The Marvel MMO in development at Daybreak Game Company has been cancelled. Enad Global 7, Daybreak's parent company, announced today that instead of pouring a truckload of money into making the game happen, it's going to spread it out across a whole bunch of smaller projects, including updates to existing MMOs Lord of the Rings Online and DC Universe Online.
The existence of the "Marvel IP-based massively multiplayer online game" was revealed in an EG7 investor presentation in late 2021. The company said at the time that the new game was a long-term project, and so didn't expect to reveal any more about it until 2023 at the soonest. Minds have changed since then, however.
"Based on the re-evaluation of the development risk profile, size of investment, and the long-term product portfolio strategy for the group, the board has decided to change the development priorities and reallocate resources within the group to focus on alternative long-term projects," EG7 said in a statement.
"The company had planned to invest more than SEK 500 million ($50.7 million) in the Marvel project over the next three years. The company will now diversify this investment across multiple, smaller size projects within the group, including the previously announced major upgrades to The Lord of the Rings Online and DC Universe Online, and new game opportunities with our first party, original IPs."
EG7 said it would take a writedown—essentially a financial loss—of SEK 230 million ($23.3 million) as a result of the cancellation. The company made no comment about possible layoffs arising from the halt of development, but Daybreak underwent a number of rounds of staffing cuts in recent years, at least some of which were reportedly spurred by the cancellation of a previous Marvel MMO project in 2018.
It might seem odd that Daybreak has had so much trouble bringing a Marvel game to fruition given the massive popularity of the MCU, but it's not the only one that's struggled: Marvel's Avenger, developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix in 2020, has also famously failed to find a significant audience despite the high-profile license.