Middle-earth: Shadow of War was put in the firing line of fans last month when published WB Games announced that the sequel title will be housing microtransactions despite being a full-priced title. Developer Monolith Productions has since addressed fan concern, stating that it doesn’t unbalance or distract from the core experience.
Talking with Eurogamer, Design Director Bob Roberts explains the microtransaction system as “complicated” and while there are concerns, it is there simply for “player choice.”
The game itself isn’t truly reliant on the microtransaction mechanic, as the title doesn’t have to be played online at all. Roberts states that the team has been testing the game with that functionality turned off to truly ensure that the experience is a fair and balanced one, with microtransactions being as optional as intended.
While admitting that Roberts himself would probably not opt to buy into microtransactions, he equates the idea of them in a full-priced title to be similar to that of an “easy” and a “hard mode”. For a game like Shadow of War, it’s difficult as difficulty isn’t defined on the amount you die, as death in the game is directly tied to its Nemesis System.
“We’d rather you die regularly to get the full experience of the Nemesis system,” says Roberts.
Instead, microtransactions exist in the game “for people who are protective of their spare time and scared when a massive game comes along that they’re not getting to see the full experience.”
Middle-earth: Shadow of War hits Xbox One, PS4 and PC on October 10th.
KitGuru Says: I can’t speak of the potential grind the game might or might not be until it is released, but I can tell that Monolith is doing its best to try and keep everyone happy. If they manage to balance the game and make it as enjoyable as possible, I can’t see the harm in adding a way for those wanting to fast track. If it is unbalanced, then that is another thing entirely. Have your feelings changed on the game’s microtransactions?