While I am somewhat looking forward to DC Comics Online (ever the optimist), knowing SOE and the crappy company they are, I have a feeling I will not be playing that game. This leaves Marvel, if I want to play a super hero MMO in a recognized universe. Knowing that Cryptic is a good company, having made City of Heroes, a fun game that I still play regularly -- I thought the alliance would be a good one. Obviously that didn't work out, and Cryptic is now involved in other projects.
Anyway, Marvel has now struck a deal with a company I am not familiar with -- Gazillion Entertainment. Looks like they are starting out with a kid's game, which doesn't surprise me, but it also seems they will be developing something for us old comic freaks.
Here is the announcement, made yesterday:
Gazillion in agreement with Marvel Entertainment to bring iconic super heroes to massively multiplayer games audience, unveils new company and studios
Games in Development with Marvel Entertainment
in Addition to Original IP for All Ages
SAN MATEO, Calif. — March 17, 2009 — Gazillion Entertainment today unveiled a key partnership to develop massively multiplayer online (MMO) games based on one of the world’s most revered entertainment brands, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: MVL), as part of Gazillion’s plan to bring high quality MMO entertainment to wide audiences. While operating in stealth mode as NR2B Research, the company assembled four development studios and has forged long-term partnerships with select entertainment brands worldwide.
Despite the tough economy, the video game industry continues to grow, and MMO games for mass audiences represent the next big opportunity for the upcoming decade,” said Rob Hutter, President and CEO of Gazillion. “This is particularly the case for established global entertainment brands like Marvel, which possess hundreds of millions of touch points with fans worldwide. The next step is exceptionally high quality MMO entertainment, and that’s our mission at Gazillion.”
With team members from Apple, Blizzard Entertainment, Microsoft Game Studios, Pixar Animation Studios and many other leading companies, Gazillion has assembled talent from across the landscape of MMOs, console video games, animated feature films and technology to address the mission of building breakthrough MMOs capable of resonating with wide audiences. Privately held and backed by leading venture capitalists, Gazillion is comprised of four wholly-owned production studios as well as publishing, operations and an innovative online payments group.
MMOs Extend Franchises, Offer New Market Opportunity
“The global online PC game market is expected to reach $19 billion in 2013, and Casual and AAA MMOs are expected to reach $11.8 billion in 2013, representing a growing shift beyond the core to audiences of all types and ages,” said David Cole, founder and president of DFC Intelligence. “The keys to success will be the ability to release products for a range of audiences and a focus on making games a quality ongoing service. As the market grows, large entertainment brands will play an important role in expanding the audience. Marvel has taken the lead in going after this emerging opportunity and it speaks volumes that they chose Gazillion as their partner in this space.”
Gazillion today announced a worldwide licensing agreement with Marvel to develop and publish MMO games featuring Marvel’s iconic universe of more than 5,000 Super Heroes, including elements from its films and animated series. The first game in development is a casual MMO for younger audiences based on Marvel’s Super Hero Squad property. Super Hero Squad features an exciting, super-stylized look for the greatest Super Heroes, including Iron Man, Hulk, Wolverine, Thor, Fantastic Four, Captain America and many others.
In addition, Gazillion will be developing and publishing Marvel Universe, a highly anticipated MMO for PC and consoles. Further details on Marvel Universe will be released in the upcoming months.
“Marvel’s library features a large and world-renowned stable of characters, making it tailor made for massively multiplayer entertainment that will appeal to a wide audience eager for more opportunities to interact with these iconic character franchises,” said Simon Philips, President, Worldwide Consumer Products for Marvel Entertainment. “Gazillion’s excellence in casual and AAA MMOs makes this an ideal partnership to fully leverage this powerful entertainment arena, bringing fans an exciting, interactive experience with the Marvel brand.”
Studios and Services
Gazillion has assembled a world-class roster of online game development professionals within four wholly-owned but individually operated studios, in addition to its publishing and operations centers in San Mateo, CA. Details currently being shared include:
* Amazing Society (Issaquah, WA), which is developing the Marvel Super Hero Squad Casual MMO;
* Gargantuan (San Mateo, CA), which is developing the Marvel Universe PC and console MMO;
* NetDevil (Louisville, CO), which is developing the LEGO Universe and Jumpgate Evolution MMOs;
* Slipgate Ironworks (San Mateo, CA), which is developing an original MMO property; and
* SmartyCard (San Mateo, CA), the award-winning payment service for kids and leading online games.
Additional titles under development have not yet been announced.
About Gazillion, Inc.
Gazillion Entertainment, Inc. is a leading developer, publisher and operator of massively multiplayer online (MMO) games for wide audiences. Gazillion has assembled talent from across the landscape of MMOs, videogames, animated feature films and technology to address the mission of building breakthrough massively multiplayer experiences featuring world class brands and original franchises, superior production quality and unmatched gameplay. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, Gazillion has four independent but wholly owned MMO development studios located in California, Colorado, and Washington currently in production on Casual and AAA MMO properties. The company also owns the award-winning SmartyCard payment service for younger audiences which works with leading online games and more. For more information on Gazillion, its products and services please visit www.gazillion.com.
Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 5,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios and Marvel Animation) and publishing (via Marvel Comics). Marvel's strategy is to leverage its franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world, including feature films, consumer products, toys, video games, animated television, direct-to-DVD and online. For more information visit www.marvel.com.
Super Hero(es) is a co-owned registered trademark.
Let us pray....