During a preview event for the upcoming hardcore first-person shooter Insurgency: Sandstorm hosted by Focus Home Interactive, Lead Game Designer Michael Tsarouhas had some information to provide about progression and monetization at and post-launch.
First of all nothing related to gameplay is locked behind any kind of progression. The class that you choose determines which weapons and weapon mods you have available, and you can choose among them all (up to a total of 15 supply points) to create your loadout. The supply points don’t drop when you die, so you’re completely free to outfit your soldier or insurgent however you like and however fits your playstyle.
On the other hand, cosmetic customization works differently. In the beginning, you can choose your voice and your looks (including gender), All the options related to that are unlocked from the start. On the other hand, outfit parts like gloves, tops, trousers, headgear, boots, different camo patterns for security, and different colors and patterns for insurgents, are unlocked via progression.
When you level up you get one random item and 100 appearance credits. If the random item is not what you want, you can simply spend the credits to outfits yourself to your taste. The credits can be spent to “buy” any cosmetic in the game, and nothing is gated by level. As you progress through the levels, you can simply unlock more cosmetic options.
New World Interactive is considering the implementation after release of the option to purchase appearance credits with real money microtransactions. This will allow players to support the developer with fully optional purchases that will involve cosmetic items exclusively, but nothing will be locked behind a paywall. Everything will be unlockable simply via gameplay.
Nothing related to gameplay (whether it’s weapons or mods) can be unlocked or purchased.
Tsarouhas also excluded the use of loot boxes:
“We don’t want to do loot boxes. I’m a gamer too and that stuff is just kind of confusing. It’s just a cool shirt, right? If somebody just wants a cool shirt let ’em have it. Don’t make them have to gamble for it.”
After release, the developer intends to release new weapons, new maps, new cosmetics, maybe new voice overs, and all of those will be free as the developer doesn’t want to split the community up.
If you’re unfamiliar with Insurgency: Sandstorm, it’s a hardcore first-person shooter with high bullet lethality and an approach to the genre that is certainly much more realistic compared to more mainstreams franchises.
Insurgency: Sandstorm will release for PC on September 18th, and on PS4 and Xbox One in 2019. If you want to see more about the game you can check out alpha gameplay from earlier this year.