Square Enix and developer Crystal Dynamics have announced paid XP and Fragment boosters will be removed from Marvel’s Avengers.
As previously reported, fans were outraged paid XP boosts were coming to the game. This was despite Crystal Dynamics Senior Community and Social Media Manager Meagan Marie promising players no random lootboxes or pay-to-win scenarios during the game’s full reveal presentation.
Nonetheless, the game would later feature a “Games as a Service” business model- micro-transactions and updates of additional content. Crystal Dynamics’ Studio Head Scot Amos told GamesIndustry.biz in June 2019 “In terms of how we monetise, we’ll have cosmetics. No gameplay paywalls.”
Amid fan outrage, the game’s official Twitter now states Hero’s Catalysts and Fragment Extractors will be removed from being purchased. Hero’s Catalysts provide XP boosts, while Fragment Extractors help players gain more Fragments (both key in improving a character’s abilities and strength).
You can find the full statement below.
“We apologize for not responding sooner to your concerns about the addition of paid consumables in the Marketplace. We introduced them as an option for an evolving player base, and did not see them as pay-to-win since they don’t offer power directly.
After considering your feedback, we have decided that by the end of today we will remove Hero’s Catalysts and Fragment Extractors for purchase. They will continue to be earnable rewards and those already owned are still usable.
We hope that this can be the first step in rebuilding your confidence in us as a team.
It continues to be our goal to make the very best game possible. Thank you for being a part of the Marvel’s Avengers community.”
This is the latest bad news in a disastrous game for Square Enix. They made a reported $61.23 million USD loss in FY 2021 Q2 from HD games; with the only notable game in that period being Marvel’s Avengers (launched September 4th, 2020).
At the time David Gibson, co-founder of Astris Advisory Japan KK, tweeted that Square made a ¥6.5 billion JPY loss on HD games that quarter; “driven” by Marvel’s Avengers. He also proposed the game sold 60% of estimated sales goals, and had development costs of $170 million USD to $190 million USD.
In June of this year a patch caused a bug; making the game exposed the user’s IP address on screen. A hotfix was launched soon after.
Square Enix president Yosuke Matsude later stated Marvel’s Avengers did not recoup its development costs in the two months since launch, during the Financial Results briefing for FY 2021 Q2. The game also received middling scores from critics, and harsh scorn from players [1, 2, 3].
Our own review stated “at its highest highs, Avengers is generic.” This was furthered hindered my microtransactions, rarely having enough in-game money to buy want you want (tempting you to buy more), and an out of place loot and leveling system.
The game even made our list for our worst video games of 2020; and the slowing down of the game’s XP progression and cosmetic acquisition after launch made us consider if the game was going free-to-play. This new addition would be akin to a free-to-play game.
Marvel’s Avengers is available for Windows PC (via Steam), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Google Stadia.