Though Gears 5 runs smoothly at its core, some fans think that the gears of its monetization systems grind a little harshly. Gears 5 abandons loot boxes for cosmetics earnable through gameplay and exclusive items available for a premium currency. Rod Fergussson, studio head at The Coalition, has taken to Twitter to respond to fans' monetization complaints over the cost of premium items, and insists that Gears 5's approach "will continue to evolve until [it's] right."
"This is a completely different economy from Gears [of War] 4," says Fergusson. Last month, Gears 5 multiplayer design director Ryan Cleven said he thought The Coalition was "ahead of the industry" by opting to remove loot boxes, which was broadly the model Gears of War 4 relied on. The Coalition has instead implemented a free battle pass-like Tour of Duty system in Gears 5 and divided cosmetic items into two pools: those in Supply Drops that can be earned just through play, and items that can only be directly purchased with Iron, Gears 5's premium currency. Players can earn up to 500 Iron (purchasable directly for $4.99 USD) through each season of Tour of Duty.
We’re learning as we go. This is a completely different economy from Gears 4 (removed Gear packs) so it will take a little time to work through any issues. Our first attempt is not our last and we will continue to evolve until we get it right https://t.co/oHTM3dT4rf— Rod Fergusson (@GearsViking) September 29, 2019
Though The Coalition has done away with purchasable randomized unlocks, fans are upset by the prices of the exclusive purchasable cosmetics. Executions, skins, and customizable blood sprays cost more than the amount of Iron that can be earned through dumping hours of play into the Tour of Duty.
While Fergusson only said The Coalition is "learning and improving" regarding the costs in Gears 5's store, he emphasizes that the Supply Drops are free and that The Coalition won't charge for new maps and modes coming to Gears 5.
It's worth remembering that Gears 5 is moving away from loot boxes while also becoming the series' first Game Pass launch title. Even though Microsoft says the game "easily doubled" the first week performance of Gears of War 4, that's in terms of player count including Game Pass subscribers, not copies sold. Since Gears 5 has a large base of subscription players, there's all the more reason to provide free playable content to the community while also charging for cosmetics.
Our Gears 5 review found it to be "mostly business as usual" for the franchise, but it has reached the mid-80s on Metacritic for both the Xbox One and PC. Whether you're playing on Game Pass or bought a copy, our guides page on Gears 5 has you covered on the game's modes, collectibles, and trickiest boss fight.