Square Enix now admits that Marvel's Avengers wasn't the massive success it had planned, calling the game "disappointing" in its annual report (opens in new tab).
Summarizing some of the title's development and launch woes, Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda called Marvel's Avengers' GaaS (Games as a Service) model "ambitious," but acknowledged that the game "has unfortunately not proven as successful as we would have liked." The publisher also seemed to suggest that Marvel's Avengers developer Crystal Dynamics' lack of experience with the GaaS model is at least partly to blame for its lackluster post-launch reception.
"Taking on the GaaS model highlighted issues that we are likely to face in future game development efforts such as the need to select game designs that mesh with the unique attributes and tastes of our studios and development teams," Matsuda said.
Despite its unfavorable statement on Marvel's Avengers, Square Enix isn't about to ditch the live-service model, which is arguably the playerbase's biggest complaint. In fact, the statement goes on to predict that we'll see even more studios monetize their games using GaaS, and that Square Enix's issue is more about perfecting its approach to the model than finding a replacement.
"While the new challenge that we tackled with this title produced a disappointing outcome, we are certain that the GaaS approach will grow in importance as gaming becomes more service oriented. How we go about creating new experiences by incorporating this trend into our game design is a key question that we will need to answer going forward."
Marvel's Avengers removed its controversial paid XP boosts this week, but Crystal Dynamics still says it doesn't consider them "pay-to-win."