Activision’s Marvel titles has been removed from a number of digital distribution hubs, including Xbox Live, PSN and Steam.
Among the games to disappear are Deadpool, Spider-Man: Friend or Foe, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Spider-Man: Edge of Time, X-Men: The Official Game, X-Men Destiny and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
No reason has been given for the removal of these titles. All Activision has said on the subject is that they were made unavailable at the end of 2013. The obvious reason is that Activision’s license agreement with Marvel has come to an end, but that’s purely speculation.
The news may also may add some weight to a story that popped up over the Christmas break, in which someone claiming to
be a former artist on Deadpool suggested that working conditions on the game were less than great.
“We had a couple of weeks were we crunched pretty aggressively on Deadpool,” said ‘wester’ on the Polycount forums. “Having Activision cut and cut and CUT just took its tole on so many of us.
“For a studio to demand that we do mandatory overtime for a project and then keep cutting so much time and money from it was ridiculous. At about halfway into development we were told that we weren’t even aiming very high in terms of score.
“Can you imagine working on a game where your higher ups say ‘yeah we’re shooting for a 64 or lower’ and then have them give you mandatory overtime?
“Btw I’m not shit talking the game. These are just facts. I hate that people find that they can’t talk about these sorts of things out of fear of being ‘blacklisted’ or whatever. These kinds of business practices shouldn’t happen period. The reward for doing overtime, is knowing that you’re contributing to a damn good game, people are going to love and be inspired by what you do, good reviews and the FAIR possibility of bonuses.”
It’s an interesting claim. If Activision knew that the game would be removed from sales within just a few months of release (Deadpool came out in June 2013), then it may explain why the publisher’s aspirations for the title were so low.