Earlier this week, the Marvel’s Avengers video game, which is published by Square Enix and developed by Crystal Dynamics, revealed an E3 2019 trailer that led to conflicted reactions from MCU fans. Not only was Hawkeye apparently missing in action, the other five core avengers — Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, Iron Man, and Hulk — didn’t look at all like their Marvel Studios movie counterparts. This was to be expected in a way, given that these are comic book characters, who were played by actors but are now the subject of a video game, but nonetheless, people made a fuss.
Crystal Dynamics executive Shaun Escayg has now spoken to multiple outlets about the reaction to the trailer. He told IGN that while the company is “always listening to” to community feedback, there are “currently no plans” to switch up designs. However, he left room for upgrading “the level of detail and overall polish,” given that the trailer only reflects “pre-alpha gameplay footage.” Escayg also spoke with Hollywood Reporter to acknowledge that, yes, these characters don’t look like Chris Evans or Scarlett Johansson, and that’s on purpose:
“We knew we wanted to make an original Avengers game and go back to the roots in the comic books,” Crystal Dynamics creative director Shaun Escayg tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Escayg says that at no point during the game’s development process did they consider using the likenesses of the actors behind the MCU versions of the heroes. “We wanted to clearly show that this was our spin on the Avengers,” Escayg says. “Even the way we cast these characters was based on our story and our narrative.”
Indeed, Escayg makes a valid point about a long-gestating game that will follow a different narrative than those presented by Marvel Studios movies. And with actors including Nolan North and Troy Baker voicing these characters, yeah, that’s another reason that they really should look different, or people would complain about Robert Downey Jr.’s likeness not sounding like him. Still, it’s understandable that people feel an uncanny-valley effect since Avengers: Endgame recently dominated theaters. (You can’t make everyone happy.)
Regardless of any further confusion for MCU fans, Marvel’s Avengers will arrive on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, and PC on May 15, 2020.