We reached out to the ESRB about the addition of microtransactions and what they mean for the game and how they would require the in-game purchases descriptor to be added. An ESRB spokesperson got back to us saying, "Thank you for your question on this. After adding In-Game Purchases to Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, Activision will include the In-Game Purchases notice on all future prints of the game. We do not require stickering in these scenarios. In the meantime, we have already updated the ESRB rating for Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled on esrb.org.”
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When Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled came out, fans were ecstatic that like Crash Bandicoot it didn't have any microtransactions and that the developers promised there were none coming.
That elation ended today, on what should have been a celebratory reveal of new content for the game with it's second Grand Prix. In the update, they announced that players will be able to purchase Wumpa Coins on the console stores to supplement coins earned by playing. Wumpa Coins are used in the Pit Stop to unlock new characters and cosmetic items. This comes particularly harsh as many in the community had been complaining about the Wumpa Coin earning rate being low, as well as accessible primarily when online.
Part of what is propelling the hot tempers to this announcement is that in June, at E3 2019, it was stated definitively that Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled would not be having microtransactions. In a sit-down presentation and hands-on with Screen Rant, they told them that the game would avoid microtransactions, with one section of the article stating, "...a member of the Nitro-Fueled team stated that the entire game would avoid microtransactions...".
Of course, it's not all doom and gloom here - there is new content for the Back N. Time Grand Prix, which will feature Crash and friends back in the prehistoric times. The Prehistoric Playground is a new track that features Jurassic-sized flora, violent geysers and a whole bunch of other prehistoric dangers. There will be also items like the Nostalginator and Mammoth Carts, a Fake Crash Skin, as well as Baby T. making his debut as a Grand Prix reward. New challenges will also be available, and there will be a Back N. Time leaderboard, with the top 5% earning a Champion Kart and a signature decal.
Beyond that, they also teased what's coming in the future - Season 3 will feature Spyro, while after that characters like N. Brio, Nina Cortex, and Komodo Moe will show up.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled Back N. Time Grand Prix will be available as a free download on August 2nd.
What do you think of Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled microtransactions? What are your thoughts on the new content for the second Grand Prix? Let us know in the comments below!