim says:

    Captain America’s dead?!

  4. Arathain says:

    I could never see how this was going to work. Specifically, I couldn’t see how it was going avoid being City of Heroes again, but with Marvel characters as quest givers and bosses. I’m not sure that would be enough to justify its existence.

  5. Leeks! says:

    The Captain America series has actually been pretty fantastic since he died.

  6. Geek says:

    After Supermans dead I stoppede comming by superheroes funals they tend to come back

  7. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Superheroes always come back. They think “Came back from the dead” looks good on their resumes, but really, it doesn’t.

  8. Zeno, Internetographer says:

    Huzzah. X-men can’t take much more humiliation after X3…

  9. Alex says:

    I don’t want to play an MMO.

    Look, I just don’t want to, alright!?

  10. Rich Powers says:

    Yeah, I had no idea how this game would work. It would’ve been a lame CoH clone, only worse since you’re within the confines of the Marvel U. Hell, the Great Lakes Avengers would probably be above any character created in the game.

    That, or everyone would run around as Wolverine or Spider-Man…

  11. Homunculus says:

    Roger the Homunculus

    No, don’t.

  12. Phil says:

    For every Marvel game that ‘gets’ it – the iconic character recognition, the subtle joys of vaguely interlocking continuity and the size of the play pen from Southern Gothic and Urban Decay to Norse Myth and Space Opera – There are many that don’t come within a country mile.

  13. Meat Circus says:

    He’s basically saying what that article from a while back said.

    There is in fact, no such thing as an “MMO Industry”. There is only WoW.

  14. Rook says:

    I’m really shocked that people still walk into this market and think “I’m going to make a WoW clone”. If you look at all the other companies/games that are doing well in the MMO space, none of them follow WoW’s model. Whether it’s the pay-2-perk MMOs of korea, or the box copy model of Guild Wars to Eve online actually offering a real world for players to be involved in. Developers and publishers need to learn that you have to offer something different to WoW to succeed in this space.

    Also, I notice that link to mmogchart.com is finally updating again, should be interesting when the numbers get pushed out.

  15. Xagarath says:

    Roger’s not a Marvel character.
    Death’s Head would have been a better, if depressing, choice.

  16. Solario says:

    Sammy the Fishboy will probably stay dead. Along with Microbe. Oh, poor Microbe.

  17. Meat Circus says:

    Marvel is shit.


  18. Grill says:

    Hmph, balls. Anyone fancy diving back into City of Heroes then?

  19. The_B says:

    Huzzah. X-men can’t take much more humiliation after X3…

    I think the upcoming Wolverine movie may do that…

    Also I agree with Grill! A return feature perhaps? (Then I’ll realise you’ve already done it. But now I’m in the realm where I can’t remember if you’ve done it for here or elsewhere…)

  20. Sal says:

    Captain America is not dead…well sort of. The first Captain America is dead…Steve Rogers. The Captain America most likely will be Bucky Barnes (also known as the Winter Soldier)…

  21. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    As Captain America, he wears a new costume and carries a gun which he uses on his first mission to kneecap A.I.M. agents.


  22. wyrmsine says:

    Yep, another fine case of Marvel missing the point completely. It’s as though they saw CoH and said “Okay, let’s make that game, but with our brand-power!”… and over the course of a few months, had the various difficulties explained to them. Slowly, with small words to counter marketing buzzspeak. What I don’t get is why they don’t use something like Marvel:Ultimate Alliance to launch a Diablo clone. Fix the netcode and allow for greater customization, and they can get some solid data as to the feasibility of a proper MMO. Instead of competeing with Blizzard, why not fill the niche they used as a launching post?

  23. Winterborn says:

    What Spiderman ret-con? (I’m out of date on Marvel)

  24. malkav11 says:

    Something called “One More Day” where, I think, Aunt May gets killed and Spiderman makes a bargain with Mephisto where Aunt May gets to live but his marriage to Mary Jane simply never happened. It’s got fans really pissed off, and while I haven’t read it, it sounds like they have good reason.

  25. malkav11 says:

    Also, apparently their next project is Champions Online. Yes, the uber-flexibly awesome tabletop superhero RPG. With the six+ hour per brawl combat system. Be interesting to see what they do with it.