Mode information in the closure of Marvel Heroes has started to surface from ex-employees who are now freely talking now the axe has fallen on the game.
Apparently, the PC version of Marvel Heroes was set to close months after the license expired ago but the game was given a last-minute reprieve according to ex-developer Winterthur.
“Basically people were kind of wrong about the PC contract and it had already expired. We were renegotiating it while creating the console version and basically this axe almost came to PC about 6 months ago”
The console version was a last chance attempt to save the game and the team has been instructed to concentrate on the console version thinking that the PC version was done and dusted. When the reprieve came everything had to be changed back.
“We started to blow up those systems to improve them for console”, said Winterthur. “We were about 3 days from informing you guys about the wind down on PC when it was renewed. It was a sudden “it’s saaaaved!”, and while most of the office was celebrating… I knew what damage we’d done. I knew there was no going back. That’s why it took so long for the PC to get the console’s changes. We had to work backwards to make it actually work.”
When asked if the game could have succeeded had Disney had not pulled the license he added, “Maybe. Tough to say at this point. We had a LOT of good stuff lined up, but the numbers were falling.”
Systems & Character Designer Michael May also mentioned that he was working on new projects team at Gazillion and had pitched a new rogue-like ARPG set in a post-apocalyptic setting. He added:
“It focused on the idea of the ‘ladder’ or seasons being the entire game, and integrated directly with the lore & world. there were 10 classes, you picked one and then spliced another later in progression (dual class), and at the end of a season, however well you did in the season would give you voting strength. One class from the top 5 performers was voted to rotate out. One class from the bottom 5 performers was voted to rotate out. One brand-new class never before seen would come in. One formerly-removed class from at least one season ago would come back. All controlled by the players and how they voted, so the playerbase gained direct control over how the meta shifted.”
The news of the Marvel Heroes closure was a surprise to many and Winterthur added, “I’m a bit selfish but I kinda wish we had the news last week during the BF2 drama. so we could just go quietly under the radar”
From all the comments we have seen from ex-Gazillion employees, there were some terrible management decisions made and not having the IP renewed killed it off.
David Brevik, who left Gazillion in January 2016 after a stint as CEO, appears to have been looked upon fondly by the Gazillion developers who added, “I remember Brevik’s teachings well, and honestly we should’ve remembered them more.”
Brevik’s departure was a blow for the studio and Marvel Heroes, but after PC Invasion spoke to him a couple of years ago, it was apparent he said he just wanted to get back to making games and the CEO title was not something he relished.