Ryse: Son of Rome players earn gold in multiplayer action, when can then be spent on "booster packs" containing various sorts of in-game upgrades. In the original Xbox One release, gamers lacking the time and/or inclination to grind out the gold could opt to purchase it instead, but Crytek announced last week that PC players won't have that option—not because of any backlash against microtransactions, but simply because they were too much hassle.
The PC version of Ryse will still reward players with gold and its single-player equivalent of "Valor," both of which will be needed for booster packs and skill and execution upgrades, and all of the items that could previously be purchased via microtransaction will also still be in the game. But a Crytek rep said the studio's priority was to put as much of its effort as possible into developing the high-end technology of the PC edition of the game.
"It was to our benefit to trim away additional elements and just put all our energy into achieving the vision we had for Ryse on PC," a Crytek rep explained. "It enabled us to focus more of our time and energy on pushing the visual fidelity we were after with 4K. Enabling microtransactions for the PC version of Ryse would have taken additional time and we simply chose not to."
It's a bit on the vague side as explanations go, but it's hard not to draw the inference that Ryse didn't exactly set the microtransactional world on fire; after all, it's not often you'll see a developer leave money on the table, especially one with a recent history of financial troubles. Still, if it means a better experience on the PC, I'm not going to complain, even if I can no longer buy my way to the top.
Ryse: Son of Rome—which, for the record, we will be reviewing in the relatively near future—comes to the PC on October 10.