Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics have delayed the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions of Marvel's Avengers until an unknown date in 2021.
Until that point, you will be able to play the game via backwards compatibility, Crystal Dynamics said today in a blog post, although of course this won't be possible for those with copies of the game on disc who have bought a PlayStation 5 Digital Edition or Xbox Series S.
"We've made the decision to shift our PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S launch to next year to ensure that we give our team the time to deliver a next-gen experience showcasing all that this game is meant to be," studio boss Scott Amos wrote. "More details to come.
"Until then, however, you'll be able to continue playing the current-gen (PS4/Xbox One) Marvel's Avengers game on next-gen platforms to take advantage of their powerful hardware, be it via inserting a physical disk or redownloading the game. Two of the most obvious benefits of this are improved frame rates and faster loading times. In addition, players who make the jump to the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S will still be able to play co-op with their friends on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One respectively as well as carry their existing save-game forward to the next-generation of consoles!"
The release of the game's next hero, Kate Bishop, is also being delayed. She was expected to arrive later this month, with fellow Hawkeye Clint Barton shortly afterward, as a continuation of the same story arc.
There's no mention of the PlayStation-exclusive addition of Spider-Man, who was always scheduled for a 2021 release.
"We know fans are hungry for new content, but delivering a fun experience is our priority," Amos wrote. "With this in mind, we've decided to push Kate Bishop's Operation launch back a bit, out of October. We're sorry for this slight delay, but we are dedicated as a team to quality first."
The news comes as part of a lengthy State of the Game update, which addresses the fact that, at launch, the game had a number of issues.
"Marvel's Avengers' launch was not without turbulence, and we recognise that a number of issues detracted from your enjoyment of the game," Amos wrote. "This does not align with Crystal Dynamics' value of craftsmanship, and for that we sincerely apologise.
"Over the past weeks, our team around the world has been heads down fixing bugs and tuning key gameplay systems guided in part by your feedback. Since launch, we've released rapid updates to address these bugs, improve game stability, and refine our matchmaking system. While our work is never done, these fixes and additions have made improvements to the overall player experience."
All players will be granted a dollop of in-game premium credits and other currencies, plus a special nameplate, which can be claimed between 6pm UK time on 22nd October until 6pm UK time on 5th November.
"We are committed to you and to making Marvel's Avengers the Super Hero game we all aspire it to be," Amos concluded. "Over the next weeks, months, and year we'll tell new stories infused with Marvel DNA, debut fan-favorite Super Heroes & Super Villains, release new regions and gear, and introduce fresh multiplayer game experiences under our new Omega-Level Threat umbrella."
Upcoming community-requested features coming to the game include a ping system to mark items and command AI companions, improved offscreen attack indicators, a high contrast accessibility mode, improved mission reward clarity and an option to reset and replay the Reassemble campaign via a kind of New Game Plus.
In terms of bugs and fixes, Crystal Dynamics has identified four key areas it is now working to fix - performance and stability, multiplayer and matchmaking, rewards, and late game content. There's a detailed description of the work being put into each available via the aforementioned blog.
Just one week ago, Crystal Dynamics was faced with a set of uncomfortable-looking player numbers on PC which suggested the number of people still playing Marvel's Avengers had tailed off considerably.
In response, Amos said his team was "confident we'll see players return".