Marvel’s Avengers has been the butt of countless jokes since it was officially revealed at E3 2019, and this live service game’s story has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs since then. From a less-than-stellar reveal to a lukewarm launch to a drip-feed of post-launch content, Marvel’s Avengers has been a textbook example of how not to handle a live service game.
Despite some positive trends last year with the release of the War for Wakanda expansion, the addition of Spider-Man (on PlayStation consoles), and some much-needed gear adjustments, the future of Marvel’s Avengers is looking more and more dire by the day. While Crystal Dynamics is still working on the game as far as anybody knows, nobody knows what exactly is being worked on besides expensive skins lifted from MCU movies.
Where is the Marvel’s Avengers Roadmap?
The last Marvel’s Avengers roadmap detailed the War for Wakanda expansion, the game’s first raid, and the addition of Spider-Man on PS4 and PS5. That was released last summer, and Crystal Dynamics promised that they’d update the community with more information in “early 2022.” That’s a vague window, and it’s understandable if things slip past their initial date due to the current state of the world, but as of April, the Marvel’s Avengers community is losing hope that they’ll ever see that roadmap.
Marvel’s Avengers hasn’t seen many updates this year. The most recent patch reworked the game’s onboarding, making it easier for new players to jump into the game with new missions led by Nick Fury. This update also introduced a severe crashing issue on PS5 (after a delay, to boot), continuing the trend of “one step forward, two steps back” for the game. That’s the biggest content drop that the game has seen this year, and given that the majority of Avengers players are diehard fans with endgame builds, it wasn’t received all that well by the overall community.
What the game needs is more heroes, more missions, more content, and more areas: the type of content that you’d expect to see in a roadmap. With no Avengers roadmap in sight, however, it’s getting harder and harder to believe that leaked heroes like She-Hulk, the Winter Soldier, and War Machine will ever be added to the game’s roster. Crystal Dynamics remains silent on the topic, and that’s arguably the worst offense of all.
The Future of Avengers
If you ask most people about the state of Marvel’s Avengers, you’ll get overwhelmingly negative responses. Most people didn’t think the game would make it this far at all, and the further the game crawls along, the more likely it seems that it’s on its last legs. With so many live service options out there (and better Marvel games on the horizon), that’s not a good sign.
The lack of a roadmap isn’t the problem. The problem is the lack of communication. If Crystal Dynamics would communicate with its shrinking player base about development problems and timeline changes, the situation wouldn’t be as bad. The fact that the studio is silent, however, makes it seem like the developers are just as uncertain about the game’s future as the players are.
I’m a diehard Marvel’s Avengers fan myself, and it sucks to see the game fail to capitalize on its potential with every update. The game isn’t unsalvagable; it shows promise with some content like the Discordant Sound raid and Scientist Supreme villain sector. But with a lack of regular and meaningful content updates, it’s hard to motivate myself to jump in and beat up AIM robots for the 1000th time (even if the game has Spider-Man).
Being a fan of this game hurts, and bugging friends to play only to be met with silence or rejection just makes my love for the game shrink smaller and smaller. Will this game even make it to 2023? Will there even be more updates in 2022 for that matter? A live service game demands investment from its players, and Marvel’s Avengers is seeming like a riskier bet day by day.
What Does Avengers Need to Succeed?
If you ask 100 people what Marvel’s Avengers needs to turn itself around, you’ll get 100 different answers. The Avengers IP is one of the largest in the world, and trying to appeal to that broad of an audience will inevitably result in you turning at least a portion of that fanbase away. Some people want more single-player content, others want more heroes, others want PVP, others want open-world areas, and so on.
The thing is, will more content even save Marvel’s Avengers? Will more heroes even solve this game’s core problems? Instead of focusing on making a great Avengers game, Crystal Dynamics needs to focus on making a great looter first and foremost. The game’s problems are all foundational. The loot is unrewarding, the mission structure isn’t fun, and endgame build variety just isn’t there.
The core combat system is fun though, it’s just the supporting systems that need work. Crystal Dynamics has been working in that direction for the past year, but the updates need to come faster to turn this game’s reputation around. Worry about heroes and Marvel fluff later. Work on core systems now. Those who are still playing will appreciate those, and then new players can be attracted with exciting Marvel additions when the game is actually good.
As one of the last few Marvel’s Avengers fans, it pains me to write upwards of a thousand words bashing the game. The prospect of a live service Marvel game that evolves like the MCU excites me to no end, this just isn’t the way to do it. There are countless examples out there to follow. Crystal Dynamics just needs to pick a direction and pick up the pace. This is a game worth saving. It’d be a shame to see it lost to history.
Marvel’s Avengers is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.