Square Enix had other plans for its Marvel’s Avengers stream on Tuesday, but following the tragic death of actor Chadwick Boseman, the company called an audible.
At the start of its stream, Square Enix flashed a message that said the company was “shocked and saddened by Chadwick Boseman’s passing” and asked participants in the stream to join the studio in a moment of silence.
In a subsequent message, Square Enix said that “out of respect for a fallen true hero, we have altered what we are showing today.” It then displayed the Black Panther logo before it got into the rest of the event.
Although Square Enix didn’t say what it altered, the stream’s viewers suggested the company had planned to announce Black Panther as a playable Marvel’s Avengers character. Instead, Square Enix announced that Kate Bishop would be added after the game’s launch, and Hawkeye would become a playable character later this year.
The world was stunned by Boseman’s death last week at the age of 43. The actor, who was best known for his roles as the Black Panther, Jackie Robinson, and Thurgood Marshall, died of colon cancer. Boseman, whose work had been lauded by critics and viewers around the world, hadn’t revealed his diagnosis, making the announcement an even bigger shock. A tweet announcing his passing has since become the most-liked tweet in Twitter’s history.
Marvel’s Avengers will launch on current-generation consoles and Google Stadia on Friday. The game is set in the Marvel universe, and the story begins five years after a deadly tragedy. Now, the world is being threatened by the game’s enemy A.I.M, and players need to assume the role of Marvel’s Avengers to save the world. Square Enix, which has designed the game alongside Crystal Dynamics, said that it will also be available on the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 after those consoles launch later this year.
Square Enix didn’t say when Black Panther may finally land in Marvel’s Avengers, but if the reports are accurate and the studio already had plans to add Black Panther to the game, it may not be long.