Feeding into the Marvel ecosystem
Marvel Heroes 2015 has another distinct advantage over Diablo (and every other MMO, for that matter): the global power of the Marvel brand. The developer can promote the game multiple times a year by creating content based on other products. The easiest way is to piggyback on the company’s lucrative film business. With 12 films coming out over the next four years, Gazillion will have plenty of opportunities.
It doesn’t have to do these tie-ins — Marvel just “highly encourages” them — but Brevik said it’d be foolish not to, especially because player spending increases whenever a new movie comes out. When Guardians of the Galaxy opened to packed theaters last fall, bundles containing Star-Lord and the rest of the movie’s main cast sold very well for Gazillion.
“The more we tie into these things, we feel the more success we’ll have during those events,” said Brevik. “Obviously, it’s gonna be very important for us to tie into [Avengers: Age of Ultron] stuff because we believe that’s going to be a massive movie.”
The comic book world has no shortage of huge events, either. This summer brings Secret Wars, a universe-shattering storyline that will spread into many of Marvel’s ongoing books while creating a bunch of new spin-offs. Brevik couldn’t give a definitive answer on whether they’ll use Secret Wars material, but he did say it’d make sense.
Even among other Marvel games, Marvel Heroes 2015 stands alone. It predates the publisher’s shared universe initiative that’s happening mostly on mobile devices. Gazillion has long-term plans, so its license probably won’t expire any time soon, like it did with Capcom and Activision. And since Marvel Heroes 2015 has more depth than what you find in Disney Infinity and the Lego games, it’s the only alternative for Marvel fans looking for more than a quick diversion.
After a rocky launch, Marvel Heroes 2015 is in a good place. The team is constantly adding new content with weekly updates, including at least one new playable character every month. And when they do make mistakes, their community wastes no time in pointing that out to them.
Last month, when the developers announced that they were going to sell special new costumes in limited quantities, they had no idea it would spark so much outrage in the forums. Gazillion responded quickly: Within 24 hours of the announcement, it presented a much more palatable idea to the community.
“It’s OK to make mistakes. People make mistakes all the time. People realize this,” said Brevik. “It’s how you handle those mistakes that makes the biggest difference. … Learning from those things, growing from those things, and using those things as a tool to enhance the product is the right attitude to have.”
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