Some time ago Marvel announced that it was making an MMO, got everyone rather excited and then shut up about it for ages. At a press conference last night however, the company came clean about a few details. Most important of these is the fact that Brian Michael Bendis, co-creator of the Ultimate Universe, rebooter of The Avengers & ten year scribe of Ultimate Spider-man, will be heading up the writing duties for the game.
The design team for the game will also include Dave Brevick, creator of Diablo and Andy Collins, lead story designer at Gazillion. Gazillion also includes some of the top people from Cryptic (Champions Online) and Blizzard (World of Warcraft), so while they’re not a household name just yet, they’re far from small fry.
We know that Dr Doom will be the villain and that you will play as existing Marvel characters rather than player created ones (as with DCUO). Marvel have promised that the game will be “a grand, epic tour, a reimagining of some of the biggest events in Marvel history.” It will also be free to play.
There’s not a lot of info to go on right now and it’s unlikely we’ll be playing this game until well into 2012 at the earliest, but right now everything that’s being said sounds good. Bendis is one of the finest comic book writers alive today and arguably understands the Marvel Universe better than almost anyone else. His snappy dialogue style is perfect for an MMO and knows how to appeal to both hardcore fans and casual gamers at the same time. The free-to-play model is a bold move but looking at the success that games like Lord of the Rings Online and Champions Online have found with it, I think it could well give it the edge over DCUO. Of course none of this will mean a thing if the game turns out to be poop, so for now we must now hold our breath and wait for footage to emerge.
Either way, it’s pretty exciting stuff.