MMO publishers have been fairly static for the past decade or so: EA, SOE, NCsoft, a few other forays from Asia and the occasional indy (that more often than not promptly gets borged by one of the above).
But wait! A challenger appears!
Gazillion sure knows how to make a splash. The MMO (massively multi-player online game) publisher has been operating in stealth mode for three years, putting together a collection of development studios and signing one of the biggest video game licensing deals in recent memory: A 10 year pact with Marvel giving it exclusive rights to make MMOs based on every single character in the comic book publisher’s library.
This would be, you know, as opposed to the ten year exclusive deal Marvel signed with Vivendi. In 2002. Or the deal signed with Microsoft to develop Marvel Online with Cryptic for the Xbox 360. In 2005. Clearly, this time it will be different. Why? Because in case the Marvel Universe deal falls through (not that it’s concievable that could ever happen), Gazillion also now owns NetDevil, thus giving them Lego Universe and Jumpgate: Evolution, and Slipgate Ironworks, thus giving them John Romero. Failure: not an option.