Marvel’s Avengers has been called “disappointing” by Square Enix president, Yosuke Matsuda, in the company’s 2021 annual report.
In summary, Matsuda’s statement (which can been read below) admits that Marvel’s Avengers didn’t succeed in the way Square had hoped. Despite leaning on one of the world’s biggest entertainment IPs, Crystal Dynamics were unable to mesh their brand of game design with the live service approach Square Enix clearly wanted to take.
For those who haven’t played Marvel’s Avengers, there’s a solid 6 to 8 hour campaign with a decent story. However, the lion’s share of the game is dedicated to replayable missions that players grind away at in exchange for experience points and loot. The live service element comes in the form of free expansions and new heroes to play as, with cosmetic items being the only way to further extract money from players. Square had tried adding paid boosters but these were removed after a backlash from fans.
However, support for Marvel’s Avengers will continue. A new Spider-Man event will launch on November 30th for PS4 and PS5.
Here’s what Matsuda had to say about the game’s development and performance, stating that Square is still dedicated to pursuing live service games even after this stumble.
Marvel’s Avengers was an ambitious title for us in that we took on the GaaS (Games as a Service) model. We overcame a variety of unexpected difficulties in the final phase of the game’s development, including needing to transition to work-from-home due to the pandemic. We were able to surmount these challenges and release the game, but it has unfortunately not proven as successful as we would have liked.
Nonetheless, taking on the GaaS model highlighted issues that we are likely to face in future game development efforts such as the need to select game designs that mesh with the unique attributes and tastes of our studios and development teams. While the new challenge that we tackled with this title produced a disappointing outcome, we are certain that the GaaS approach will grow in importance as gaming becomes more service oriented. How we go about creating new experiences by incorporating this trend into our game design is a key question that we will need to answer going forward.
Besides the new Spidey content, Avengers players can expect the game’s first ever raid. Not only that, earnable cosmetics are on the way, Crystal Dynamics confirming it wants to add a “join in progress” feature to help with multiplayer matchmaking.
Source: Square Enix