Gazillion Entertainment president David Brevik is an interesting figure in the modern video game landscape. His current project is Marvel Heroes, a free-to-play MMO based on Marvel Comics. All of them. Every super hero from the pantheon, from the X-Men to Spider-man to Rocket Raccoon, is in his new loot-focused role-playing game. Even with Iron Man and Wolverine on board though, tackling the loot RPG market is a dicey proposition in a year when Diablo III owns the field.
Brevik’s the man to do it though. After all, he created Diablo. During his tenure as Blizzard North president, Brevik acted as lead designer and lead programmer on both Diablo and Diablo II. He’s also responsible for Blizzard’s worst game ever, the Super Nintendo super hero fighter Justice League Task Force. So he’s got a lot to prove with Marvel Heroes: First, that he can make a free-to-play loot RPG as accessibly addictive as his classic series and that he’s going to do super heroes right.
In a new interview with Spong, Brevik addressed the problem of making an MMO where every player may want to play as the same character. How do you convince people to play as weird characters like Speedball when they just want to be Spidey? You don’t. “It’s pretty well balanced as each one of the characters has been designed to be played with differing styles. So the way that my Spider-man plays may be different in the way your Spider-man plays. This is something I did when working on Diablo and Diablo II, as for example the Amazon I decided to go with bows for her and then spears and things like that.”
How will people pay for those perks though? Since Marvel Heroes is a free to play game, some expect that kitting out a character might include paying out the nose in a real money auction house like the kind in Diablo III. “The auction house stuff that Marvel Heroes will have will be much more similar to a traditional MMO,” says Brevik, “It will be more akin to World of Warcraft where you put something up in the auction house. We’re going to have a lot of items that actually bind to your character so a lot of the best items you can’t really sell them so that’s our philosophy on the issue of item acquisition.”
Brevik also teased Player vs. Player content for the super hero MMO. “[PvP] would be a lot of fun, wouldn’t it?”