Stop us if you've heard this one before. Upcoming Lord of the Rings based sequel Middle-earth: Shadow of War is getting loot boxes, and, of course, microtransactions. Being a single player game, this announcement from publisher Warner Bros. and developer Monolith Productions has already got onlookers up in arms.
Now, loot plays a much bigger part in Shadow of War than it did in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Protagonist Talion can continually upgrade his weapons, armour, and abilities as he thwarts his ugly enemies and builds an army of loyal orcs. On top of the nemesis system, which allows Talion to forge relationships with allies and foes alike, this new focus on loot should make the whole experience even more dynamic. At least, in theory.
But what if you could splash some real world cash on loot boxes and blitz through the game? That's going to be an option according to the official blog post. "Through the Market, players can purchase Loot Chests, War Chests, XP Boosts and Bundles," it reads.
The post also states that no content will be locked behind spending actual money, but the real worry here is how all of this will impact the balance of the game. After all, the game's going to need a way to tempt players into spending, so does that mean the process of grinding for the best loot is going to be a slog? We'll have to wait and see.
Still makes you feel a bit sick though, doesn't it?