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.