Crystal Dynamics has confirmed that, as of today, it’s removed the controversial XP and resource boosters from Marvel’s Avengers’ in-game store, as it takes the “first step in rebuilding [players’] confidence”. A few weeks ago, the title attracted immense ire from its community, after it introduced microtransactions which sped up the rate of progression.
Subsequently, fans dug up a number of interviews from last year, where the developer categorically stated that it would only ever monetise cosmetics, like costumes and outfits. Furthermore, earlier in the year, the Californian team made the controversial decision to nerf XP progression, ultimately paving the way for these microtransactions to be introduced.
“We apologise for not responding sooner to your concerns about the addition of paid consumables in the [in-game] Marketplace,” a statement posted on social media said. “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.”
It continued: “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.”
To be honest, we’re struggling not to feel a little cynical here. For example, the microtransactions have been live long enough for Crystal Dynamics to monitor the number of people purchasing them, and maybe the developer’s ultimately decided that the revenue they’re generating isn’t worth all of the bad publicity.
The team must be sick to the back teeth of this project, though – it just seems to lurch from one disaster to another. Next up on the release’s roadmap is Sony’s platform exclusive Spider-Man expansion, which is practically guaranteed to cause chaos among the title’s remaining community. We bet Square Enix wished it could turn back time and bail on the contract it signed with Marvel.