Middle Earth: Shadow of War was one of the most controversial games of yesteryear. The licensed Tolkien’s Legendarium title was part of the lootbox controversy heralded by Star Wars: Battlefront 2. The mostly single player game was bashed for its implementation of microtransactions, premium currency and lootboxes. In a surprising turn of events, developer Monolith has announced that Shadow of War will get several quality of life improvement updates in the following months which will permanently remove Gold, War Chests and the Market from the game.
As Monolith stated:
“While purchasing Orcs in the Market is more immediate and provides additional player options, we have come to realize that providing this choice risked undermining the heart of our game, the Nemesis System. It allows you to miss out on the awesome player stories you would have otherwise created, and it compromises those same stories even if you don’t buy anything. 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. In order to fully restore the core promise of the Nemesis System, we’ll be permanently removing Gold, War Chests and the Market from Shadow of War.”
Monolith will also update the Shadow Wars section of the campaign, the grindy endgame that received a lot of criticism and encouraged in-game purchases. This portion of the game will be improved with new narrative elements and streamlined for a more cohesive experience. Monolith will implement many other gameplay improvements that will be detailed in the future, including Nemesis System updates, new player skins, skill tree additions, gear system upgrades and progression updates.
Coming July 17th, Shadow of War will bid farewell to this business practice that arguably resulted in the disappointing sales figures of the AAA title. Hopefully it will be enough to win over disgruntled fans and new players alike.