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Microtransactions removed from Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is the latest entry in the Lords of the Rings gaming franchise. However, when the title launched, it was caught up in a controversy involving microtransactions. The loot crates in the game gave players access to powerful orcs which could be used to fill out their armies without doing the footwork.

Microtransactions were by no means mandatory, but they were still an easy way to become strong early on in the game. Many gamers thought that this was unfair. A few months ago, Warner Bros. Interactive said it would remove microtransactions from Middle-earth: Shadow of War soon. A post on the game's community website provided more details.

The core promise of the Nemesis System is the ability to build relationships with your personal allies and enemies in a dynamic open world. 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... It allows you to miss out on the awesome player stories you would have otherwise created, and it compromises those same stories... 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.

As promised, microtransactions were removed today. It's great to see that Warner Bros. is listening to fans and fixing this issue which was a cause for concern for many gamers. However, given the fact that Middle-earth: Shadow of War launched in October 2017, it might be too late. Many players have moved on to other experiences.

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Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

5 Comments
  • But this game is single player? Surely fairness is pretty mute. If someone wants to spend money rather than time getting through it then that shouldn't really be anyone elses business, let alone upset them. Just like people that want to pay more for a car, rather than cycling or walking everywhere? What's next. Sorry, everyone is only allowed to walk now because it's unfair on the people that can't afford to use the bus or buy a car. Lmao
  • The game has multiplayer.
  • Just like many games with free2play mechanism the focus could be to try and make people spend money. So gameplay elements could be changed or made in such a way as to frustrate players and as to encourage them to spend money instead... Also your example isn't really giving a true picture. In your example, people are told to walk even though they paid full price for the game. Even after paying full price, you are being frustrated until you agree to pay more. Keeping with your road and vehicles example. This is more like having a road where everyone is allowed to drive at their own pace. No restrictions... That's a normal game without microtransactions.
    A game with microtransactions is more of a road where you are limited to 20 km/h or 10 mph. The road has a whole lot of speed bump... All that while constantly being told that if you spent a certain amount of cash you can drive on another fast lane where there are no speed restrictions, no speed bump... You know, exactly the same as what you would get with a normal game...
  • The implications go much further than that. Basically, see the original release of the new Battlefront 2
  • At least they finally removed the microtransactions, better late than never.