Crystal Dynamics is reportedly preparing to announce the end of development on its beleaguered live-service superhero action-adventure Marvel’s Avengers, with official news said to be due “as early as next week”.
That’s according to reliable Marvel’s Avengers leaker Miller Ross, who, citing sources at Crystal Dynamics in a story for Exputer, says the studio had initially intended to continue supporting the game into the back half of 2023, but recent events surrounding lead developer Brian Waggoner – who has reportedly now left the company after he was found to have posted racist, ableist, and homophobic tweets – has accelerated the project’s demise.
Ross’ sources say Wagoner will not be replaced following his departure, leaving only a “small team” of developers still working on Marvel’s Avengers, most of whom are already sharing their time with other Crystal Dynamics projects, including Amazon’s Tomb Raider.
As part of a planned “exit strategy” for Marvel’s Avengers following official news of its demise, Crystal Dynamics will reportedly release a number of key systems changes, including the removal of artificial time-gating and an overhaul to cosmetic microtransactions. Additionally, a final scheduled update will supposedly address mobility balancing across the current superhero roster in response to complaints older heroes feel “more sluggish” than newer additions.
Marvel’s Avengers will reportedly remain on sale digitally until “at least September”, with efforts being made “to keep the game playable for existing owners as long as possible.”
Current and former employees approached for Ross’ report are said to have described the Marvel’s Avengers project as a “fountain of potential kneecapped by inept studio management and Marvel Games bureaucracy”, with unreleased content – which will now never see the light of day – including a free-roaming boss-based bounty mode known as Patrol Mode, plus additional heroes She-Hulk and Captain Marvel.
Marvel’s Avengers’ most recent big update arrived in November, adding Bucky Barnes – AKA the Winter Soldier – to the superhero line-up. Since then, community goodwill has been sapped by Crystal Dynamics’ decision to sell helmet-less versions of existing cosmetics for $14.