The Makers of the Freedom Force games were zapped by legal action between the first and second games of the series, on account of too many people modding Marvel comic superheroes into the game to play.
Seeing the opportunity and a market, In stepped Microsoft, Sony's tie-up with DC Characters in the Spring, with a view to licensing the Marvel characters you all know and love and maybe a few lesser known heroes too, for gameplay on the Xbox360. In short, if you want a true City Of Heroes, you'll have to sign up for the official versions.
While it's good to see an official version, the obvious question of what happens when more than one person wants to play the same character hasn't been answered by either side - it's easy with, say, Iron Man with his many suits of armour, and you can have the classic and Secret Wars era Spider Man with the all-black Venom costume (plus Venom itself as a villain), and there are 30 years of X-Men to go round, but we can see an opportunity to have massive beat-em-ups with the right to be known as the One true Batman, for example. We'll just have to wait and see how the two comics houses and software companies treat the much-loved superheroes when the newest genration consoles arrive.