Marvel Heroes has shut down over a month earlier than planned.
Developer Gazillion Entertainment - now officially closed down - had said the free-to-play Diablo-esque action role-playing online game would go dark on 31st December, but a note published yesterday from the official Marvel Heroes Twitter account announced the closure with immediate effect.
Last week, MassivelyOP said it had seen a termination letter written by Gazillion CEO Dave Dohrmann, which claimed "banking creditors have effectively pulled the plug on the company, leading to the termination of almost every employee at the studio and the apparent renege of benefits including accrued PTO [paid time off]".
That mention of paid time off was highlighted by angry ex-staff who took to Twitter to say they were let go the day before Thanksgiving.
Players have spent some time trying to secure refunds relating to Marvel Heroes. The official Marvel Heroes website is now offline, its Steam page is deleted and the game itself is unavailable to download.
Marvel Heroes first launched on PC back in 2013, and arrived on PS4 and Xbox One earlier this year under the somewhat streamlined guise of Marvel Heroes Omega.
Neither Gazillion management nor Marvel representatives have so far issued an explanation for the closure of the company. However, in the video below, Anthony Gallegos, who worked at Gazillion for almost three years, told Kinda Funny Games' Greg Miller the March 2017 release of the console version of Marvel Heroes did not bring in as much money as the company had expected. Gazillion then suffered a damaging round of layoffs that saw around 30 people let go, and, according to Gallegos, the developer actually lost its contract to run Marvel Heroes back in October.
"When we lost the ability to run it, they were trying to negotiate something to bring it back," he said.
"To be clear, this isn't like a, Disney's the bad guy thing. There were obligations Gazillion had in this contract and something must have not worked out and so Marvel pulled the plug. It's just business. I'm sure there was something that was like, if you don't do this, then we pull the plug. That's how it goes."