‘Gears Of War 4’ Will Have Free DLC Maps And Microtransactions

Details for the Xbox One exclusive Gears of War 4 hit Thursday with a couple of interesting details on how The Coalition will handle DLC. The developer is taking a similar approach 343 Industries took with Halo 5: Guardians, but with a few of its own twists.

Gears of War 4 will launch this October with 10 DLC maps, according to a report from VideoGamer. The Coalition will then release free DLC maps to the game every month for a currently unknown period of time.

This is nearly identical to Halo 5, which has released DLC packs with maps since December of last year and will continue through this summer. The twist for Gears of War 4 is that the game’s multiplayer playlist will rotate maps in and out. New maps will be added while other maps will take a break.

Gears of War 4 (Xbox One) [Image via Gears of War]Those interested in being able to play all the maps all of the time can still purchase them. Pricing details haven’t been revealed yet, but this will allow these maps to be played in private matches on dedicated servers without all players owning them. The downside is, of course, these maps will not be available in public matches until they rotate back in.

The free maps will be supported via microtransactions that allow players to purchase crates that contain cards, which unlock cosmetic items of various rarity. Gears of War 4 Producer Rod Fergusson assured Gamespot that none of these items will affect gameplay. Still, he likes the notion of opening card packs similar to popular collectible card games such as Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering.

“I feel like that paradigm of cards is really clear to understand for collectibles, like the ability to collect things. We had weapon skins and character skins, so that idea of collecting cards is just easily understood,” Fergusson explained. “It felt like it added some engagement in terms of its not the, ‘Oh, I like Tiger Stripe. I bought Tiger Stripe. I’m done. I don’t need to engage with that system anymore. There’s no need for me to hang around.'”

“I like the idea of why you buy Magic: The Gathering booster pack,” he added. “If I could just buy the one card I want then I’m out, then you lose it, right?”

Players will still be able to earn crates through playing Gears of War 4. The details on how haven’t been made available yet. For instance, are these random drops or can they be purchased via points earned from gameplay. But there’s no denying the appeal of opening card packs that a growing number of games have adopted.

“That’s I think what we owe the player, is that feeling you get, much like… I think Hearthstone is brilliant at, that idea of the glow, and the voice, and the excitement about like, ‘I want to open packs, and I want to be a part of that engagement. I can’t wait to complete today’s quest so I can go to the paramedic with pack of cards.’ I think that feeds into that engagement,” Fergusson said.

“I think 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 when you want to accelerate it. We’re going to be balanced 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,” he concluded.

Gears of War 4 Beta Dates (Xbox One) [Image via Xbox Wire]The Gears of War 4 multiplayer beta kicks off Monday, April 18, for those that played Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on the Xbox One prior to April 11. Early access codes will be sent to those eligible in waves on this date. The beta will then open up to all Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers on Monday, April 25, and run through Sunday, May 1.

The game will launch on October 11. The Coalition has confirmed Gears of War 4 will support 1080p/30 fps in single-player and 1080p/60 fps in multiplayer. Two-player split-screen will also be supported in every game mode. However, this will drop multiplayer down to 1080p/30 fps.

[Image via The Coalition]