April 4, 2018 // 10:51 a.m.
Monolith Productions has confirmed it is removing in-game currency from Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, putting an end to the ability to progress in the game by spending real-world money in a series of microtransactions.
Published by Warner Bros., Monolith's Shadow of War was well-received at launch last year, though opinions were divided on the issue of in-game microtransactions through which it was possible to buy loot boxes featuring in-game orc units using real-world money for a chance at bolstering your army. Following consumer backlash, though, Monolith has announced that it has come to a decision: Microtransactions are to be removed from the game from July this year.
'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 realise that providing this choice risked undermining the heart of our game, the Nemesis System,' the company explains in a prepared statement on the matter. '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. In order to fully restore the core promise of the Nemesis System, we’ll be permanently removing Gold, War Chests and the Market from Shadow of War. This means the option to purchase Gold with real-world money and the ability to gain Orc Followers from War Chests will be removed. There will be a specific amount of time given for players to utilize their unused Gold. If players have unused Gold by the end of the time allotted to spend it, any remaining Gold will be converted to in-game items.'
The ability to purchase in-game gold, Monolith has confirmed, will be removed on May 8th, while all gold, war chest, and market functionality in the game will be removed on July 17th. At the same time, the Shadow Wars campaign - wherein players go on the defensive - will be updated to include new narrative elements and a streamlined experience.