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Rumormill: Marvel Universe Online canceled?

Michael Zenke

If you've been following non-MMOG news of late, you've probably heard all the speculation about possible canceled Xbox 360 titles. The whole thing was spurred by Shane Bettenhausen in a recent 1up Yours podcast, where he said, 'a big Microsoft first-party title that has been in the works for a very long time, that people are very excited for, sounds like it's being canceled.' Massively's sister site Joystiq has reported that the canceled game isn't Fable 2, or Alan Wake, or Too Human, or ... Banjo-Kazooie.

1up's news editor Patrick Klepek has since stepped back up to the mic to specify that an anonymous source tipped them to the possible cancellation of Cryptic's Marvel Universe Online. Not just relying on the un-verifyable source information, Klepek goes on to note the numerous opportunities Cryptic has had to crow about the game, and didn't.

Reading between the lines of interviews conducted with Cryptic following the City of Heroes news are telling. Despite Marvel Universe Online being the only title Cryptic has publicly revealed to be in development, they've yet to make any mention of the project, instead focusing attention towards to-be-revealed future announcements. "The decision to sell the franchise allows us to focus resources on our soon to be announced first-party projects," said Cryptic President and co-founder Michael Lewis in the NCSoft sale's press release. What about Marvel Universe Online, Mike?

With the recent purchase of City of Heroes/Villains from Cryptic by NCsoft, that leaves the studio without an announced title. They have as much as said they're working on a new first-party game, so obviously they're not out of the picture completely if the MUO cancellation news is true. What might that game be? Why has MUO's development stalled or stopped? Most interestingly, what does this mean for the once-promising three-way-fight between a Sony-backed DC title, a Microsoft-backed Marvel title, and NCsoft's CoX?

What do you think is going on here? Will we ever get to swing through Peter Parker's New York online? Will we get to smash Sentinels for the X-men?

[Via Joystiq]

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