Since its announcement, many gamers have been on the fence about Marvel’s Avengers. After the critically acclaimed Spider-Man PS4, gamers were expecting another single-player focused game in the same vein as the Web-Head’s. This was not the case as it was revealed to include an online multiplayer component.
Marvel’s Avengers was scheduled for release in May 2020. However, developer Crystal Dynamic recently revealed that the game will be delayed and will only arrive on the 4th of September 2020. While those excited for the release might be left disappointed, this move could actually prove to have a positive effect on the final product.
With 2019 marked as the year where many developers and publishers released what can only be described as “unfinished games”, and in effect using the consumer as beta testers, having Marvel’s Avengers delayed could mean that Crystal Dynamics doesn’t want to tread down the same path Bethesda and BioWare recently did.
In their statement, posted on Twitter, the Crystal Dynamics apologised to fans but states that the delay will allow them to fine-tune and polish the game to the standard that fans deserve.
— Marvel’s Avengers (@PlayAvengers) January 14, 2020
Now, we’ve heard this all before, but in the case of Marvel’s Avengers, this might be a good thing. Many of the initial reactions to the game’s reveal centred around its visuals and how the heroes looked a bit off, almost like knock off versions of the real thing. Crystal Dynamics did reveal that the characters would not be based on the heroes from the MCU but would rather be a new interpretation of these well-known characters.
Although lead creative director Shaun Escayg stated during an interview that the characters would not receive a redesign, this does not mean that they could not update the heroes to resemble their on-screen and comic book counterparts a bit more. In fact, the developer did just that with Thor, making him look a little more like the traditional hero we know and love from the comics. The extra time could give the developer a chance to tweak the rest of the Avengers as well.
As far as gameplay goes, any extra time a developer has to sort out the bugs is a welcome thing, especially after the bug-ridden release that was Fallout 76.
There has been quite a bit of positive feedback from those that have had hands-on time with the game but, with it combining single-player and multiplayer elements, making sure that the game’s narrative is just as engaging as the gameplay could be crucial to its success. This has been a notoriously difficult thing to achieve as both the Destiny games and the recently released Anthem can attest. If the developer is to successfully merge an engaging single-player story with fun multiplayer elements then having extra time can only be a positive thing.
Also, server issues usually creep up during the first few weeks of a game’s release. It’s something that can make or break a game, with Anthem being the perfect example of how connection issues can alienate those who get the game on release day. No one wants to get a brand new game and find out that some of the features aren’t working and might not work for weeks. The delay would surely give the team extra time to sort out most of these issues.
The delay could also be strategic in nature. Both April and May 2020 are packed with some highly anticipated game releases, which makes deciding where to spend your hard-earned cash very difficult. September seems to be a more quiet month for gaming and having a tripel-A game such as Marvel’s Avengers releasing during this month could mean that gamers will be willing to more easily shell out some cash when there is very little else competing with the game.
In the end, very few things in life is certain and whether Marvel’s Avengers will be able to stand side-by-side with the Arkham series and Spider-Man PS4 is yet to be seen. What is certain is that any extra time a developer has to work on a game is a good thing in my books.
Let’s hope Crystal Dynamics puts the extra time on Marvel’s Avengers to good use.