New smartphone fighter Marvel Strike Force announced

Hot on the heels of the closure of one Marvel game, another has risen from its ashes.

Disney’s Marvel and 21’st Century Fox’s FoxNext Games have unveiled Marvel Strike Force, which is described as a squad-based action RPG for mobiles. It’s due out in 2018.

Confirmed characters include Captain America, the Hulk, Black Widow, Ironman, Spider-Man, Thor, Doctor Strange, Groot, Star Lord and Daredevil. The language used in the announcement seems to suggest that FoxNext might be positioning it as an esport, or it could just be a turn of phrase.

“We talk about the game in terms of fantasy sports,” FoxNext Games president Aaron Loeb said, as reported by Variety. “We’re enabling the player to have their fantasy draft of characters from the Marvel Universe.”

The game will include both PvE and PvP, will be free-to-play and is the first title from FoxNext. It is being developed by Aftershock, which Fox acquired earlier this year while it was already working on the game. Loeb previously worked for Aftershock, and before that Kabam.

Disney last week confirmed the closure of Marvel Heroes and the termination of its partnership with developer Gazillion Entertainment.

“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 read. “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.

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