All the way in January 2017, Square Enix and Marvel announced their multi-year, multi-game deal. The first title announced was The Avengers Project.
While it still hasn’t been revealed, enough details have been uncovered for us to make some assumptions about it. Simply put, The Avengers Project is Square Enix’s Destiny project.
Ubisoft has already seen phenomenal success with The Division and EA is betting on Anthem so it makes sense that Square Enix has a similar project in the works.
What makes Square Enix’s shared world game stand apart is its deal with Marvel.
The Avengers Project
Since The Avengers Project was announced in 2017, we have seen a few details here and there. These details have been gleaned from job listings which have touched on details of gameplay and the game itself.
We know that The Avengers Project will be a “3rd person cover based action adventure game” that will feature shared-world gameplay and focus on social aspects.
In addition, previous job listings for The Avengers Project has sought a Lead Level Designer to “develop fun and unique online experiences” and an External Lead Designer to “Guide, mentor, and lead the design and development of cutting-edge online experiences.”
The most recent job listing (External Lead Designer) also requires the successful candidate to “display strong collaborative skills when working with multiple disciplines including Narrative, Environment art, systems design and engineering.”
Shared world games like Destiny and The Division, have to have a strong focus on each of these elements together. The flow of these games lives and dies by the intersection of narrative, art and environment.
If The Avengers Project is a shared-world game like Destiny, it will also need to ensure it follows the former’s lead. Perhaps not when it comes to gameplay and especially not Destiny 2, but to be successful, The Avengers Project will need to marry all the elements perfectly.
The Avengers Project Shared World Adventure
One element that has been present in every job listing for The Avengers Project is the requirement to have experience “leading other developers to build engaging various game modes and campaigns.”
This statement is fairly broad, though when taken with everything else included int he job listings, it starts to become clearer.
A shared world, 3rd person cover based action adventure game, with a focus on art, narrative and environment which includes various game modes and campaigns and cutting-edge, fun and unique online experiences certainly sounds like Destiny. That sentence could have been the pitch for Destiny.
Well, everything except the mention of 3rd person.
But there’s more.
A position for a Lead Combat Designer will design “player combat and boss mechanics.” The Lead Combat Designer will be responsible for;
- Designing, implementing, and testing combat systems
- Designing Boss battles and combat mechanics
The External Lead Designer job listing asks for someone who “Can easily break down core level design elements and use them when for creating combat, puzzle and traversal sections of a level.” If The Avengers Project was a simple online game, why would it need these elements?
There were fears that The Avengers Project was going to be a competitive online game, but it’s pretty clear that it’s going to be a shared-world, co-operative game with competitive elements.
Games as a Service is a major catchphrase in the industry today and Destiny, The Division and Anthem certainly fit that bill. It’s also something that Square Enix has applied to The Avengers Project.
First, there was a job listing that required the following;
- Own vast sections of our multiplayer game engine.
- Relentlessly improve our online experience.
- Work with designers to specify and cost multiplayer features.
Having staff dedicated to “relentlessly” improving the online experience of a game is certainly related to Games as a Service.
Second, Square Enix has come right out and said that it intends to work towards all future titles offering some form of ongoing and recurring revenue streams. It has also said that Games as a Service is the mainstream model for gaming in the future.
All of this information comes from job listings, assumptions and guesses. The biggest clue though, that The Avengers Project is Square Enix’s Destiny, comes from the description of the game itself.
The Avengers project is being designed for gamers worldwide and will be packed with all the characters, environments, and iconic moments that have thrilled longtime fans of the franchise. Featuring a completely original story, it will introduce a universe gamers can play in for years to come. [emphasis added]
A universe gamers can play in for years to come can only be referring to a shared-world, regularly updated game as a service.
The Avengers Project will be revealed sometime in 2018 and my money is on a big showing at E3 2018.
My bet is that at E3 2018, Square Enix will reveal The Avengers Project alongside a console partner and that it will be a shared-world game just like Destiny, The Division and Anthem.
Mark my words.