Firebrand developer David Perry has told Eurogamer he was surprised by Microsoft's decision to cancel cross-platform MMO Marvel Universe Online. "That is stunning to me, absolutely stunning to me," he said.
According to the Shiny Entertainment founder, now working on free-to-play MMOs at Acclaim Games among other things, "Marvel, as a property, is more mass-market than World of Warcraft."
Perry said that he had often come up against the attitude that "there's no point making an MMO any more, because World of Warcraft has got everybody."
Confirming the Marvel Universe cancellation earlier this week, Microsoft's Shane Kim said, "If you really look at the data there's basically one [game] that's successful and everything else wouldn't meet our level or definition of commercial success."
But Perry believes the right game with the Marvel licence could easily eclipse WOW's huge subscriber base.
"World of Warcraft sells because Blizzard made it, and Blizzard is a fantastic company, right? The talent at Blizzard is just phenomenal. If you can get a team that's got the same quality and you have that licence, I'll take the Marvel licence every time over Warcraft," he said.
"Think about it. Think about how many Spider-Man fans there are in the world, think about all of the Marvel movies that have been coming out one after the other, and all taking serious bucks at the box office."
Perry concluded that Microsoft most likely felt the game "was probably just becoming too expensive... It's like spinning the wheel, are you going to get that money back?"
He then went on to talk at enormous and brilliant length about his enthusiasm for the "Wild West" market of free-to-play MMOs, which there simply isn't space for here.
So, check back for a full interview with David Perry when our new MMO channel launches soon.