Latest Crystal Dynamics News
Oct 15, 2021
Netflix Last week, the Marvel’s Avengers community erupted with anger that Crystal Dynamics is now selling boosts to XP and materials outright in the microtransaction store, breaking their word that previously said the store would be cosmetic-only and they would not have “pay-to-win” elements in the game. The only response we heard after this initial flare-up was along the lines of “it’s the weekend, we’ll talk later” from a staffer or two. But now here we are a week later, and Crystal Dynamics seems to be both doubling down on the idea and ignoring the fanbase completely regarding their complaints with the recent store offerings. Players were sure that this issue would be addressed in the weekly blog post Avengers puts out on Thursdays. Instead, there was zero explanation given for the arrival of the paid power boosts, and the announcement of what was on sale this week was again…another row of power boosts in the store. The same as last week. So not only did they not address the controversy, they are continuing to sell the boosts with a prominent spot in the store. This is…bizarre, frankly. I have been covering this genre a long time, and a kiss of death is when you start ignoring your playerbase entirely. While I understand that players’ social media yelling can be annoying and there can be problematic harassment when it comes to situations like this, two things are true about this situation: Avengers 1) This very much is Crystal Dynamics changing what they originally said about the microtransaction store and what it would sell. That is not something fans are inventing. It’s in black and white and caught on video. 2) If they are going to change this, they need to at least explain why and what their thought process was here. Going heads down in total silence for well over a week after this issue explodes is the worst way they could be handling this. I even reached out behind the scenes to ask Crystal Dynamics directly for a comment or explanation about all this, but I haven’t heard back yet. My best guess here is that there’s a directive from Square Enix that says Marvel’s Avengers needs to earn more revenue. These boost coincided with the game’s arrival on Xbox Game Pass, and with all characters and DLC free, the only way it makes money is through the microtransaction store. It seems the idea is that selling skins and emotes are not enough, and boosts to XP and materials, which directly translate into accelerated power gains, should be sold to new players who don’t know any better. So, maybe Crystal Dynamics isn’t talking because this was a directive from their higher ups or Square Enix, and they can’t say that. And yet whoever put them in this position has to know it’s doing more harm than good. The Avengers subreddit has been in a state of meltdown all week with players saying they are uninstalling due to how this has been handled. Marvel's Avengers CD This is just very bad on two levels. First, a game like this should never be selling power like this in the first place. Extremely bad idea. I would rather Avengers start charging for new characters and expansions than sell power like this. Second, doing so and not communicating about it either before or after, especially when its in direct contradiction to your previous statements, is going to make the situation exponentially worse, which is exactly what we’re seeing now. I have no idea what happens from here, if Crystal Dynamics just acts like this never happened and moves on, or if the anger over this will force a response eventually. But it’s a bad situation, one of the worst I’ve seen since this game launched, and one that could have easily been avoided, as there were plenty of positive developments happening with the game outside of this lately. A totally unforced error here by whoever demanded this needed to happen.