Square Enix says its Marvel's Avengers launch "produced a disappointing outcome"

Square Enix has published its annual report for 2021’s fiscal year, noting its Marvel’s Avengers project from Crystal Dynamics was “not proven as successful” as it had hoped. 

In the document, Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda penned a letter to shareholders that painted an unfavorable outlook on the game. Matsuda began by acknowledging the difficulties Avengers faced during the final phase of development as employees transitioned to a work-from-home setting but said the company was “able to surmount these challenges and release the game.” 

Yet the actual release of Marvel’s Avengers doesn’t appear to be the accomplishment Square Enix wanted. In his statement, Matsuda indicated the game as a service model is one Square will continue to pursue and that Avengers “highlighted issues that we are likely to face in future game development efforts.” 

The statement [PDF] also includes an indirect mention of Crystal Dynamics and its work on the troubled project, noting Square Enix will “need to select game designs that mesh with the unique attributes and tastes of our studios and development teams.” The fiscal year for this report ended in March, before new updates like the War for Wakanda, but it seems like Square Enix has long considered it “disappointing.” 

It’s been just over a year since Marvel’s Avengers launched, and Crystal Dynamics has faced plenty of unfortunate hurdles along the way. Some of the game’s earlier patches included notes for over 1,000 bugs, and Crystal Dynamics just announced it would remove paid XP and item boosts following community backlash. Over the summer, the studio faced other serious problems with the game, including a bug that caused streaming PS5 players to display their IP to viewers. 

While Square Enix didn’t have favorable words for the Marvel adventure, it went on to praise games like Trials of Mana and Bravely Default II. Matsuda also called Final Fantasy VII Remake a “unique success” as it overcame limitations on in-store sales caused by the pandemic and performed well digitally.