Is it still possible to save Marvel's Avengers?

Marvel's Avengers did not turn out to be as big as Square Enix expected, but it's not a massive failure either.

Marvel's Avengers and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is a tale of two games. Whereas one prioritized monetization and being a live-service game, the latter was more than happy to be a self-contained single-player experience that players could enjoy for a dozen or so hours. Now, the critics and audiences have spoken and it's clear that Crystal Dynamics' take on Marvel's premiere superhero team is far from a success.

Square Enix thinks that Marvel's Avengers was a colossal failure. The sales figures suggest that it isn't.

What's interesting here is that just as everyone had already given up on Marvel's Avengers, the game has found new life upon its release on the Xbox Game Pass. This, then, prompts the question, is it still possible to save Marvel's Avengers?

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Was Marvel's Avengers a disappointment?

Marvel's Avengers could have sold a lot better, but it's not as bad as most people think it is.

Hot take: Marvel's Avengers is not a bad game.

Before you get the pitchforks, hear us out first. We're not saying that Marvel's Avengers is one of the best superhero games ever, but we don't think that it's as big of a disappointment as Square Enix makes it out to be. Granted, the game's publishers did report a $63 million loss for their latest fiscal period right around the time that Marvel's Avengers was released. Square Enix did not explicitly blame it all on Marvel's Avengers, but it did subtly attribute the loss to the game's lackluster sales.

Since then, Marvel's Avengers have done a bit better. The NPD Sales Data that was released last August lists Marvel's Avengers as the 7th-best selling game in the United States in the last 12 months and the 8th best-selling game the day before the statistics were released. The data didn't exactly give an exact figure, but taking a look at its contemporaries should give you a good idea of just how well Marvel's Avengers sold:

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War
  2. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
  3. Madden NFL 21
  4. Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  5. Super Mario 3D All-Stars
  6. NBA 2K21
  7. Marvel's Avengers
  8. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  9. Mario Kart 8
  10. FIFA 21

What's even more interesting is that Marvel's Avengers is the only original game on the list. Everything else is either a sequel or a remake.

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So, what are we trying to say? For starters, Marvel's Avengers isn't a disappointment. Square Enix might have expected to make far more money from it, but it's unfair to blame their bad financial year on one single title. Not to mention, the game continues to live on, with Crystal Dynamics planning to release more Marvel's Avengers content through until 2022.

Admittedly, Marvel's Avengers remains a flawed game. It's not nearly as fun of an experience as Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is, especially when you get to the endgame. As a live-service game, it has failed, but by the time that you've realized that, you've already sunk at least a dozen or two hours into the game, which means that there's still a lot of value to be had from it.

TLDR; Marvel's Avengers is worth checking out now, especially on the Xbox Game Pass and on PS Now.

Between the premise of controlling the Earth's mightiest heroes with a rather expansive base campaign and several DLC missions for Kate Bishop, Hawkeye, and Black Panther, playing as all of the nine heroes is fun even if you find yourself stopping once you get to the end of the campaign's story.

What's next for Marvel's Avengers?

Marvel's Avengers could benefit from more single-player DLC missions.

Hopefully, cross-save and cross-play. Crystal Dynamics has made it clear that it wants to continue supporting Marvel's Avengers for at least another year. With Spider-Man still set to arrive for PlayStation users, the studio should consider adding cross-play and cross-save to the game if only to try and extend its endgame.

Marvel's Avengers live-service model has fallen short of expectations. However, it's not irredeemable. The game can still work as a single-player experience with the occasional story DLCs and missions. This doesn't mean that Crystal Dynamics has to drop the live-service elements, but it can divert its focus from it.

By putting more emphasis on the single-player experience, maybe, just maybe, Marvel's Avengers can redeem itself in the eyes of Square Enix.

If nothing else, Marvel's Avengers can still serve as a lesson for future Marvel games. Speaking of, there are several Marvel titles in development right now. This includes Insomniac Games' Marvel's Spider-Man 2 and Wolverine, Midnight Suns, and the untitled Marvel game from Uncharted's former creative director.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is based in the Philippines. He is a lifelong gamer and a PC hardware enthusiast. He builds and repairs laptops and computers for friends and family in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.