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What The Kate Bishop DLC Could Mean For The Future Of Marvel's Avengers

Marvel's Avengers' first significant DLC addition has been out for a couple of weeks now, and while critics have found a lot to like in Kate Bishop's new storyline, a lack of new gameplay and player interest has many concerned about the game's future.

When Marvel's Avengers landed this fall, it received mixed reviews. Most critics were impressed by the single-player experience but disappointed with the formulaic multiplayer. The unenthusiastic critical response led to the game bombing on release. In November, industry analyst David Gibson observed that Marvel's Avengers had cost over $100 million to produce but had only sold around 3 million copies, resulting in potential losses of $63 million.

While those numbers were no doubt disappointing for publisher Square Enix, the last decade has seen many games overcome terrible launches. Big-name titles like Destiny have used DLC and expansions to revitalize fan interest and establish a foundation to create reliable annual profits. The Kate Bishop DLC for Marvel's Avengers was Square Enix's first chance to begin that turnaround, although so far, the content's impact seems minimal.

Forbes senior gaming contributor Paul Tassi, who called the update "very good," used Steamcharts to demonstrate Marvel's Avengers systemic issues and how the new DLC has failed to move the meter. Tassi observes that going into November, the game hit a low point, with only a few hundred players online, reducing the viability of finding multiplayer matches. While those numbers doubled when it went on sale and tripled when the Kate Bishop DLC came out, none of those increases lasted for a significant amount of time.

While the data from Steamcharts may not be quite enough to judge the overall health of Marvel's Avengers and does not take into account console gamers, these reports are not encouraging for the future of the game. There are more major DLC updates on the way, including a PlayStation-exclusive update that will add Spider-Man to the game for some players, which has already seriously upset fans.

However, the fact remains that Marvel's Avengers is already in a multimillion-dollar money hole, and months of work on new content does not happen for free. These realities have led fans to speculate that the planned DLC may be in jeopardy of ever being produced, or that the publisher may begin charging for it.

Only time will tell how Marvel's Avengers navigates these challenging times, but at the moment, the game seems to be in critical condition.