Accept it, we all were disappointed with the launch of Marvel’s Avengers and the game turned out to be a serious mishap on behalf of Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics. Despite the game selling about 2.2 million units digitally on its launch month of September 2020, it remains a disaster.
According to reports, the unsuccessful run of Marvel’s Avengers is termed as one of the main reasons why Square Enix’s HD Games section had to report an operating loss of 6.5 billion yen, or roughly $63 million, during the results briefing held on November 6th, 2020.
Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda stated at the time:
The HD Games sub-segment posted an operating loss as initial sales of “Marvel’s Avengers” were lower than we had expected and unable to completely offset the amortization of the game’s development costs. In the second half of the fiscal year (“2H”), we hope to make up for slow initial sales by offering ample additional content to grow our sales.
Absent factors associated with “Marvel’s Avengers” the sub-segment would have been in the black. In addition to the amortization of that game’s development costs, another significant factor associated with the title was the fact that we undertook a major advertising campaign at the time of its launch to make up for delays in our marketing efforts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a certain amount of development costs still to be amortized in 3Q, but we want to recoup it by growing our sales going forward.
The game has recently received its War for Wakanda expansion and has now also joined Game Pass on both Xbox and PC. And the roaster will soon be joined by our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. All this development, especially the joining of Game Pass would normally be good news for any game, as it opens up the title to a sizable new audience. However, things are not as it seems.
Though the number of players of the game has most certainly increased on Xbox as witnessed by the tweet above, the latest patch has also added gameplay-related microtransactions in the form of ‘consumable’ boosts that increase either the experience you get while playing the game or the resources collected. The problem here is that these consumables can only be acquired with real money purchases.
And do I need to say that this little mishap didn’t sit well with most Marvel’s Avengers fans, as they were quite vocal about their opposition? One of the major reasons why the fans are outraged is because Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics had repeatedly promised there wouldn’t be random loot boxes or pay-to-win scenarios in Marvel’s Avengers. And yet, here we are.
This stance was confirmed in an official blog post dated August 28th, 2020, which stated:
We’ve committed that content purchasable with real money in Marvel’s Avengers will be aesthetic-only additions, which will ensure we can keep the game fresh for years to come.
This sure misfire certainly won’t help the momentum Square Enix was hoping to gain from the Game Pass release of Marvel’s Avengers. hopefully, their other Marvel-licensed title, Guardians of the Galaxy, won’t have the same issues when it launches later this month.