[Community] How Gazillion Entertainment Can Salvage Itself Post-Marvel

Marvel Heroes is dead, and potentially so it Gazillion Entertainment assuming they don’t have the resources to get another game up and running before they declare bankruptcy. With Marvel’s ARPG gone and another game possibly coming down the line, I want to put my money where my mouth is and offer up a few tips for Gazillion on how to interact in this post-Heroes world.

1. Fire Your CEO, David Dorhmann

Before Gazillion Entertainment can do anything, they need to fire or somehow oust current CEO David Dorhmann. Let’s be honest: Your community, what few return after you took console player’s money and skedaddled barely six months later, despise your CEO and view him as one of the major reasons that the game many spent years and hundreds if not thousands of dollars on is shutting down, outside of you evidently not being able to comprehend a contract. Judging by Glassdoor reviews, your employees hate him just as well, and even David Brevik can barely contain his ability to not call the guy a sleazy, womanizing predator.

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.

All that the public needed to know about Dorhmann’s character, we learned during a livestream where he berated a female employee. It doesn’t matter if either he or the employee tried to brush it off as “just a joke,” we all saw how it went down. Do yourself a favor and boot him out, because I’m willing to bet that if Disney won’t do business with you in part because of your CEO’s shennanigans, neither will most other licenses.

2. Don’t Replace Marvel Heroes With Original Character The Game

Over at the Marvel Heroes forums and Reddit pages, I’ve seen a lot of posts from people hoping that Gazillion would take the existing Marvel Heroes framework and simply remove everything that was Marvel related and replace it with something else. Just like how Gazillion stripped the game of everything Fantastic Four related when Marvel pulled that license. This is not a good idea.

The thing that made Marvel Heroes great was the fact that you could play as Marvel’s characters and not just that but collect a wide variety of cool looking costumes from the comics and movies to boot. I can’t help but feel that a re-skinned Marvel Heroes would fall flat on its face as you would lose the iconic characters who would inevitably be replaced with generic Roboman, Gooman, and more. In addition the Marvel license helped, but not really since the game was quickly losing players, cover up the fact that parts of the game were just a mess. PvP was a dumpster fire, Gazillion wouldn’t recognize a deadline if it beat them over the head with a brick, and the end-game was in a state of limbo for a real long time.

In order for the resurrected corpse of Marvel Heroes to have any chance at success, Gazillion would need to replace the license with another license. Why not DC Comics? How about Dark Horse comics and their various IPs? Or Valiant Comics? There is a treasure trove of non-Marvel heroes to collect from Valiant once you fire your CEO and get to work salvaging your business.

3. Be Less Generous

In the business world, there is generosity and then there is plain recklessness. Gazillion on the PC side of Marvel Heroes was just plain reckless, and basically gave away the house leaving not a whole lot left for players to really indulge in when it came to real money purchases. It’s rather humorous because Marvel Heroes launched with such a stingy system that Gazillion tried so hard to reverse that they basically swung the pendulum in the completely opposite direction, going from giving nothing away to giving everything away.

I don’t feel like this is a controversial statement, and most long-term Marvel Heroes players would agree with me. I’ve put in hundreds of hours and hundreds of dollars into this game, and I absolutely stand by the fact that Gazillion gave too much away for free and the company’s revenues suffered for it. Unfortunately by the time Gazillion was done kissing everyone’s feet to make up for how greedily they acted when the game launched, it was too late to go back and reduce those giveaways because it would push too many people away. The experience rates, boosts, speed of character acquisition, the costume blender: All great ideas if you want people’s good will, but good will doesn’t pay the bills.

4. Recognize Those Who Brought You Here

This one is going to be a bit more obscure. Whatever Gazillion does with their next game, assuming one exists, you have to give something to the people who stuck with you this long. Nothing overly grand, just don’t forget that this whole ordeal with Marvel Heroes is your fault, not the customers, and you owe something big to the people who continued pumping money into a project that you inevitably blew for one reason or another. The supporting customers are why you’re here today, and if your next project is hoping to bring them back, you need to show them more recognition than “thanks for all the fish.”

Otherwise I have no opinion on the matter.

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