Gears 5 Multiplayer Design Director Calls its Microtransactions “Player-Friendly”
Gears 5 will feature cosmetic microtransactions that its developers think are "very player-centric, player-friendly."
Gamescom 2019 has been an important event for Gears 5 from The Coalition and Xbox Game Studios as we have seen Horde mode for the first time as well as more of the game’s campaign. As it is out in less than a month, the game is being shown to press and fans alike at Gamescom so we are learning even more about the game, including how it is approaching microtransactions. Multiplayer Design Director Ryan Cleven told GamesIndustry.biz that Gears 5 will not have loot boxes, but will have microtransactions that the developers believe are “a very player-centric, player-friendly way of doing customization and monetization.”
Basically, real money can be used to buy Iron, an in-game currency system that can for cosmetics. If players choose to not pay real money for these things, they can still be unlocked through the Tour of Duty and Supply systems. As Gears 5 will not have a Season Pass, heroes can also be purchased with real money or obtained by playing the game a lot like DLC characters in Street Fighter V. Cleven believes this monetization system shows that The Coalition is “ahead of the industry here in getting rid of loot boxes and making sure that we can both service people that are looking to accelerate their progression or earn cosmetics using money but also keeping the integrity of the game experience.”
These systems may seem reactionary following the microtransaction and loot box fiasco that was Star Wars: Battlefront II from EA, but Cleven said that this wasn’t the case to GamesIndustry.biz:
We had made that decision before all that happened. We were sort of reading the tea leaves, I guess, and we were one of the earliest to adopt card packs inside our game. We thought we’d done it quite elegantly in Gears 4 — some people liked it, some people didn’t. There were other companies and other games that would have done it differently that people were less happy about.
We put the challenge to ourselves: can we still provide purchasable things to players that want to purchase and still have the rest of the players really enjoy the system? That was a challenge we set right from the beginning of Gears 5…We just felt that [loot boxes] weren’t a good fit for Gears and we wanted to be ahead of the curve looking for possible solutions, even before all the controversy.”
Though many players still outright hate microtransactions, these comments from Gears 5’s Multiplayer Design Director do give us a better idea of how developers choose to implement monetization schemes into their games. Gears 5 comes out for PC and Xbox One on September 10, 2019 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.
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