Marvel Heroes closes early as developers shut down

Gazillion Entertainment, the makers of Marvel Heroes, have shut down. This means the free-to-play superhero action-RPG has also shut down, one month earlier than it was supposed to. Disney, who own Marvel, had announced earlier this month that they were breaking up their partnership with Gazillion and so the game would shut down on December 31st. But losing their big gig meant that Gazillion needed to shut down, and with no one left to run the game it’s gone now too. This has gone badly for everyone.

Gazillion announced the bad news in a tweeted statement last night:

“It is with great sadness that we announce the closing of Gazillion Entertainment. As a result, we are no longer able to operate Marvel heroes Omega until December 31 as originally planned. Instead, Marvel Heroes Omega will be sunset immediately on all platforms and will no longer be available as this process is completed. The company would like to sincerely thank its fans and employees for all the support over years of development and live service.”

Marvel Heroes is now gone and can no longer be played. Its site is gone. Its forums are gone. Its Steam page is gone. It is gone. Anything you had unlocked or bought is gone. It’s gone.

Most people working at Gazillion lost their jobs last week. Some say they weren’t paid severance and also lost paid time off they were owed. and this means losing health insurance too. All that right before Thanksgiving and with Christmas coming. Best of luck to everyone affected.

28 Comments

  1. TheAngriestHobo says:

    Instead, Marvel Heroes Omega will be sunset immediately on all platforms

    Is this actual industry jargon, or just unnecessarily colourful phrasing? I’ve certainly never heard the term before.

  2. CartonofMilk says:

    how much of a dick am i if i say it’s good news?

    When marvel announced an upcoming mmo in those days when i was deep into DCUO, i was excited. Then they announced this piece of shit Diablo like (for a superhero game wth?) in which you couldn’t even make your own character AND that they had signed an exclusive 10 years deal with that developer and i was left very disappointed and scratching my head hard. What the hell was wrong with marvel? Didn’t they want to make mmo’s people actually were dying to play? So like, sorry people got fired, but this was a long time coming and is good for the fans.

    You want to not get shut down, you come up with better concepts than “it’s diablo…but with marvel characters!”

    • Talsted says:

      Considering you’re responding to an article about how a bunch of people just lost their jobs and are heading into the holidays without severance pay or healthcare, it makes you an enormous dick, and you should have enough social skills to know that.

      • Ghostwise says:

        Hey, he didn’t threaten the laid-off staff with death, rape or mutilation. So by gamer standards that’s pretty civil.

    • Someoldguy says:

      I support your opinion of the game itself, but it would have been better all round if its closure had been handled more smoothly and not caused so much grief for the employees supporting it. Most of them won’t have had any control over the type or quality of game they support. Wherever you’re employed, it’s a personal disaster if the company collapses owing you money and/or taking your pension with it.

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      Drib says:

      It’s “Poker Night at the Inventory”… but with Marvel characters!

      • wombat191 says:

        My uncle has 622 hours with the sequel to that.. No I don’t understand it either

    • davebo says:

      On the flip side, I had never even played Diablo and this game really grabbed me since beta, put 5k hours into it playing with friends and had a lot of fun. It was definitely flawed, and the new CEO was just making everything worse (BTW the old CEO was the creator of Diablo.)

      It had a really rocky start with no end-game to speak of, but the development team did a great job improving it over the years until it was clear the game was getting worse, not better, so it’s sad it never reached its potential but things end. I think the concept of “characters as content” has a definite shelf-life because after 60 heroes pretty much everyone’s favorites are already in and people don’t care about what new ones are added, they just want new content to play. The entire journey they were hamstrung by what they could do with any character by Marvel who had approval rights over everything they created. I’m sure it was a frustrating process for the developers, who made some great character models that were far more detailed than the game engine could ever actually render them. Farewell Marvel Heroes.

    • NailBombed says:

      Yes, indeed, by terms of what you put in your comment, you are a massive dong. The fact you put “This was a long time coming” after “Sorry for those being fired” basically nullifies your faux-sympatheticness (as if it wasn’t null already).

    • Shuck says:

      “how much of a dick am i if i say it’s good news?”
      A huge one. Absolutely enormous. People have lost their jobs at the worst time, players have lost a game they liked (and money they spent in it). Also, you’re wrong. This is not good news, likely for anyone (except maybe the Disney Corporation, who might make more profit).

