These comments came in Square Enix’s annual report 2021 (page 7 of the .pdf). Yosuke Matsuda notes the game was an ambitious Games as a Service title (GaaS) which overcame “a variety of unexpected difficulties in the final phase of the game’s development;” such as remote working due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Matsuda states “We were able to surmount these challenges and release the game, but it has unfortunately not proven as successful as we would have liked.” Even so, Matsuda was confident in how tackling the GaaS business model highlighted issues they would be likely to face in future games development.
This includes “the need to select game designs that mesh with the unique attributes and tastes of our studios and development teams.” Matsuda states yet again that the game’s outcome was disappointing, but that GaaS titles would grow in importance for the industry as a whole.
“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. “
There has been a lot of bad press surrounding the 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.
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].
Fans were outraged that paid XP boosts were recently added 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. One month later, it was later announced XP boosts and Fragment Extractors would be removed from the game.
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.
Marvel’s Avengers is available for Windows PC (via Steam), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Google Stadia.