Marvel’s Avengers are a 200 million flop for Square Enix

They have monopolized cinemas in the last ten years by setting record after record, yet the Marvel Avengers just fail to establish themselves in the video game market, and indeed have unexpectedly become a red note on the Square Enix register.
In 2020 the Japanese company, which had long ago partnered with Marvel for the creation of video games based on its intellectual properties, published Marvel’s Avengers after a long time. The third-person action game featured an original story with six playable characters at the beginning – Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Captain America and Miss Marvel, which recently landed on Disney + with the TV series of the same name. The game, presented at E3 2019, to tell the truth was not born under the best auspices, with a large part of the public in full controversy for the lack of fidelity to the historical faces of the Marvel Cinematic Universe such as Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans. Sterile controversy, considering that the game in question had nothing to do with the Avengers film franchise, but nothing compared to those that engulfed the game shortly after its release, with servers emptied in just two weeks and the feeling of having in your hands a product without inspiration and appeal, if not for the name it bore.
The result, just under two years after the game’s release, is a worrying red note on Square Enix’s financial records, which few expected. Since its release, Marvel’s Avengers has been enriched with new content, events and heroes such as Black Panther, Clint Barton, Kate Bishop and Spider-Man, and the developers had plans to include various other names already leaked, including War Machine, Captain. Marvel and She-Hulk. At this moment, however, the impression is that the life cycle of Marvel’s Avengers has ended early, or that in any case it is very close to its end.

Following the heavy flop, which caused a loss of as much as 200 million dollars on the financial books of Square Enix, the company has in fact sold the western studios that were responsible for the realization of the game. Crystal Dynamics, former authors of Tomb Raider, and Eidos Montreal have in fact been absorbed by Embracer Group, with Square Enix intending to centralize its efforts again in Japan and cut deadwood. Among these branches, unpredictably, there is precisely the Marvel brand, which contrary to what was hoped, turned out to be one of the biggest holes in the water in the history of the company. The efforts made for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, a highly narrative action adventure released in the fall of last year, were worth nothing. Excellent reviews from the specialized press, as well as the positive opinions of many players, were not enough to convince players to give the Square Enix and Marvel duo another chance.
According to estimates, Marvel’s Avengers and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy have totaled about 8 million copies sold overall, a quantity that is actually too low if you think not only of the cross-platform nature of the two titles but also of the enormous success it has earned for more than a decade the Marvel brand. With the explosion of superheroes in the cinema and in particular the sprawling cinematic universe inaugurated in 2008, the name of the House of Ideas is on everyone’s lips, yet the two commercial flops of Square Enix are proof that fame is not everything. To date, the only one who can really be satisfied with the collaboration with the comic book publisher is Sony, which with the two Insomniac Games Marvel’s Spider-Man and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales has exceeded all expectations: 33 million copies concentrated on just two platforms, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, but destined to increase with the relaunch scheduled for August also on PC.
It seemed absurd to say until a couple of years ago, yet even following the partnership with Marvel, the all too delicate moment of Square Enix continues, a company in a strong identity crisis and in need of finding a road, that of success, long lost. Beyond huge commercial hits like Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII Remake, there was little to celebrate around Shinjuku’s Eastside Square.

© Copyright 2022 Editorial Freedom

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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