It seems that Warner Bros. finally got the memo about people disliking microtransactions, because around half a year after Middle-earth: Shadow of War’s release, they’re removing microtransactions from the game over the next few months.
Explaining the decision, Monolith wrote on their forums that “While purchasing Orcs in the Market is more immediate and provides additional player options, we have come to realize that providing this choice risked undermining the heart of our game, the Nemesis System. It allows you to miss out on the awesome player stories you would have otherwise created, and it compromises those same stories even if you don’t buy anything. Simply being aware that they are available for purchase reduces the immersion in the world and takes away from the challenge of building your personal army and your fortresses.”
In saying this, they recognise the feeling and suspicion that players have surrounding video games with microtransactions, that the progression has been altered and artificially lengthened to draw people toward microtransactions and paying for progress. Indeed, the grind towards the end of the game was one of our main criticisms of the game, and we specifically addressed the microtransactions in a separate article, though ultimately concluded that they had little real impact.
They continue, “In order to fully restore the core promise of the Nemesis System, we’ll be permanently removing Gold, War Chests and the Market from Shadow of War. This means the option to purchase Gold with real-world money and the ability to gain Orc Followers from War Chests will be removed. There will be a specific amount of time given for players to utilize their unused Gold. If players have unused Gold by the end of the time allotted to spend it, any remaining Gold will be converted to in-game items.”
The ability to purchase Gold will disappear on 8th May, with Gold, War Chests and the Market being removed from the game on 17th July. For more details on this, you can check out their FAQ on the matter.
At the same time as Gold is removed, they’re also updating the Shadow Wars part of the game to add more narrative elements and steamline the mode. They will also be updating the Nemesis System, adding player skins, skills, gear and progression updates, which will be detailed between now and then.
Source: Warner Bros.