Shadow of War microtransactions are being removed months after its release

When it was first released back in September 2017, Middle-earth: Shadow of War was one of a handful of games involved in a growing furore over microtransactions. But now, more than six months after its release, they’re going to be removed. 

The news was announced by the game’s developer, Monolith, on a community forum post in which it confirmed that purchasable Gold, War Chests and the Market will be permanently removed from the game via a series of free updates.

These updates, the post says, are a response to player feedback and are intended to improve player experience. According to Monolith, “The core promise of the Nemesis System is the ability to build relationships with your personal allies and enemies in a dynamic open world.” 

For an improved experience

Though the ability to purchase Orcs and War Chests is immediately rewarding, Monolith acknowledges that it “risked undermining the heart of [its] game” and “reduces the immersion in the world and takes away from the challenge of building your personal army and your fortresses.”

This isn’t happening instantly - Monolith is rolling out the changes steadily so that players invested in the microtransactions system aren’t too heavily impacted. By May 8, players will no longer have the option to buy any Gold in the game. On July 17, Gold, War Chests and the Market will be removed. If you still have any purchased in-game Gold left on July 17 it’ll be converted to a Gold Loot Chests with 150 Gold securing one Loot Chest. If you have less than 150 Gold, you’ll just get one Gold Loot Chest.

As well as these microtransaction changes, Monolith has also said it’s going to be making some changes to the Shadow Wars part of the game campaign as a result of negative feedback. Criticised for feeling arduous, Monolith has said it will improve the experience by making it “more cohesive” with “new narrative elements.” 

Though these changes are welcome, it’s somewhat surprising that the microstransaction removal is happening now, given player reservations were expressed even before the game’s release. Regardless, the news is unlikely to be taken badly.

Monolith has provided more details on its plans in an official FAQ and said that other updates will be coming further down the line which will include gameplay improvements, skill tree additions and progression updates.

Emma Boyle

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.