Amazon's upcoming MMO is under fire for perceived pay-to-win options in its storefront. Players are concerned that New World microtransactions could ruin the feel of the game, causing the developer to speak out on Twitter about the controversy.
Why are players concerned about New World microtransactions?
Content creators and subreddits for New World are reacting with hostility to the announcement that New World will feature an in-game shop in which XP boosts and "quality of life" improvements could be sold. This is in response to leaked alpha patch notes in which Amazon Game Studios says it "may sell quality of life items or boosts" in order to help players level up and gain trade skill XP. The two subreddits for the game, r/New_World_MMO and r/newworldgame, are currently full of posts decrying the potential addition of boosts to the in-game store.
The clamor grew loud enough that Amazon Game Studios director Rich Lawrence tweeted a letter to fans addressing some of their concerns. In the letter, Lawrence says at launch, all New World microtransactions "will be exclusively cosmetic in nature", but that in future, the studio will also look into "quality of life items for mechanics like rested XP and fast travel". These items will be available both in-game and via the store, with the overall goal being to allow more players to experience endgame content. The studio is also considering a Battle Pass-style system for New World.
What does this mean for the future of New World?
This letter doesn't deny the possibility of XP boosts and other quality of life items being offered as real-money transactions in New World. It's worth noting that many MMOs do already offer this kind of microtransaction; XP boosts and gameplay tweaks can be seen in Guild Wars 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and more. However, many of the MMOs that offer these items don't require an initial investment and are totally free-to-play, so it doesn't look great for a game that will have an initial asking price. In a tweet reply, Amazon says it isn't trying to rush players to endgame, either, and that the boosts are intended for players who don't have a huge amount of time to play.
It is also worth noting that director Rich Lawrence says Amazon's goal is to prevent any player from gaining "an advantage that imbalances the game". Lawrence also says that Amazon's plan isn't to create "a feeling that store items are necessary to enjoy the game". Amazon reckons that all players will be able to play New World in full without having to buy anything from the in-game store. Of course, this is a common publisher refrain, and it raises questions around the studio's faith in the levelling experience. Some players may ask why the studio wants to introduce time-saver microtransactions if the game is fun enough to level through on its own. We'll bring you more regarding New World microtransactions and further development stages as soon as we get it.
What do you think about XP boosts and New World microtransactions? Let us know in the comments below!