While demoing Middle-earth: Shadow of War in a livestream, the developers outed a premium currency model set to be implemented in the game. The in-game economy will feature a Market where players can buy XP boosts, loot chests, and more. Essentially, it’s a pay-to-win microtransaction system, and some fans are not happy.
Monolith Productions later detailed in an official forum post just how the Market will work. Four main items can be purchased through the Market; Loot Chests, War Chests, XP Boosts, and Bundles. Loot Chests will contain random weapons and armor to enhance Talion’s abilities, as well as XP Boosts to help level up Talion faster. War Chests provide Orc followers to help build a stronger army and also contain Training Orders to level up those followers. Bundles package up Loost Chests, War Chests, and XP Boosts together.
These can all be earned through Shadow of War’s in-game currency, Mirian, which can be obtained by defeating enemies or found in stashes throughout the world, however they can also all be bought with Gold, which can be purchased with real money through the PlayStation Store, Xbox Store, or Steam.
As can be expected, many people are taking to Reddit and NeoGAF to discuss the microtransactions. Though some people just don’t care as it is a single-player game and Monolith explains that “no content in the game is gated by Gold,” others have been much harsher, saying Monolith is just greedy and that they’ll wait until the game is in bargain bins before purchasing.
Monolith is not revealing how much Gold will cost and says that prices will be communicated at a later date. Though Middle-earth: Shadow of War certainly looks incredible, and its predecessor was a popular game, it looks like it will launch with a fair bit of controversy. Microtransactions always seem to be a point of contention within the gaming community, so we’ll see how it affects the game’s reception.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War will release on October 10, 2017 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.