Much online chatter that the long-planned Marvel online role playing game has foundered on rocky shoals. This follows a bunch of moves involving City of Heroes:

Last week, NCSoft announced it had acquired the City of Heroes IP from Cryptic Studios. Additionally, the staff behind the franchise — approximately 15% of Cryptic — was moving to Mountain View, CA and opening a new studio to operate within the NCSoft umbrella. During and following the announcement, no comment was made about the status of Marvel Universe Online. Curious, then, when we heard the game’s status was in danger and contacted Microsoft for an update on the game’s progress. Given there’s been nothing new about Marvel Universe Online (outside of bringing comics writer John Layman on board in July) since an October 2006 interview with IGN, it’s not exactly a bizarre question.

“We have nothing new to share about Marvel Universe Online,” said a Microsoft spokesperson. Pressed further about whether the changes within Cryptic had affected the game, Microsoft was no more forthcoming. “Cryptic’s recent sale of the City of Heroes IP to NCSoft has no bearing on the development of “Marvel Universe Online,” continued the spokesperson.

Hm…our Spidey sense– based on nothing more than guesswor–is that delays don’t mean never. But it does make that whole lawsuit against CoH look pretty pointless now, doesn’t it?