All the Avengers video game rumors leaked so far

Marvel shook the world when it announced in 2017 that it had partnered with Square Enix to produce multiple games set in the beloved superhero universe. The first game under this multi-year partnership was revealed in a brief trailer that teased a shocking future in which the Earth's Mightiest Heroes have fallen in the fight against an unknown threat. That game, dubbed The Avengers Project, remains shrouded in mystery beyond that initial teaser. And like all things Marvel, the project has become the obsession of many fans hellbent on learning more about the game and discovering its secrets. 

Unfortunately, there's really not much additional info out there. Neither Square Enix nor developer Crystal Dynamics, which is working alongside Deus Ex studio Eidos Montreal on the project, have revealed anything about the game except that it's still in the works — which means that all that's left is the rumor mill. Luckily, there are a few juicy rumors to ease your Marvel fever. 

The trailer teases the Avengers disassembled

The game's announcement trailer provides a few clues as to what the game may be about, although it's honestly not much to go on. All we know from the short teaser is that the Avengers have been defeated in a fight — and not by just a few bruises. Judging from the gear left behind in the rubble — Captain America's shield, Bruce Banner's cracked glasses, Iron Man's malfunctioning armor — Earth's Mightiest Heroes were absolutely battered by their enemies. 

An unidentified female voice provides some context to the grim scene: "They say the time of heroes is over. That if you're different, you're dangerous. But I know the truth. The world will always need heroes."

Is it possible that it's humanity itself that has turned on the Avengers? Have Marvel's greatest superheroes been outlawed or branded a threat that must be exterminated? That could certainly be the case. After all, Marvel has been down this genocidal path before with X-Men comics. (Mutants get a really bad deal in the Marvel universe MOST of the time.) The Avengers might have suffered the same fate.

Whatever the case may be, we at least know that Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man will be in the game. Right?

Square Enix hasn't said much about the game since it was first announced

Square Enix hasn't said very much about The Avengers Project since it was first announced in January 2017, leaving many fans to wonder as to how the game is progressing. After the game failed to make appearances at both E3 2017 and 2018, which sometimes can mean signs of trouble during production, Crystal Dynamics finally gave fans a small update on the project in August 2018 when it revealed that it had opened a new studio in Bellevue, Washington to work on The Avengers Project.

"Our new studio in the Seattle area is officially up and running as of today, and is a full-fledged extension of Crystal Dynamics. Dedicated initially to technology development, it delivers even more expertise to the highly-anticipated Avengers Project," read the announcement on the Crystal Dynamics website

Not exactly much concerning the actual game and not much has changed since then. In December 2018, Shaun Escayg, creative director on The Avengers Project, tweeted another small update: "We're hard at work on this very ambitious game, and are excited to share more when the time is right."

At least we know the game is still in production, although it sounds like it's still early days for the project. Perhaps we'll finally get to see more at E3 2019?

The game might have been delayed to accommodate single-player gameplay

Some fans find Square Enix's silence regarding The Avengers Project a bit peculiar, considering that the game was revealed all the way back at the very beginning of 2017. While Square Enix hasn't really addressed the elephant in the room, the rumor mill has been hard at work trying to figure out why it's taking so long for the publisher to give a substantial update on the game. One ResetEra user, Nirolak, speculates that the delay in information (and the recent hiring of new staff at Crystal Dynamics in 2018) is due to Square Enix "expanding the scope of the project" to include single-player content.

Going onto LinkedIn to research people working on the game, Nirolak noticed a pattern with the team members hired in 2018: "People hired in 2018 tend to have work histories more tied to single-player gaming, whereas some of the older hires tend to be more online oriented. Mind, this trend does not follow 100% through the staff." Nirolak thinks this means that the game has shifted from an online multiplayer-only experience to game that can be played both in single-player and with friends.

Another user "confirmed" from an anonymous source that this was indeed the case: "The Avengers Project will have a heavy story/narrative focus and not in any way be a 'shallow' online/multiplayer only title. A deep single-player experience has been a priority/focus since the project's inception … Can be played online with friends or solo with AI teammates (offline)."

Unfortunately, these are all still just rumors.

The Avengers Project could be part of a Marvel video game universe

Marvel's Spider-Man was a big triumph. The success of the game left many insatiable fans wondering how the open-world action-adventure approach could be applied to other characters, such as the Avengers. One theory is that all of these experiences will one day form a coherent Marvel video game universe. 

According to a video by YouTuber Caboose, which was uploaded a few months before Spider-Man's release but is still relevant today, the Marvel video game universe is a distinct possibility. In the video, Caboose dissects comments made by Marvel Games VP and creative director Bill Rosemann regarding a potential crossover. 

When asked by The Telegraph whether Marvel Games was planning any sort of big crossover in the future, he didn't deny the possibility that games like Spider-Man and The Avengers Project could communicate with each other at some point. Rosemann simply replied that he couldn't talk about that, but, "We're all Marvel fans!"

