The Coalition have confirmed today that the upcoming Gears of War 4, the fourth numbered entry in the Gears of War saga, as well as the first in five years, will have in game microtransactions in the form of purchasable cosmetic items. Players will be able to purchase crates filled with cards that have different levels of rarity, a bit like Halo 5′s REQ system, and offer cosmetic changes in-game- but only cosmetic changes. It looks like non-cosmetic items will not be on sale.
“I feel like that paradigm of cards is really clear to understand for collectibles, like the ability to collect things,” The Coalition’s Rod Fergusson said in an interview with Gamespot, during which he revealed how the microtransactions would work. “We had weapon skins and character skins, so that idea of collecting cards is just easily understood. It felt like it added some engagement in terms of its not the, ‘Oh, I like Tiger Stripe. I bought Tiger Stripe. I’m done. I don’t need to engage with that system anymore. There’s no need for me to hang around.'”
“I like the idea of why you buy Magic: The Gathering booster pack,” he added. “If I could just buy the one card I want then I’m out, then you lose it, right?”
Fergusson was adamant that cards, while purchasable with real money, would also all be realistically obtainable in game, without needing to spent cash at all.
“That’s I think what we owe the player, is that feeling you get, much like … I think Hearthstone is brilliant at, that idea of the glow, and the voice, and the excitement about like, ‘I want to open packs, and I want to be a part of that engagement. I can’t wait to complete today’s quest so I can go to the paramedic with pack of cards.’ I think that feeds into that engagement.
“I think that’s the same thing we’re trying to do here. The notion that everything is earnable just through play means the only reason you would ever use real money is when you want to accelerate it. We’re going to be balanced where you’re going to be constantly getting crates, or enough credits to get crates through the game, so it really is just about your choice,” Fergusson said.
If you do have to offer microtransactions in your game, you could do far worse than having them be cosmetic items, so I can’t say I’m too mad at this.
Gears of War 4 launches this October exclusively for the Xbox One.