…………………. THIS SUCKS! (I didn’t know how else to start this post).
When Kotaku released an article roughly 2 weeks ago stating Disney & Marvel were cutting ties with the developer of Marvel Heroes/Marvel Heroes Omega, Gazillion, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I was devastated. I had really grown to like the game since it released on consoles as Marvel Heroes Omega (I was a founder on PC back when it first launched), and couldn’t wait to see what the future held. On the other, I kind of had a bad feeling this was coming. The start of my worries began when developer Gazillion fell silent on the forums and Twitter back in October. No new updates to look forward to. There had been hints at a Thor: Ragnarok hero pack to coincide with the movie, but nothing beyond that initial announcement, even after the film released. It all felt so ominous. When the news dropped that there were sexual harassment allegations (2017 – the year of sexual harassment) pointing at CEO Dave Dohrmann, it all started to make sense. Shortly after the allegations, came the announcement that Disney & Marvel would be cutting ties with Gazillion and the servers would be shutting down on December 31st, 2017. Now, Gazillion & Marvel Heroes have announced that they have just shut the servers down entirely, a month before what was initially promised. Needless to say, it has just been a shit storm for both the Marvel Heroes players, and the employees at Gazillion. Nobody deserved this.
Now that the dust has settled…….. where do we go from here?
I wish there was some way they could have kept the game running. I completely understand if they were cutting ties because of the allegations, but why not hire someone new to take Daves place and revamp the team? Was the game just performing poorly in sales? It seemed like there was a ton of interest in the game on consoles (PC still had players, but that player base had dwindled considerably since it launched back in 2013). There were also rumors of loads of layoffs within Gazillion. No one will know the full story. I feel like they could have communicated better with their players. Some were still making purchases for a game that was doomed to shutdown. A little hint may have made the news not sting quite as bad. It could have been handled much better. Now, let this be a lesson (initiate: parent mode). As consumers, we do have to be careful about the purchases we make on a free to play game. I don’t think anyone thought it would shut down as fast as it did on consoles. It was a bit of a blindside if you ask me. Oh well, lesson learned. It’s something we will all have to look out for in the future.
This whole situation hurts because I know there were players that dropped a ton of money into this game. If you’re on PC, you had the game for 4 years. The game shutting down isn’t quite the terrible blow as it is to console players. Some of the console players dropped $400 into a game that only lasted a couple of months. For an online persistent game with micro transactions, you’re expecting to get a few years of gaming, at the least. Microsoft has been pretty great about the whole situation, offering refunds for everyone. Sony on the other hand…… hasn’t. There were rumors that Sony had been issuing refunds, but there hasn’t been any concrete proof. It’s a shame because I’m a Sony guy and they look like dicks compared to Microsoft right now.
Since the announcement, I just couldn’t play Marvel Heroes anymore (what’s the point?), so I started putting my attention back into Diablo 3. I decided to purchase the Necromancer pack and I’m having a blast. I’ve even thought about purchasing Marvel Ultimate Alliance. After watching Justice League, I’ve even thought about downloading DC Universe Online again. This whole thing has actually got me thinking that we need a DC comics action RPG like Marvel Heroes. Snowblind Studios (Champions of Norrath) made the great Justice League Heroes. I could totally see the developers from Gazillion creating something epic with the DC roster (Justice League Omega?). Please make it happen.
To sum it all up, despite all the crap, Gazillion had a solid action RPG on their hands, and they have been nothing but kind to me. I’m just a guy who writes a blog about the things I love. When I initially emailed them asking for a Marvel Heroes Omega – Closed Beta code for review, I didn’t expect them to give me the entire Founder’s Pack set. In the following months, they gave me Hero packs to give out in contests and write reviews for. The PR team has always been helpful and pleasant. We’ve had a great relationship and it’s a shame that it’s all coming to an end (for now). It’s easy to just throw our rage at Gazillion, but that wouldn’t be fair. Because of one persons (‘cough’ Dave Dohrman) actions, a ton of people have been screwed over. Marvel Heroes had a dedicated fan base, myself included, that loved this game. Gazillion had employees who were passionate for this game, it was their lively hood. The difference is we can just go play something else. This game was their job. Now, right before Christmas, they’re all trying to get their lives in order. I can’t imagine what everyone there is going through, but I wish the employees at Gazillion all the best, and hope they go on to make some great games in the future. – NVJ