      “Didn’t they want to make mmo’s people actually were dying to play?”
      No, they didn’t, and no they still don’t. Because Marvel doesn’t make games. Companies pay them money to license their properties. As long as Marvel get their licensing fees, they’re happy. Marvel. Does. Not. Give. A. Shit. No one is going to make an “mmo [that] people [are] dying to play,” if by that you mean a traditional, big-budget, “City of Heroes”-style MMO. That’s a financially risky proposition at the best of times, but also having to pay significant licensing fees makes it riskier. So getting the most money out of the smallest possible expenditures (i.e. game budgets) is safest. (This is why licensed games tend to be crap.) Whatever replaces this game (and that might take a while, if it ever happens) is unlikely to be as good, much less better – and almost certainly not the game you want.

      • malkav11 says:

        There is minimal chance any sort of Marvel MMO would be nearly as good or worth playing as the ARPG they actually made. And frankly, there’s way more market for a good ARPG anymore than an MMO, anyway. Especially a designed-for-F2P MMO.

    • KidWithKnife says:

      If your reason had been more along the lines of “Companies that hire and support known sexual predators should not be supported”, I’d have said you were kind of harsh but not a dick. Since you cited any reason besides that, yeah. You are.

  3. BaronKreight says:

    I played this game a few years ago and enjoyed it. My question then was what is going to happen to this game in the future? It had some outdated elements and needed something, something big. I didn’t get an answer and stopped playing. Very sad.

  4. fiendling says:

    I had hundreds of hours of fun with Marvel Heroes, it will definitely be missed. For almost 5 years it was a stalwart of my Steam games collection.

    It is especially sad news that they were forced to close shop even sooner than planned.

    Best of luck to all the staff at Gazillion. Thank you, I greatly enjoyed your game.

  5. Stargazer86 says:

    And thus is why people shouldn’t have to rely on their job to provide healthcare. One moment your fine and the next moment through no fault of your own you’re out of a job and have no insurance on top of it.

    • davebo says:

      Agreed. It’s so weird that in America your life can be entirely dependent on if and what kind of healthcare your employer can afford.

      • Arglebargle says:

        It’s a control issue: Working folks don’t cause trouble, because it can lead to losing your family’s health insurance.

        Funny thing, all the business owners I know would love to have government run insurance systems, so they wouldn’t have to deal with all the crap the commercial insurers lay out.

  6. Moraven says:

    For a Marvel game out since 2013, how were they so much in debt after being live for 4+ years?

  7. geldonyetich says:

    Poor Gazillion, they made a great superhero-themed Diablo but it just didn’t catch on enough for Disney’s bean counters.

    This are the same corporate overlords which shut down Toontown, Club Penguin, and the (ironically named) Disney Infinity for the same reason.

    I, for one, am disappointed they didn’t take the time to invest in having these products remodeled for offline versions so their end consumers could at least choose to play what they bought.

    • Shuck says:

      For some reason Disney decides the game companies it owns aren’t profitable enough and shuts them down in favor of licensing. Then a few years later, they seem to have new game companies and they do it again. It appears this extends to companies they only have deals with, too. Working for a Disney-connected game company seems ultimately doomed to failure.
      “I, for one, am disappointed they didn’t take the time to invest in having these products remodeled for offline versions”
      First of all, they had a deal for an online game, so this would have been in violation of the terms of their deal, so they could never release it. It’s also a non-trivial amount of work (at best creating a whole new, locally-run equivalent to their server system, which is akin to making a whole new game using the same assets), which by definition would be something they would be unable to profit from – i.e. wasted money. If they had done it, they would have shut down even earlier.

      • geldonyetich says:

        I was not saying I wish Gazillion had done that. I’m suggesting Disney ought to have paid Gazillion to make the game playable offline before pulling the plug just because it’s in the interest of the consumer to have a working product. If Disney develops a track record of making online products only to shut them down, it might undermine consumer confidence.

        • Splyce says:

          Disney is not worried in the least about consumer confidence or anything else concerning consumers, really. They have billions, they own movie studios, tv networks, and freaking Star Wars. Properties like that, they can do whatever they want, axe as many games as they want, cancel as many shows, layoff as many people (ESPN just announced 150 layoffs) and consumers of their stuff won’t stop for anything. This won’t cause an issue for the bottom line on their next Marvel movie, I’m guessing? Disney, EA, any of the like, they don’t care.

          Also, let this be a lesson in purchasing nonexistent digital goods, in the mold of ‘supporting’ your favorite game. It can close at any time someone in the C-suite decides, and you’ll have no more toys.

  8. nononsch says:

    Marvel is dead anyway… Have you seen the last movies ? Can’t be enjoyed unless you’re between 7 and 11 year old. Mickey necrophilia tendancies strike again

  9. MacTheGeek says:

    When your contract obligates you to support Marvel’s movie releases, and your CEO makes it impossible to put together an event for the latest Thor film…

    … well, it truly became Gazillion’s Ragnarok.