The upcoming Gears 5 is definitely being set up as a “live service” game, with lots of post-launch content being promised, so, of course, the subject of monetization is on a lot of fans’ minds. The Coalition have already promised the game won’t feature loot boxes, but will they be nickel and diming us in other ways? In a new interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Gears 5 design director Ryan Cleven denies that, insisting the game’s microtransactions will be “player-friendly.”
In addition to the lack of loot boxes, Gears 5 also won’t have a paid season pass or battle passes. There will be an in-game store, where players can buy cosmetics with the premium currency Iron. There will be two ways to earn content in Gears 5 – Tour of Duty rewards players with goodies for completing challenges, while Supply nets you stuff just for playing. Iron can be used to buy boosts that increase your Supply drops. Here’s Cleven on Gears 5’s “player-centric” monetization…
[Gears 5 will have] a very player-centric, player-friendly way of doing customisation and monetisation. We really think we're 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.
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.
If I had my druthers, I’d do away with the concept of “premium currency” altogether, but, overall, Gears 5 doesn’t seem too exploitative. Hopefully The Coalition stick to their guns and don’t patch in anything later.
Gears 5 brings the fight to PC and Xbox One on September 10. Those who pre-order, or subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate can play four days early on September 6. You can check out all the new Gears 5 trailers and information revealed at Gamescom, right here.