You shall not pay: ‘Middle-earth: Shadow of War’ removes all microtransactions

Middle-earth: Shadow of War launched back in October of last year, and though we absolutely loved the majority of the game, we felt the game’s microtransaction-based “market” system felt out of place in what is largely a single-player adventure. It appears enough players felt similarly, as Warner Bros. and Monolith Productions have opted to remove microtransactions from the game entirely on July 17.

Previously, players were able to acquire additional orcs for their armies by possessing them in the game through the “Nemesis” system, but they were also available to purchase directly through “war chests” available in the market. The amount of time necessary to get these orcs without paying real money wasn’t particularly daunting, but the ability to do so always hung of players’ heads, creating a sense of cynicism that wasn’t present in the previous game, Shadow of Mordor.

“Simply being aware that they are available for purchase reduces the immersion in the world and takes away from the challenge of building your personal army and your fortresses,” the development team said in an update post on the game’s forums. “In order to full restore the core promise of the Nemesis system, we’re be permanently removing gold, war chests, and the market from Shadow of War.”

Anyone who already purchased gold in the marketplace will have a limited amount of time to spend it before its automatically turned into in-game items. You’ll no longer be able to buy gold beginning on May 8, though there’s little reason for you to do so at all at this point.

Along with the removal of the market comes a major change to the “Shadow Wars” stage of endgame content. It’s something of a slog right now, requiring you to defend your fortresses against increasingly difficult groups of enemies in order to see the true ending, but Monolith will be streamlining it and adding more story elements for “a more cohesive experience.” This update will also go into effect on July 17.

The changes made to Middle-earth: Shadow of War are welcome, but as with Electronic Arts and Star Wars: Battlefront II, we have to wonder why it took Warner Bros. so long to implement them in the first place. Hopefully, if a third Middle-earth game gets released, the same mistake won’t be made again.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.
Gaming

Feeling bored in real life? Pursue a new persona in the best open-world games

Open-world games are among the most popular in the medium. These are the best open-world games of all-time, including titles in series like Assassin's Creed, The Elder Scrolls, and The Legend of Zelda.
Gaming

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Gaming

Become a champion with our beginner's guide to Apex Legends

Jumping into Apex Legends for the first time? Need help becoming a champion? Our Apex Legends beginner's guide has 15 tips and tricks that will hopefully help your team make it into the champion's circle.
Gaming

Buy a new Switch console and get a $35 eShop gift card at some retailers

Multiple retailers are currently offering the Neon Blue and Red Nintendo Switch console with a free $35 eShop gift card. The system still costs the standard $300 and includes Joy-Con controllers and the dock.
Gaming

Thrive in the nuclear apocalypse with our Metro Exodus survival guide

Metro Exodus is a difficult shooter, especially if you're new to the series' blend of stealth, action, and scavenging. Here is what you need to know to survive the nuclear apocalypse.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Gaming

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?
Gaming

Here's our Champion's guide to picking the best character in Apex Legends

Apex Legends' use of heroes with different abilities helps separate it from other battle royale games. To help you choose your legend, we've put together a legend guide detailing their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
Gaming

Transport your Nintendo Switch in style with these nifty cases

The Nintendo Switch, which boasts both wired and handheld modes, needs a good case to ensure it doesn't get beat up while you're on the go. We scoured through dozens of Switch cases to bring you the best ones.
Gaming

These are the best weapons for taking down mutants and bandits in Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus is a very difficult game, and choosing the right weapons is key for surviving the post-apocalyptic Russia that 4A Games has created. These are the best weapons in Metro Exodus.
Gaming

Exotic Masterwork Weapons are in Destiny 2. Here's how to upgrade

Destiny 2's new Masterwork gear offers a number of special bonuses. Here is what you need to know about it, including how to find the gear in the game and even create it yourself.