Even if you are for or against them, there is no denying the magnitude in which microtransactions have impacted the gaming industry. From loot boxes to cosmetics, fans have always viewed the practice as taboo; in some instances, with skins and not affecting gameplay they are met with a positive response, but loot boxes and “pay to win” tactics have been vocally soured on by many. While many try to wrestle with how to handle the ever changing gaming ecosystem, a representative of Ubisoft has given a simple message to consumers on the subject: we wouldn’t have loot boxes if people didn’t buy them.
In a forum thread that was published on the Steam Community page for upcoming entry into the popular Trials series, Trials Rising, Ubi_Warlock, a verified member of Ubisoft’s support staff, responded to criticism posted by a consumer after loot boxes were confirmed to be in the game back in September. “As has been pointed out, these loot crates are purely cosmetic. I do appreciate why players feel the way they do about them (not a huge fan myself), however, as it was also pointed out, you can always just not buy them.”
Ubisoft, who is the publishing home to a multitude of major AAA titles including Rainbow 6: Siege, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, and Far Cry 5, has adopted the approach of many large scale companies in the gaming industry, by supporting their titles through various methods of microtransactions. While in recent titles, including Rainbow 6: Siege, many of these purchasable items are purely cosmetic, the game does also offer loot box-style items called “Alpha Packs”. Also,the recent Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey did offer “XP Boosts” in which players upgrade their in-game character simply by paying to do so. While fans remain mixed on the idea, Ubi_Warlock offers a simple ideology on the method. “If players simply didn’t buy these crates, they would not be added into games in (the) future.”
While loot boxes have been a rightful cause for concern, with more discussion happening surrounding the gambling approach to them, the representative does point out their positives to the modern gaming industry. “All in all, loot crates/cosmetic items in general have been a huge boom for the gaming industry, being a driving factor in the increased popularity of gaming over the past decade or so. They aren’t a bad thing if done right.” Ubi_Warlock begins to conclude in respect to his argument.
The debate on the ethical and moral impact of microtransactions (loot boxes, cosmetics, etc) in gaming won’t be ending anytime soon, as the answer isn’t necessarily cut and dry, but discussions have increased on the subject overall.
Trials Rising is set to release on February 12th, 2019 for Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Windows PC.
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