Red Dead Redemption publisher president defends lockboxes

Not everyone in the video game industry is shying away from lockboxes or denouncing them outright. Take-Two Interactive President Karl Slatoff took the side of the ESA by saying that he doesn’t consider lockboxes gambling and that the Red Dead Redemption 2 studio will continue using microtransactions going forward.

“The whole gambling regulator thing, we don’t view that sort of thing as gambling. Our view of it is the same as the ESA statement for the most part,” Slatoff said during a recent confererence. “That’s going to play its course, but in terms of the consumer and the noise you hear in the market right now, it’s all about content […] You can’t force the consumer to do anything. You try to do your best to create the best experience you possibly can to drive engagement. And driving engagement creates value in entertainment. That’s just how it’s always been and always will be.”

As the conversation over lockboxes continues to ramp up, a story of one teen who got caught up in online gambling and spent over $10,000 on video game microtransactions is drawing the attention of many — as is this scathing piece at Polygon taking EA’s poor apologies over Star Wars Battlefront 2 to task.

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83 Comments on "Red Dead Redemption publisher president defends lockboxes"

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Mr_Planthead

Considering how many people have lost their jobs/homes/families over being addicted to mmo’s that are designed to suck you in and make you spend as much time as possible in them its amazing that so many ignore that yet are completely against lockboxes.

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thirtymil

That’s actually a very valid point. Which is something I didn’t want to type because my first reaction was ‘no, it’s totally different because… er… ah… erm’.

Okay, so there’s perhaps a slight difference between what we feel compulsed to do (i.e. addiction) and what we just really, really would enjoy doing (‘can’t wait to log in, hop on a gryphon’ as the song about WoW goes), but in essence, yes, it’s a similar risk and people with the same personality traits are likely to be vulnerable to both. Which actually makes it doubly exploitative to put lockboxes in a MMO.

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Zora

I’m fine with blunt, shameless, unapologetic statements.

The beast who roars in the open is easier to recognize as a menace than the one who sneaks in silently at night.

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Bruno Brito

And…who cares about what you perceive? That’s not how reality works, friend.

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Paragon Lost

Thanks for being bluntly honest Karl Slatoff, I’ll return the favor and state that I’ll now be passing on your mmo.

-Some whale player with a large disposable income to spend on his hobbies.

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John Kiser

You are fully aware that Red Dead Redemption isn’t an MMO ya? And he isn’t inherently wrong either. Loot boxes are not gambling in a traditional sense. You aren’t really “losing” anything in basic practice. Yes, you may not get the thing you want, but the important distinction for it to be gambling is that you aren’t actually getting anything if you lose so there is some credibility to the argument not finding them to be gambling.

That said no one forces players to buy these boxes or anything of the sort. There is this whole idea in people’s heads that is their own doing of a “gotta have it” sorta situation where they can go spend 1 – 2 k on loot boxes / lockboxes in the hopes to get something they really want. I personally don’t have a huge problem with them, but I do think that a regulatory body needs to mandate that they at minimum list drop rates and have drop rates be something that isn’t so obscenely low that people have to part with thousands to get something.

Atis
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Atis

Yes, you may not get the thing you want, but the important distinction for it to be gambling is that you aren’t actually getting anything if you lose so there is some credibility to the argument not finding them to be gambling.

Not a good excuse. If casino will give you a lollipop every time you lose, would they stop being gambling businesses? You won’t just get that pile of money you wanted, but you will get something.

cambruin
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cambruin

I only have time to play one or two games and this would never have been one of those 2.

Should I however be tempted to try it, I’ll just head over to the Pirate Bay or whatever. I don’t have a single illegal MP3, game or video or whatever, but these foul mechanics are a very good incentive for me to reconsider my morals.

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Dug From The Earth

This is clearly an experiment to test the strength of the popularity aspect of RDR vs the evil, maniacal, Lootboxes.

Ready….

Fight!.png
Grave Knight
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Grave Knight

And there went all my hopes for RDR2.

Also, I’m so surprised. Money grubbing CEO defends money grubbing.

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Robert Mann

RIP RDR2… I was interested, but now I’m betting I’ll never play you.

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Chris Brown-DeMoreno

Yeah, please don’t ruin RDR2 with this crap. I don’t care what you do with the multiplayer that I won’t bother with anyway but don’t go Shadow of War on us in the single player. Thanks.

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John Kiser

To be fair. The whole shadow of war thing only really effects you on the psuedo-multiplayer elements of the game in any meaningful way. You can play the game without spending a dime really.

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John Mclain

Always appreciate it when a game company basically tells me “We’re greedy little shits, don’t buy our games.” It saves me so much time. *Adds RDR2 to the DONT BUY list.*