Marvel Universe Online was hinted on as far back as 2006 and is constantly touted as Microsoft's next flagship title for their Live for Windows initiative. But speculations and the absence of encouraging words from the guys at Redmond seem to go against this A-level MMORPG.
If you've been keen on following the word from rumor mills, the you know that rumors ran out that Microsoft was to drop a high profile, highly-anticipated title lined up in their first-party arsenal. Marvel Universe Online may very well be that game if speculations were to be believed.
Because not far back, NCsoft rode high and proud, saying that City of Heroes and City of Villains have cornered the market of comic book superhero MMORPGs. Add to that the realization that NCsoft's acquisition of the entire "City of" franchise and reports that 15% of the studio's workforce would be moved up to Mountain View, California to form a new studio under NCsoft, and hopes couldn't be any dimmer.
Marvel Universe Online is critically key to Microsoft, as it is supposed to be the first MMORPG to display Microsoft's Live for Windows capabilities with full-fledged multiplayer. It would be a much needed one, too, after FASA Studios' Shadowrun failed to pick up on the very elusive PC gaming community.
Fortunately for players looking forward to the franchise, Microsoft didn't put out official word on the game's cancellation. We can't quickly rejoice, however, because they didn't add anything else to ensure its progress isn't as troublesome as rumors described it: "serious, potentially stalling, development."
More on this as we get them.