Six Months Later, Still Mourning Marvel Heroes

“Temporarily Unavailable”

Half a year ago today, my favorite low-stress, sort-of-MMO went dark, amid a flurry of weird circumstances and mishandling on the part of the studio and Disney. Do we really know why it folded exactly? I’m not sure. I think I stopped paying attention when the end was clearly upon us.

The worst part is that it has kind of ruined Marvel media for me. My wife has recently gotten into the Squirrel Girl series (which is excellent, by the way!), and, given that she was one of my favorite characters in Heroes, reading those comics always dredges up memories of shooting squirrels at everything in Midtown (Death From The Trees! Hulkbuster Squirrels! Squirrelpocalypse!). Infinity War was also painful, not because of the characters they killed off (seriously, if you want me to be sad about characters dying, don’t kill off ones who are currently shooting another movie), but because of the game they killed off six months earlier.

I feel a little silly talking about some dumb video game, and, let’s be honest, a sometimes mediocre one at that, like I’ve lost an old friend. But I think other gamers who have had a game that they thought would be there for years to come unceremoniously yanked out from under them will understand. Ask anyone who played City of Heroes (man, what is it with super hero MMOs?) or Star Wars Galaxies anything about those games and you will get a long nostalgia trip about how great it was and how there’s nothing else out there quite like it. Well, now I understand those people a little better.

I’m still hoping someone will come up with a way to do an emulator/private server. I’d love to play this game again, even if it’s just as a single player experience.

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Alas, Poor Marvel Heroes! I Knew Him


Well, it’s official. Marvel Heroes is dead, or at least it soon will be. Of all the MMOs I have played over the years, I never would have guessed this would be the first to go. It’s never been one of my main games, but it’s always been something I come back to from time to time. It’s the perfect game to pick up a new character, blow some stuff up, and move on. No big time commitment, not a lot to think about, just punching bad guys. There aren’t many MMOs that do that well. Back in 2013, I wasn’t a big Marvel fan (I hadn’t even seen most of the movies at that point), but I was fresh off of an obsession with Torchlight II, and was just thinking how cool a Torchlight MMO would be when I saw an announcement for Marvel Heroes. I was initially excited about it because of the kind of game it was, but later I recognized what a perfect game it was for the IP, and I can honestly say that I don’t think I would have been as interested in the Marvelverse as I am if it hadn’t been for this game. Marvel Heroes educated me about a lot of Marvel characters–Rocket Raccoon, Deadpool, Captain Marvel, and, most importantly, Squirrel Girl–long before they showed up in movies or TV shows. Translating comic book characters to ARPG power sets sounds almost as fun to design as it is to play. There will never be another game quite like it.

I was sick yesterday morning when the news hit Massively Overpowered, so I immediately logged in, and there were a lot of mixed reactions. At that time, the official forum announcement hadn’t yet been made, so a lot of people were in denial about it, even coming from legitimate sources like MassivelyOP and Kotaku. Most were stunned or sad. Some people were angry, perhaps rightfully so for those who had just dropped money into the game with little hope of a refund. I feel worst for the console players, who had already been a bit price gouged, and now won’t even get to enjoy their purchase for a whole year before it’s unceremoniously ripped away from them.

I’ll keep the game installed, but I don’t know how much I’ll play before the lights go out December 31st. I’d like to get a couple characters to cap, just to say I did it. I was never good at sticking with a character, especially once I had most or all of my skills unlocked. The whole thing is really sad. We aren’t even clear at this time on why it’s happening; some say it’s because of harassment accusations leveled at the CEO, some say it’s due to lack of money. Maybe a bit of both. I don’t really care what the reason is, I just know I’m going to really miss this game.

You know, in hindsight, we really should have seen this coming. I’m not talking about the lack of communication or legal allegations, I’m not even talking about what a terrible track record superhero MMOs have, I’m talking about back in Spring when they changed the game’s name to “Marvel Heroes: Omega,” and then announced that Ragnarök would be coming. Clear signs of the end times for this game.
…too soon?