Marvel's Avengers sales reportedly did not meet Square Enix's expectations, serving as the driving force behind a $63 million (¥6.5 billion) loss for the company in the second quarter of 2020.
Earlier this year, Marvel's Avengers made a rather rocky debut, plagued by bugs that were fixed in subsequent patches. While these patches released new content such as the ability for Captain America to smash open doors with his shield and the new Tachyon Rift missions, the issues at launch continued to plague the game — so much so that the next-gen versions have been delayed until 2021.
Now, Square Enix has released its financial report for the second quarter of 2021 and it has some somber news — the company reported a $63 million loss over the last few months, a time when Marvel's Avengers should have been bringing in serious money.
Marvels Avengers Reportedly Failed to Hit Sales Targets
"Square Enix - reported Yen6.5bn loss for HD Games driven by Marvel Avengers, would not say how many sold but that volumes were 60% of plan," read a tweet from Astria Advisory Japan KK's Co-Founder David Gibson. "Implies game cost over $100m to make but only sold [3 million copies] or so. Ouch."
Neither the Square Enix Consolidated Financial Results [PDF] or the Financial Results Briefing [PDF] detail the number of copies sold or Square Enix's planned sales for the game; presumably, David Gibson was privy to the investor briefing which mentioned the shortfall but did not document in the financial reports. (A full transcript of the financial briefing was not available at the time of publication.)
Going by Gibson's report, it appears that Square Enix had hoped to sell 5 million copies of Marvel's Avengers by now, but it only managed to move around 3 million copies across all platforms. These numbers were likely impacted by the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of the game being pushed back into 2021.
Mind, it's not all bad news —Square Enix saw increased sales when compared against the previous year, owing in part to the release of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Square Enix also saw a slow but steady increase in MMO subscriptions over the same period.
One also has to consider the fact that Marvel's Avengers is a "live service" game akin to an MMORPG — the amount of content (and thus the value prospect) increases as time goes on. The company had previously seen troubles with its online properties when Final Fantasy XIV had a troubled launch, leading the company to relaunch the game with "A Realm Reborn" — a batch of content that got some streamlining earlier this year.
Marvel's Avengers sales could still recover in the next two quarters with the next-gen launch of the game, helped along by whatever new content will make its debut in the next several months. That said, the game has been steadily bleeding players on Steam, so Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics have their work cut out for them.
What can Square Enix do to increase Marvel's Avengers sales? What has put you off from buying the game in the first place? Let us know in the comments below!