Starting December 31st, 2017 Disney and Gazillion Entertainment will be shutting down Marvel Heroes, the isometric, MMO action-RPG. Disney is also severing ties with Gazillion following the shut down. This news comes amid the growing spread of allegations in the news sphere regarding sexual misconduct committed by the game’s CEO, Dave Dohrmann.
MassivelyOP is reporting that the CEO of Gazillion had various allegations levied at him for sexual misconduct. The reports surfaced back in October when lots of other allegations against tech moguls and entertainment big shots surfaced following Harvey Weinstein being outed as a sex pest. Some allegations came out through Glass Door from former employees, others popped up during a tell-all stream that resulted in the CEO locking down his Twitter account, along with various other people revisiting a blog post from years ago that may disturb some readers.
As noted on MassivelyOP, some of these allegations were backed up by Gazillion’s former creative director Jeff “Doomsaw” Donais, who attempted to steer the conversation away from the harsh criticisms leveled at Gazillio, writing in a Reddit post..
“Definitely don’t judge the company based on the CEO, Dave Dohrmann (that’s his actual real name which he had to change for reasons that a simple google will illustrate).
“His reputation for inappropriate conduct, especially towards women, is something that “industry insiders” are aware of talk about behind closed doors. His conduct has been tolerated because he often controls the money flow and is a good talker. This is a problem at some tech companies and needs to be addressed much more assertively.
“I won’t post the blog about him or get into details, but I will say that the regular employees Gazillion are very solid people and probably deserve a much better example of leadership.”
Nevertheless, the resurfacing of the allegations was just one part of the equation for Gazillion’s troubles: Marvel Heroes has been bleeding players on PC.
The game went from averaging several thousand players a day back in 2014 and 2015, to just barely reaching 380 players each day. The stats haven’t been made available for the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game, so it’s hard to tell if that played a part in the decision to shut the game down.
According to reports, Disney have also ended their relationship with Gazillion. In a press statement a rep explained to CBR…
“We regret to inform our Marvel Heroes fans that we have ended our relationship with Gazillion Entertainment, and that the Marvel Heroes games will be shut down. We would like to sincerely thank the players who joined the Marvel Heroes community, and will provide any further updates as they become available.”
Some people thought this was odd because the developers had plans to unleash a major update for the game, but that won’t be happening. The game was also recently ported to the Xbox One and PS4 back in June of this year, which makes this move to shut the game down look all the more odd.
On the official forums Gazillion announced that gamers have up until December 31st, 2017 to get in game time before Marvel Heroes shuts down after being in operation for over four years. The statement reads…
“We’re sad to inform our players and our entire Marvel Heroes family that Marvel Heroes Omega will be shutting down. The Marvel Heroes servers will stay on until Dec 31, 2017, and we’ll be removing real money purchases as soon as possible. Players will be able to play the game entirely for free once this sunset period commences. We will share the exact date things go completely free as soon as we can.“
While the allegations of sexual misconduct may have arose during the Harvey Weinstein brouhaha, Disney nor Gazillion have confirmed that the shut down is due to those allegations. However, Gazillion now carries the taint of sexual misconduct allegations looming over the company from here on out, and this all comes amid the game being shut down this December.
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