Crystal Dynamics has confirmed that there won't be any more Marvel's Avengers roadmaps. Although a roadmap was originally teased in February, a Crystal Dynamics staffer has confirmed that the studio will be focusing on smaller updates going forward.
Why won't there be any more Marvel's Avengers roadmaps?
Prior to the announcement of Jane Foster's debut in Marvel's Avengers earlier this week, things had been pretty quiet for the live-service superhero game. An Avengers roadmap was teased back in February, following on from the one released in March 2021, but now, it looks like that won't be happening. Addressing a fan query on Reddit, Crystal Dynamics staffer Nick Edwards described roadmaps as "rough" and said they were "long [and] difficult to make". Instead of roadmaps, Edwards says he and the team prefer to focus on smaller updates such as the ones released in February and earlier this week. According to Edwards, these updates "[feel] better" because they're easier to make and can be shared with the community more frequently.
Edwards goes on to say that a roadmap in the conventional sense (i.e. a "solid 6+ month plan", as he describes it) doesn't exist, but that the devs do have an idea of what content will be worked on next. He says that the team just doesn't want to share this content until it knows it can commit to a time frame. Edwards says that the description of an upcoming content update in February as both a "formal roadmap" and a "full roadmap" set up expectations that the team can't meet, and he accepts responsibility for that.
It's fair to say that fan reaction to this revelation hasn't been positive. Many fans are pointing to the fact that there was clearly a full roadmap planned at one point; when answering a fan question in February, Edwards said the roadmap will be "out when it's ready". In light of that, some Avengers players are now saying that Edwards is trying to claim there was never going to be a roadmap when there clearly was. Others are accusing Crystal Dynamics of poor communication, given that this seems like pretty crucial information that has been communicated solely in a Reddit comment and not in an official capacity.
What does this mean for Avengers?
The optimistic read for this is that the team really will be switching to a shorter-term update schedule as Edwards says, and that this is intended to temper fans' expectations and only reveal content when it's ready. Cynically, however, one could say that this looks an awful lot like Crystal Dynamics winding down support for Avengers as it looks to high-profile upcoming projects like Perfect Dark (which Crystal Dynamics is currently co-developing) and Tomb Raider.
Marvel's Avengers is not dead yet, nor is it dying. However, the game's release and subsequent update schedule has been something of a mess, leading many (not least ourselves) to wonder whether the game will last another year or not. Decisions like this don't exactly help with that kind of speculation; while a shorter, more frequent update schedule certainly sounds like a good idea, this could also be a way for Crystal Dynamics to stop fans expecting roadmaps and content updates, which doesn't look good for Avengers. We'll bring you more on this as soon as we get it.