Since Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s early access period went live, some players have raised questions about certain ‘time-saving’ microtransactions that appear to have been available in the game. However, developer Ubisoft has now said that the options were included erroneously in the in-game store and have been removed – although it looks like they’ll be added again later on.
Check out this Reddit thread for screenshots of the many microtransactions, including various weapons and other gear, that were once available. Reached for comment, Ubisoft has now confirmed to us that their inclusion was an “error” on its part: “We are aware that during the Early Access of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint on October 1, some Time-Savers items (skill point bundles, XP boosters, [and] parts bundles for advanced weapon upgrades) were available for purchase for a few hours in our store, but this was not our intention and was an error on our behalf.”
However, it sounds like they might make it back into the game at a later stage: “These items were designed as an optional way for players arriving later to the game (post-launch) to catch up with those who have been playing for longer and enjoy our co-op and challenging end-game experiences. These Time-Savers have since been removed from our store for now.” The studio hasn’t said how and when these options might return.
Much of the disquiet on Reddit has concerned the sheer number of these microtransactions and their pricing – whenever real money and gameplay can each acquire cosmetics, equipment, ‘time-savers’ or basically anything else, there’s always concern that the latter value is inflated to make the former more appealing. With many of the microtransactions now removed, it’s hard to make any judgements about this.
For its part, Ubisoft insists that “Time-Savers were not designed to grant any advantage over players choosing not to use them. Additionally, Ghost War PvP has been carefully balanced to ensure that no matter your experience as a player, no one has a critical advantage based on their progression.” It adds that players will have the ability to unlock skills and access “plenty” of various items by simply playing the game.
The studio also says on the game’s website that, although players can “easily move between PvE and PvP while keeping the same character and the same progression,” gear level in the game “is disabled in PvP. Weapons have PvP-specific damage, and caps are put in place to lower the max values of stats coming from gear and weapons.” It also adds that “the progression tree does not dramatically impact the balance of power between new and old players.”
So, while it looks pretty likely that Breakpoint will eventually get a tonne of microtransactions, at least you ought not to get killed in PvP because someone out-spent you. Whether their presence will have a more subtle impact on the game’s economy remains to be seen.