The long and intricate blog post on the Square Enix site shows the publisher is VERY avid in defending its microtransactions: going into what’s being released for free, what are defined as in-game cosmetics, its in-game vendors and marketplace and most importantly, the free and premium tiers in its Hero Challenge Cards, each essentially being an Avengers battle pass.
Each Hero Challenge Card allows you to earn challenge points to unlock rewards for that hero by completing a variety of challenges. Rewards include resources, units, upgrade modules, emotes, outfits and hero & team nameplates, the premium rewards for all of which are unlocked for the six starting heroes at launch. However, when new heroes like Spider-Man, Hawkeye or possibly She-Hulk get added, players will have to spend 1,000 credits, equating to $10, to buy their individual Hero Challenge Cards. Only then can you actually start completing challenges to obtain the premium rewards for them.
Square was quick to iterate how it believes its offering value for the large amount of money being charged for awards of singular characters, saying that once a player completes all challenges on a Hero Challenge Card, they’ll have those 1,000 credits they spent returned to them. This is only in the form of the in-game currency, mind you, not the $10 a player actually spent.
Credits come in packs of 500, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000. With 500-credit packs costing $5.00, you’d have to buy two of these to unlock the Hero Challenge Card for a post-launch hero. Square Enix repeated that “these rewards deliver fun in-game cosmetic enhancements and effects, but they do not provide a gameplay advantage”, along with the fact that each Avengers battle pass won’t be rotated or retired “so once you’ve activated premium rewards, there is no time limit or risk in spreading your focus between heroes”. You can also buy skips to get through the tiers faster, though.
Square Enix seemingly wanted to get ahead of any possible controversy surrounding the Hero Challenge Cards with their own explanation, following the backlash the publisher and developer, Crystal Dynamics, received after confirming Spider-Man is going to be a PlayStation exclusive character. The head of Crystal Dynamics made their own response about it, but it did very little to snuff the outrage.
Marvel’s Avengers launches on the 4th of September on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Stadia.