Gears Tactics Launches Without Microtransactions Which Tells Us A Lot About Gears Of War 5 Performance

Gears Tactics Launches Without Microtransactions Which Tells Us A Lot About Gears Of War 5 Performance
Credit: The Game Awards via Youtube

I readily admit that I don’t really understand the buzz about Gears of War. The competitive scene looks almost comical with players sprinting past each other and failing to aim, shoulder-checking walls and knee-high barriers with characters that look lifted straight from some modern form of wrestling entertainment. What I unabashedly am interested in, however, is the treatment of consumers by big-name publishers; consumer-friendliness is an archaic notion for many studios in the modern game industry.

Gears of War 5 infamously launched with a plethora of microtransactions that remain in the game to this day, arguably gating progress unless you’re willing to grind or fork over additional money. It’s a strange system that Ubisoft has also embraced with Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey where players are paying the price of entry to a ticket that moves at a snail’s pace, giving consumers an opportunity to increase the speed of Mr. Bones Wild Ride if they’re willing to pay additional fees.

Somehow it works for developers.

Gears Tactics launched yesterday and has received mediocre reviews by many; a full-priced $60 title for what frankly plays out as an XCOM reskin with fewer features, although at least users can aim now. What’s interesting, however, is a complete lack of microtransactions.

On first glance, this could readily be disagreed with as the industry growing to become better than the sum of its parts. Yet microtransactions were an arguably integral part of GOW5 or Gears5Gears Tactics was developed by both Splash Damage and The Coalition, the latter studio being responsible for Gears5. Complete abolition of MTX’s for the next iteration of the Gears franchise shows that the resulting profit from MTX’s simply wasn’t enough for the studio to continue to invest in gating progress and abilities, compared to the backlash they received.

This is a stark contrast to Grand Theft Auto 5 Online, where the microtransactions netted well over the GDP of the majority of countries, resulting in Take-Two infamously stating that they’ll never release a title without microtransactions again. I hope you guys weren’t looking forward to Civilization 7, or that you at least have some money tucked away to afford a playthrough. Jokes aside, there was massive backlash for GTAO having innumerable microtransactions that gate everything; Rockstar profited from them so wildly, however, that is was simply worth it to continue the scheme, which we’ll inevitably see continued in the next GTA.

Back to Gears Tactics, however: it’s likely that The Coalition looked at the backlash they received versus how well the transactions did, and decided that it simply wasn’t worth the time to include them again. This isn’t to say that they won’t make a surprise appearance six months down the road depending on how well Gears Tactics sells; more so that GOW5 clearly struggled to deliver additional profits with their monetization.