Middle-earth: Shadow of War to remove microtransactions soon

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. Luckily, it seems like Warner Bros. Interactive will remove microtransactions from Middle-earth: Shadow of War in the coming months. A post on the game's community website confirmed this.

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. In order to fully restore the core promise... The ability to purchase Gold will permanently cease on May 8, 2018. The permanent removal of Gold, War Chests and the Market will take place on July 17, 2018.

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

Apart from the removal of the microtransactions in July 2018, an update will enhance other aspects of the game. The "Shadow Wars" campaign where players defend fortresses will get new narrative elements so that it doesn't feel so repetitive. Lastly, the developer confirmed that it would be incorporating many other gameplay improvements including Nemesis System updates, new player skins, skill tree additions, gear system upgrades, and progression updates.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is currently available for around $40 at various retailers. The game supports Xbox One X and Xbox Play Anywhere on Xbox One and Windows 10. Hopefully all of these changes will make the title better for newcomers and returning players.

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Asher Madan

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.

  • Hmm..looks to me they didn't sell much microtransactions, so are just cancelling them to gain some PR points and look good in the process!
  • Seems a little too late no? I mean, it came out in October 2017. And they aren't refunding the microtransactions, they're just giving "in-game items" with the leftover gold.
  • I think it's more that they feel they've already reaped the benefits of microtransactions during the game's boom and now that the game is fading, they can remove them and get PR points without really hurting their bottom line.
  • WOW, I am shocked.. This is good news and I hope it continues.. I would rather see a game cost another 20 bucks. I own this game and have not played it yet so I guess I will wait another few months..
  • but with or without it... prob plays the same if you don't intend to buy any of those boxes from the beginning. It's single player anyway, you are not competing with anything / anyone...
  • "we have come to realize that providing this choice risked undermining the heart of our game..."
    And you only realised it NOW? LOL
    This is too little too late. Well the hope is they'll not do it again in their next game.
  • I'll pick it up when there's a DLC-inclusive version for sure now. I passed on it over the fact it was a $60 game with paid DLC with microtransactions, which is hard to see as an acceptable practice.
  • For me, this was one of those games where it was already easy to play without using any microtransactions. I mean it helps that it is essentially a single-player game with some optional multiplayer game modes (but not direct PVP action). Also, you can purchase silver war chests (which include Orcs) using currency that you earn in-game. It wasn't until very late in the game that I paid for a gold chest to bolster my siege army -- and that was ONLY because it was like my 10th siege and I was getting lazy, lol.