Today, Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions have released the final story expansion for Middle-earth: Shadow of War. Called the Desolation of Mordor, you play as Baranor, the captain of Minas Ithal, as you explore a whole new region in what’s being described as a roguelike campaign.
On top of a host of enhancements to the Nemesis system and a whole new difficulty setting, this expansion should keep fans occupied for a while longer, but one of the biggest talking points is about what’s being removed.
Though it was announced ahead of time in a community blog post, today’s update removes the ability to purchase gold from the in-game marketplace using real cash. Players will still be able to spend Gold and earn it through challenges until the 17th July, where the whole Market will be removed. In that same blog post, Monolith cited the following reason:
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.
For many, this is a welcome update, as the microtransactions in Shadow of War were a huge point of contention. As Monolith state, it’s hard to be immersed in building your army orc-friends when you can just whip out your bank card and buy some friends instead. Actually, wait. That does sound like real life.
This announcement follows on from the likes of Star Wars: Battlefront 2 rolling back their implementation of microtransactions in response to fan feedback. Though you can still make in-game purchases in Battlefront 2, these are for cosmetic items only.
Whether or not these changes are actually coming as a result of the fan backlash or as a response to the increased political pressure and the enhanced legislative measures being taken against microtransactions, and more specifically loot boxes, is up for debate. As companies are increasingly coming under fire for what could be described as egregious business methods, developers and publishers seem to be washing their hands clean of those tainted microtransactions.
If you were put off by the microtransactions in Shadow of War beforehand, today is the perfect jumping on point. Just make sure you earn a bunch of gold with the in-game challenges and cash it in before July. Talking about gaming the system!
What do you think about the removal of microtransactions from Shadow of War? Sound off in the comments below, and check out the deluge of Fortnite coverage we’ve published today. No, it’s not relevant, we’re just really proud of ourselves.
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