Crystal Dynamics' Noah Hughes recently went into detail about what to expect with microtransactions and post-launch content for Marvel's Avengers. The game was one of the biggest reveals at this year's E3 convention. Rumors about who was making the game and which heroes would be in it had been swirling around for a couple of years, and the trailer gave us a taste of what to expect. Crystal Dynamics is developing the game, which is to feature Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and Black Widow, based on the trailer.
The trailer details the events of "A-Day," where a mysterious figure pulls off a surprise attack on New York City and leaves the Avengers with the brunt of the blame. It was met with applause, but the speculation about the story, progression, and how the game was played began immediately. There was little information about which heroes were playable and who the villain was going to be, and there were even more questions about how the game looked and what kind of structure it would eventually take.
In an interview with WCCF Tech, Creative Director Noah Hughes was asked about content and update expansions, and explained that whatever players pay for won't affect gameplay and that loot boxes would not be an issue. If players see something they like, they can simply buy it. They wanted to avoid the randomness of loot boxes, but still offer players a way to personalize their characters. It would still be obvious if someone paid for a personalized piece of armor or weapon, but they would have no advantage in the game itself. Hughes also revealed that no characters would be locked behind a paywall and that all areas of the game would accessible to anyone who purchased the game.
This should come as welcome news to those who feel that video game monetizing has gone too far. Players that are willing to part with a little cash may have flashier armor sets, but the playing field will remain even. Recently, games with a "pay-to-win" structure have been given a lot more than a sideways glance as players become more vocal in their opposition. Some government officials are even taking a look into the ethics of loot boxes and other microtransaction methods. Crystal Dynamics may have a chance to give players what they want and avoid legal trouble in the future.
Marvel's Avengers will be using the same game engine as the Tomb Raider trilogy that Crystal Dynamics recently concluded. With a little less than a year until release, tweaks and improvements are expected. According to Hughes, the entire game can be played as a single player experience or with friends diving in and out of each other's missions. Few games can pull off the single player and multiplayer experience cohesively, so it will be interesting to see how Marvel's Avengers takes on the challenge next year, when it's released on May 15, 2020.