After a bit of miscommunication among all parties, it seems clear now that Wolfenstein: Youngblood will indeed have several microtransactions in game, but only for cosmetic items and not for weapons as was mistakenly stated previously. The confusion came during E3 when a developer said during a round-table discussion that purchases would also include weapon upgrades that could allow for speedier progression.
VG247 recently received official confirmation from Bethesda that this was in fact an error, and only cosmetics and things such as emotes would be purchasable with real money. Otherwise, those same items can earned gradually in the game by collecting coins in the environment. Considering that the miscommunication came from a developer of the game, it makes us wonder if at some point the original plan was in fact to allow these upgrades to be purchased with real money.
Such an option may seem controversial or surprising, but at the same time, is quite in line with recent statements made by Todd Howard on the sale of microtransactions in other Bethesda properties. In Fallout 76 for example, Repair Kits were announced on April 9, 2019 that could be purchased with Atoms, the premium currency in the game, to be used to repair any piece of gear to full at any time. Some players reacted by calling this a Pay-to-Win mechanic.
Howard defended the decision by correctly pointing out that the use of these kits only applies to the activities done by a single player, and that there is no real competition in Fallout 76 where these kits offer any advantage. Those who wish to pay for this convenience now have that the option, Howard concluded.
In this sense, to have a similar option for a paid convenience of speedier weapon upgrades in the single-player Wolfenstein: Youngblood is only logical, if we follow Bethesda’s logic. However, now that the issue has been settled as relating to cosmetic purchases only, the point is probably moot, but with the above points in mind, any future change by Bethesda to a pay for convenience model should come as no surprise.
So long as it provides no competitive advantage in ranked or ladder style parts of the game, possibly through multiplayer, there is no harm in having it. At the same time, it always feels like a slap in the face when a AAA developer sells a full-priced game only to find microtransactions when playing.