Avengers Adds Paid Experience Boosts, Pissing Off Everybody

Avengers Adds Paid Experience Boosts, Pissing Off Everybody

Last week Marvel’s Avengers was added to Xbox Game Pass, quickly becoming one of the most played games on the console. Perhaps capitalising on this forward momentum, this week Avengers adds paid timed experience point boosters to its cash shop, something the developers said they were committed to not doing last year.

“We’ve also 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,” reads an article on gear and cosmetics posted to the game’s official website last year. So much for that commitment. As of this morning the in-game marketplace is selling experience point boosters in three different flavours in exchange for currency purchased with real money.

First one's free.  (Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku)
First one’s free. (Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku)

Players can buy 1.5x boosts that last a week, three days, or one day. Along with these purchasable boosts, players can also collect a free two-hour boost, so they can experience a first, fleeting taste of extra XP for free before paying for their next hit. The most expensive, longest-lasting boost costs 500 credits, which is five dollars’ worth of in-game currency.

As you would expect, Avengers players are not happy, especially long-time players who experienced the levelling slowdown developer Crystal Dynamics implemented in March of this year. You know, the one where the developer said people were levelling too fast, “which may be confusing and overwhelming to newer players.” Unless those players pay for it, apparently. This is certainly not an example of a developer making something more difficult in order to sell a means to make it less so. That would be insidious.

Despite what I’m sure are Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix’s best intentions, people are angry. Twitter is angry. Reddit is angry. Steam is angry. Hell, I’m angry. It’s not exactly a pay-to-win thing, since there’s no competitive aspect of Avengers, but it’s definitely not cosmetic.

My favourite angry person is Redditor NeoValkyrion, poster of the thread “What If … Avengers wasn’t a greedy profit engine?” That’s the closest I’ve ever gotten to chef’s kissing a post. I blame Square Enix.

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