In a very surprising move on New Year’s Eve, many superhero titles made with Marvel’s licence had begun to be removed from every major digital distribution website. Along with the relatively recent Deadpool, various games including Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Spider-Man: Web of Shadows have all disappeared without a trace. This has also extended to the Marvel vs. Capcom series as well, with various instalments have been pulled from outlets.
This sudden removal is apparently a permanent change with an article by GameInformer confirming that “Deadpool is gone for good” which has been backed up by sources within Activision itself. On Twitter, community manager Dan Amrich stated that none of the titles they had produced with Marvel figures would be available for digital download in the future. Further confirming that both they and Capcom had been asked to remove them at the end of their respective contracts. Along with asking fans not to take this move personally, that it was just a business decision, Amrich stated “I do not know what Marvel's strategy is, but I have to believe they have a plan.”
While this move does not invalidate existing purchases, and a handful of unsold keys still exist, any future copies of any games will likely only be found in boxed form. Either through pre-owned form of existing sources such as Amazon.com.
It’s likely that Deadpool’s lukewarm reception and the mixed successes of many titles published under Activision had something to do with their contract not being renewed. Given their continual war with DC Comics, and the recent string of successes with the Batman series and Injustice: Gods Among Us, it’s likely Marvel saw the failures as a losing battle. Whatever criticisms might have been levelled at Batman: Arkham Origins, that title still stood head and shoulders above the likes of X-Men: Destiny and many other releases. The same really goes for Capcom, who have suffered multiple financial setbacks and have begun to severely decline in recent years. It can be suspected this is the prelude to seeing Marvel’s licence handed over to another publisher in an effort to boost future sales from the video game scene.
For the moment however, all that can be confirmed is that anyone seeking to buy Marvel titles in digital format is going to have a very hard time from here on.
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