Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics have added the option to pay for XP and resource collection boosts using real money in Marvel's Avengers. The move has been slated by many fans who believe it offers a stark contrast to previous statements made surrounding the game's monetization tactics.
Marvel's Avengers' recent addition to Xbox Game Pass is likely to have brought a range of new players to the game. For pre-existing fans, however, news of the game's move to the new platform was shortly followed by the more troubling reality that its in-game marketplace now offers players the option to purchase boost-based 'consumables' using credits that can only be acquired through spending real money.
As reported by VGC, the game's new consumables can be purchased to temporarily increase the amount of XP and resources that a player can acquire while playing the game. This essentially allows for fans to make faster progress – so long as they're happy to spend real money doing so.
News of the change in monetization tactics has left fans over on the Marvel's Avengers subreddit in uproar, with many feeling that the move directly contrasts a number of previous comments promising that a "pay-to-win" style system would never be introduced into the game.
Prior to the game's release studio lead Scot Amos spoke about the game's approach to monetization with GamesIndustry.biz, saying, "In terms of how we monetise, we'll have cosmetics. No gameplay paywalls." As spotted on the subreddit, a blog post written on the game's website in September 2020 echoed similar statements, saying: “We’ve 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.”
While members of the game's community have been vocal with their anger surrounding the decision, many aren't particularly surprised – with a number of community members claiming that they'd anticipated the move ever since the game made XP progression changes earlier this year. "We saw it 7 months ago, when they announced the XP nerf," says user echild07.
Regardless of whether fans anticipated the decision or not, it sounds like the developer's decision to renegotiate on its previous comments is a step too far for some. "Uninstalled today. Don’t think I’ll worry about coming back for spider man either," says one user. "Can’t be bothered to support a company with 0 integrity. Will not purchase another Crystal Dynamics game again."
In other Marvel's Avengers news, Crystal Dynamics recently announced that its upcoming Spider-Man DLC will include additional story and cutscenes when the character launches for PlayStation users later this year. For more on Marvel's Avengers, make sure to check out our review.
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.