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This Marvel's Avengers Departure Could Spell Trouble

Marvel's Avengers still manages to chug along, despite lackluster sales that have kept it from breaking even. Even with the recent addition of Hawkeye, players still have mixed feelings about the game. A Black Panther expansion is arriving later this year, which has led some to speculate that things might be looking up for the game. However, a recent departure from the Marvel's Avengers creative team may suggest otherwise.

Shaun Escayg, the former director of Marvel's Avengers, tweeted that he was back at Naughty Dog after a brief stint with Crystal Dynamics. Escayg posted a picture of a Naughty Dog branded mug, along with a note which read, "Welcome back, Shaun!" His tweet decisively exclaimed, "Happy to be back with the Dogs!" 

There's no other way to interpret the tweet, other than as an announcement that Escayg has left Marvel's Avengers to return to his roots and work on a new project with Naughty Dog. Shocked by the news, one fan asked bluntly, "What about Avengers?" To this, Escayg replied, "Marvel's Avengers is in good hands." 

Some fans took the opportunity to criticize Escayg's work on Marvel's Avengers. One user called him one of the "worst creative directors in Earth history," while another accused him of lying about the "good hands" he left the game with. More supportive fans thanked Escayg for his work and wished him well.

Escayg's Twitter bio now lists him as a Creative Director/Writer at Naughty Dog, but fans can't be sure what project he's working on until Naughty Dog announces it. In January 2021, Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann tweeted that the company wanted applicants for a new project it was working on, but did not specify what that project was. While there's no way to verify if Naughty Dog hired Escayg to work on this new project, the timing seems suspect.

Sandra Saad, who portrayed Kamala Khan in Marvel's Avengers, has previously noted that Shaun Escayg was a great director. The actress said in an exclusive Looper interview, "He's amazing at knowing how to get into my head, as opposed to knowing how to get into these other people's heads. When you give that to a smart artist... then you really, really get something beautiful." 

Escayg's directing know-how permeated Marvel's Avengers, which critics praised for its outstanding single-player mode and voice acting. Even though Marvel's Avengers may not go down as one of the best games in history, it definitely showed ambition. No one knows what the future of Marvel's Avengers looks like, but fans continue to hope that Escayg left the title in the right hands.