Take-Two CEO Srauss Zelnick admits Firaxis-developed tactical role-playing game Marvel’s Midnight Suns was a commercial failure.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns was a commercial failure, according to Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick. The card-based tactical role-playing game with strong interactive narrative elements was developed by Firaxis Games, the company behind the XCOM and Civilization series. Midnight Suns was released in December 2022 to critical acclaim but little enthusiasm from audiences.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns earned a favorable Metacritic score of 83, but only a 5.6 from users. Gamers were put off by the game’s technical issues upon release. Many were confused by the narrative elements, which had players navigating an all-star team of Marvel heroes through some fairly mundane interactions that some felt didn’t fit the larger-scale stories that the characters are usually part of in the media.
Take-Two CEO Srauss Zelnick told Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier that Midnight Suns has underperformed commercially, but he hopes the critically-acclaimed Marvel title will enjoy the same long tail at retailers as XCOM and Civilization. Zelnick suggested that it’s possible that Midnight Suns’ December release date was also to blame, as the game was in direct competition with other highly anticipated titles such as The Callisto Protocol and High on Life. Although The Callisto Protocol was a disappointment to critics and audiences alike, it is also considered a commercial failure for its publisher, Krafton.
Midnight Suns was heavily discounted on all platforms less than a month after its release, which can now be interpreted as an early sign that sales numbers weren’t as strong as expected. As Marvel Avengers publisher Square Enix found out, attaching the Marvel brand name to a game doesn’t automatically translate to the same wild commercial success as its film and television wings. Guardians of the Galaxy also fell short of sales expectations despite praise from critics.
Despite slow sales, Firaxis continues to release new content and characters. The Good, The Bad, and The Undead, the Midnight Suns DLC pack, was released on January 23rd. The content pack includes new story missions and a new playable character in the form of fan-favorite Deadpool. Players who purchase the Season Pass can then expect a Venom-focused DLC, followed by a Morbius-focused DLC pack. The last planned DLC pack will feature Storm. All DLC packs are expected to release sometime in 2023.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns is available now for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S, with PS4, Switch, and Xbox One versions in the works.
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