February 11, 2008 was a sad day for many a Marvel Comics fan. It was the day Microsoft Game Studios officially cancelled Marvel Universe Online, a game that was meant to be the first Marvel superhero MMO. Cryptic Studios had teamed with Marvel and Microsoft in what seemed a powerful alliance to develop the spiritual successor to City of Heroes but due to fierce competition in the MMO market and/or rumored disagreements between Marvel and Microsoft about licensing, the game was scrapped, and instead Cryptic worked with Gazillion Entertainment to create Champions Online instead.
Disappointed Marvel fans only had the Super Hero Squad Online game to look forward to, based on the overpriced kids toys and cartoon. It’s in beta and is playable now, but if you wanted a real Marvel MMO you’re in luck because Marvel just revealed there’s a new one coming!
On Marvel’s official Twitter last night, two very interesting and exciting tweets were made:
There WILL be #MarvelU news next week and we’re super excited! It’ll be the first information about the next #Marvel #MMO.
Follow/join the @MMMSociety to get the hints & clues about the #MarvelU #MMO. There may even be a hint today…
The description on the @MMMSociety account reads : The Marvel Massively Multiplayer Society is your gateway to the Marvel Universe, Marvel’s upcoming epic MMO.
There you have it, Marvel Universe Online has been reborn and there’s no better timing. Around the same time the first MMO was canned, despite having lots of environments and missions already created, Marvel Studios was successfully launched, spawning one of the biggest film franchises ever. We’ve already had two Iron Man movies and in a matter of weeks, Thor hits theaters, followed by Captain America: The First Avenger later in the summer.
We don’t have a time frame or any assets/details about Marvel Universe yet but after being accepted as a follower, a quick scan of their tweets indicates that info will be released next week but they aren’t saying anything about gameplay yet, but that the game is way far out. This gives them plenty of time to time it alongside the launch of The Avengers movie next summer and the insanely massive merchandising efforts going alongside it.
Is there any chance that Cryptic could be involved again? We asked them about it when they were about to release Star Trek Online but would only say that they aren’t talking about other projects until that came out. Well, it’s out now, so we’ll see.
With Marvel’s biggest competitor getting their own MMO with DC Universe Online, it only makes sense that the now-Disney-owned Marvel fight back on that front as well.
Are you excited for a Marvel MMO or is this a game they can’t do justice to? Hopefully this is brought to E3 in June so we can check it out.
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.