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.
Wonder how much they made while it was active? 🤔
@AhmadSumadi It would be interesting to know, wouldn't it?
This "first step" has been taking a solid year and a half already.
I take it that this game hasn’t gotten better huh?
The damage is already done. Wonder how much of a hit it would be to just do an Anthem.
@shonenjump86 There's quite a lot of content to play through these days, but I think it's just never going to recover from its bad reputation.
The Spider-Man DLC is going to be a guaranteed sh*t show.
LOL, if only they would have gone the same route Eidos Montreal took for Guardians of the Galaxy. Almost done with it, nothing groundbreaking, but definitely very fun! The dialogue and interaction between the characters is very well done, keeps you invested in the relationship and is genuinely funny. It's been perfect for me to wind-down after a hard day of work.
Typical, punishing people who don't have enough time to just play the game normally.
Give me doo sex.
Let the game die. Kill it if you have to.
We are sorry we didnt get away thats what i read here. After the backlash so with it they probably would have gone ahead with it even after promises.
@get2sammyb I'm genuinely interested in why you think it'll be a guaranteed sh*tshow?
Thank goodness they got rid of those. I bought one and leveled up as quickly as I used to be able to and let me tell you, it was **so overwhelming**! Confidence REBUILT guys.
PS I didn’t actually buy one of those.
I enjoyed the game for as long as there was story campaign. As soon as it stopped being story focused and more online coop grind it instantly put me off. Fun game for 8 hours it is.
Yes, Push Square, that's all.
@Milktastrophe well the worst thing is they actually slowed progression. Then they introduced these. It would have caused enough of an uproar without slowing the progression.
So is leveling up going back to how it was or staying nerfed?
I'm just here to enjoy the schadenfraude from watching Crystal Dynamic's greed bite them.
@Brydontk is it Crystal Dyanmic's or Square Enix's greed, though?
@naruball Good question, but I'm leaning Crystal. Square Enix was also in charge of the Guardians game, yeah?
@Brydontk yeah and they likely saw the backlash The Avengers received and wanted to avoid that.
I mean, following that logic, Crystal Dynamics made other games in the past that didn't have that kind of microtransactions, yeah?
It's hard to imagine, for example, Santa Monica making such a decision and Sony playing no part in it.
After considering our feedback my donkey! I dare bet the only reason they removing these is because during the period they were available they generate next to no revenue and they realized they did more harm than profits (because they don’t care about “good”.)
So people were complaining about a booster that no sane person with any interest in the game would purchase in the first place. It's an action RPG and facing any amount of grind drives some folks to assume that their precious progression towards another bunch of trophies is "nerfed" in favour of MTX. I don't even dare ask how many of them were barking at Squeenix on social media while begrudgingly processing the purchase.🙄
#should have stuck to making tomb raider
Not good enough. Don’t make predatory decisions in the first place.
This type of game is nothing but cynical garbage wrapped up in a flimsy shell based around a franchise which fans adore. It’s highly disrespectful to make what amounts to a mobile game full of MTX with a never ending grind.
Nioh 2 is a loot based game which treated its customers with respect. No micro transactions, meaningful DLC and literally hundreds of hours of end-game content. In fact I’ve spent 1100 hours in it and I’m still not done.
I wanted to give this game a try but all the reviews said it got stale quickly & the gameplay wasn’t that deep or diverse between hero’s. The second I heard they engaged in scumbag behaviour by nerfing the levelling system then added microtransactions just makes me wish this game will die a horrible death & the execs that made this decision get booted far, far away from the gaming industry….as well as genital herpes.
Good decision..i enjoyed the game i really did although i only really played it online with a couple of fellow marvel nuts in quick stints here and there and all 3 of us (probably the only 3 who still play it) thought it was pretty decent and wasnt deserving of the flack it got..there are people on here who say its good and then start hating on it and then its good again then....its always going to be one of those games that people will enjoy but never admit to it..the marmite of games..
And to think they put the Deus Ex series on ice for this games. I'd ask if was worth it, but obviously it wasn't.
@pukana Relax. it's just video games. Take several chill pills, if you have to.
@naruball when they’re back to video games instead of pokie machines, call me.
…and how much in microtransactions are you charging for those chill pills? Do they come in skins?
Do you have other microtransactions to speed up those chill pills?
