Amazon’s New World was the subject of much debate this month when a leaker exposed the state of the game’s cash shop in the alpha – including the fact that it was dispending boosters. While Amazon quickly noted that this was merely a test and that all items in the cash shop would be cosmetic in nature at launch, the “at launch” part was doing a lot of heavy lifting, and the studio later clarified that it might add things like experience boosters as microtransactions after launch.
Today, the company has expounded on the cash shop as it’s being tested under NDA right now. Amazon’s dev blog essentially reiterates what to expect at launch and beyond. The launch store focuses on themed gear, skins, housing decor, pets, dyes, emotes, and guild sigils. “We won’t consider selling anything other than cosmetic items until 2022 at the earliest,” the studio says. (The launch is currently set for August 2021, so that’s just a few months later.) The goal, according to Amazon, is to avoid pay-to-win – to “not give players an advantage in PvE or PvP gameplay.”
“The store will allow in-game purchases for cosmetic items outside of our deluxe edition and pre-order bonuses. We have received a lot of feedback already, and believe it’s important to make the store visible now for players to experience and test directly. Items in the store during Alpha will be purely cosmetic and provide no gameplay advantages. As the game evolves, we may add new categories of store items based on our players’ desires. We may make mistakes which is why we’re testing and engaging with our community to solicit feedback. The Alpha store test will include an example skin, emote, and dyes (these are not the exact items we will sell when live, but give you an idea of the type and flavor).”
Notably, Amazon promises in-game options “at the same level of aesthetic quality with items found in the store,” which is definitely not something all MMOs with cosmetic shops have. After the launch, however – 2022 or later, as they say – the devs will “consider ideas for items that influence mechanics like rested XP both through the store and earned in-game,” thereby new players a fast way to catch up to endgame without “creating a ‘pay to win’ environment.” Amazon does say that if it goes that route, whatever it adds will “also be obtainable through in-game methods.”