One of the biggest controversies in the game industry this year came from loot boxes, items which have existed previously but significantly increased in appearance. While games like Overwatch have utilized this mechanic for well over a year now, players became fed up when certain titles took the randomized loot mechanic too far like Star Wars Battlefront II and Destiny 2. Fan backlash to the practice has been incredibly loud and vocal, likely shaking up how companies approach this system in the future.
Christopher Weaver, Bethesda founder and one of the creators of The Elder Scrolls franchise, was recently asked about this loot box trend and specifically how video games should make money in the wake of this controversy. Weaver began his answer by criticizing the freemium model in AAA games, admitting that he is not a fan of people believing in getting something for nothing. Offering a single chapter first or a subscription, however, is a better way.
Weaver believes that players will continue to rebel against the loot box system and unpopular nickel and diming strategy mainly because it interferes with the flow of a game, preventing players from losing themselves in the play world. On the flip side, he also understands that its a business and for companies to remain profitable, players may even have to absorb some of the increasing costs of creating AAA games without microtransactions. This could mean paying more money for games up front.
Whatever the solution may be, Weaver is thankful that his day to day job doesn’t require him to worry about economics anymore, only about teaching his students. The same can’t be said for EA, however, as the publisher continues to deal with the fallout from the backlash over Star Wars Battlefront 2. The most recent controversies surrounding that game have started to negatively impact EA’s financials now, which have caused its financial projections for 2018 to be lowered. Though the company responded to fan concerns over what many believed to be a predatory microtransaction system, the damage appears to have been done.
Source: Rolling Stone