EA-Marvel brawler KO'd

Multiyear licensing agreement for fighting games follows development studio EA Chicago into the abyss.

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When EA Chicago was closed last year, one of the issues unaddressed at the time was the fate of the studio's projects, a Marvel fighting game and a second fighter based on a new intellectual property. That mystery has been cleared up a little, as Electronic Arts and Marvel have terminated both the project and their licensing agreement, according to a GameTap report.

The deal between Marvel and EA dates back to 2004, when the companies announced a multiyear agreement for fighting games featuring famous Marvel characters alongside new EA-created heroes. The first offspring of the deal was Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects, a poorly received effort that saw its price slashed by 40 percent less than two months after its release.

Another mystery in the wake of the EA Chicago closing--the future of the studio's general manager, Kudo Tsunoda--was recently solved when Microsoft confirmed the developer's hiring. Tsunoda will now work at Microsoft Game Studios under corporate vice president Shane Kim. However, a growing tide of unconfirmed reports has Microsoft's own Marvel project--an Xbox 360 and PC massively multiplayer online role-playing game--being put on indefinite hold.

[UPDATE]: A representative with Electronic Arts confirmed the deal's demise for GameSpot, saying, "EA and Marvel have jointly agreed to discontinue development of the Marvel titles under the EA Games Label." As for why, the rep only said it was a business decision made based on EA's portfolio strategy.

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