The Marvel’s Avengers video game, which was released initially on 14 August 2020, is yet to make profit—Square Enix, in its most recent financial briefing, has stated that the game has not recouped its development costs. The HD Games division of the company now looks at a loss of 7 billion yen—around $67 million dollars.
“The HD Games sub-segment posted an operating loss as initial sales of Marvel’s Avengers were lower than we had expected and unable to completely offset the amortization of the game’s development costs,” said Yosuke Matsuda, the president of Square Enix.
Matsuda attributed this to a combination of low sales and an expensive advertising campaign (the reason for the latter was to generate interest after a delay in its release). He maintains that, if the game had not been released during this quarter, it would have made a profit.
“In addition to the amortization of that game’s development costs,” said Matsuda, “another significant factor associated with the title was the fact that we undertook a major advertising campaign at the time of its launch to make up for delays in our marketing efforts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a certain amount of development costs still to be amortized in 3Q, but we want to recoup it by growing our sales going forward.”
According to game analyst David Gibson, Marvel’s Avengers has sold 60%– around 3 million— of its planned units, and according to these estimates, it meant that the game had cost about $100 million to make.
Square Enix’s solution is not concrete—they are hoping that sales would increase, especially with future updates and new content. “We hope to make up for slow initial sales by offering ample additional content to grow our sales”, explained Matsuda. Whether that strategy would prove successful is not known.
The next update is scheduled for December 8, which was announced by developer Crystal Dynamics last week. This would include a new hero—Kate Bishop, along with a new villain and new missions. Hawkeye and Maestro are lined up for an early 2021 release; while heroes like Black Panther, Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Winter Soldier, and War Machine are also planned for the future.