Middle-Earth: Shadow of War has officially removed all microtransactions from the game. This change comes with a new update for the game that will effectively delete the market from gameplay.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is an open world action-adventure RPG that released in 2017. Set between the timeline of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Shadow of War is a sequel to Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. In the franchise, players take on the role of a ranger who seeks revenge against Sauron after the evil wizard's army kills his family. One of the most interesting features of the game is Nemesis, an artificial intelligence system that allows NPCs to remember every time the protagonist dies, allowing it to react to each death accordingly.
Creative Vice President of Monolith Productions Michael de Plater announced a new free improvement update for the game on the PlayStation Blog that includes the removal of all microtransactions. This means that real-world money no longer has any effect on the game. Instead of the market, the game will introduce the Garrison that will allow the player to store recruited Orcs. Players can spend in-game currency, Mirian, for their Orc army training and upgrades.
Other updates include a streamlined version of the post-campaign epilogue with new narration, an increased level cap that now goes to 80 with an enemy level captain cap that goes to 85, new player skins and an improvement to the Nemesis system. Other updates include new ways to customize and update characters, more opportunities to level up faster and more XP rewards for Nemesis missions. The full list of updates is available here.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is currently available on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Reviews for the game are generally favorable and it has been nominated for a variety of awards, which included a win for Best Console Game for the Xbox One at Gamescom 2017.
It's no surprise then that the original game will also remove microtransactions. Players will have no problem getting behind this change since many view microtransactions with disdain. There has been a lot of pushback recently on loot boxes, with several countries outright banning them because they violate gambling laws. Perhaps this is a sign that microtransactions are a thing of the past. However, if developers can keep making money off of games long after they release, they're going to keep trying to do so.
Source: PlayStation Blog
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