Square Enix has reported millions in losses due to the disappointing sales of their superhero service game Marvel’s Avengers. The title, which brings together the characters of the popular Marvel Cinematic Universe into one video game but not their actor’s likenesses, was praised for its initial story campaign and its slick combat. However, the prolonged online modes and glitchy debut turned many off initially, and the delayed rollout of additional heroes and other content had players thinking about other ambitious online games that took years to truly get running. For some, waiting around for the next superhero wasn’t in the cards.


Things started off well enough for Marvel’s Avengers, or at least it appeared to. The game was Square Enix’s second-biggest digital launch ever, only trailing Final Fantasy 7 Remake in terms of sales. However, it immediately started losing players left and right, especially on some of the less popular platforms. Those that paid for the game on PC almost immediately found themselves having matchmaking problems, and that doesn’t even factor in the poor souls who decided to fork over a full game’s ransom on Google Stadia. Those waiting for next-gen also got to share in the bad news as Square Enix announced that the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions of the game were delayed into 2021.

Considering the string of bad news surrounding the game after launch, it’s no surprise that Marvel’s Avengers was a drag on publisher Square Enix’s financials. The surprise comes in just how much of a drag it ended up being. According to the stats reported in their recent Financial Results, Marvel’s Avengers is estimated to have sold around three million units. It sounds like a lot, but it is nowhere near enough to cover the almost $200 million budget the publisher spent on the would-be blockbuster.

This low sales figure led the way for a huge loss in the HD Games division of the company. While Square Enix did not specify Marvel’s Avengers as the reason for this loss, profits were up overall in the report and sales figures for other games in the sector have trended upward. Square Enix and the developers at Crystal Dynamics seem dedicated to turning the ship around on the Marvel property, forging ahead with work on expansions for the game that include heroes like Hawkeye and the leaked Black Panther. Whether there will be players to enjoy those expansions in another matter.

It’s hard to foresee a positive outlook for a game like Marvel’s Avengers going forward. Considering how close its launch window crept to the release of next-gen consoles, the game really had to hit big in order to stick around in the zeitgeist. Instead, the game had a moment in the sun and was quickly forgotten, which is a death sentence for a game that’s reliant on a big player base to keep the gears spinning and the cash flowing. While games have come back from this kind of debut in the past, those games haven’t been published by Square Enix, so it will be a test to see if they can spur interest once they having something new to unveil.

Source: Square Enix, David Gibson

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