‘Marvel’s Avengers’ Has Sold Better Than You Think This Year
I was surprised to hear that Crystal Dynamics is already gearing up to present a second roadmap for 2022 content in Marvel’s Avengers before the end of this year, after they debut Spider-Man, indicating the live service will live on.
There’s a general sense that Marvel’s Avengers has been something of a failure, and yet, it’s not clear that reality bears that out. Square Enix initially said that Avengers didn’t sell as well as they wanted it to, but Square Enix also has notoriously high expectations of its games, so it’s unclear how much should be read into that.
Looking at the NPD numbers for the last year, you may be surprised to see where Marvel’s Avengers lands. Here’s the top 10 list for the last 12 months in the US, according to NPD:
1. COD: Black Ops Cold War
2. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
3. Madden NFL 21
4. Spider-Man: Miles Morales
5. Super Mario 3D All-Stars
6. NBA 2K21
7. Marvel’s Avengers
8. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
9. Mario Kart 8
10. FIFA 21
So, Marvel’s Avengers is not only the 7th best-selling game of the last 12 months, but it is the only original game on that list. I mean, look at what it’s competing against. Three sports titles that make this list every year. Two massively popular Switch games. A massively popular PS5 launch game. A Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed installment, decade plus-long best-selling franchises, each.
That’s…actually quite good, in context.
And if you think that this is only because of a surge of sales right at launch, that does not seem to be the case either. On a separate NPD chart for Xbox in August, Marvel’s Avengers launched up from 16th place to 8th place this past month, the result of both a free weekend which got people playing, and then the War for Wakanda expansion, which drew more players in. The expansion was free, but it appears to have driven game sales to some extent.
This appears to be why Avengers is continuing to make content going forward. Again, we aren’t getting any actual figures from Crystal Dynamics, but what they’ve said is that they were very happy with the reaction to War for Wakanda, and cosmetic offerings like MCU skins seem to be doing well for them, one of the only monetization methods of the game. Landing on a top ten list of sales for the year as an original offering is no small feat, given the other games on that list, and I do think Square Enix may have undersold just how well did Avengers did. I mean it wasn’t some crazy breakout smash hit, clearly, and yet it does seem to have done/be doing well enough to live on into 2022. The whole year? Another full expansion to come? That remains to be seen, but fans of the game should be encouraged by what we’re seeing here.