Marvel Rivals heroes jumping out of a Doctor Strange portal.
Image via NetEase Games

Marvel Rivals characters won’t be free, leaks suggest—but that shouldn’t be a surprise

It wouldn't be the first free-to-play game to use this practice.

While some of the gaming community plays the Marvel Rivals closed alpha test and others wish they were playing it, some people are attempting to mine files to find information.

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One such miner claims to have found information within the game that suggests heroes will need to be bought and won’t be available for free. The account later said that heroes can be bought or earned, but it “will be slow.”

Hero select page in Marvel Rivals.
It remains to be seen who will be totally free. Screenshot by Dot Esports

And my and many others’ reaction is… yeah, and? This has been happening in free games for what feels like forever. In a May 14 Reddit thread posted about the purported “leak,” players shrugged their shoulders at the expected news. Marvel Rivals has been confirmed as a free-to-play title, so this kind of practice should come as no surprise.

Free-to-play games often release a roster of free heroes and then have a rotation of weekly or daily free characters, along with the option to purchase them with real money or currency that can be earned in-game. Think of Apex Legends and other games like it with unique characters who offer their own abilities.

A game similar to Marvel Rivals, Overwatch 2, just did away with earning or buying heroes and instead has unlocked all existing and future characters for all players, so that comparison will likely draw ire from some. But as a free-to-play title, money has to be made somewhere, and if players can skip a grind to buy a new character, some likely will.

The closed alpha test features 19 playable heroes, with dozens of others likely in the works for the release pipeline. But when the full game is released, it’s unknown how many of those 19 will be fully free and playable on day one.

It hasn’t been confirmed yet by the game’s publisher or developer how new heroes will be unlocked in Marvel Rivals. Dot Esports has reached out to NetEase Games for comment on the subject.


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Author
Scott Duwe
Staff Writer & Call of Duty lead. Professional writer for over 10 years. Lover of all things Marvel, Destiny 2, Metal Gear, Final Fantasy, Resident Evil, and more. Previous bylines include PC Gamer, Red Bull Esports, Fanbyte, and Esports Nation. DogDad to Yogi the Corgi, sports fan (NY Yankees, NY Jets, NY Rangers, NY Knicks), Paramore fanatic, cardio enthusiast.