marvel-universe-mmo posts

Marvel Universe MMO to be free-to-play game; hires Brian Michael Bendis as writer

Gazillion Entertainment has been quiet about the details of its plans for its super hero themed Marvel Universe MMO game since it was first announced over two years ago. That all changed late on Thursday at a press conference that was streamed at the web site.

The main revelation from the press conference was that the game, currently in development at Gazillion's Secret Identity studio, will be a free-to-play game when it launches. This shows more evidence that this business model is becoming more and more mainstream compared to the older monthly subscription model.

It was also announced that Brian Michael Bendis, one of the most prolific writers for Marvel Comics, will be the head writer for the Marvel Universe MMO game. Bendis's credits include writing a number of Marvel's big crossover event mini-series including House of M, Secret Invasion and Siege.

According to the live stream, the game will feature a "grand, epic tour, a reimagining of some of the biggest events in Marvel history. " One big difference between this game and Sony Online's recently launched DC Universe Online is that the Marvel MMO will allow players to play as the mainline Marvel characters. Yep, instead of creating your own character to team up with the Marvel heroes you will play as Captain America, Thor, Iron Man or Spider-Man, among others. Also Dr. Doom will be the main bad guy in the game's story.

The game will be released for the PC but Gazillion is not commenting if the game will be browser-based or not. They are also not commenting on the game's release date yet.

Gazillion Entertainment gets former Cryptic Studios head as new CEO

gazillion entertainmentJust a couple of days after Cryptic Studios CEO John Needham announced he would be leaving the MMO game developer, Gazillion Entertainment announced today that Needham is joining the company as its new CEO. Needham will be working with David Brevik who was named as Gazillion's president just a couple of months ago.

Needham takes over Gazillion at a time where the company has announced that it will be concentrating its efforts on developing free-to-play browser-based MMOs. It sold off its development team for its October 2010 game Lego Universe to the Lego Group just a few weeks ago. It still operates several game development studios including one that's making a Marvel Universe Online MMO title.

[Via email press release]

Marvel Super Hero Squad Online kids-themed MMO details revealed

Last year, Gazillion Entertainment announced it had received the rights to make MMO games based on the Marvel Universe super hero characters. While we may have to wait a while for details of their AAA Marvel Universe MMO today they have given out more info on another Marvel Comics-related MMO title, Marvel Super Hero Squad Online.

Based on the kids-themed comic book and animated TV series, this game is being developed by The Amazing Society and will let players actually play characters like Spider-Man, The Hulk, Wolverine and others. There's no word yet on when the game will launch but the first trailer is expected to be released later this week.

Gazillion hires former Microsoft Games Studios exec

One of the more interesting reveals in the game business this year was Gazillion Entertainment. The MMO developer had been in existence but in stealth mode, under another name, for a few years before revealing itself publically last March. Now the company has announced that it has hired a former Microsoft Games Studios executive to be its new VP of Studios.

Stuart Moulder worked at Microsoft for eight years and managed a number of their internal studios including the now defunct Ensemble Studios and FASA Interactive. Moulder will handle the game development management of Gazillion's multiple studios. They include Netdevil (working on Jumpgate Evolution), Gargantuan (working on the recently revealed Marvel Universe MMO) and Slipgate Ironworks (working on an MMO led by former id Software designer John Romero).

Marvel Universe MMO targeted for 2012 release

If you though that you might have to wait a long time fore the recently announced Marvel Universe MMO to be released, you are absolutely right. In a post over at MTV's comic book themed blog Splash Page Marvel's president of worldwide consumer products, Simon Philips, stated that the game won't be coming out until 2012.

According to the article Marvel settled on that year because of its scheduling of the massive slate of upcoming movies based on its characters. The group-themed Avengers movie is also set for a 2012 release date. Philips is quoted as saying, "It sounds like a long way away, but it's not. We've got to create, together with [game publisher] Gazillion, that environment that is going to be a totally immersive experience and a perpetual storytelling experience as well."

Feature: Gazillion Entertainment CEO on Marvel MMO game projects

By John Gaudiosi

According to Rob Hutter, CEO and president of Gazillion Entertainment, the best way to combat Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft, the Goliath of the massively multiplayer online (MMO) game business, is to think bigger. The new privately-held MMO game publisher, based in San Mateo, CA, is focusing on the large untapped mainstream audience that Nintendo has captured with its now-ubiquitous Wii console. Although Gazillion is developing a trio of original mass market MMOs, none of which have been revealed yet, its first two big licensing deals are with Marvel Entertainment and LEGO.

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