Microtransactions have plagued some of the biggest games of recent years but Age of Empires 4 will be completely free of in-game purchases, according to the game’s creative director.
Games like Fortnite and Fallout 76 have made microtransactions infamous. In game purchases have been present in some of gaming’s very biggest releases recently and the trend means that game developers and publishers can keep making money from a game, long after you’ve paid for the initial disc or download.
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Breathe a sigh of relief though, RTS fans, Age of Empires won’t be joining the queue at the microtransactions ATM. Creative director, Adam Isgreen, said at XO19: “The idea of microtransactions in a real-time strategy game isn’t a thing… DLC, expansions – all of that, is things that we’re going to be exploring for Age 4″ (via PCgamesN).
While initially gamers might presume that an RTS like Age of Empires ‘obviously’ wouldn’t have microtransactions, plenty of games that really don’t suit in-game purchases have had them. For instance, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, dismayed gamers with in-game purchases, despite being an almost entirely single player experience. Metal Gear Solid V offered one of the most galling in-game purchases, with players encouraged to spend real currency ‘insuring’ in-game items.
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Assassins Creed’s infamous ‘Helix Credits’ were similarly money-grubbing, as were Deus Ex: Mankind Divided’s cheeky in-game buys, and the list goes on. As a result it really is a relief to hear Age of Empires’ developers are sticking their guns and letting gamers play with their mouse (and gamepad, Age of Empires 4 is coming to Xbox too!) instead of their wallet.
Instead, DLC and expansion packs have been mentioned and that would fall in line with the traditions of the series. The most popular entry in the series was cult 2006 hit, Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, which recieved a ‘Definitive Edition’ remaster this month. The game, on original release, was quickly followed by a sizeable expansion pack, called The Conquerors, which added new factions and new campaigns.