Warner Bros has announced that it is removing microtransactions from Middle-earth: Shadow of War after player feedback. Both the in-game Gold and War Chests, Shadow of War’s version of loot boxes, will be removed later this year.
Players will no longer be able to purchase Gold after May 8th, and the permanent removal of Gold and War Chests will happen on July 17th. After this date, any unspent Gold will be converted to in-game items.
Other changes planned for the game include updating the Shadow Wars campaign section. There will be new narrative elements, new skins, skill tree additions, gear upgrades, Nemesis System updates, and progression updates.
A community post from Warner Bros had this to say:
“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.”
“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.”
The backlash against microtransactions in games came to a head last year, with games such as Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Forza Motorsport 7 and Star Wars Battlefront 2 baring the brunt of the controversy. Payments in Shadow of War were perceived as pay-to-win, which players saw as unfair.
The government got involved when questions were raised about loot boxes, backing up the gaming industry by explaining there are already extensive legislation in place.