If you logged into Gears 5 last night, you might have noticed a big surprise: the price of Iron just went up.
Iron - the premium currency you can buy with real-world money - is spent on Gears 5 cosmetics such as character skins.
At launch, 500 Iron cost £3.99, 1000 Iron cost £6.99 and 2250 Iron cost £14.99.
Then, yesterday, these prices went up without explanation from either Microsoft or developer The Coalition. 500 Iron now costs £4.25, 1000 Iron costs £8.50 and 2250 costs £16.50.
What happened? Blame Brexit? Well, it turns out there was an issue with the previous pricing, and it had to be adjusted in regions outside of the US such as the UK. The problem was, The Coalition had no idea the change was being made, so it didn't warn players beforehand.
"So we've been seeking out answers on this this morning - we don't actually control the MS Store conversion rates of Iron and it appears this was done due to some conversion rates being off," The Coalition's OctusTC said in a post on the Gears of War subreddit.
"Iron costs $5, and the price changes have aligned to the actual conversion rates apparently (ie. Iron being $5 USD + Tax).
"This happened due to our partners addressing the feedback around Iron store pricing not making sense - for example, some bundles of Iron were more expensive than buying the equivalent multiples of the 500 Iron pack which was completely unintended. The incorrect conversion was part of that.
"To be frank, we were not aware this change was coming or we would have at least communicated on it with some context rather than the out-of-left-field surprise it's turned out to be. That's on us and we'll establish better processes with our partners for the future. I also want to reiterate that we are continuing to bring your feedback into the studio on pricing and discussions are ongoing. I know that feels like a hollow statement at this point - you want action, obviously - but we want you to know that your feedback is being heard."
That last line there from OctusTC is a nod to the current furore within the Gears community about the cost of cosmetics in Gears 5. Gears 5 launched with expensive cosmetics, something I flagged up in our Gears 5 review, but the issue was exacerbated recently when the Delivery Driver Mac skin went up for sale for 1000 Iron (now £8.50):
And an execution went on sale for 800 Iron (around £7):
The hope among the Gears 5 community is The Coalition has a rethink about the cost of cosmetics in the game. Whatever the developer does, you'll need to spend more on Iron than before to get them.