As previously announced and just as Tolkien intended
Maybe it’s just the Tolkien reader in me, but there’s something even more insidious about shoving exploitative schemes into a project based on a Tolkien license. I never once even clicked on the microtransaction menu in Middle-earth: Shadow of War, but the fact that it was there in a single-player game just felt wrong. Well, now they’re gone. A lot of us won’t forget that they were added in the first place, but we don’t have to deal with them anymore after the frontloaded cash was made.
As part of its Desolation of Mordor update this week the ability to purchase gold (read: microtransactions) is gone, though WB is leaving a rather large window open for players who previously had some to use in the market — you have until July 17 to do that. So if your’re currently backpacking across Europe and have a horde of gold to use, you have over two months to get home. If you miss the cutoff, you’ll get Gold Loot Chests for every 150 gold you have — holding less than 150 will net you one chest.
There’s no doubt it was a result of fan feedback, and possibly the Tolkien estate, but WB’s backing down on loot boxes is in stark contrast to EA’s doubling down on them. Now that’s not to say that WB has “learned its lesson,” per se, but this is one case where they, slowly and eventually, decided to take out a money-making arm right as a major DLC was dropping.