During Embracer Group's recent earnings call, Crystal Dynamics CEO Phil Rogers revealed that Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy reached over 8 million players. That milestone comes shortly after the game's one-year anniversary, and can be attributed to the game being added to Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus' Extra tier respectively in February and July.
"We've seen great engagement from players with this title entering into Game Pass, and PlayStation Plus quite recently," said Rogers. "There’s great pride in the team about the game they’ve made and there’s also great excitement now about how we drive it commercially within our own business unit.”
Crystal Dynamics' take on Marvel's sci-fi heroes released towards the end of 2021. Though it earned solid reviews and won some end of year awards, it also had weak sales, not unlike Marvel's Avengers from the year prior.
It was the underperformance of both Marvel titles that led to Square Enix (which published the game) selling off the studio, plus Eidos Montreal and the recently closed Onoma (formerly Square Enix Montreal), to Embracer earlier this year.
But now backed by a year and change's worth of good word of mouth, the action-adventure title is receiving a good amount of attention. And it probably doesn't hurt that the cinematic version of the Guardians are set to return after a prolonged absence with an upcoming holiday special and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2023.
Guardians gained another feather in its cap earlier this week, when its soundtrack from composer Richard Jacques was nominated for a 2023 Grammy.
Whether Crystal Dynamics can spin Guardians' current resurgence into a second installment is up for debate. At the moment, the developer has been enlisted by Microsoft to help develop the Perfect Dark reboot, and is also in control of the next Tomb Raider installment.