The nexus point of the Lootbox talks about how to do it right.
We’ve spoken at length in the past several months about the controversy surrounding lootboxes that was sparked largely thanks to Star Wars Battlefront II and the potential government intervention that could arise from it, but the odd man out in the story has always been Overwatch.
Blizzard’s huge online shooter is the origin point, where the trend was popularized, but where Star Wars got about 637 thousand lashes for their loot boxes, Overwatch players do generally get that all important pride and accomplishment. In a talk with PCGamesN, game director Jeff Kaplan outlined important tips to avoid the anger of the internet.
“There were a couple of core philosophies that were very important to the team when creating our loot box system. One was that it had to be a very player-centric system. As players ourselves we don’t want any sort of power increase in our system. We wanted the system to be purely cosmetic, so that was one of the core philosophies. The second was that we wanted every item that was available in the loot boxes to be obtainable in some way that didn’t have anything to do with luck, so we [compensated players for duplicates], and di the credit system, and the unlocks. That way, if you ever felt like ‘There was that Junkrat skin that I’ve always really wanted but I don’t seem to ever pull it out of the loot box’, that you had an avenue of obtaining that that wasn’t loot box driven, or random driven.” said Kaplan.
Also important, listening to your fans. Kaplan went on to give examples of how they changed the game around fan feedback, like the first Summer Games event, and trying to minimize duplicates. So key feedback for future AAA publishers to take from Mr. Kaplan, who has been largely getting away with what many are calling gambling. Don’t mess with the actual gameplay, Allow the player other avenues that don’t waste their time or money, and listen to the fans before Disney has to step in. Seems simple enough, but EA won’t give it up.