Marvel MMORPG Confirmed to be in the Works; LOTRO Revamp, Console Launch Still Happening

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Enad Global 7's Q3 2021 investor presentation contains a number of interesting tidbits, mainly concerning Daybreak's lineup where the crown jewel is an unannounced Marvel MMORPG.

This is the next-generation action MMORPG in development at Dimensional Ink Studios, the studio behind DC Universe Online. Wccftech first broke the story on that in early 2020 thanks to an interview with CEO Jack Emmert, formerly one of the founders of Cryptic Studios and designer of City of Heroes.

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While Emmert wasn't able to say much at the time, we did learn that what we now know as the upcoming Marvel MMORPG already had a working prototype. The executive said Dimensional Ink Studios planned to take advantage of next-generation platforms (presumably a reference to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X, in addition to PC) so that the developers could be 'looking at gameplay and systems that make better sense for the future, rather than what MMOs might have been like five or ten years ago'.

Emmert stayed mum on the business model, only saying that he's personally a big believer in the free-to-play model. Interestingly, back then he also couldn't say for sure Daybreak would be publishing the game, following the newly gained independence from the parent company. However, we're pretty sure EG7 wouldn't have this project filed under its product slate if that wasn't the case now.

In the livestreamed version of EG7's presentation, Acting CEO Ji Ham (previously CEO of subsidiary Daybreak ) said that the Marvel MMORPG is the largest and most exciting project in development among all of Enad Global 7's portfolio. It won't be coming out anytime soon, though. In fact, Dimensional Ink's ongoing work on DC Universe Online gives us an inkling about a potential release window for the Marvel MMORPG.

The slide below reveals that the largest DCUO expansion to date will launch in 2023, and that's filed (alongside a graphics upgrade, which we also touched upon in our aforementioned interview with Jack Emmert) under medium-term projects, whereas the Marvel MMORPG is longer term. Thus, it's fair to expect the game won't be released before 2024 at the earliest.

For the record, this isn't the first time a Marvel MMORPG gets underway. Marvel Universe Online was first announced by Microsoft at X06 as an Xbox 360 and PC exclusive, and it was to be developed by Cryptic Studios itself when Jack Emmert still worked there. However, Microsoft canceled it in February 2008 when it was clear that only World of Warcraft managed to succeed with the subscription-based model. Cryptic continued working on the project without the license and released it as Champions Online, while Marvel fans eventually got the MMOARPG Marvel Heroes from Gazillion.

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The other tentpole of Daybreak's lineup is Lord of the Rings Online, which recently received the Fate of Gundabad expansion. EG7 is confirming the earlier commitment to revamping the aging MMORPG's visuals, modernizing the experience, and launching it on consoles. This will be done to capitalize on Amazon's upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series, of course, especially after the new Lord of the Rings MMO was canceled due to a contractual dispute between Tencent and Amazon.

While a timeframe wasn't provided for the LOTRO overhaul, it sounds very much like the goal is to catch the hype train of the first season, scheduled to start airing on September 2nd, 2022 exclusively on Prime Video. EG7 Acting CEO Ji Ham noted that when IP owners and licensees invest as much as they are doing in this case (the Lord of the Rings TV series is rumored to be the most expensive ever made), that brings a huge opportunity for games based on said IPs; he also added that New World's success proves there is a large appetite for a Western MMO.

Other noteworthy games listed in EG7's pipeline include single player tactical FPS I.G.I. Origins and large-scale first-person tactical military shooter '83, both developed by Antimatter Games (the studio behind Rising Storm, of which '83 is supposedly a spiritual successor) and filed under the longer term category.

For next year, EG7 is planning to release 5v5 PvP voxel multiplayer FPS Block N Load 2 and co-op multiplayer FPS Evil v Evil, which will be based on a supernatural vampire fantasy setting.

Products mentioned in this post

New World
New World
USD 39.99
Xbox Series S
Xbox Series S
USD 799.95

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