Marvel’s Avengers Didn’t Sell As Expected, Says Square Enix

Marvel’s Avengers Didn’t Sell As Expected, Says Square Enix

Earlier this month in Japan, Square Enix held a briefing for investors. This week, the Tokyo-based game company finally released an official transcript of the meeting.

During the presentation, Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda said, “The HD Games subsegment posted an operating loss as initial sales of Marvel’s Avengers were lower than we had expected and unable to completely offset the amortization of the game’s development costs.” 

How much was this loss? When addressing Matsuda, one participating investor estimated the loss was 7 billion yen ($US67 ($91) million) — an estimate that Matsuda did not refute. The same participant asked if the HD Games subsegment would have been profitable if Marvel’s Avengers had sold enough to cover those development costs. But even then, the participant believed that the loss was too large to simply be due to lacklustre Avengers sales.

“Absent factors associated with Marvel’s Avengers the subsegment would have been in the black,” Matsuda replied. “In addition to the amortization of that game’s development costs, another significant factor associated with the title was the fact that we undertook a major advertising campaign at the time of its launch to make up for delays in our marketing efforts resulting from the covid-19 pandemic.”

According to Matsuda, a “certain amount of development costs” remain, but Square Enix hopes to recoup those costs by increasing sales. The game is getting DLC next month, while the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S versions of the game have been delayed to next year to improve the game. 

“Our intention is first and foremost to work to expand sales in order to improve its profitability.”

Matsuda was also asked if there were reasons for these unexpectedly low sales or if something could’ve been done, to which he replied, “We engaged in ample preparations ahead of the launch, but it is true that there were aspects in which we were wanting. We intend to leverage the lessons we learned from this experience in future game development efforts.”

If you haven’t read it, be sure to check out Kotaku’s review right here


  • I mean… I can’t speak for everyone else who also didn’t buy it, but I know the main reason I didn’t buy Avengers was because it reeked of desperately predatory F2P-style cosmetics monetisation, sneaking in under a full box price. One or the other. Fucking choose. If you try both, you get neither from me.

    • +1 Absolutely speaks for me – that’s exactly why I abstained…!

      It’s sadly impressive how they could make an Avengers based video game that I DIDN’T want to buy? Most games have to convince me to buy them (& im not a hard sell!) – from knowing nothing, the previews/news/trailers/pics have to win me over…

      This came out of the gate as a ‘BUY’ because: Avengers, so the fact cash didn’t even come close to leaving wallet shows what a bang up job they did at illustrating how bad this would be – the more it was marketed, the less I was interested, so glad that so many others did the same.

    • Unfortunately they probably can’t say “we tried to gouge our target audience and they got wise” on an investor call, sadly.

    • yeeeeeep!!!

      Plus locking spiderman away to one console pissed me off even more. Almost everything this game did was aimed at sucking as much money out of every person and company they could.

      • I was defiantly tempted but like people, thought to hold off at first and see what people thought, then when I heard Spiderman locked to PlayStation only that turned me off it completely.

  • Should have focused on nailing the single player game and left the Destiny bullshit OUT of it. I don’t know which dweeb thought that that was a good combination of play styles, but it really wasn’t.

    I couldn’t even finish the single-player story, because the game kept tripping over itself trying to get me invested in the multiplayer for post game. Really bad decision making and I’m kind of glad they’re paying for it now.

  • I’d like to imagine a chunk of the gaming market has wised up to the fact that there has been 60000 games released with some sort of live service baked in and most of them have been crap right of the gate

    why pay $80 for something when you can pick it up in a year for a quarter of that price with more content and less bugs

  • Unfortunately for me I bought the game, and it’s pretty obvious why it didn’t do as well as they wanted it to. It was released as a buggy, unfinished, poorly designed mess.
    I can only hope the execs have learned that no amount of marketing can save a pile of crap.

  • It’s not surprising to me someone fucked up a game, big name license or not.

    What’s impressive though is just how spectacularly they managed to fuck this up given the wealth of potential behind it to be the sort of game that goes on for years… But they just absolutely wasted it by pushing out a buggy, microtransaction filled mess clearly much too soon.

  • “lower than we had expected”
    who is this “we” your talking about Squenix, and should they be fired.

    Cause “we” the consumer…
    and the “we” the collective games media/critics…
    … pretty much “expected” it to be a complete dumpster fire the moment we saw the first trailer, and every media release and demo pretty much confirmed the game was under-developed, lack quality assurances, and lacked the fundamental gameplay elements to be a live service.

    If anything, it was exactly like 99% of “live services” that have ever been released, a broken mess with no content and bloated game mechanics to obfuscate greedy intent that ultimately losses millions of dollars and hurts your paying customers for even considering investing $60-90 dollars (in their local currency) on it.

    After you had to go back to the drawing board and reinvent Final Fantasy 14… you would know you can’t release a barebones buggy “live service” product, you need to have a polished game with a seasons back catalogue of content ready to be released. You failed.

  • They waited till after the Avengers hype had hit its peak and released the game when it was on the downslide. Then the game they did release was a rushed cashgrab that was full of bugs and monetization.

    This thing would have sold gangbusters if they had just focused on making it a story driven single player game, and had it out before endgame dropped.

  • I hope this doesn’t kill Crystal Dynamics. We probably won’t ever hear the full story of what caused this mess, but my money’s on the developer being the least at fault and most likely to be tossed under the bus.

  • Its sad that Fortnite did better with the Marvel license, than the studio who got the exclusive rights to make a whole game.

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