I will not part with a single coin… not one piece of it…
Warner Bros. have made the announcement that the controversial microtransactions and real-money loot boxes implemented into Middle-Earth sequel Shadow of War are to be removed from the game this Summer. The news came via a post made recently on the game’s official blog.
Shadow of War launched just six months ago and immediately came under fire for its in-game gold and “War Chests” which could be purchased with real money in order to buy followers for your army, XP boosts and other goodies, somewhat negating the brand’s acclaimed “Nemesis” system, which allows players to build their own orc battalion through coercion, revenge and other nefarious means.
“Loot Chests” will remain in-game, but will no longer be purchasable with real money. Players with cash still in their accounts have until July 17 to spend it. After that, the in-game marketplace will be removed. Warner Bros. also noted that Shadow of War will see an overhaul in the near future, in order to improve narrative elements and streamline the gameplay for a “more cohesive experience.”
This is a chin-strokingly familiar story to EA’s recent U-turn on Star Wars Battlefront II’s awful market mechanics. But is it too little, too late? I really enjoyed Shadow of Mordor, but I didn’t buy the sequel because I assumed the pay-to-win mechanics would fuck with the gameplay. Now, whether I was right or wrong about that is irrelevant, because regardless, it’s a sale that didn’t happen specifically because of said business decision.
It’s easy for a lot video game fans to feel a sense of schadenfreude when these U-turns occur, but let’s not pretend that Shadow of War won’t have made a ton of dollar off of these boxes since original release, even if not as much as WB had expected. Perhaps turnarounds such as these point to a gradual abandonment of the controversial practice. Time will tell.
Shadow of War will be removing microtransactions in July [Official site]