Square Enix doesn’t seem too happy about the outcome of Marvel’s Avengers. According to company president Yosuke Matsuda, the ambitious live-service game was not nearly as successful as they would’ve liked, indirectly pinning some of that disappointment on developer Crystal Dynamics for perhaps not being a good fit for the Games as a Service (GaaS) project.
Speaking during Square Enix’s annual report, Matsuda talked in depth about the “disappointing outcome” of Marvel’s Avengers. Matsuda started off by citing difficulties in development during the global pandemic which enforced a work-from-home procedure for employees. However, the company managed to pull through it, though the outcome wasn’t what they had expected.
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Matsuda expressed his disappointment in the failure of Marvel’s Avengers, but remained optimistic that the GaaS model might still be viable for the future:
“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.”
Interestingly in the same statement, Matsuda indirectly implies that Crystal Dynamics were simply not a good fit for a live-service game, as their specialty has been in single-player titles like the Tomb Raider reboot series. Crystal Dynamics is currently collaborating with The Initiative on the Perfect Dark reboot, which is likely to be a single-player game.
Square Enix seemed to give Eidos Montreal a little extra freedom on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which is single-player focused and story-driven when compared to Marvel’s Avengers. The latter did feature a single-player story mode but it fell in the shadow of its multiplayer-centric live-service model. Perhaps Square Enix have learned a thing or two by now, especially considering they just removed paid XP boosts from the game (granted it was several weeks later).
Marvel’s Avengers is currently available for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.
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Source: Square Enix 2021 Annual Report