While the writing was on the wall for about a month now, it was still a blow to hear that Disney is shutting down Marvel Heroes. As of the time of this writing, we don’t have any specifics on when and how this will happen, but… does it really matter? It’s over and done.
And man is that a shame. Marvel Heroes had so much going for it, especially following its 2015 revamp. It had the creator of Diablo at its head, a scorching hot IP, limitless character possibilities, plenty of revenue streams, monthly updates, regular events, tons of giveaways, and some pretty awesome voice acting. Plus Squirrel Girl. My love for Squirrel Girl is completely due to Marvel Heroes and my adventures with her in this game.
I have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes, but chances are that licensing and revenue issues are involved. I get the feeling that the console version — Marvel Heroes Omega — was a last-ditch effort to save the game and drive up revenues, one that didn’t work out as well. I never got the impression that Marvel Heroes was hurting, per se, but ever since Omega you could see the PC exodus taking place.
Again, a shame. People loved this game. I loved this game. It was a great title to jump in and jump out to have some quick fun. It felt responsive, it had that great Diablo loot, and it let you play a huge variety of Marvel characters. It seemed that pretty much every couple of weeks there were new heroes and team-ups, and you just wanted to collect them all even if you didn’t play them.
I won’t say that it was perfect. It wasn’t. Marvel Heroes got too complex and convoluted with its character development and gear for my taste. It couldn’t ever quite figure out how to streamline and balance the classes either. But I admired that the studio was pretty generous with what it gave away for free and that there was a lot to do even for a completely free character.
My main run with the game was pretty much for the duration of 2015. I had some absolutely great times, especially with Squirrel Girl and Doctor Doom, and I thought it was brilliant how the game would constantly cross-promote with all of the Marvel TV and movie releases. It seemed like a perfect fit and I’m a little aghast that Disney is just ditching that angle. But then, I might not have all of the financials and pertinent information.
I feel especially bad for people who have paid a whole bunch of money into this game. Sure, none of us have any assurance that a game is going to be around for a given future, but I know that Marvel Heroes is the type of game into which people have really poured a whole lot of money — prompted by those yearly package deals — with the hopes of collecting a roster that would entertain them for years to come. Instead, Marvel Heroes’ lifespan will be a little over four years (2013-2017) when all is said and done.
Anyway, here’s to Marvel Heroes. You delivered great superhero entertainment and I really will miss you. You deserved so much better than this.
If you want to walk down memory lane with me, check out all of my Marvel Heroes posts from my time playing the game!