The future of Gazillion Entertainment is in doubt after Disney confirmed the closure of Marvel Heroes and the termination of its partnership.
“We regret to inform our Marvel Heroes fans that we have ended our relationship with Gazillion Entertainment, and that the Marvel Heroes games will be shut down,” the company confirmed to Kotaku.
“We would like to sincerely thank the players who joined the Marvel Heroes community, and will provide any further updates as they become available.”
Apparently suspicions of unrest have been lingering among players for some time now. Gazillion failed to post its last four community updates without explanation, and both its Halloween event and Thor Ragnarok tie-in content remains MIA. There has also been no sign of the community managers on the game’s forum.
A source told Kotaku that several members of the game’s team were told not to come into the office this week, and there were apparently at least three rounds of layoffs during the game’s first year.
“We’re sad to inform our players and our entire Marvel Heroes family that Marvel Heroes Omega will be shutting down,” a statement on the game’s website reads.
“The Marvel Heroes servers will stay on until Dec 31, 2017, and we’ll be removing real money purchases as soon as possible. Players will be able to play the game entirely for free once this sunset period commences. We will share the exact date things go completely free as soon as we can.
“We’ve had the privilege of entertaining and collaborating with our players for over four years. We’re extremely humbled by that privilege and wanted to get this message out: Thank you. Thank you to our players, our tireless employees, and everyone involved in the life of Marvel Heroes, Marvel Heroes 2015, Marvel Heroes 2016, and Marvel Heroes Omega.”
Marvel Heroes originally released in 2013. It’s a free-to-play action RPG title that is supported with microtransactions. A console version for PS4 and Xbox One arrived under the name Marvel Heroes Omega was released in the summer.
Gazillion signed a 10-year exclusivity deal to produce Marvel games in 2009.
“We are excited to partner with Gazillion to bring the first Marvel core MMO to the market,” Marvel’s EVP of operations and planning Rob Steffens said in 2012 prior to the game’s release. “With Marvel Heroes we are delivering great storytelling, intense action, and robust gameplay features in a free-to-play MMO for core gamers and Marvel fans alike.”