Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics have added paid XP and resource boosts to Marvel’s Avengers, allowing players of the superhero game to accelerate their characters’ progress by paying real money. The decision has already managed to stir significant controversy, as the developers had promised in the past that Marvel’s Avengers would have not have any sort of pay-to-win element. Monetization was supposed to be strictly limited to cosmetics.
“Our promise to the community is that we won’t have random loot boxes or pay-to-win scenarios,” senior community manager Meagan Marie said during a presentation for the game at E3 2019.
Studio head Scot Amos echoed that a week later in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz. “The idea, from the beginning, is that we want you to be able to customize your hero – how they look, how they play, the gear they have and how they use it,” Amos said. “Your Black Widow could be different to my Black Widow – just a little, maybe a lot depending on what you favor and how you unlock things. In terms of how we monetize, we’ll have cosmetics. No gameplay paywalls.”
Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics also wrote the following in an article explaining how Marvel’s Avengers’ gears and cosmetics system would work on September 27, 2020:
We’ve also committed that content purchasable with real money in Marvel’s Avengers will be aesthetic-only additions, which will ensure we can keep the game fresh for years to come. The fight against AIM is only just beginning, there is much more story and many more heroes on the horizon.
Marvel’s Avengers’ new monetization tactic seems to suggest that Square Enix is still desperately trying to recoup losses for the game, which have reportedly amounted to over $40 million thus far. The game was recently released for Xbox Game Pass on September 30.