The Wall Street Journal reports this evening that Marvel Entertainment has struck a 10-year exclusivity agreement with upstart Gazillion Entertainment to produce online multiplayer titles based on its comic book properties. The paper's website indicates that the deal will be officially announced tomorrow.

Marvel's previous foray into the MMO space, Marvel Universe Online, was eventually canceled by its publisher, Microsoft Game Studios. The title was announced for Xbox 360 and Games for Windows at the 2006 X06 showcase, and was in development at Cryptic Studios, makers of the upcoming Champions Online. Marvel and Gazillion will be going head-to-head with DC Universe Online, a joint venture between Sony Online Entertainment and DC Comics. More details as they hit.

[Update: VentureBeat reports that Gazillion Entertainment, which was until today operating under the name "NR2B Research," employs more than 300 staff across four development studios. Its first title utilizing Marvel characters will be Super Hero Squad, an online game slated for 2010 that ties into a kid-friendly Cartoon Network series launching this fall. In big news for the MMO crowd, Gazillion's San Mateo, CA based Gargantuan studio is confirmed as developing a Marvel universe MMO for PC and consoles.]

[Thanks, J Blackthorn]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.