Gears of War 3 introduced microtransactions to the series back in 2011. That system allowed players to buy weapon skins for real money, if they wanted to give the gray and black guns more color. The next Gears game is revamping this system, allowing players to buy item crates with several skins inside.
In an interview with Gamespot, The Coalition’s studio head Rod Fergusson explained why the microtransaction system are now packs instead of single purchases.
I think Hearthstone is brilliant at it. That idea of the glow, and the voice, and the excitement about being like, “I want to open packs, and I want to be a part of that engagement.” That’s the same thing we’re trying to do here.
None of the microtransactions in Gears 4 will affect gameplay, as they are currently only weapon and character skins.
Players can also earn credits by playing normally, which can be exchanged for crates. According to Fergusson, item crate drops will be frequent and the only reason to spend real money is to accelerate the process.
Gears of War 4 launches on Xbox One on October 11. A beta for owners of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition opens on April 18.