I don’t really do micro-transactions.

For the most part, I’ve not seen the draw of spending real money for cosmetics on top of what I’ve already spent on the game itself. For example, Arkham Knight‘s many costume options would have hurt the completionist in me if they were not all included in the season pass, but I don’t see myself spending $2.99 for the Dark Knight movie skin alone. It has no impact on the game, so why drop the dough?

Yes, I did spend money on Amiibo NFC chips so I could get all the limited gear in Breath of the Wild, but that’s Zelda. Different story, and I’ll write that explanation some day, and you will tremble at my attempt to rationalize, but bygones.

With the news on Friday that Shadow of War was going to include a Market, I found my eyebrow raising. Now, don’t jump ahead. I have no problem with micro-transactions, or content included in the game but not accessible, blah blah. The days of games being fully tested and set in stone by the time they reached your Super NES are not coming back through that door, and if the game makers like Monolith can get a few thousand more purchases by dangling some unobtainable content, good for them. That’s sales and marketing 101, and they’re not in business to give games away.

The single player aspect is what is curious to me here, because in Monolith’s own words: “No content in the game is gated by Gold. All content can be acquired naturally through normal gameplay.”

Again, this is a single player game. I’m not understanding the internet rage that seems to be bubbling around this announcement right now.

Multiplayer? Oh man, I feel the rage. Halo 5, Overwatch–hell, any shooter of the past few years, and when I see some punk stroll by with the armor/gun/rare item I wanted, I immediately assume it’s a 17 year old with a trust fund who dropped 4000 dollars on loot boxes or a 12 year old who’s been playing every waking hour instead of RAKING THE GOD-DAMN LEAVES LIKE I TOLD YOU TO KEVIN.

“He is in there my orcs! Kevin is back on the menu!”

Micro-transactions in multiplayer piss people off, and I’m on your side.

Single player? Who cares? There are pretty much two groups of people who will be purchasing these unlocks with real cash: overworked dads and moms who don’t have time to spend 100 hours to get the horse armor they want with in game currency and the above mentioned Kevins who’s got a solid K/D spread, but whose parents are raising to be horrible drains on society.

If you’re like me and have a few rugrats crawling around and chewing on controllers, you loved the hell out of Shadow of Mordor and don’t have that much free time anymore? Go for it! Drop that cash, support a dev you like, and play the game with a little of the pressure off!

Personally, I like the grind and the sense of accomplishment of beating a hard game. Microtransactions like this take the edge off a bit, so I avoid them, but I also don’t demonize those who do. Game creators have a hard gig. If they can make a few extra dollars and justify the crazy long hours and angry internet schmucks second guessing their every decision, then god bless ’em.

They’re super pissed that Shelob is a hot goth lady now too.

And if this game is as fun and as crazy as the first orc slaying, nemesis making tale was, then hell. Maybe I’ll buy a few swords to show ’em I care.

  • YoureWrong

    Except it has a online competition mode where you can sack and attack other peoples fortresses.
    Maybe you should have all the info before you write an opinion piece, people like you are the reason this crap keeps happening.

    • What you left out from your nuanced reply, is that there are two versions of that online multiplayer mode, Friendly and Ranked, so the sacking could have no effect on your existing Orc army.

      As to your people like you comment, I’m also a “people” that refuses to pre-order games, to ensure that these types of additions don’t hurt the gameplay. Seems like i’m part of the solution to me! Thanks for the comment!

      • bob

        no… you aren’t part of the solution. Claiming you don’t pre order isn’t part of the solution, especially when you are ok with Micro transactions and loot boxes in single player games.

        ” so the sacking could have no effect on your existing Orc army.”

        are you 100% sure it won’t? not to mention 2 modes splits the players base. which means which ever has more players will be the dominate side pssst its gonna be the one where people spend money. WB has a financial interest in this version.

        Do we even need to get into how WB is profiting off of an employee’s death?

  • Lex

    And this is why there is no journalism , so called game journalists are always just pathetic public relations agents for corporation

  • Sol

    Thats the issue. You’ve missed the point about why people hate them. I give zero shits about the online component. There should not be micro-transactions let alone fucking loot boxes in a single player game.
    Imagine Dark Souls with microtransactions, Dragon Age Origins, Witcher, any story driven single player game. Its shit. If you REALLY have trouble with those games you either keep playing and hopefully enjoying the game longer or cheat. It is(or should) be entirely without any need for money to get involved.
    Its very simple-it has not been earned. Now dlc, like expansions and what have you, like witcher 3’s blood and wine. Take my money, worth it. Random boxes that might give me something? Fuck right off. I know its a psychological trick to give random rewards to ‘addict’ people to that system. But since its inception to have shit like that in freaking mobile games. It used to be mocked, reviled there. Then it infected multiplayer games. And it was hated, but it made money, so it stayed.
    Now its coming into single player games. And it is hated.

