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Marvel's Avengers dev says it did not see paid XP boosts as "pay-to-win" but will remove them

Marvel's Avengers War for Wakanda DLC
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Marvel's Avengers will remove its controversial paid XP boosts by the end of today, November 2, per developer Crystal Dynamics.

The studio's statement comes just over three weeks after the addition of paid consumables which allowed players to spend real money on extra in-game experience. These were immediately unpopular with the Marvel's Avengers community, in no small part because publisher Square Enix had committed to cosmetic-only microtransactions, and also because the natural XP rate was nerfed in a previous update.

"We apologize for not responding sooner to your concerns about the addition of paid consumables in the Marketplace," reads a statement from the game's Twitter. "We introduced them as an option for an evolving player base, and did not see them as pay-to-win since they don't offer power directly. After considering your feedback, we have decided that by the end of today we will remove Hero's Catalysts and Fragment Extractors for purchase." 

This "evolving player base" rhetoric is a staple of microtransaction discussions; EA leaned on similar language last month while defending FIFA's loot boxes, ostensibly advocating for player choice. 

The Hero's Catalysts and Fragment Extractors which are now being retired from the cash shop in Marvel's Avengers essentially make it easier to level your characters. People who don't purchase them can reach the same level but it will take them longer, so these consumables do make you more powerful more quickly, putting them in the same tier as the premium XP boosts sold in the likes of Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Semantics aside, they certainly clashed with claims that "content purchasable with real money in Marvel’s Avengers will be aesthetic-only". 

"We hope that this can be the first step in rebuilding your confidence in us as a team," the statement adds.

Players will still be able to earn Hero's Catalysts and Fragment Extractors going forward, but they won't be purchasable with real money. Anyone who's already purchased some will still be able to use them. 

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Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.