Square Enix has yet to earn back the money it spent on the development of Marvelís Avengers. In its most recent earnings report, spotted by IGN, the company said its HD Games segment posted a 7 billion yen (approximately $67 million) loss for the quarter.

Yosuke Matsuda, the president of Square Enix, attributed the downturn to a combination of poor sales and an expensive advertising campaign the company ran to promote the release of the game. ďThe HD Games sub-segment posted an operating loss as initial sales of Marvelís Avengers were lower than we had expected and unable to completely offset the amortization of the gameís development costs,Ē he said. The executive went on to say Square Enix hopes DLC like the Kate Bishop add-on developer Crystal Dynamics announced last week will make the game profitable over the long run.

To find out Marvelís Avengers has been struggling isnít too surprising. When we previewed the game ahead of its release, we didnít come away with a strong positive impression of what it had to offer. It also highlights that live-service games are a risky proposition for publishers. Much-hyped titles like Anthem have fizzled out, and even a heavyweight like Destiny has struggled at times, leading to a split between the gameís developer and publisher. Even with a lucrative property like The Avengers, thereís no guarantee a game will find an audience that can sustain years of ongoing development.