The word ‘microtransactions’ can send shivers down the spines of many gamers and often for good reason. Often games can be littered with microtransactions that mean a game is harder, less fun, or simply unplayable unless more money is paid to ease your way. Such games are often termed ‘pay to win’, meaning money can be paid to let you gain end-game gear, skip progression, or just avoid annoying parts of a game.
With the announcement that upcoming MMO New World from Amazon Games will include microtransactions, many rumours have sprung up that the game will be pay to win. Now clarification has come from Amazon Games regarding the types of microtransactions present in New World, and we’re going to investigate whether or not New World can be termed ‘pay to win’.
What microtransactions will there be in New World?
During the Alpha for New World, some players noticed that the game would include a storefront. It’s understandable that questions arose regarding this inclusion, and whilst many MMOs do include in-game stores, some rumours began circulating that the microtransactions included in this store would ruin the experience of playing New World.
This was later clarified in May by Rich Lawrence, studio director at Amazon Games. In a post on Twitter, he stated that ideas for microtransactions were only at the testing phase, and that at launch all microtransactions included in New World would be cosmetic in nature. This puts New World in line with many other MMOs which include similar cosmetic-only microtransaction stores.
That said, other ideas for microtransactions are being discussed at Amazon Studios. Rested XP bonuses and fast travel are planned to be included in a future update for New World, with prices and their impact still to be finalised. In addition, a future ‘battle pass’ programme may be included, though Rich Lawrence was clear to state that this was only being contemplated at this time and will undergo rigorous testing before inclusion.
Will New World be a pay to win game?
As at the time of writing New World is yet to see a full release, it’s hard to give a definitive answer on this question. With MMOs also rapidly evolving after release, with games such as Final Fantasy XIV and The Elder Scrolls Online almost going back to the drawing board post-release, any answer given to this question may change.
However, it is clear that Amazon Games have committed to ensuring that New World is not a pay to win game, and that its microtransactions will remain unobtrusive, fair, and will not affect the balance of the game. Whilst some concerns still exist that microtransactions that add convenience mean there’s a monetary incentive to make a game inconvenient for those who don’t pay, Rich Lawrence’s statement should hopefully allay those fears until the game can be experienced and explored by the public.
So to answer the question, it does not appear that New World will be a pay to win game, and any microtransactions included will only add some convenience and will be thoroughly tested to ensure that the balance, and fun, of the game remains untouched.
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