    Weirdly enough people don’t like to pay for the things they got for free. They don’t want development time devoted to trying to make them pay money. As totalbiscuit said, its almost impossible to think that they won’t change how things work to make those boxes more attractive. They will. Hell, they have, by now.

    So yeah, fuck microtransactions(in any game to me), but especially when it fucks with story. Not buying it. No company gets my money unless they actually try and give me a product instead of bleeding me like the blood suckers they have become.

  • bob

    “Maybe I’ll buy a few swords to show ’em I care.”

    you shouldn’t HAVE to pay extra for a single player game. You already bought it, there is no reason to add micro transactions on top of that.

    Now if they want to add expansions that is a different story. But chopping a single player game up (which is what they did) to sell it back to you piece by piece ON TOP of allready spending $59.99 is messed up.

  • Remiel Pollard

    You’re right, I will get over it. Actually, I got over it pretty quickly by never ever buying it. Pretty simple really. Got plenty of great games without any stupid money-grubbing microtransactions to play and tbh, Warner have been banned from my money for a long time now. I just pirate their movies.

    Stop advertising and apologising for shady business practices. I don’t care how much money they offer you to shill it for them, you’re just as dirty as them for taking it.

  • Remiel Pollard

    Oh, and as for Shaleb….

    Now, I love hot babes in my gaming as much as anyone, but if Tolkien were alive to see what they’ve done to Shaleb, he’d pitch a fit and die of a stroke. You don’t get to defend that without demonstrating your complete and utter lack of understanding of the source material, and that just makes you uncultured filth.

    • Nico Greco

      Agreed, but it kind of goes to show that at the very top of corporations there is still the mentality that sex sells. It’s a rather pressing issue too, as Jim Sterling puts it…are women that uninteresting such that unless they are some supermodel there is no point to them in any narrative? The answer is clearly no. Shelob is a giant spider, and a cruel one at that. She has a long history that proceeds even Sauron himself. So there definitely was a lot WB could’ve done with the character. To go with the sexy woman in the background route was absolutely the easiest way out.

  • Arnav Saral

    wow is this guy dumb, like really dumb. the fact that a single player game has microtransactions is a sin. the gaming industry slowly but surely keeps pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not and pea brained people like you actually fall for it and go so far as to defend this shady practice. even if the armour sets are fully earnable through gameplay, its obviously gonna be a grind and it might even come to a point where (if not this game) the difficulty of this game will be so high that you’d need the armour set hidden behind a paywall, you need to “pay a second time” to play the fucking game, this makes the game a pain to play either way, fuck the grind in a STORY rpg and fuck the mirotransactions in a single player game. the fact that these armour sets are actually not cosmetic and influence the flow of the game is even worse, making the game easier/ more accessible. this game is just the start, it’s a mere jolt, it will die down and in the later years it’s gonna be common practice to first purchase the game and have it in your hands and then you gonna have to pay a second time to actually play the game. it’s just shady and honestly terrible, warner bros did the same thing with mortal komat x where you could buy easy fatalities and now you can buy armour sets in a single player rpg game which actually has stats and influences the flow of the game. this article was fucking dumb.

  • Nico Greco

    The biggest issue with these micro transactions is that they help speed up the progress of the game. So we can’t help but ask why does the game need to be sped up through monetary means. Why is playing the game not enough? When you add the ability to pay cash to speed up the progression of the game then it becomes clear that there are inherent design flaws in the game.

    Paying cash to speed up in-game progression devalues the player’s time and effort spent through normal means. Jim Sterling explains it a lot better in his 15 minute or so video. So I suggest people check that out.

  • bob

    “They’re super pissed that Shelob is a hot goth lady now too.”

    don’t know how i missed this one but YES WE ARE PISSED BECAUSE ITS LORE BREAKING!

    Honestly at this point if they added Grey Aliens with laser guns I wouldn’t be surprised.

    I recently got the first game as part of a steam sale and i’m really enjoying it. I was looking forward to it until they added lock boxes and Sexy Shelob. Now i’m gonna pass even if it becomes free on steam.