Marvel’s Avengers is now selling XP boosters — paid consumable items called Hero’s Catalysts in the game’s marketplace — as part of an update to Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics’ game that rolled out Thursday. The change isn’t sitting well with Marvel’s AvengersPlayers claim that the developer is violating its promise to offer only cosmetic microtransactions, such as skins, for which it has paid a fee.
This is the latest patch Marvel’s Avengers updated the in-game marketplace to add a Consumable category, which now sells Hero’s Catalysts and Fragment Extractors, two consumable items that already existed in the gameThe Marketplace now sells. The Marketplace used to only sell cosmetics, such as costumes and emotes.
“You can purchase a consumable with a one-day duration for 100 Credits, a three-day duration for 250 Credits, or seven-day duration for 500 Credits,” the developer explained on its blog announcing the marketplace change. Square Enix sells 500 Credits packs for $4.99 and a bundle of 13,000 Credits at $99.99.
The game’s new consumable purchases quickly angered portions of the Marvel’s Avengers player base, who say that Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics “have destroyed player trust” and “broken promises on pay-to-win mechanics” by selling the consumables. Many point to the game’s recent addition to Xbox Game Pass as a catalyst to sell consumable XP boosters to a new audience.
Marvel’s Avengers’ consumable XP boosters follow a change to experience gain in the game that Crystal Dynamics rolled out earlier this year. To avoid overpowering players, Crystal Dynamics stated in March that they were slowing XP growth (and, therefore, players’ ability to level up their Avengers heroes).
“The problem we were seeing, and hearing, was that you would immediately get more skill points than you had time to review, apply, and get used to, before embarking on your next mission and gaining your next few levels,” Crystal Dynamics said at the time.
What appears to have been a breach of a promise by the publisher or developer is more important. “We’ve also committed that content purchasable with real money in Marvel’s Avengers will be aesthetic-only additions, which will ensure we can keep the game fresh for years to come,” Crystal Dynamics said in August 2020, just prior to the game’s launch.
Polygon reached out to Square Enix publisher for comments and will keep you updated when they respond.
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