Not content with the lion's share of the comic book market and a slew of highly anticipated films, Marvel announced today that it will partner with upstart video game developer Gazillion Entertainment to produce online multiplayer titles based on its vast library of iconic characters. The two companies have inked a 10-year exclusivity agreement.
In a release sent wide this afternoon, Gazillion made known their plans for games based on Marvel properties, which includes "Super Hero Squad," based on the popular, younger-skewed toys and soon-to-be Cartoon Network series, and "Marvel Universe," a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) for PC and various game consoles. No other details have been released as of press time regarding the two in-development games.
“Despite the tough economy, the videogame industry continues to grow, and MMO games for mass audiences represent the next big opportunity for the upcoming decade,” said Rob Hutter, President and CEO of Gazillion in the official company press release. “This is particularly the case for established global entertainment brands like Marvel, which possess hundreds of millions of touch points with fans worldwide. The next step is exceptionally high-quality MMO entertainment for these franchises, and that’s our mission at Gazillion.”
While this news should no doubt put a smile on the faces of Marvel fans and gamers alike, clearly, all eyes will be on the inevitable competition between "Marvel Universe" and DC Comics' own MMO, "DC Universe Online," which is currently targeting a late-2009 or early-2010 release date.
Are you a fan of MMOGs? Are you excited to see Marvel getting in on the trend? Let's hear it in the comments.