@pukana gotta love internet comedians. So hilarious, they laugh at their own jokes.
For the price you can buy this now - the solo player story is worth it. It’s a good game. I couldn’t care less about the extra grind modes attached. The campaign is decent.
I really hope they pull an Anthem here soon with this game. I could feel how ready to be done with this game the devs are in their words. It didn't work out and you already have a huge ongoing cash cow with Final Fantasy 14 and from what I see it's nothing but positivity coming from that games fans and devs for the most part.
You don't need another game as a service Square. Please just end it and get back to Tomb Raider! 🙂
I gave up during the first chapter.
I started this a few days ago, and am just over halfway through the campaign. Its alright. Good enough to finish, but I can tell by now I'll have no interest in any of the content beyond the main campaign.
If your goal was to make the best game possible then it wouldn't have shoehorned a live service and corporate tie ins onto what was essentially not a bad single player campaign suffering from bloat due to said live service nonsense.
@nessisonett Unfortunately Marvels Avengers has sold FAR better than people assume. E.g. It was No 7 for the year since launch in the US. Add to this all the MTX/Battle Pass money and added PS Now and Game Pass revenue (plus all the new players that come through that) and it has done far better than most would expect, even if that’s not as well as SquareEnix would have hoped.
Sadly while games and models like this keep performing they will keep being made.
@BoldAndBrash "Wasn't this game pretty much a flop?"
No, sadly not. See my post above.
Not as successful as they would have wanted but definitely not a flop, despite the memes.
@themightyant I guess that does make sense though. It’s a very popular IP after all. I’m gonna assume that it’s not doing as well on the live service microtransactions front though. It’s one thing to shift copies but another to keep players engaged and spending.
@naruball I mean, Square Enix has been in charge of several games as well without microtransactions. They're one of the main RPG gaming companies. So again, good question, could be either company, but I'm leaning towards Crystal Dynamics.
@nessisonett @themightyant Agreed. Companies and corporations speak the language of money and I feel like the message the spike in sales gave out was that people liked the free DLC and Black Panther (And it also got launched on Game Pass so people could buy it for free). But people don't like trying to be peddled stuff while playing their superhero video games.
And a spike in sales leaves out context, like how many people stayed engaged with the game, how many sold/traded their games back and stuff like that. Remember, within a month of the initial launch, the game lost 90% of its players
@nessisonett While we don't know for certain i'd assume this is again doing much better than people think but less well than SE hoped.
@Brydontk Agreed. But the 90% of it's players was based of Steam data only. It also (according to Steam) stayed pretty steady after the initial fall, with a few spikes, suggesting the game has a longer tail than many think.
EDIT: Just to add that with a hybrid game like this, where there is both a relatively short contained single player campaign and a live service intended to go on much longer they would have been anticipating a large drop off, although not as severe as it appeared, they only need a much smaller number of 'hardcore' players to whale on it once hooked.
Personally while I loath to say it, I think it's likely done pretty well considering all the bad press, bad will and memes.
It's kinda funny that "fans" of the game are constantly up in arms about maintaining the noble integrity of the Marvel Avengers video game.
They are quite happy to vacuum up all the free content add-ons, but when the company has to adjust to keep the game profitable, the fans are screaming and shaking their fists. Not sure if they are even aware that the bad press they have been churning out since launch has caused the company to recalibrate due to probably weak sales. Thanks to them.
The argument seems to be, well, this company just wants to make money. Yes. Yes it does. Just like we all do. Because no one wants to hear "Marvel Avengers servers will shut down on..." earlier than expected. And yet, that's what the "fans" are heading towards.
If you are mad at the game don't play it, if you don't want micro-transactions don't buy them. Don't yell on social to have them banned. I love the option of micro-transactions. I don't have a lot of time to play daily, so its a nice perk if I want it. I get better leveling while supporting the game. So the game can grow, and I can maybe get a sequel.
I feel like Division 2 has one of the most compelling live service gameplay loops, a just-right mix of free stuff, paid seasons, meaty campaign, outfits for sale, etc. I bought a stellar red jacket for $5. I love it. But I was only able to get it because fans were not up in arms about paid jacket content.
Division took a while to get to where it is, and Avengers needs the time long term. To craft that certain balance, supporting a game you love without feeling like its a money grab is quite a tightrope to walk. Hundreds/thousands of hours have been and are being spent trying to figure this out to make the most people happy and engaged.
