Gazillion Entertainment and Marvel have announced that the long-awaited Marvel Universe MMO will be free-to-play, and the lead writer will be none other than comic writer mainstay Brian Michael Bendis. David Brevick, game industry veteran and creator of Diablo I and II, will be heading the MMO’s development. Marvel had previously been in bed with Microsoft and Cryptic studios to create a Marvel online universe game, but the project was canceled back in 2007.
Brian Michael Bendis is the creator of the Eisner-award-winning Powers series, as well as initiating much of the work for the Marvel Ultimates universe – including being the main writer for the Ultimate Spider-Man reboot. He’s no stranger to game writing either with the 2005 Ultimate Spider-Man video game notched on his belt.
This latest gaming project with Gazillion will be compared to the DC Universe Online MMORPG developed by Sony, which was released January 2011. DCUO is currently being written by Tony Bedard and Marv Wolfman, the creator of Blade. Notable differences between the comic universe games are Marvel’s free-to-play feature and the ability to play as one of your favorite Marvel characters. This ability overshadows the DC game were you have to create a unique character and cannot play as a DC character already in existence.
Bendis says, “The game will be a grand, epic tour, a reimagining of some of the biggest events in Marvel history.”
Some of the characters that will definitely be in the game include Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Spider-man, Hulk and Wolverine. But Bendis says that no Marvel Universe corner will be left unturned. Marvel will also be including lesser known characters such as Squirrel Girl and Nova.
Not much is known about the artist for the game or the story, but Marvel wants the scope to be huge and has confirmed that the main villain will be Dr. Doom.
Bendis thinks this will be an amazing way for fans to experience and interact with the Marvel Universe, and he likens this work to the way Stan Lee interacted with fans in the 60s.