While our review lauded Middle-Earth: Shadow of War for the intricate stories you can create within your orc army, the game’s microtransactions served to be a sticking point for many. Players can buy gold using real-world money that can then be used to purchase War Chests and additional Orc Followers. Monolith has responded to player feedback saying that this system “undermined the heart of [their] game.” Along with this realization, Monolith and WB will be permanently removing microtransactions and the ability to purchase War Chests and Orc Followers.
The Nemesis System is intended to be used to build player interaction with the world, in creating both dynamic allies and enemies in an ever evolving world state. When faced with the ability to purchase Orcs in the Market, Monolith realized this created a disconnect with the world. “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,” they said in a blog post. “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.”
To restore the integrity and intention of the Nemesis System, WB and monolith will be entirely removing Middle-Earth: Shadow of War microtransactions, including Gold, War Chests, and the entire Market. The ability to purchase Gold for real-world money will be removed on May 8, followed by War Chests and the Market being decommissioned on July 17. This extra period of time will allow players to use any extra Gold they may have. Any unused Gold will be converted to in-game items on July 17 alongside the decommission of the Market.
In addition to removing the Shadow of War microtransactions, a future update will improve the Shadow Wars section of the campaign with additional narrative elements to provide a more cohesive experience overall. Endless Siege will still allow players to defend their fortresses against constant onslaughts. Numerous other updates coming on July 17 will also include “Nemesis System updates, new player skins, skill tree additions, gear system upgrades and progression updates.” All aforementioned updates will be entirely free to all owners of Middle-Earth: Shadow of War.
Monolith and WB assure players that the removal of Shadow of War microtransactions is permanent with no intention of adding them back into the game at a later date. Stay tuned for future updates and patch notes regarding the additional changes that will be coming alongside the removal of the Market.