Crystal Dynamics’ Marvel’s Avengers has been fighting an uphill battle since its reveal during the Square Enix 2019 E3 press conference. The initial criticisms of the game arose due to the character models being compared to the Marvel Cinematic Universe portrayals, and the multiplayer looter aspect of the title. However, the title could be on its way to a comeback after the recently released next-gen patch and reveal of the game’s content roadmap for 2021.

Last Thursday, Square Enix included a launch trailer of the March 18th update for Marvel’s Avengers in their Square Enix Presents showcase. The update included the Future Imperfect Operation that introduced Clint Barton’s Hawkeye to the roster along with a few new story missions, next-generation versions of the game for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series, the ability to replay Campaign missions, and more. Forbes reported that Marvel’s Avengers has experienced a sizeable resurgence of its player base since the update, between four to five times more daily players on Steam alone.

Source: Marvel’s Avengers YouTube

Personally, I’d be interested in finding out the number of daily players for console platforms as Marvel’s Avenger’s PC version was full of bugs and issues that haven’t been as prevalent on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. These issues seemingly led to the game having a stronger audience on console platforms, presumably weighted towards PlayStation with exclusivity deals involving Spider-Man as an upcoming playable hero.

During the showcase, Crystal Dynamics also gave players like me hope by showing a content roadmap for Marvel’s Avengers in 2021. The roadmap and subsequent trailer confirmed Black Panther’s addition to the roster along with the War For Wakanda expansion launching during the second half of the year. Even without any dates for the game’s upcoming content, it’s incredibly reassuring to see how much the team at Crystal Dynamics has planned for this year, especially on the heels of six months focused on bug fixes rather than adding any substantial content to the game.

Source: Marvel’s Avengers YouTube

There are several items on the content roadmap that lead me to believe that Marvel’s Avengers is on the right track to avoid becoming the next live service game to be abandoned by its publisher. However, after the delay of the next-gen versions of the game, Kate Bishop, and Hawkeye to a few months past their initially planned launch, I wouldn’t be shocked to see any of the content slip past the release windows.

The first piece of content that has piqued my interest is sure to catch many Marvel fans’ eyes. Marvel’s Avengers will be getting hero outfits inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While doesn’t seem to be a substantial content update, I personally loved when previous games such as Marvel’s Spider-Man and Marvel Heroes included movie suits along with iconic costumes from comic book runs. Hopefully, it won’t be too long until I can beat up enemies as Black Widow in her Avengers: Age of Ultron costume or Captain America with his stealth suit from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Source: Crystal Dynamics

I’m not a Black Widow main, but the Red Room Takeover update has me hopeful for the future of Marvel’s Avengers content rollout. The reason that this HARM Room Contest piques my interest is that it could finally be Crystal Dynamics attempting to coordinate with the MCU’s slate of content. Should the Red Room Takeover coincide with the release window of the Black Widow film, it would definitely drive me to invest some hours into the HARM Room content to unlock assumedly an outfit or two from the movie.

The conclusion of WandaVision and the start of Falcon and The Winter Soldier has left me wishing that Crystal Dynamics had planned to coordinate hero releases with the Disney+ shows before launch so I could finish an episode and dive right into Marvel’s Avengers to have my own adventures with Scarlet Witch, Vision, Falcon, or Winter Solider. I understand the development team probably wanted to differentiate themselves from the MCU due to the negative comparisons the character models garnered, but I truly think it was a big missed opportunity to not release characters around the same window as their respective shows.

Source: Crystal Dynamics

Finally, the most exciting item on the roadmap is that the War for Wakanda content drop is referred to as an expansion rather than an operation. Black Panther’s addition is bringing a larger content drop than Kate Bishop and Hawkeye combined, with a rumored raid, power level capacity increase, Klaw, a new enemy faction (please don’t be robots, I’m literally begging you), a new biome, outpost, and more. Should everything go according to plan, the War For Wakanda expansion could reinvigorate Marvel’s Avengers in a similar way that The Taken King expansion helped Destiny before it. On the other hand, there’s also the risk that all of this content doesn’t sustain enough players Square Enix to see the value in supporting Marvel’s Avengers, and the plug gets pulled on any additional content for the game.

Overall, I’ve had to learn to set my expectations accordingly when it comes to Marvel’s Avengers but I still believe that this game has the potential to grow into something great. While I highly doubt it’ll reach the peaks of what I envisioned at the game’s launch with hypothetical additions of X-Men or Guardians of the Galaxy characters in big expansions, the combat is fun enough to keep me invested in leveling up the Marvel characters I adore while beating up some bad guys. All I hope for is that we get new heroes at a quicker pace, enemies, and environments to fight our way through because I’m beyond burnt out on AIM Hive hallways and robot foes.

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