‘Shadow of War’ and the State of Microtransactions
The biggest thing in gaming news over the past couple weeks has got to be the fiasco with Shadow of War. If you haven’t heard, it goes a little something like this.
Up until recently, Shadow of War was thought to be yet another masterpiece single player experience from Monolith Studios. This was until they announced that there would be a micro transaction system in the game.
There will be two different forms of currency in Shadow of War: mirian, and gold. The gold is the premium form of currency that can be used to buy Loot Chests and War Chests.
I normally don’t have a huge problem with the concept of optional purchases, as I play many mobile games on my phone. When you insert this concept into a purely single-player environment, though, you start to run into problems. Monolith has said that these purchases are in place for people that want to skip tracking nemesis and assaulting fortresses, many of the aspects that make Shadow of War what it is.
Loot chests will provide Talion with gear and different types of boosts (i.e. experience). The War Chests will give you different Orcs and Uruk captains to add to your army. This will be a way for players to get legendary Orcs and Uruks without having to farm for them. With that concept out of the way and in your mind, let me tell you how I feel about all of this.
Shadow of Mordor is one of my favorite single-player games out there. I was super excited to see a sequel was announced for the game. The hype kept building as we got closer to its release, at least, until this concept was dropped.
We see a lot of games include these optional purchases in their games. We saw it way back with Evolve with skins and new monsters/hunters, and currently with Overwatch and their loot boxes. One of those games has all but failed, while another thrives immensely. Now you may be thinking, “whats the difference between this and DLC/Season Passes?” The big difference here is that micro transactions are usually shoved down your throat while DLC/Season Passes are suggested a couple times before getting thrown to the way side.
I will always fully support a developer if I enjoy the content they put out. Does this mean that I will utilize this feature in Shadow of War? That is to be decided, and, really, depends on how this whole situation is handled. If in Shadow of War they place the option for optional purchases everywhere you look and throw them in your face, it becomes hard to ignore. You could be flipping your way through a menu and, all of a sudden, a purchase window comes up and now your spending $400 on loot boxes.
Another thing that is worrisome is if Monolith pads the content of the game to almost push you into getting these boxes. You are able to obtain everything in the boxes just by playing the game regularly. If they pad the content, this means that they spread out the content in a way that it would take FOREVER to obtain certain items; that is, unless, you spend money on the loot boxes. I hope that Monolith just puts up a screen that says, want to buy this shit? No? Wonderful, enjoy the rest of the game.
The only thing, for me at least, is that I LOVE opening booster packs/loot boxes. This must be why I’m drawn to things like this. I do agree that this is silly for a single-player game’s progression, though, so we won’t truly know how this will work until the game releases in October.
I feel like we are going to start seeing this with games moving forward. As publishers become more hungry for money, they will have developers figure out a way to monetize their games even further. It isn’t enough anymore to put out a single-player masterpiece, unless you’re CD Projekt Red.
The gaming industry will always find ways to monetize further. When you think about it, this will be a way to further develop great games. There will always be people that buy these boxes and boosters and vice versa. Hell, I read the other day that there are a whole group of people that are straight up not buying the game for the first month. It is silly that a word like “microtransactions” is enough for people to not buy a game. Yes, we grew up in a time where a game came with no DLC or optional purchases, but, times change and, with that, so too do practices.
You also have to remember: everything is completely optional, you don’t HAVE to purchase these items. I will, however, encourage you to purchase any story-related DLC that releases, given the base game is good, which I have no doubt about.
In the end, it is your money. Your voice as a gamer. Consumers truly decide where this business will go, and, as a gamer all of my life, I would like to see this industry continue for the foreseeable future.
How do you feel about microtransactions? How do you feel about Shadow of War and the choice of loot boxes? Is there a game that you play that has these optional purchases? Let’s talk in the comments, guys and gals. This is a fun topic to chat about!
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