Despite Previous Promises, Marvel's Avengers Adds Paid XP Boosts
Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics make a deal with Mephisto.
What's that line about becoming the villain if you live long enough? Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics' Marvel's Avengers has persisted for over a year now, despite its rocky start, and it still struggles to top 1,000 concurrent average players in a month. That means that the AAA title isn't likely bringing in much money, and today's new development is meant to change that, even if it means alienating what few fans of the title remain.
Avengers now offers consumables in its shop that can accelerate players' progress in the game, in the form of XP boosts or an increase in the number of resources they gain for defeating enemies. That's not an uncommon class of items to be found in any game's cash shop, but two other circumstances are making the changes in this game difficult to stomach.
First, there was Square Enix's guarantee that it wouldn't introduce pay-to-win, which every company is obligated to make. You might argue -- and I'm sure SE will -- that these items are more "pay-to-progress" instead of "pay-to-win," but there's a further complication. In addition to saying there would be "no gameplay paywalls," there was also a blog post in August of 2020 that explicitly stated:
We’ve also 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.
Toss in a patch from March that increased the amount of XP needed to level past level 25 -- thus making paid boosts more attractive -- and you can see how many fans would feel betrayed by the developers. In particular, that March blog post stated that the rate at which players were advancing was "confusing and overwhelming to newer players," but that now appears to not be a concern if those players can pay for it.
All in all, it smacks of desparation for a game that's on life support and needed an injection of cash -- from any source, no matter how unpopular -- to keep the servers going. As with many things of this nature, the amount of outrage on the game's subreddit might not match up with the actual lost player base and sales, but it's likely that it won't win the game any new fans, at least.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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