Dauntless argues ‘bespoke purchases’ are replacing the lockbox model

It might be tempting to think that the industry is doomed and that no studio will ever be able to ignore the siren song of easy lootbox, but the parade of MMOs and online games that are bucking the trend just keeps coming. The parade now includes Dauntless, which just closed out a Series B investment round. And money helps – but that isn’t the whole story of why. As Phoenix Labs CEO Jesse Houston told GIbiz, who the heck enjoys running a company specializing in squeezing cash out of gamer wallets?

“I would rather run a business where we are 100% focused on delivering awesome player experiences and building a game for a community than trying to find the best way to optimize every dime out of them,” he says.

Moreover, lockboxes change the way players actually play.

“There are some really awesome loot box models that leverage the idea of, ‘I’ve got a couple extra bucks sitting in my pocket. Can I get something cool with it?’ But when you really want to have that bright pink dye… We weren’t feeling like we were necessarily giving folks exactly what they wanted. The more we continued to do soul-searching on it, and thinking through what we want players to feel when they invest with their wallet, we really wanted it to feel like, ‘I had this want, so I got it.'”

The most intriguing part of the interview is that Houston believes lockboxes aren’t as popular and desirable, even among investors, as they were a year ago. His investors, he says, are more interested in gameplay than monetization – that while the future of free-to-play games in the west looked like gamebleboxes a year ago, “today, it looks like bespoke purchases.”

Source: GIbiz

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16 Comments on "Dauntless argues ‘bespoke purchases’ are replacing the lockbox model"

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Dug From The Earth

Games of old – “This game sure has a bunch of cool looking armor for me to get”

Games of new – “This game sure has a bunch of cool looking armor for me to pay extra money for”

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Alli

“Bespoke” basically means “made to order” right? So I’m envisioning putting in a request for an outfit in an MMO and the designers/developers creating it just for me. Somehow I doubt this is what they mean here, but I dig the idea.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

I think that IS what it means.

It is kind of what I have hoped mmos would head towards.

Character creation extends further than just hair and eye color selections.

You choose at the onset the storyline you are interested in pursuing. Orphan with a secret power who joins the mages guild and rises through the ranks, tortured paladin who seeks to regain his glory, wandering minstrel with a dark secret which keeps them moving from town to town, and so on.

Honestly I imagine it being the first steps towards Rekall from the Total Recall movies.

Which I gotta say, Don’t go to Rekall, Last guy I know went there got lobotomized.

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Alli

That would be cool if you could have that backstory and the NPCs would remember it/treat you as such. It relates to one thing that bugs me about ESO: obviously not every player character can be returned from whatever shadow realm you’re stuck in at the intro.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i’ve seen the word bespoke used in so many different ways in the past month or so that i know long can determine what it’s supposed to mean. lol

plasmajohn
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plasmajohn

I’ve looked it up before but it didn’t sink in. Did the search again and came up with the answer. It means tailoring. Like buying a suit off the rack and having it altered to fit your body.

I was thinking dyes were an odd thing to call bespoke though. Those are things you should pick out of available stock. OTOH putting that behind a UI to select the color via color and material (PBS ftw) pickers would fit that model quite well.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Me personally, I can’t wait to get a stack implant and get a new sleeve.

SWEEEET!

Talk about tailoring.

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Schmidt.Capela

That it became necessary to use an adjective to reassure what you get from a purchase isn’t something random you have no agency over shows how bad the situation got…

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

The same. All i get when I go out and search around the webz is it appears to be artisinal or finely crafted and yeah, what Alli wrote above.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

so… the industry will evolve into

MMO’s that are artisinal, likely costing more to play but with a focus on gameplay and just selling what you want

and

MMO’s with gatcha lootboxes that are F2P?

I think I am OK with that.