Gears of War 5 Developer Believes Their Monetization System “Ahead of the Industry”

Gears of War 5 Developer Believes Their Monetization System “Ahead of the Industry”
Credit: GameSpot Trailers via YouTube

Ryan Cleven, multiplayer design director of the game development studio The Coalition, has praised the work done on Gears of War 5 as being “ahead of the industry.”

More specifically, Cleven feels that the monetization system of the game is what sets it ahead of the industry. There will be no season pass for the game, and in-game rewards will be earned through two systems called Tour of Duty and Supply. The former allows players to earn new content through challenges and daily missions while the latter provides free content for playing, with separate rewards given from each.

Additional heroes will be earnable through this system but also available for purchase. What won’t be available for purchase is the notable change that Cleven notes, in that loot boxes won’t be making an appearance.

“We really think we’re ahead of the industry here in getting rid of loot boxes and making sure that we can both service people that are looking to accelerate their progression or earn cosmetics using money but also keeping the integrity of the game experience,” Cleven explains in a interview. He continues to describe the system as a “very player-centric, player-friendly way of doing customization and monetization.”

He also claims that this change was in effect before the infamous backlash of loot boxes that multiple games, such as Fortnite or practically anything EA releases, became apparent. Perhaps it’s this foresight that makes it feel as if Gears 5 is ahead of the curve for not including them.

There are two ways to look at this, with one being glass-half-empty and the other being glass-half-full.

On the optimistic side, Gears 5 could end up heralding in an end for the loot box and randomized RNG pay-to-win monetization/progression systems that a depressingly high number of game studios incorporate nowadays. If the game can manage to be a considerable success without utilizing these tactics, it could show the studios clinging to them that it’s time to veer away from the strategy.

On a more pessimistic side, how sad is it for the gaming industry that not including these toxic, manipulative, and downright exploitative monetization systems is now considered “ahead of the curve”? The gaming industry thrived without these systems for decades, and they weren’t even tentatively introduced until MapleStory’s Gachapon system in 2004. Many consider them to be one of the most harmful things to the gaming industry, causing companies to focus more on how to steer focus on purchasing them instead of making a good – or even complete – game.

If not including loot boxes means that Gears of War 5 is ahead of the curve, it’ll be interesting to see where that curve leads.