Marvel game coming from ex-‘Hearthstone’ team
A mystery new Marvel game is on its way from a small new studio whose staff used to work together on massive mobile and PC card game “Hearthstone”.
“They are exactly who we want making Marvel games,” said Marvel Games head Jay Ong of former “Hearthstone” game director Ben Brode and former executive producer Hamilton Chu. “They and the team they’ve assembled at [games studio] Second Dinner have made some of the greatest games in history.”
Free-to-play digital card game “Hearthstone” was released in 2014 as a spin-off from giant MMO “World of Warcraft” and, in addition to its popularity among players, has become a fixture of the eSports circuit and livestreaming community.
Ong used the adjectives “amazing”, “spectacular”, “incredible” and “mighty” to describe the secret project’s anticipated level of quality. “Amazing” and “spectacular” are words frequently associated with Spider-Man, while the Hulk is often called “incredible.”
That said, neither Second Dinner nor Ong specified what the project’s scope or platform would be, save for disclosing that Chinese firm NetEase had invested $30 million in the studio and that new hires would be shown a prototype as part of the interview process.
Brode, Chu and Marvel Games head Jay Ong worked together on Blizzard’s action role-playing game “Diablo III”, first released in 2012 and then repackaged as a collected console edition in 2014.
Brode accrued additional credits on “World of Warcraft”, “StarCraft II”, “Heroes of the Storm” and “Overwatch” while Chu spent time at “Halo” studio Bungie before racking up a similar resumé of Blizzard releases.
Second Dinner’s project is not the only well-anticipated upcoming Marvel adaptation.
“Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3”, whose franchise is often compared to the “Diablo” games, is expected on Nintendo Switch at some point in 2019, pulling from the Marvel Cinematic Universe of blockbuster movies.
Meanwhile, “Tomb Raider” developer Crystal Dynamics is making a game based on The Avengers, whose members have been central to the MCU’s storylines, as the result of a multi-title deal arranged by publisher and owner Square Enix.
The PlayStation 4 game “Spider-Man” launched in September 2018 and was hailed as one of the year’s outstanding releases and a victory for superhero adaptations. JB