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Middle-earth: Shadow of War has completely removed microtransactions

By David Matthews · 12 replies
Jul 17, 2018
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  1. Update (7/22): In addition to removing microtransactions, Monolith is taking further steps to revive interest in Shadow of War. A hefty 66% discount on the game (down to $20) is being offered although that will be over soon. But if you want to try before you buy, a new playable demo downloadable from Steam contains a good chunk of the game for free (50GB download!), so you can decide later if buying is worth it. The game was well received overall.

    The collective gaming world has been in an uproar in the past year with the overabundance of loot boxes and microtransactions designed to wring a little more money out of consumers. Fortunately, gamers reacted vocally to this, particularly against EA's Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and Monolith Productions' Middle-earth: Shadow of War. The former removed microtransactions temporarily while the latter committed to removing it forever.

    True their promise, today's update for Shadow of War completely removes the microtransactions from the game. Previously, gamers could pay real-world money to purchase high-level Orcs which undermined the innovative Nemesis system first seen in the first Middle-earth game. The resulting outrage prompted Monolith to scrap the whole idea altogether:

    “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.”

    To garner even more goodwill towards gamers, Monolith added new features to improve the overall end-game. The end-game is now called "Epilogue" in which players can earn Masks of the Nazgul that grant new powers such as cursing enemies and summoning the undead. Monolith has also improved the Nemesis system with more Legendary Orcs, Training Orders, and the ability to receive gifts from followers. "Endless mode" will allow you to continue building your army and bases once you've beaten the game.

    Other additions include new skins (Celebrimbor, Baranor, and Dark Eltariel), a level-cap boost to 80 for followers and enemy captain level-cap boost to 85.

    It's clear that there are publishers and developers who understand how microtransactions and loot boxes can taint otherwise outstanding games. The actions Monolith has taken will hopefully filter out to other developers but there's room to doubt when publishers like Activision and Electronic Arts continually push for "games as a service".

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2018
  2. SirChocula

    SirChocula TS Maniac Posts: 174   +183

    Hardly doing "the right thing". They were fully aware of how lucrative loot boxes were and it was a conscious decision on their end to put it in the first place. This is fully a PR move to mitigate damage bc of the BF2 controversy. If they were "doing the right thing", loot boxes would have never been implemented in the first place. They had their share of the pie, as much as possible, and only now reeling back after significant backlash. It's better than nothing, but let's not give credit where credit is not due. They are a company, they only care about profits and not about you.
  3. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,768   +1,270

    They might not have the right motive but in the end all that matter is that they're gone, which is still good. Hopefully for good.
  4. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,139   +1,402

    No credit due? Sounds like they learned from their mistakes and corrected them.

    And they do care about both you and profits. If you aren't having fun then they don't make any money. They need money obviously. They're not doing this for charity, it's their job.
  5. mrjgriffin

    mrjgriffin TS Evangelist Posts: 349   +163

    I hope they lost money on this as well as the other companies that pulled these shenanigans this year/past year. I wouldn't even pirate these games.
    Reehahs and BSim500 like this.
  6. RevD14

    RevD14 TS Booster Posts: 92   +96

    I'll probably buy this game now. When it's on 50 percent or more off on steam of course.
    Namtrooper and m4a4 like this.
  7. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,352   +865

    I was just about to comment that.
  8. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,448   +1,619

    How convenient they learned their lesson now, after the game has sold 99% for the copies it will sell, and the vast majority of micro-transactions have been milked from player's wallets, as opposed to learning when the backlash was strong when the game came out.

    Totally doesn't look like a shady PR move....
    SirChocula likes this.
  9. fadingfool

    fadingfool TS Booster Posts: 93   +90

    So including me that will be 3 extra sales they'll get (at the next steam sale).
    RevD14 likes this.
  10. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 720   +457

    "microsactions" in subtitle, 2nd line. New word perhaps?
  11. David Matthews

    David Matthews TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 228   +45

    Thanks for the catch! Article has been corrected
    Reehahs likes this.
  12. Namtrooper

    Namtrooper TS Enthusiast Posts: 46   +24

    Finally. In a state where I will consider purchase.
    Although I will probably never grind to see the true ending. That's what youtube is for.
  13. enemys

    enemys TS Maniac Posts: 173   +170

    Better late than ever. End-game improvements are also welcome, though I doubt I'll try playing the game again - grinded it to the end and got fed with it. Overall, though, the game's good (besides the mentioned grind-driven ending).

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