Marvel Heroes (video game)
Marvel Heroes Key Art
Secret Identity Studios
|Engine||Unreal Engine 3|
|Release date(s)||June 4, 2013|
|Genre(s)||MMO / ARPG|
Marvel Heroes (originally known as Marvel Universe Online and Marvel Universe) is an upcoming MMO/ARPG under development by Gazillion Entertainment, under "Secret Identity Studios" in San Mateo California. Characters such as Iron Man, Captain America, Deadpool and Wolverine will serve as characters that players can unlock in the game. The lead writer of the game is Brian Michael Bendis, who has written a number of major Marvel comics. The plot will revolve around the super villain Doctor Doom and various Marvel superheroes. The game will launch on June 4, 2013.
Gameplay will be very similar to that of the action RPGs Diablo and Diablo II. Marvel Heroes will be free-to-play with micro-transactions used to fund and support the game. Players will not need to spend money to access the full game.
The Cosmic Cube is a device of untold power capable of changing the very fabric of reality at the whim of its possessor. The brilliant but malevolent Dr. Doom has the Cube, and with it he aims to reshape the world in his own image. Determined to succeed where the Cube's previous wielders have failed, Doom has lined up villainous allies to prevent the super-heroes from interfering. Can you unravel Doctor Doom's sinister plan and stop him before it's too late?
Players will be able to choose from a large and diverse cast of Marvel superheroes. These characters range from well-known and iconic such as Iron Man and Spider-Man to lesser-known and obscure such as Squirrel Girl and Rocket Raccoon. Only a portion of the playable characters have been announced. Players will be able to choose what superheroes to play as by earning in-game currency and buying new heroes and costumes and more. But, every player will start off with one of the following characters right away: Daredevil, Storm, Thing, Scarlet Witch, and Hawkeye. Non-playable villain characters shown in gameplay trailers and promotional artwork include Doctor Doom, Magneto, Rhino, Taskmaster, Bullseye, Mister Sinister, Electro, Shocker, Kingpin and Venom. In addition to major villains, various groups, species, and minions have also appeared as enemies in trailers and artwork, including Hydra, AIM, the Brood, and Sentinels.
Some costumes, such as the Iron Man 3-inspired Iron Man armor, are exclusive to players who purchased limited edition character packs, under Gazillion's "Founder's Program." The packs were released prior to the game's launch, which would also include early beta access, access to characters right away and added in-game currency.
Cryptic Studios 
Marvel Universe Online was the original working title of Champions Online. The MMO game was developed by Cryptic Studios and was to be published by Microsoft Game Studios exclusively for Microsoft Windows using a license from Marvel. The project was changed on February 11, 2008 due to what a Microsoft spokesperson referred to as "an inability to compete" with the current MMO marketplace. Less than a week later, Cryptic Studios announced that development would continue using a new IP license related to Champions, a superhero role playing game.
Confirmation of the project's cancellation arrived on February 11, 2008, although rumors of the possible cancellation had existed since November of the previous year. Shane Kim, the head of Microsoft Games Studios, stated in an interview that the cancellation was primarily due to the competitive market for subscription-based MMOs, and that while one current MMO was successful, "everything else wouldn't meet our level or definition of commercial success".
Gazillion Entertainment 
On Tuesday, March 17, 2009, it was revealed that Gazillion Entertainment had signed an exclusive 10-year deal with Marvel games, of which Marvel Universe is one. The first title released was Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, which targets younger audiences. Marvel Universe was eventually renamed Marvel Heroes and started being developed as an MMO/ARPG rather than an MMORPG like Cryptic's canceled version of Marvel Universe had been. Gazillion Entertainment has chosen to use Epic Games's Unreal Engine 3, instead of the Unity 3D engine used for Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, with studio director Jeff Lind stating "We love Unreal Engine 3’s streaming system. It’s made our entire technical approach possible and is easy to work with. We also love the flexibility we get from the actor components, which have empowered us to make all kinds of customizations without sacrificing the built-in features of the engine.” During a live stream session David Brevik further detailed the game's engine. He noted that while Unreal Engine 3 powers the game's front end visuals and audio, much of the components that make a massively multiplayer game were written using entirely new code that interfaced with Unreal Engine 3.
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