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Why Marvel: Contest of Champions' top players might leave the game

Don't be fooled: Marvel: Contest of Champions might be best enjoyed on tiny smartphone screens, but there's nothing small about it. In its first year on the market, the Marvel-themed fighting game accrued over 40 million downloads and scored publisher Kabam $100 million in revenue—and that was back in 2015. Now, it's even bigger.

However, a latest update might take Kabam's cash cow to the slaughterhouse, as revealed in a report by PocketGamer.biz. An update that Kabam released on March 1, 2017 has led to a string of vocal protests from some of Contest of Champions' most dedicated players, with many fans saying that they're considering walking away from the game entirely.

Basically, people say, Kabam changed the game in order to squeeze more money out of its most dedicated fans, while rendering previous purchases near-worthless. The update tweaked a number of Contest of Champions' top-tier characters in order to make the game more accessible to newcomers and to encourage the Contest of Champions faithful to expand their rosters. However, the plan backfired. Hardcore players claim that, with the best characters now weaker across the board, end-game challenges are nearly impossible to beat. In order to succeed, players claim that they now need to buy premium-priced gear to boost characters' stats.

In addition, Kabalm changed characters' statistics from hard numbers to percentage-based rankings, which players found confusing, especially when coupled with characters' new rankings.

In response, the Contest of Champions players launched a worldwide boycott, which looks like it's having a demonstrable effect. According to PocketGamer.biz, Contest of Champions has dropped to the 38th spot on the list of highest-grossing iOS apps, its lowest position since 2015.

Kabam isn't taking this all sitting down, of course. The company's official blog lists a number of upcoming changes intended to restore players' enthusiasm for Contest of Champions, although it remains to be seen whether or not Kabam can regain fans' trust. If not, that'd be too bad—Contest of Champions is one of the few superhero-themed video games that isn't completely terrible.