Last November, rumors began circulating that the massively multiplayer online game set in the Marvel Universe, being developed by Cryptic Studios for Microsoft, had stopped development. In an interview with MTV, Shane Kim, head of Microsoft Games Studios confirmed that the project was cancelled.
I'll confirm. Marvel and we have agreed to end development on the MMO. It was an amicable decision.... It's just something that we felt that, for us and for them, it would be better if we ended development. Which is disappointing, because that had a lot of promise. But sometimes you have to make these decisions.
I don't think it's necessarily a case of what went wrong. I don't know that that's the right way to put it. For us we look at our priorities and all of the things we have to do. It's a tough space. It's a very competitive space. And it's a space that's changing quite a bit. ...When we first entered into the development and agreement of the development of 'Marvel Universe Online,' we thought we would create another subscription-based MMO. And if you really look at the data there's basically one that's successful and everything else wouldn't meet our level or definition of commercial success. And then you have to look [and say]: 'Can we change the business model for that? Is that really viable given how far we are in development? And so forth. Does Marvel want to do that?' There's a whole bunch of factors.
While Kim made it clear that the Marvel project is done, he did leave the door open for Microsoft to develop other MMO's "if the right opportunity came along."
Cryptic Studios is the developer of the award-winning City of Heroes MMO game, which is distributed by NCSoft, and is currently the only successful superhero massively-multiplayer online game on the market.