Another Marvel tie-in game has been cancelled by Disney.
Marvel Heroes will be shutting down on December 31, 2017. This is the second sudden closing of a “freemium” Marvel game by Disney in the past few months. Disney shut down Marvel Tsum Tsum at the end of October.
Marvel Heroes is an MMO that plays similarly to Diablo. It was released for PC in 2013, and recently ported to PS4 and Xbox One earlier this year, which makes the shutdown even more surprising.
According to Kotaku, the game has been in trouble for quite awhile.
Marvel Heroes players knew the game’s developer might be in dire straits when, over the last month, the studio stopped talking about progress on the game. Developer Gazillion missed four of its weekly community updates, plus the game’s Halloween event and upcoming Thor Ragnarokmovie tie-in content, something the community expected. Fans also noticed that two community managers seemed to disappear from the forum. On October 27th, the game was slated to release the Gladiator Thor pack.
One current and two former Gazillion employees confirmed to Kotaku that, within a year of the game’s launch, there were at least three rounds of layoffs. A current employee and a former employee told Kotaku that, this week, several individuals who work on the game were asked not to come into the office.
A sign of things to come?
Disney has had a tough year. With only the Disney Parks seeing an increase in revenue, the company has seen layoffs in TV and is betting the farm on its new streaming service. It could be that it really just doesn’t have the resources or desire to spread itself thinner at this point, and is looking to trim unprofitable ventures going into 2018.
Could this mean that Disney is re-evaluating where to put its resources when it comes to Marvel tie-in media? Will this only affect Marvel video games, or will other media like comics also be affected?
Time will tell, But with many unexpected shake-ups at Marvel Comics, nothing would surprise me.
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