Marvel Targeting 2012 For New MMO, Leading Out Of 'Avengers' Movie

The comic company behind Spider-Man and the X-Men tells us more about Marvel's two upcoming massively multiplayer online games and why they are for.

In the near future, after you've seen Marvel's upcoming "Captain America" movie (in 2011) and "Avengers" movie (in 2012) -- when all of that is out of the way -- you should play Marvel's massively multiplayer online game.

Expect that to happen in 2012, because that's the sequence of events Marvel's president of worldwide consumer products, Simon Philips, told my Splashpage Blog colleague Rick Marshall in a recent interview.

"It sounds like a long way away, but it's not," he said. "We've got to create, together with [game publisher] Gazillion, that environment that is going to be a totally immersive experience and a perpetual storytelling experience as well." Philips said that he sees MMOs as "the next generation of storytelling."

Marvel is in the early stages with this MMO, a built-from-scratch project that Phillips said had no connection to the Microsoft-backed Xbox 360 Marvel MMO that was canceled last year. "Every day, every week, and every month, there is a new element of technology that comes about," Phillips said. "So whatever plans we had for an MMO two years ago have now evolved to embrace that new technology."

Marvel hasn't picked characters for the game yet. "We're looking at lots of different scenarios," Philips said. "But at this moment in time we haven't identified exactly what the end game is going to be. We're still working on the different variations that are potentially possible."

While the 2012 MMO is going to be a product in the vein of "City of Heroes" or "World of Warcraft," according to Philips, in 2010, Marvel plans to launch a simpler MMO. This one will be called 'Super-Hero Squad" and will be targeted at five-to-nine-year olds, with some extra room at that top end. Philips said the MMO will be browser-based and will present a "combination of a social networking site with gaming applications built within it."

Marvel's plans may be vague now -- and a year or two behind those of competitor DC Comics, which is far into development with its "DC Universe Online" MMO -- but if its recent success in Hollywood can lead to games like these, then you can bet on at least one thing you'll be doing in 2012.

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