“The player needs to feel that they really have a choice to not buy them.”
The question of microtransactions and loot boxes in AAA games has become more and more pertinent and pervasive as time has gone on, with things coming to a head last year thanks to abusive microtransaction practices in games such as Star Wars Battlefront 2.
Every publisher usually points to loot boxes as being there to facilitate and enable ‘player choice’; on that front, Ubisoft appears to be no different. Speaking in a financial call with investors, Ubisoft said that the way to do loot boxes without suffering player backlash is to make them truly optional, rather than just paying lip service to the ideal of choice. If the player truly feels like they have a choice to not buy the loot boxes and still enjoy the game in full without degradation of the experience, they will not push back against their inclusion.
Given that Ubisoft’s loot boxes in games such as Rainbow Six: Siege and Assassin’s Creed Origins have so far seen very little negative response from players- something Ubisoft was sure to note in the briefing- they, at least, seem to understand how to incorporate them into their games better than other publishers such as EA seem to.