Amazon Games' New World MMO is currently on Alpha and periodically adds new features. One such feature, the recently added showcase, has caused concern among gamers who fear the New World may follow in the footsteps of games that hide progress behind real money purchases. To address these concerns, Amazon Games Studio director Rich Lawrence has written an open letter to players trying to allay those fears.
Read this letter about the window testing we are currently doing at Alpha. pic.twitter.com/IucMciGWC1May 15, 2021
According to Lawrence, all items in the store at launch will be "exclusively cosmetic in nature" and that the store had been introduced to Alpha simply to measure interest. However, the team also intends to test "quality of life items", which have the potential to be used as remuneration to earn mechanics: fast travel and rested XP, another term to increase XP.
While fast travel does not immediately represent the win-win, being able to visit destinations more quickly and therefore simply play more, gives players an advantage. Fast travel is also such an essential mechanic in the big game worlds that not allowing players to use it unless they pay for it just seems like a bad idea. XP increases, on the other hand, are clearly a way to pay for progress. In a reply to tweets, New World called it "supporting people who don't have as much time to play," while impulses were available for players to complete the game's content as well.
Since the store is still being tested, it's too early to comment on the influence that shopping will have on the game itself: storefronts are a fact of MMO life. The important thing is how much the New World can drive you to buy something.