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Monolith removes loot boxes from Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Mechanic "risked undermining the heart of our game," says developer

Monolith Productions is removing loot boxes from Middle-earth: Shadow of War, claiming that the mechanic "risked undermining the heart of our game".

Monolith attracted the ire of consumers last year when it announced the inclusion of loot boxes in its highly-anticipated sequel to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

Receiving largely positive reviews, many critics didn't dwell on the inclusion of loot boxes.

After the game's public release however, consumers and influencers alike were quick to criticise the mechanic for compromising the game's signature Nemesis System.

As a result, Monolith has acquiesced to consumer pressure and will be permanently removing the online storefront on July 17 "in order to fully restore the core promise of the Nemesis System".

"Simply being aware that they are available for purchase reduces the immersion in the world and takes away from the challenge of building your personal army and your fortresses," conceded the developer in a blog post.

Shadow of War was one of many high profile games to come under fire last year for the inclusion of loot boxes mechanics.

Despite the furor surrounding the issue, NPD analyst Mat Piscatella revealed that there were no signs that AAA game sales were impacted by the controversy.

This was undermined somewhat when EA announced that sales of Star Wars Battlefront II were one million units below expectations. The publisher has since announced that loot boxes have been dropped entirely from the game.

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Ivy Taylor


Ivy joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2017 having previously worked as a regional journalist, and a political campaigns manager before that. They are also one of the UK's foremost Sonic the Hedgehog apologists.