Marvel’s Avengers: A Live Service Game That Couldn’t Sustain Itself
Marvel’s Avengers, the highly anticipated live service game featuring Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, has officially been delisted from all digital storefronts. While existing players can still access the game, the lack of new content and dwindling player numbers indicate that the game failed to meet the expectations set by its genre.
As a fan of Marvel’s Avengers, I have mixed feelings about its demise. On one hand, I appreciate the solid single-player experience and the diverse roster of playable characters that had the potential to create a fantastic co-op adventure. However, the game was marred by the inclusion of loot boxes and repetitive events, characteristic of the live service model.
Earlier this year, it was announced that Marvel’s Avengers would no longer receive new updates, and this recent delisting serves as the final nail in the coffin. Despite offering discounted sales to attract new players, the game couldn’t compete in the oversaturated live service market. Even the association with one of the world’s biggest superhero franchises couldn’t secure its success. It’s a reminder that brand recognition alone is not enough to guarantee a thriving live service game.
What is particularly disheartening is that Marvel’s Avengers experienced its highest player count in over two years just before its delisting. Almost 5,000 players were recorded on Steam, which is significant given the downward trend. This surge in player numbers can be attributed to the Black Panther expansion released in August 2021.
The real tragedy lies in the fact that Marvel’s Avengers wasn’t a bad game. With regular updates introducing new characters and narrative arcs, the game evolved significantly from its initial release. When I played, I genuinely enjoyed the experience, except for the excessive emphasis on repetitive tasks and grinding for insignificant rewards.
Marvel’s Avengers, in its attempt to emulate games like Destiny, became burdened with convoluted menus, endless itemization, and monotonous tasks. This approach overshadowed the game’s potential strengths, which were its superhero story and the ability to play as beloved characters alongside friends.
In contrast, another superhero game published by Square Enix, Guardians of the Galaxy, takes a different approach and is likely to have a longer lifespan. The game focuses on delivering a compelling single-player narrative, free from the trappings of live service mechanics. Its success will likely be driven by positive word of mouth and recommendations, making it a more attractive option for players seeking an engaging superhero experience.
Now that Marvel’s Avengers is no longer available, players might want to explore other superhero games or consider co-op games for their gaming fix. The choice is wide-ranging, and there are numerous options available on PC.
In the end, Marvel’s Avengers stands as a cautionary tale in the live service genre. It exemplifies the challenges and risks of chasing industry trends and attempting to satisfy an audience increasingly drawn to this genre. Despite its shortcomings, the game had the potential to be great, but it ultimately fell short due to its reliance on live service mechanics. Hopefully, developers and publishers can learn from this experience and strive to strike a better balance in future releases.