At a recent press event, publisher Gazillion Entertainment revealed some details about the new Marvel Universe Online MMORPG. The game is developed by Gazillion Entertainment, will be free-to-play, and written by Brian Michael Bendis (House of M, Ultimate Spider-Man comics, among others).
The game will take place in venues and timelines gleaned from the entire Marvel comic universe in Bendis’ words, “back from the classic era all the way to the modern” and that unlike other superhero-themed massively multiplayer games that require players to either create new characters from scratch or act as sidekicks to existing superheroes, Marvel Universe will let players play as the actual iconic Marvel characters they know and love. The panel rattled off only a handful of Marvel’s iconic comic heroes that will appear as playable characters, such as Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and, as Bendis added jokingly–or at least, while laughing–the obscure hero known as Squirrel Girl.
Said Jefferson, “Gazillion is going to try to make the game recognizable to both casual fans and to core fans. We’re really looking for breadth here” explained the executive. Without giving any specific examples, the group suggested that the game’s overarching story will let players “play through the great moments of the Marvel universe” and that the game will “launch with more Marvel characters than in any other Marvel game to date“.
The group did, at least, divulge that the primary villain behind the events and challenges players will face in the game will be none other than Dr. Doom. When asked to list any specific heroines, the group simply stated that there will be “many strong female protagonists from the Marvel universe” in play. Jefferson was also quick to point out that Marvel Universe will not just be a kid-friendly game that might reflect the comic publisher’s recent merger with media giant Disney. “We already have a game like that for kids” said the vice president, in reference to Gazillion’s casual, kid-friendly browser game Marvel Super Hero Squad. “This is gonna be the game for core gamers.“
While the Marvel executives seemed happy to at least speak about the game in broad terms, the Gazillion execs were much more tight-lipped. After revealing that the game will, in fact, be a free-to-play game, Brevik refused to give any specifics about the game’s monetization strategy, suggesting only that it’s planned to be “the biggest triple-A free-to-play MMO designed that way from the ground up” and that the studio has “a lot of great ideas on how to monetize the game” that it was not yet ready to divulge.
Lind did note that the game is currently confirmed only for the PC platform, but avoided clarifying whether the game would play through a Web browser or through a downloadable client. However, a Gazillion representative did confirm that the game will be powered by Unreal technology. In terms of the game’s release schedule, the executives were again tight-lipped; Brevik explained that the game has been in development for “a little over a year, and is at least another year out…at least” but provided no further specifics.