Gears 5 launched for Xbox One recently to critical acclaim. The general consensus among both players and critics is that the title is the real first outing in the Gears of War series for The Coalition, having simply gone through the motions with Gears of War 4. However, news surrounding the microtransactions in Gears 5 tell the story of a developer that’s still struggling to get to grips with both the franchise they’re working on, and the new industry standards of post-game content.
The Coalition announced a slew of new maps that would be coming to Gears 5’s various multiplayer modes after launch. All of these maps are free, which is exactly what players have come to expect from developers today. Games have evolved into services, with each one also including around a year of post-launch content that will keep players engaged long after the campaign is over. However, this trend has also brought microtransactions to the forefront, though they’re rarely offered for anything other than cosmetic items.
Gears 5 is no different, and launched with microtransactions that allowed players to purchase a premium currency, Iron, in order to purchase cosmetic items, 30 day XP boosts, world flags for player cards, marks, executions, emotes, and much more. Initially the price for Iron was set at £3.99 for 500 Iron, £6.99 for 1000 Iron, and 14.99 for 2500 Iron. Over the weekend this suddenly changed to £4.25 for 500 Iron, £8.50 for 1000 Iron, and £16.50 for 2500 Iron, with no announcement to fans that this change was coming from The Coalition.
Why did this happen?
Well The Coalition was able to shed some light on why the price of Iron suddenly changed over the weekend. They say that the original pricing was the correct conversion rate for $5, however what it should have been was $5 + tax. The price adjustment brings the cost of Iron up to date with the correct conversion rate, but it was implemented by Microsoft. No warning was provided to The Coalition, so they in turn had no way to warn fans this was about to happen. It’s important to note that the issue seems to be restricted to regions outside of the US, such as the UK.
With this rise in the price of Iron, cosmetic items are suddenly far less appealing for fans to purchase. In fact, the Gears 5 community at large is asking The Coalition to take a look at how much they’re charging for items, and reassess all of them to bring them in line with what other games ask for on similar storefronts.
In a recent Tweet, Rod Fergusson, Studio Head for The Coalition, came out to fans and said that the developer is still learning when it comes to microtransactions. He explained that the economy in Gears 5 is completely different to that of Gears of War 4, reiterating that the company is dedicated to evolving Gears 5 until it becomes the game fans want. This shows dedication from The Coalition’s side, but for some fans the damage will already have been done, and they won’t be returning to the game.
Let us know what you think of the Gears 5 economy issue in the comments.