After securing $30 million in funding from NetEase, indie studio Second Dinner is ready to ramp up work on their newly-announced Marvel game.
2019 has only just begun and we’ve already got our first exciting announcement of the year. Second Dinner, an indie studio founded by former Hearthstone bigwigs Ben Brode and Hamilton Chu, has announced they have secured $30 million in funding from NetEase.
The minority investment by Chinese company NetEase, one of the largest Internet and video game companies in the world, allows Second Dinner to move out of Ben’s garage and into an actual office, which the company says finally makes them “a real company.”
The funding will also allow the company to expand beyond its five current employees and hire the necessary employees to finish their first project, which was revealed today to be a new Marvel game.
In their announcement video, Brode revealed that Second Dinner has been working on a “sick Marvel game for about six months.” Over that span, the team has created a prototype and begun playtesting.
Unfortunately, we don’t have any details about the game. We don’t know what type of Marvel game it will be, which platforms it will be available on, or which Marvel characters it will focus on. However, in their press release, they did specifically mention Hellcow, Throg, Spider-Man, the Avengers, and the X-Men, so it seems like just about the entire Marvel catalog of heroes and villains will be at their disposal.
We don’t know when we’ll hear more regarding the project which Second Dinner claims “might just be the most fun thing ever in the history of fun.” That’s a bold statement to make, even though it’s likely made in jest.
Still, anytime a studio announces a Marvel game, you can expect expectations to be high. That’s doubly true when you take a look at the resumes and past work of those currently working at Second Dinner.
“I’ve worked with Hamilton and Ben for years and they are exactly who we want making Marvel games,” said Jay Ong, EVP and Head of Marvel Games at Marvel Entertainment. “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!”
The studio has a combined history that includes work on Halo, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Diablo, StarCraft. A majority of them, however, have worked on Hearthstone, Blizzard’s incredibly successful, free-to-play collectible card game. This would seemingly suggest that Second Dinner’s mystery Marvel title is in the same vein as a digital collectible card game – unless they are hoping to break away from that.
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There’s certainly no shortage of Marvel games available on the market, especially when you look in the mobile space where we’ve got Marvel Future Fight, Marvel Contest of Champions, Marvel Battle Lines, Marvel Puzzle Quest and plenty more.
It’s a little less crowded on traditional gaming consoles, although Koei Tecmo Games did just recently announce Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order for Nintendo Switch. We’ve also got Square Enix’s The Avengers Project, a mysterious title in development by Crystal Dynamics that we haven’t heard much about since its initial reveal back in January 2017.
Second Dinner’s Marvel game is probably still a ways off given how early in the development cycle they are, but this funding should allow them to move full steam ahead on the project. What kind of Marvel game are you hoping to see from Second Dinner?