Fans of classic Marvel superhero comics will be no less than thrilled to hear that a massively multiplayer online game based on the comic's roster of costumed crime-fighters is back in development.

After disappearing into game development hell back in 2007, the rights to a Marvel MMO (formerly owned by Cryptic) have now been obtained by start-up publishers Gazillion Games, set to bring Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man and the rest of the Marvel crew to life like you've never seen them before.

Well, that's what we hope, following the demise of other online superhero titles such as NCSoft's City of Heroes, which never really lived up to its promise.

Four new studios

According to reports on Venturebeat, Gazillion is a major new start-up, already employing over 300 staff

Kotaku adds that Gazillion "has four development studios working on massively multiplayer games... NetDevil, who as we already know, are working on LEGO Universe... Amazing Society who are working on the Superhero Squad MMO due in 2010 ... Slipgate Ironworks (John Romero's new company), who are developing an "unannounced original MMO".

"The fourth? Gargantuan, located in San Mateo, California, who are working on "Marvel Universe", an MMO for the PC and "consoles" (360 & PS3, presumably)."

Everquest turns ten

In other MMO news, Everquest is ten years old this month, having originally gone live on March 16, 1999. Happy birthday, Everquest!

For more info on the original MMO that has captured the minds and souls of millions of unwary fantasy fans over the last ten years head over to EverQuest 10th Anniversary