Square Enix has reported that it has lost 6.5 billion yen after the release of Marvel’s Avengers. That is approximately $62,882,742.
Reportedly, the volumes of the game sold made up just 60% of the company’s plans for sales. The implication, David Gibson of Astris Advisory Japan KK says, is that Marvel’s Avengers cost over $100 million to make but only sold $3 million. In a follow-up tweet, he writes that it seems the total cost of the game is more likely closer to anywhere between $170 million to $190 million. “Why someone didn’t say stop post the multiplayer beta will remain a mystery,” he says. “Square are adamant they can make a recovery.”
The numbers are eyebrow-raising, if not unexpected. A little over a month after release, the superhero game had an average of a mere 2,000 PC players. At one point during the same week, the number of PC players had dipped below 1,000. Only a little over a week after that, developer Crystal Dynamics announced it had moved the game’s PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S launches to next year, outside of the consoles’ respective Nov. 12 and Nov. 10 release windows.
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As studio head Scot Amos acknowledged in the announcement post, Marvel’s Avengers has had a tumultuous launch. Launching a game like this in the middle of a pandemic must be ridiculously difficult, especially since this isn’t the kind of game Crystal Dynamics tends to make. And it shows: as Managing Editor Steven Strom said in their review, the game’s single-player campaign starring Kamala Khan is wonderful. You’re hard-pressed to find a review that doesn’t praise it. However, mostly everything else leaves much to be desired.
NPD Group reported that Marvel’s Avengers was the best-selling video game in September. These sales numbers point to the game not having sold much since then, indicating a high level of interest at launch that quickly died off.
“While the challenges 2020 has surfaced are many, it’s also instilled a strength in us; to reassemble a team divided by geography and life circumstances, and come back stronger, united by a mission to do right by you,” said Amos. “This is, in part, why we have taken our responsibility developing Marvel’s Avengers so seriously. It’s our opportunity to pass on that core heroes’ spirit of heart and hope, connect you with friends near and far, and inspire you to plant your feet against a sea of adversity and say, ‘No, you move’.”
In addition to the delay of the next-gen versions, Kate Bishop — the first DLC character — has also been delayed. The release was originally planned for October, but her addition has been pushed back with no new date given. The timelines for other DLC characters, like Spider-Man and Black Panther, remain to be seen. Perhaps Marvel’s Avengers deserves another fair shake, but it’ll take plenty of time and work for it to reach a state where players are enticed to return to it.