Marvel Signs New MMO Deal
Reports have surfaced that Gazillion Entertainment has signed a deal with comic book juggernaught Marvel Comics to create online games based in their universe.
Late on the evening of the 16th of March, the news broke across the web that the comic book giant was pairing up with little-known MMO company Gazillion Entertainment that has been operating since 2005, with the following mission statement:
Our team of world-class creative talent is comprised of leaders from the videogame, entertainment and technology industries who are focused on developing and supporting a new generation of superior quality, massively entertaining online properties.
The reports that have surfaced thus far have the company set to publish a number of online titles starting with a kid-oriented game called Super Hero Squad to deliver sometime in 2010 as well as a second incarnation of Marvel Universe currently in developent but without a projected release date.
This announcement comes just over a year after official confirmation that the Cryptic Studios / Microsoft / Marvel project Marvel Universe Online had been cancelled, ostensibly because World of Warcraft was the only MMO to have obtained the numbers that Microsoft was looking for. The MUO debacle, as we know now, resulted in Cryptic Studios’ development of Champions Online.
Also of interest here are reports that Gazillion Entertainment, which has been in operation since 2005, counts well-known MMO development studio NetDevil as one of its five current studios.
NetDevil, for those who might not be aware, is the company behind such upcoming (and hotly anticipated) MMO titles as LEGO Universe and the sci-fi space flight MMO Jumpgate Evolution an pre-existing titles Jumpgate (classic) and the now defunct post-apocalyptic car based MMO Auto Assault.
As mentioned above, the company is currently made up of five studios:
- Netdevil: As outlined earlier, a proven MMO company with two hotly anticipated titles in the works with LEGO Universe and Jumpgate Evolution.
- The Amazing Society: This is the studio working on the current Super Hero Squad MMO. Its focus, according to the company, is as a “Casual MMO development studio”/
- Gargantuan: Ironically the baby of the company, Gargantuan was founded in “early 2009” and is the studio that is developing the Marvel Universe MMO
- Slipgate Ironworks: Slipgate is said to be “led by a team of seasoned game industry professionals” and is working on an unannounced original IP game
- Smartycard: This is the company’s learn / earn / play company geared toward families. Their products aren’t so much MMOs, but are described as “Much like a virtual arcade, parents purchase points and kids unlock them as they complete a series of educational games, quizzes and lessons. Created by industry leaders in family entertainment, educational content and toys...”
There are some who would question the first use of the mighty Marvel franchise being a game not only marketed at kids, but based on a not-yet-debuted cartoon series as an odd way to go given the support and interest that had been built up around the first Mavel MMO title, but fans should rest assured that Gazillion has the option to create online games based on any of the vast number of Marvel universe stories and characters.
As of today, the new Gazillion Entertainment website it up and running, so if you're the kind of person who wants to know what careers are available, who the company's investors are or any other tidbit about the company as a whole, you can check it out at http://gazillion.com/.