While we patiently await the release of Gears of War 4, more information on the game has slowly been trickling out. Recently, we got a look at the game's official boxart and tear-jerker of a trailer. Since the game's reveal, The Coalition hasn't been secretive about their choice to include microtransactions in the game.
The microtransactions in Gears of War 4 will come in the form of purchasable crates that will offer various cards attached to different rarity levels that will offer cosmetic changes. Essentially, the crates will work like Halo 5's REQ Packs, but will have even less of an impact on the game.
According to studio head Rod Fergusson's description of the crates to GameSpot, the cards were picked because people like collectibles and acquiring these crates will occur whether you spend real-world money on the game or not.
"I feel like that paradigm of cards is really clear to understand for collectibles. We had weapon skins and character skins [in Gears of War 3], so that idea of collecting cards is just easily understood. It felt like it adds some engagement, it’s not "Oh, I like Tiger Stripe. I bought Tiger Stripe. I'm done.” I like the idea of why you buy Magic: The Gathering booster packs. If I could just buy the one card I want then I'm out, then you lose it, right?
"…The notion that everything is earnable just through play means the only reason you would ever use real money is you want to accelerate it. We're going to be balanced to where you're going to be constantly getting crates, or enough credits to get crates through the game, so it really is just about your choice."
Lead multiplayer designer Ryan Cleven added:
"Gears of War 3 had purchasable weapon skins. Ultimate Edition had purchasable weapon skins. It's not like the weapon skin purchasing is new to Gears of War. It's just now you can earn it, whereas before you actually had to purchase it."
In the end, the crates will not affect gameplay – they will only add a visual change to gear and offer collectible cards.