Despite saying it would never happen, Square Enix has added paid XP boosts to Marvel's Avengers. The game's marketplace now allows you to purchase temporary XP gains and resource collection boosts using the currency you can buy with real cash.
How do paid Marvel's Avengers XP boosts work?
Despite a "promise" to the community back at E3 2019 that Marvel's Avengers would not feature "random loot boxes or pay-to-win scenarios", Square Enix has quietly added new microtransactions to the Avengers in-game store. These include boosts that let you earn more XP for a limited amount of time, as well as items that increase your resource collection rate. You can purchase these items using "credits", an in-game currency that must be bought using real cash. As you might imagine, the Avengers subreddit is livid, with many gamers claiming this is the final straw for them and pledging never to play Avengers again. Ouch.
As fans have pointed out, the writing may have been on the wall for some time. In March this year, Crystal Dynamics adjusted the XP curve in Marvel's Avengers to make the leveling experience slower, claiming new players could be intimidated by sudden influxes of skill points and other rewards. This doesn't seem to be an issue now since players can just buy XP and level up as fast as they like. There's enough distance between the two announcements that this could be a purely publisher-mandated change with no connection to the XP nerf. Still, it doesn't look great for a game that seems like it was already floundering in terms of player satisfaction.
Marvel's Avengers has had a somewhat troubled history
The addition of paid gameplay boosts to Marvel's Avengers is only likely to exacerbate the problems the game has been experiencing since launch. When Avengers was released back in September, it apparently performed so poorly that it drove a $63 million loss for publisher Square Enix. Subsequent updates boosted player numbers temporarily, but negative reactions to paid DLC, and the continued absence of tentpole characters like Spider-Man, have proven to be Avengers-level threats to the superhero loot-stravaganza and its player numbers.
Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics have promised new cosmetics for players to gather in the coming months, but whether this is enough to offset the overwhelmingly negative reaction against the new XP microtransactions remains to be seen. Notably, Square Enix and developer Crystal Dynamics have remained silent since the implementation of the new boosters. We'll have to wait and see what happens next, but things aren't looking good for Avengers right now.
How do you feel about the addition of paid XP boosters to Marvel's Avengers? Let us know in the comments below!