We now know that Spider-Man takes place in a New York City set within the Marvel universe. The city includes many landmarks from the comics, including the Avengers Tower, meaning that the Earth's Mightiest Heroes do exist within Spidey's world even if they're not actually in the game. 

While it's unlikely that The Avengers Project will directly interact with Spider-Man this late in the game, it could just as easily comment on events in Spidey's game to create a bigger connection between the two. Perhaps a cameo from Spidey himself? After all, that's how the Marvel Cinematic Universe was born. 

It might be a live-service game

As already discussed, The Avengers Project has been rumored to be an online multiplayer game for quite some time, and it's easy to see why: a game based on Marvel's elite team of heroes is perfect for cooperative gameplay. Of course, these days, where there's online multiplayer, there are probably live services. In fact, some fans speculate that a recent hire for The Avengers Project is proof that live services are indeed an element of the game. 

According to Game Revolution, Crystal Dynamics was recently looking for a data scientist who would be "responsible with using big data, machine learning tools, and visualization techniques to find consistent patterns and correlations that will help drive our KPIs with respect to player acquisition, retention, and e-commerce." The site suggests that Crystal Dynamics wouldn't need a data scientist to so closely track player behavior if live services weren't somehow involved. "Maybe it will be similar to something like Destiny 2?" the site says.

At the moment, their guess is as good as any.

It was once rumored to be called Avengers: Ultimate Alliance

At one point, The Avengers Project was believed to be a reboot of the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance franchise once published by Activision. The game was said to be be called Avengers: Ultimate Alliance

The rumor originated on the internet forum 4chan (via Comic Book), with one user writing at length about the secret project, "It's not just Ultimate Alliance 3, it's a full reboot with the name on it (think something like the new God of War, minus the story continuity: similar name, totally new gameplay/story structure). That's the reason why the tagline of the first teaser was 'Reassemble,' to hint at it being a reboot. This is also why the previous Ultimate Alliance games got uprezed recently for current-gen."

The user also described the story: "The game takes place from the perspective of multiple Avengers after a cataclysmic incident broke the team apart (think more Disassembled than Civil War), but there are 3 which are the core focus: Captain America, Iron Man, and Scarlet Witch (who you heard in the trailer). They aren't the ONLY playable characters, but they are the leads of the story. Gameplay wise think a mix between Uncharted and Infamous."

Of course, this rumor was shut down when Nintendo surprised everyone at The Game Awards 2018 with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, a new installment in the franchise being developed by Team Ninja exclusively for the Switch. Sounds like 4chan got its secret Marvel projects mixed up.

Deus Ex might be on hiatus because of The Avengers Project

Square Enix's deal with Marvel is good news for the most part. A multi-year, multi-game partnership means that fans will get more Marvel games than they have in a while (at least when it comes to major console releases). But the deal also means that Square Enix had to put some major muscle on The Avengers Project. Both Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal are working on the game, leaving the studios with little time to really focus on anything else. What does this mean for their other franchises, such as Tomb Raider and Deus Ex? In terms of the latter, it's not good news.

According to Eurogamer, the Deus Ex franchise is currently on hiatus due to Eidos Montreal's focus on The Avengers Project and the "underwhelming" sales of the latest installment in the series, Mankind Divided. The outlet suggests that it may be a long time before we get another Deus Ex game. 

Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda denied these claims in an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, saying, "We have never said anything about discontinuing that title but for some reason that's the rumor out on the market. What I can say is Eidos Montreal has always developed Deus Ex, and the issue is we do not have limitless resources."

Matsuda also teased that the studio is already discussing plans for the next Deus Ex: "We are already internally discussing and exploring what we want do with the next installment of it."

It remains to be seen if any of these plans come into fruition.

There could also be a Guardians of the Galaxy game in the works at Square Enix

The Avengers Project is not the only Marvel game currently in development at Square Enix, according to Eurogamer, which reports that Eidos Montreal is also working on a Guardians of the Galaxy game. The game will reportedly be the second title released under the deal with Marvel. 

It's not clear how far along Eidos' Guardians of Galaxy project is, although the studio's work on The Avengers Project might mean that it's still very early days for the spacefaring adventure. As far as what the game may be about, one user on ResetEra suggests that there will be some distinct differences between Avengers and Guardians. According to Nirolak, while Avengers may be an action-adventure game with both single-player and co-op online multiplayer, Guardians "seems to be more of a shooter RPG with co-op and competitive multiplayer, so I'm guessing this is much more in the mold of games like Destiny, The Division, Anthem, Borderlands, etc, but probably with a heavy narrative focus given the studio who is making it."

It's likely that we won't hear more about Guardians of the Galaxy for quite some time, so we'll just have to wait and see what Eidos has in store.