Gazillion Entertainment has, according to numerous sources, closed and laid everyone off, the day before Thanksgiving. The closure and layoffs comes just weeks after Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) opted to end its relationship with the game developer.
In mid-November, Marvel, which is owned by Disney, announced it was ending its relationship with Gazillion, the studio behind the Marvel Heroes game.
According to a Marvel representative:
“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.”
Marvel Heroes was originally released in 2013 for PC. The free-to-play game sells characters like Spider-Man, Captain America, and Squirrel Girl (for around $5.00 per character) and other add-ons, like costumes. Earlier in 2017, Marvel Heroes became available on “PS4” and “Xbox One.”
Following the news from Marvel, Gazillion announced on Twitter that the game’s servers would shut down after December 31, 2017. In addition, it was announced they would be removing the option of buying things in the game.
But things didn’t go according to plan. Gazillion quietly shut down a month ahead of schedule; the day before Thanksgiving no less. Ex-employees have said that they’ve been laid off without severance.
On top of that, players looking for refunds for purchases they made may be out of luck. It doesn’t appear that Gazillion is going to provide any refunds. Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) hasn’t refunded anyone. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has, apparently, attempted to refund a few players who purchased the game on “Xbox Live.”
There isn’t much they’ll be able to do though. According to the Marvel Heroes’ terms of service, Gazillion can cancel the game, in-game content, and a player’s account without notice. The only way players can get a refund is if they can prove they have been a victim of identity theft. No mention of short-sighted management.
“Marvel Heroes studio Gazillion has closed, laying off all employees,” videogamer.com, November 23, 2017.
“Disney Shuts Down Marvel Heroes,” Kotaku, November 15, 2017.
“@MarvelHeroes,” Twitter, November 15, 2017.
“Marvel Heroes Terms of Service,” Gazillion Entertainment, last accessed November 24, 2017.