The Avengers video game has been a popular punching bag since its release for multiple reasons that range from its uninspired gameplay to Crystal Dynamics’ repeated missteps. Some have criticized Crystal Dynamics as a whole for developing the title as it was well outside of what the team had been making since its inception in 1992. And now the game’s publisher, Square Enix, has also jumped in and admitted that the team most known for making single-player Tomb Raider games maybe shouldn’t have led an online, co-op-focused Avengers title.
As reported on by VideoGamesChronicle, Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda spoke about the game’s disappointing performance in the company’s annual report. He went over the difficulties related to working from home before explaining how Square needed to be better at picking games that matched its studio’s strengths. He didn’t directly name Crystal Dynamics, but it was strongly implied.
“Nonetheless, taking on the GaaS model highlighted issues that we are likely to face in future game development efforts such as the need to select game designs that mesh with the unique attributes and tastes of our studios and development teams,” said Matsuda.
He went on to talk about how live-service games will still be important in the industry moving forward and that the publisher will need to figure out how to integrate that business model with how its teams design their games.
“While the new challenge that we tackled with this title produced a disappointing outcome, we are certain that the GaaS approach will grow in importance as gaming becomes more service oriented,” he said. “How we go about creating new experiences by incorporating this trend into our game design is a key question that we will need to answer going forward.”
Square has been open about the game’s disappointing performance as it cited Avengers as a big reason for its losses in previous fiscal quarters. This is oddly not new for Crystal Dynamics as Square Enix also thought its 2013 Tomb Raider reboot was a disappointment, despite selling around 3.4 million copies in its first month.
Square Enix also recently published the recent Guardians of the Galaxy game, which was received well. Even though it was outside of Eidos-Montréal’s wheelhouse and it took time for the developer to adjust to the game’s new style, the team was able to able to acclimate and branch out without branching too far out.