Home Gaming Shadow of War’s microtransactions exist as “a player choice”

Shadow of War’s microtransactions exist as “a player choice”

2 min read


From what we’ve seen of Shadow of War thus far, it’s an incredible game. Unfortunately, for many there’s a great big blight on the impending action adventure RPG, and that’s the shadow of its mictrotransactions. Unusually for a single player game, Shadow of War will include loot boxes, enabled by microtransactions.

Shadow of War’s in-game market will allow players to buy XP boosts, Orcs, and items to use with the Nemesis system, and loot chests containing random items of varying rarity.


I’ll always defend a developer’s decision to include cosmetic microtransactions in their games, because if people want to pay for that, that’s their choice. That said, having extra payment options in single player games that could affect the game seems iffy. Speaking to Eurogamer, Shadow of War’s design director Bob Roberts explained how the microtransactions wouldn’t detract from the game.

Responding to questions of whether the game might try to lure players in to the lootbox market with difficulty spikes, Roberts clarified a few “misconceptions.”

“First, the concern about balancing – hopefully when it is out there and people are able to talk about their experiences then the balancing question will be answered, hopefully by people you trust to play through it and see that.


The other big misconception was whether the game had to be online too – and it’s important for people to understand that no, it’s not required to be online to play the game, and it’s a massive game where you can enjoy the full experience without putting any extra money in.”

If they’re a choice, and optional, why do they exist at all? According to Roberts, it’s all about choice. If you’re struggling or want to level up quickly, you can throw down the cash. Roberts says that just dropping to easy mode doesn’t give the full experience of the Nemesis system, as the game is at its best when you’re dying a lot. There’s a lot more in Eurogamer’s interview, and it seems to me that these sorts of systems are publisher mandated instead of things that the developers are wilfully including in their games.

We’ll have to wait until launch to see if these are as optional as Monolith claims, or if they’re exploitative like the ones in NBA 2K18. Hopefully people can play through the game without once even contemplating throwing down extra cash.

Last Updated: September 26, 2017


  1. jimz0r

    September 26, 2017 at 11:04

    You know what also exists as a “player choice”? Not buying this game.

    I’ll be “choosing” to do that.


    • Ottokie

      September 26, 2017 at 11:05

      Well said


    • Geoffrey Tim

      September 26, 2017 at 11:20

      100% fair. 🙂


    • Admiral Chief

      September 26, 2017 at 11:52

      Steam sale in 2-3 years for me. Only recently finished the first one


    • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

      September 26, 2017 at 12:07

      Exactly lol


  2. Ottokie

    September 26, 2017 at 11:05

    Stop justifying micro transactions and micro gambling in paid for games ya frikking twat dev’s!


    • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

      September 26, 2017 at 12:16

      You can cry “STAHP” to all the devs. Which will fall on non-existent ears.

      Or you can just ignore the problem and not buy.

      Enough people do this, then this business model no longer remains viable, and it WILL stop.


  3. jimz0r

    September 26, 2017 at 11:09

    The top comment on the Eurogamer article really nails the reason why I won’t go near this title, even after enjoying Shadow of Mordor

    Not a single mention of the fact that said loot crate contents have a permadeath mechanic attached to them? This is an extremely important point to completely skip over.

    Edit: “We kept all of the loot boxes and the economy of real world money turned off in playtesting so we know we are balancing around an experience which is rewarding without any of that stuff.”

    Erm, this literally translates to ‘we haven’t tested the impact of our economy at all’…. That doesn’t exactly instill faith.

    Most of this interview is pretty painful to read. It’s nonsense and skirts around the issue for the most part.


  4. Matthew Holliday

    September 26, 2017 at 11:13

    arent all MTs “player choice” anyway?
    I feel like there have been more articles written about the existence of MTs in this game, than articles about the actual game.

    “Roberts says that just dropping to easy mode doesn’t give the full
    experience of the Nemesis system, as the game is at its best when you’re
    dying a lot.”
    Anyone who died alot in Shadow of Mordor, should just sell whatever platform theyr playing on.
    The game was hella fun, but it wasnt exactly a challenge.


  5. Original Heretic

    September 26, 2017 at 11:21

    Dying a lot is also part of the Dark Souls & Bloodborne experience. If it’s meant to be part of game, don’t water it down and then make excuses afterward.

    This game looks good, but I really hope that the gamer community stands together and very effectively boycotts the MT side of things.


    • jimz0r

      September 26, 2017 at 11:31

      Imagine how you could completely destroy the delicate balance of a Souls game by selling items that could make it easier/less painful.


      • Original Heretic

        September 26, 2017 at 11:34

        It would be a travesty.
        But gaming is now contending with an “instant gratification” generation. If they can’t get it right now, they bemoan the fact that it’s too difficult and unfair.
        And then do stupid shit like give a great game a poor user review.


        • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

          September 26, 2017 at 12:08

          Wonder how real life is gonna treat them. Hehe


  6. RinceThis

    September 26, 2017 at 11:24

    It’s for those kids out there who have their parents credit cards. Also an easy way to make an extra buck. Can’t blame them for trying.


  7. Steffmeister

    September 26, 2017 at 11:57

    I think they have the wrong idea what player choice in an RPG means.


  8. Magoo

    September 26, 2017 at 12:02

    > Buys a game.
    > Pays it to complete itself.


  9. Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    September 26, 2017 at 12:06

    lol what a pathetic crock of shit response.


  10. Viper_ZA

    September 26, 2017 at 12:16

    I pre-ordered this on PC for the relatively good price of R500. I am assuming they are assuming that I will throw some more Randelas at them…more wrong they cannot be!


  11. cloudzn

    September 26, 2017 at 12:21

    If you designed the game properly there would be no need for loot boxes. I also like playing a game for the story but i don’t mind the grind. They have basically made a Freemium full priced AAA game, either spend hours grinding or buy loot boxes for those that just want to experience the story or those that don’t want to grind. Get this straight there ABSOLUTELY NO REASON for microtransactions in a full price game, no matter how much they try to spin it.


    • Original Heretic

      September 26, 2017 at 12:27

      Respectfully, sir, I disagree. There is a reason for MT’s.
      The developers are greedy.
      Is it a good reason? Nawt a fork.


      • cloudzn

        September 26, 2017 at 12:43

        Lol but seriously what if other devs start copying this, its not a good thing


        • Original Heretic

          September 26, 2017 at 12:47

          It is a valid concern.
          I know I’ll be skipping this game entirely (the first one didn’t grab me that much), but there’s always a few suckers out there who are going to fall for this shit.


  12. Kensei Seraph - Terran Ghost

    September 26, 2017 at 13:23

    I think that I will probably try to wait for the Game of the Year edition, that will come with all of tge DLC and the important micro-transaction items, to be 80% off on a Steam sale.


  13. Tyron Bataille

    October 23, 2017 at 16:23

    Article featured on the Jimquisition https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQsc14gDPbk


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