22cans has pulled a controversial microtransaction in the recently-released Godus Wars after a player outcry.
Godus Wars, the real-time strategy spin on Peter Molyneux's god game Godus, launched yesterday on Steam as an Early Access title after months of silence from 22cans. It's a free update to existing owners of Godus and the game's Kickstarter backers, but costs £11 otherwise.
It didn't take long for players to discover that after completing one continent, Godus Wars presents a microtransaction: you have to buy the second continent for $4.99. All this, in an Early Access game that costs £11.
Here's how it looks in-game:
While the Godus Wars Steam page does indicate that the first continent is included with the game and that the second continent is a "premium add-on", the microtransaction was seen as a sneaky cash-grab by a community already distrustful of developer 22cans. As you'd expect, the reaction was overwhelmingly negative on Steam and on the Godus boards.
Here's a snippet from Steam:
The reaction on the Godus boards was similarly negative:
Now, 22cans has made additional continents free. Here's a statement from CEO Simon Phillips:
It's been brought to our attention that the extra content being a premium add-on really isn't a popular choice. Whilst we think that it does represent good value, especially considering that Godus Wars has been delivered as a free update to hundreds of thousands of users and the lower purchase price of the main game, we understand previous Godus owners frustrations with this.
Therefore, based on your feedback, the extra content will be available to all free-of-charge.
Apologies for the frustrations and we hope you enjoy playing.
The removal of the microtransaction will do little to calm the ongoing anger at 22cans, which faces the perhaps impossible task of repairing its reputation after a series of broken promises and questionable decisions. Peter Molyneux, subject of a Eurogamer interview published yesterday, is yet to comment.