I just feel like the toxic discussions of games trying to find their way really does not help anyone. Especially from people who have never even played the game and yet have mountains of comments on their perspective or wish "the game would just die already". It's kinda sad.
this franchise should've been such a slam dunk for crystal dynamics/ Square Enix. but the greed and basic gameplay along with all the glitches and, bugs have ruined this game to a point where, it hasn't been fun to play in months. it's been extremely disheartening to see such a beloved franchise handled so poorly.
@frankmcma I like your point in theory, however if that is the case then they can just say so.
However i'm not sure that washes with this one. In the case of Avengers we got an XP nerf due to "pacing issues", it was apparently "overwhelming to newer players", and they wanted to make upgrades "more meaningful” ONLY to re-introduce a paid XP booster 6 months later. (Who could have seen that coming...)
Moreover (see my post above #39) i'm not sure Avenger's is in the dire predicament the internet likes to imagine because they don't like the game.
@themightyant Yes I am well aware of the nerf. I play live services games and nerfs and buffs are part of the drill. That, actually, is what keeps you playing. Constant calibrating. I've got hundreds of hours in Borderlands 3 and I feel like nerfs/buffs were just about weekly between modes, enemies, equipment and regions.
The reason I did not mention it is because I find it hard to believe that the company is that nefarious. Like standing at a whiteboard and planning an XP booster with a XP nerf. I also find it hard to believe they would be that stupid, with the track record the game has had, that would be really kicking a hornet's nest.
Back to Borderlands 3, I just spent 2 years on various B3 message boards where fans screamed weekly that Gearbox was ruining the game with all the changes. "I spent 1200 hours with the game and I am now DONE, SORRY GEARBOX". Of course you see them a few weeks later with a post wondering if legendary loot drops were increased in Athenas.
I play other games like Fallout 76 and Ghost Recon Breakpoint, so I know euphoria and crushing disappointments while devs figure stuff out. I also have 100's of hours in these games that current gamers describe as "dead games". These games actually have a ton of active players and amazing gaming communities.
Of course players, and the internet, still stomp on their graves and claim them as failures, because of (I agree with post #39) they don't like the game but more often because they have never played the game and it's super easy to jump in and hate on them.
“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.”
That's kinda worse.
1) "option" never means option. It means "deflect from our attempt at predatory tactics"
2) You're in the business of game design and you didn't understand that boosts were a direct affect on the design of your game? You're either lying or incompetent.
The backlash on the subreddit was immense and the Devs were getting nothing but abuse, not that i agree with abuse thrown at the Devs but clearly it worked.
@naruball who doesn’t like an internet comedian? The odds are less people like a smart ass too! 😘
@frankmcma You make good points but there is a BIG difference between slightly nerfing a weapon or skill and significantly nerfing the WHOLE XP system. One is calibration to keep the game balanced the other is a fundamental shift of how the gameplay loop/grind works. That is then cynically added as a payment option. (Never saw it coming?)
Re: "company is that nefarious": Yeah i'm a cynic on this. I remember when they still published the GDC and other developer conference videos about 'catching whales' and how to effectively go about hooking into gamers addictions. After all it only takes a relative few whales to keep the whole ship afloat.
This is the dirty side of the industry that is not really discussed. ALL games are developed around keeping a player engaged with a satisfying loop but there is a subjective line, especially when time and money come into it with live services and MMOs, beyond which it can get pretty dark, very fast.
But I agree with the other points on your posts. Including everyone dogpiling on these games/decisions especially some of the players that are often most engaged.
@get2sammyb Suggestion for a soapbox or discussion:
I was watching the SkillUp video on Forza Horizon 5 (it will tie back into this article I promise) and he made an excellent point that for some games (like Forza) gamers seem happy having a paid double XP/money boost via a VIP pass whereas for others Avengers, Assassin's Creed it is anathema.
While it IS a bit of a double standard I think the fundamental difference is that in games like Forza you NEVER feel short of cars or money, the in game economy and rate of dealing out rewards is generous. Therefore we're far more accepting of having the option to further speed this up.
Whereas games like Avengers/Assassins Creed seem ridiculously slow in their doling out of rewards that the XP boosts seems cynical on a fundamental design level.
Would love to hear others thoughts on this or see this as a soapbox article.
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