Update - September 2: Now that dust on the Marvel's Avengers' beta has settled, publisher Square Enix has confirmed (opens in new tab) that it received more PlayStation downloads than any other beta in history. The studio didn't share the stats for Xbox One or PC, but then again PS4 was always the frontrunner, with PS4 players getting beta access a full week ahead of other platforms.
There's a bit of hair-splitting at play here, particularly with what defines a beta versus a demo (and how multiplayer functionality factors into that), but there's little doubt that the beta was immensely popular. And according to Square Enix, it not only topped the PS4 beta charts, but PS3 as well. PS4 has a larger install base than the PS3, so that comes as no surprise, but it's still interesting to see a two-generation record appear as the PS5 (opens in new tab) slowly revs up. As to why the beta was so successful, I'd wager it had something to do with the fact that it was free and had Avengers in its title.
Square Enix has revealed that over six million of us signed up to participate in the Marvel's Avengers (opens in new tab) beta.
In an infographic (opens in new tab) proudly sharing stats from the beta, the developer revealed players spent a collective 27 million hours in the game, during which there were over "33 million Miss Marvel embiggens, 200 million Hulk smashes, and 300 million enemies defeated".
There's more, too. 175,000 legendary gear was discovered, and 22 million Hulk busters summoned. Three million hours were spent as Tony Stark's alter-ego, Iron Man, during which 29 trillion kWh was generated by his Arc Reactor.
Square further confirmed that "feedback and feature requests" have had "a major impact", and it has "big plans for updates that will be a part of the Day One patch" when it's slated to release on September 1 for those with early access, and September 4 for everyone else. Tweaks will include save game optimisations, better matchmaking, and improvements to character selection, companion respawn, and mission summaries.
Square Enix recently broke down how Marvel's Avengers approaches gear and cosmetics (opens in new tab). The Marketplace is where you go to spend real money. It's accessed from the main menu of the game, and everything there is sold for Credits (which come in a minimum pack of 500 for $5). The Marketplace will carry a weekly rotation of cosmetic items.
Then there are Hero Challenge Cards, which you can think of as battle passes for each individual hero. Each card has 40 tiers of free and premium rewards, and you can earn Challenge Points toward unlocking them by completing daily and weekly challenges. The six heroes available at launch will have their premium Hero Challenge Card tracks unlocked for free.
Square Enix has also confirmed that Marvel's Avengers will have exclusive cosmetics on PS4 (opens in new tab), and free skins for PS Plus members.