Gears of War 4 (opens in new tab) multiplayer will offer microtransactions for cosmetic items, just like Gears of War 3 and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition (opens in new tab). Instead of buying weapon skins a la carte, Gears 4 will let you spend cash or in-game credits on crates full of customizations, The Coalition studio head Rod Fergusson told GameSpot (opens in new tab).
Mass Effect 3, Hearthstone, and many other games use a similar "crate" system where players can buy a random selection of items through microtransactions or in-game credits. Those items usually offer some kind of in-game benefit beyond feeling super fly, but Fergusson said in this case the system would encourage players to keep trying for more.
"It felt like it adds some engagement, it’s not 'Oh, I like Tiger Stripe. I bought Tiger Stripe. I'm done'", Fergusson explained. "I like the idea of why you buy Magic: The Gathering booster packs. If I could just buy the one card I want then I'm out, then you lose it, right?"
Assuming you're not so overcome with the raw satisfaction of opening crates and watching shiny things pop out that you're compelled to buy more, more, ever more crates, you won't have to spend an extra dime to participate in the system.
"The notion that everything is earnable just through play means the only reason you would ever use real money is you want to accelerate it. We're going to be balanced to where you're going to be constantly getting crates, or enough credits to get crates through the game, so it really is just about your choice."
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