While I know everyone always cites BioWare’s Anthem as a tragedy of the live service looter genre, I think the more depressing case may be Marvel’s Avengers, a game that sort of really never had much of a chance as Crystal Dynamics tried to infuse loot (which had no visual component) into a superhero brawler (where the brawling was actually quite good) and produce endless updates for it.
Now, we have arrived at a bizarre point where Marvel’s Avengers is 90% off with all formerly paid cosmetics unlocked in the game. Why? Because it’s about to be delisted from every storefront. You will not be able to buy the game after September 30. It’s currently $4. Man…
This was announced earlier this year, and I’m still not quite sure exactly what happened here other than just…the game failing. Crystal Dynamics simply said that “the decision was made in conjunction with our partners that now was the right time to make this change.” I’m not sure if this was Square Enix, who the game was made under, Embracer Group, which bought Crystal Dynamics, or Marvel because of some licensing issue that would require more payment for live support and continued sales or something.
We have seen streaming services flat out remove shows from their platforms as of late, but thankfully that’s not what’s happening here. While the game will no longer be on sale, it’s not being deleted from your consoles (I feel like that’s illegal?), and services like multiplayer will continue to function. If you uninstall it and reinstall it that will still work also. But Crystal Dynamics cautions there will be no more updates for the game at all, including fixing new bugs that crop up.
It’s a strange, sad saga. It never really felt like a good idea to begin with, but the actual campaign was very good, and the kits of all the different heroes were really solid. But as time went on, this idea that the game would get constant new heroes and content slowed and slowed and slowed into yawning gaps between them. The last truly sizable bit of content was the Wakanda expansion with Black Panther. Supposedly a Kree invasion expansion was planned with a whole new enemy type. Heroes like She-Hulk and Captain Marvel were rumored to be coming down the road. In the end, Crystal Dynamics did manage to get out Kate Bishop, Hawkeye, Spider-Man (only on PlayStation), Black Panther, Jane Foster and Bucky Barnes, albeit at least half those characters were close to clones of each other or heavily borrowed from existing characters.
It just didn’t work as a cohesive whole. The characters were fun to play, but the endless rooms of robots got very dull. It was a looter without loot being at all visible on your character. You were doing things like finding amplified muscles and ribcages for Hulk. It was very weird.
I was a bigger defender of the game than most, as it could be pretty fun. But it lost control of its live service ambitions and now is ending in something of a tragedy.
Get it for $4. It’s worth that, at least.