The Coalition boss Rod Fergusson has addresses fan concern about microtransactions in Gears 5.
While Gears 5 is considered to be a superb game in gameplay terms, its progression system is miserly and its cosmetics overpriced. Here's a snippet from Eurogamer's Gears 5 review:
"There's nothing in Gears 5's first battle pass worth writing home about. The character skins are lifted from the campaign (desert Kait with sand goggles, for example). No-one notices your banner. In the heat of battle, no-one has the time to stop to gawk at a blood spray, some of which are truly bizarre (Sea of Thieves pirate ships, anyone?). Hardly anyone emotes. None of the executions float my boat. The final battle pass reward is a flashy Gnasher skin."
The issue was exacerbated recently when the Delivery Driver Mac skin went up for sale for 1000 Iron (now £8.50 following a recent Iron price increase in the UK):
And an execution went on sale for 800 Iron (around £7):
That's not all: while Gears 5 went for a battle pass system instead of loot boxes, plans to release new maps, characters and skins for free and restricts microtransactions to cosmetics-only (save some experience point boosts), the cosmetics on offer are yet to excite the community - and there's a distinct lack of cool character skins to unlock.
What there is a lot of are banners and blood sprays, most of which the community doesn't care about.
Fergusson took to Twitter to directly address this concern, pointing out The Coalition had created a completely different economy for Gears 5 and insisting the developers will learn from feedback and work through issues over time.
It?s not. The majority of content is free in Supply Drops (free for playing) and in the Tour of Duty (medals and objectives). This is waaaay more free content than Gears 4. And with quarterly Operations giving even more free content including maps and modes. Just getting started https://t.co/Gj18fy0agG— Rod Fergusson (@RodFergusson) September 29, 2019
And we?re learning and improving as we go. There?s no magic wand here. Even small changes take time to create content and design skills and Ultimates.— Rod Fergusson (@RodFergusson) September 29, 2019
We?re learning as we go. This is a completely different economy from Gears 4 (removed Gear packs) so it will take a little time to work through any issues. Our first attempt is not our last and we will continue to evolve until we get it right https://t.co/oHTM3dT4rf— Rod Fergusson (@RodFergusson) September 29, 2019
One of the chief issues, I think, is Gears 5 feels light on cool things to unlock and characters to play as in the various multiplayer modes at launch because of the way battle passes work.
Your Tour of Duty, as it's known in Gears 5, is supposed to let you unlock cool new gubbins over the course of a season. The problem is there aren't really any cool new gubbins to unlock in the first Tour of Duty. With multiple Tour of Dutys to release, the #content must be spread out, not front-loaded as it was with Gears games on the Xbox 360. And I haven't even mentioned the progression gating.
All eyes turn to Gears 5's second Tour of Duty, then, which fans hope will tweak the economy and give them something cool to shoot for - or spend money on.