What’s the Deal with The Avengers Game?
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Editor's note: On February 12, 2019, Crystal Dynamics hired Andy Wong to act as the Community and Social Media Manager for this Avengers project, suggesting that more news could be on the way for the game. Typically, a community manager is hired once a game is about to be revealed. This could mean we will know a lot more about the game by E3 2019, perhaps even getting a release date.

Marvel is huge. It’s owned by Disney. Square Enix games are huge and they’ve collaborated with Disney in the form of Kingdom Hearts. People love the Avengers. All of this means that an Avengers game by Square Enix seems like a natural fit. That’s what I thought back in January of 2017 when it was revealed that this super charged project existed. Since then, well, we haven’t heard much. So what exactly is going on?

What we do know is that this was supposed to be part of a multi-game project and the initial trailer looked absolutely epic. “They say the time of heroes if over,” begins the narration. “That if you’re different, you’re dangerous.” Then we see Thor’s hammer lying on the ground. Immediately we know that this game is going for drama and gravitas rather than the lighthearted romps we are used to from superhero games. It’s also made by the team that did the gritty Tomb Raider reboots. It also looks like the continuity will be outside of the films.

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That’s basically all we know. The team has gone dark and we haven’t heard much over the last two years. It’s an unusual thing to see in this industry which loves to curate hype and drip feed information throughout development. Square Enix, however, tends to keep projects in the dark a bit more than other companies. After all, we saw very little about Kingdom Hearts over the decade it was in production.

My theory is that more information will coincide with the release of the films. It has been suggested that we will lose a lot of the main Avengers when the movie comes out in a couple months. Maybe that will leave a vacuum, a hole in our hearts that the game will be capable of filling. That would be a good time to show us their version of Tony Stark.

Or perhaps Disney is to blame. Maybe the game contains characters or references to the films that haven’t been unveiled yet. While I think this is unlikely, it isn’t entirely impossible. Disney also seems to be very controlling with its properties and video games with Marvel heroes, lately, have leaned heavily on the super heroes from the films rather than the rest of the large roster available to them.

Another possibility is that the company just doesn’t need the hype. The films are on the forefront of public consciousness and a video game tie-in seems like a sure thing. Why waste money on marketing at this point? Why set expectations? I’m hoping this gives them a bigger budget to play with and also freedom to pivot and change directions if need be. This is my dream scenario since I always get a bit frustrated when games and movies sink so much into marketing. I know it’s necessary but I’d love to see some of the resources go elsewhere.

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Then, there’s the worst case scenario. It isn’t without precedent. Often, when games fall off the radar, it means something is going on. Games with exceedingly long development times seem to be bad, more often than not. Sometimes, projects we’re watching out for are canceled, totally shocking fans. They’re deemed too expensive or irrelevant. As we may remember with two recent Star Wars games (another Disney owned property), they were canceled to make way for another title.

I’m hoping for information soon. The fact that I’m writing about it, I suppose, means that the company probably doesn’t have to worry about losing interest at this junction. But I’m eager to know more and I suspect that time is right around the corner. I just hope it’s good news rather than bad. Let’s cross our fingers and hope for E3 2019, okay?

Benjamin Maltbie
Benjamin Maltbie

Contributing Writer
Date: 02/19/2019

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