Second Dinner – the former developers of Blizzard’s Hearthstone trading card game - have received $30m from Chinese technology giant Netease to create a new Marvel game. While this initially sounds exciting as it could be either Iron Man, Thor, or Captain Boyscout America related, fans should simmer down and restrain their excitement as it’s a licensed mobile title.
Reported by the Telegraph, Hearthstone’s game director and executive producer, Ben Brode and Hamilton Chu, founded the US start-up in 2018 while slaving away in Brode’s garage. The duo have since moved into an office in Irvine, California, where they have been joined by fellow ex-Blizzard alumnus Mike Schweitzer, Yong Woo and Jomaro Kindred.
It’s not surprising that their Marvel title is going to be a mobile game as the $30m minority investment comes from a Chinese internet and gaming company, Netease. We don’t know which Marvel giants the game will and won’t star, but Jay Ong, EVP and head of Marvel Games at Marvel entertainment, has issued a statement hyping up the ex-Blizzard devs:
“I’ve worked with Hamilton and Ben for years, and they are exactly who we want making Marvel games. They and the team they’ve assembled at Second Dinner have made some of the greatest games in history. And now, working with the Marvel Games team and playing in the Marvel Universe. … It’s going to be Amazing! Or maybe Spectacular! Or Incredible! Or Mighty! Or quite possibly all of the above!”
Although Marvel already have a Nexon-developed card game for mobile named Marvel: Battle Lines, Second Dinner’s mobile title could be an ideal replacement. While it’s admittedly underwhelming to hear ‘Marvel game’ and ‘mobile’ in the same sentence, for those who enjoy playing their phones on the toilet it’s probably exciting news.
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