Gears of War 4 will have a revenue scheme that apes other popular multiplayer games. In an interview with Gamespot, Rod Fergusson, of The Coalition, revealed that the game will have item crates as well as a rotating set of multiplayer maps. The item crates can be purchased or earned through play, and will offer a random assortment of cosmetic items like weapon skins. New multiplayer maps will be released one per month for a year post-launch and will be free for everyone. Like MOBA heroes, the free maps will rotate into and out of the official play list on a regular schedule. Players will only need to purchase the maps if they want them available permanently in their custom games.
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?
There’s some excitement around that. 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. 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.
Gears of War 4 will launch on October 11th.