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No Gear Packs, no season pass for Gears 5

Developers lay out unlockable and premium content plans

Kait aiming a pistol at the camera in Gears 5 The Coalition/Microsoft
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Developers of Gears 5 have promised a system of additional content for the game that is light on additional charges and heavy on free unlockables. A note to players at the end of the week said the Xbox One and Windows 10 exclusive won’t have the season pass or Gear Packs that its predecessor did.

“We’ve committed to delivering more earnable content than ever before through an extensive new system called Tour of Duty,” developer The Coalition wrote. In the Tour of Duty, players earn customization content (including character skins) by completing daily challenges and reaching seasonal milestones.

Tour of Duty will follow a seasonal schedule, with new content rotating in every time a new one begins. “The path to each piece of content earnable is clear,” The Coalition wrote. “You will know what you need to do to earn each specific customization item.”

That tracks with two other guarantees — first, that no piece of content is premium-only. That is, can only be acquired for real money. Everything can be earned, in other words. And second, those who do choose to pay for content will know exactly what they’re getting: no loot boxes surprise mechanics or randomized awards.

DLC maps will also be free for matchmaking and private play, which indicates that some extra maps will be sold at a premium. But the lack of a season pass and Gear Packs is significant; Gears of War 4 sold a season pass for $50 when it launched in 2016, and Gear Packs that ranged in price from 99 cents to $4.99.

“We are committed to ensuring we preserve a fair competitive environment across our modes,” The Coalition said, “so there will be no items in the store that provide a competitive advantage for real-money purchasers, i.e. no pay to win.”

Gears 5, however, will sell a Boost option that doubles XP awards and speeds up supply drops for a period of time, such as a day or a week. Prices for that weren’t divulged.

Gears 5 launches Sept. 10, 2019 for Windows PC and Xbox One.

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