It doesn\’t look liike Marvel\’s Avengers has had the smoothest of starts, especially on PC. Player counts on Steam have been in the hundreds rather than the thousands since launch, while my experience of matchmaking is that it takes ages to work and often doesn\’t. Such problems aside, one thing most players agree on is that the in-game marketplace is something of a ripoff.

Now that may just be in the grand old comic book tradition, but still: stuff is only worth what people will pay for it and, clearly, players haven\’t been tempted by some of the more ridiculous offerings here. A particular sore point has always been that \’epic takedowns\’, in-game animated finishing moves, were sold in the marketplace for 1200 credits. If we go by the basic currency pack, 500 credits for £4, that works out at more-or-less $12/£10 for an animation. Yep.

Following a recent in-game event that saw prices on costumes, takedowns, and emotes reduced by half, developer Crystal Dynamics has now added a splash screen to the game announcing that the takedown and emote discounts will remain permanent. It doesn\’t say anything about the costumes, but they also remain at half-price for the time being.

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(Image credit: Square Enix)

I really want to love Marvel\’s Avengers more than I do. Partly the problem is it\’s such a shonkfest that you can end up wasting half an hour of good gaming time in lobbies, or even worse losing players or dropping out yourself mid-match. But another part is that from day one this was set up to squeeze players, and you could feel it. The problem wasn\’t even necessarily that so much was for sale, we\’re all used to that these days, but the disconnect between the prices and what you were paying for. I\’ve got no interest in handing over real cash for emotes, much less when they cost a fiver a pop.

The game is currently running a promotion for returning players alongside these reduced prices: log in before November 5 and, among various other goodies, you\’ll pick up 1500 free credits.

Hopefully this is the start of some more player-positive changes for Marvel\’s Avengers. There\’s the core of a potentially great experience here, but it needs much more improvement than a few reduced prices.

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