Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Asks Players to Pay Real-Earth Money With New Loot System

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Asks Players to Pay Real-Earth Money With New Loot System

Middle-earth opens up a marketplace.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is introducing microtransactions and loot boxes that will let players pay real-earth money for gear that will strengthen the main character. Players are already reacting to the news negatively to the new changes (that aren't story changes.)

Monolith published a blog post debuting the "Market", a digital storefront where Middle-earth players can purchase loot chests, war chests, XP boosts, and "bundles (accessible only with an internet connection)." The post is quite long, suggesting Monolith is trying to get ahead of any negative feedback that's already incoming. And for good reason, considering the backlash paid loot systems have been receiving lately.

Shadow of War Gold Market

The currency system in Middle-earth will be shared between an in-game currency, or Mirian, and Gold, which players can purchase using real money. Monolith hasn't revealed the pricing for Gold yet, but it will be purchasable through PSN, Xbox Store, or Steam Wallet, or otherwise "Awarded in small amounts at specific milestones" or "Awarded for participating in community challenges."

Monolith is also clear that no parts of the game are gated by Gold, and that all content purchasable through real world money can be earned by just playing the game.

Other games currently wrapped up in some form of loot controversy include EA's Star Wars Battlefront 2, which stoked pay-to-win fears when the beta revealed in-game stat bonuses can be purchased through loot. Another loot controversy is currently broiling over at PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, though the game's key system is only for exclusive cosmetic bonuses, much like Overwatch.

Still, it's not a good look when you have to repeatedly clarify that paying additional money on your game is completely optional, although as more games try to extend the profits of a single video game title, I fear that loot systems such as the one coming to Shadow of War will only become more common in the future.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

Related articles

Nintendo Treehouse Stream Set for Friday Will Include a New WayForward Game Reveal

Fresh off of shipping a new Shantae, WayForward will share a Treehouse stream with Paper Mario.

New Valve Doc Showcases Long-Lost Projects, Including a Dota 2 RPG

On top of Half-Life 3 and Left 4 Dead 3, the studio abandoned something in a new genre.

Sony Invests $250M Into Epic Games for "Further Collaboration"

The PlayStation manufacturer now has a minority stake in Epic.

World of Warcraft Charging for Gender Changes Wasn't "The Right Message," So Now They're Going Free

A paid service goes free in Blizzard's new commitment to character customization.

You may also like

Bird Alone Is Trying to Help Us Feel A Little Less Alone In Quarantine

The latest game from George Batchelor offers a warm, daily mental health check-up.

First PS5 Game Box Art Revealed With a Look at Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales

PS5's two-tone look is also coming to all that box art.