Ubisoft on Skull and Bones’ business model, ‘treasure chest’ lootboxes, and live events

    
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If you thought that Ubisoft’s Skull and Bones pirate MMO wasn’t going to have lootboxes, seriously, what rock are you living under? (And is it comfy? And can you maybe scoot over and make room for the rest of us?)

In a new interview with Gamespot, Ubisoft creative director Justin Farren says that the studio is going for “more of a service-based approach so that when you pay for this game, you have a commitment from us to develop content, new gameplay, modes, new content for the player to earn, and then of course, new regions to explore, and those things will unfold as the game launches and provide service over time.”

“We don’t want to create pay to win,” he says. “We don’t want to create something where players have to pay to compete. Our PvP is completely horizontal in a way that gives players a chance to develop their skills and compete against other players.”

But Overwatch-style lootboxes are definitely still on the table.

“Our economy emulates the real economy of the Indian Ocean, so things that are important to the people who are shipping goods, the merchants, … the empires, those things are important to you. There’s nothing more pirate-y than the treasure chest. […] What I don’t want to players to feel it is, that it’s some abstraction from the fantasy. It should feel like the things that you’re hunting, using your spyglass to see the things that are on board, should directly relate to the things that you need.”

The interview also touches on PvP, ocean hazards, ememy boardings, community feedback, the company’s “Keepers” superfan group, parallels to Assassin’s Creed, and live events. The company announced Skull and Bones back at E3; don’t miss our hands-on with it from the show!

Source: Gamespot
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Mewmew
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Mewmew

To ask them to leave out loot boxes it to ask them to give away a huge chunk of income just so a lot of us will feel better about it. The sad truth about loot boxes is that they make the games tones of cash and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. You may find a game here and there that doesn’t do them or tries to find a new way to implement them so they’re not as bad or pay to win-ish, but they aren’t going away. More likely they’re going to invade games that haven’t even had them before in the past rather than go away (like they invaded Path of Exile. Yes, they aren’t power items, they are just cosmetics, and you *at least* get what you pay for, but the thing is they still added them in a form).

The only way these things would go away is if we stopped buying them. Whales just buy and buy and don’t care. People who didn’t even know they were gambling addicts buy and buy as well, past their means and what they can afford because they can’t help themselves. Most people who are willing to spend a bit of money will give in and get some here and there just to see what they may get, even if others look at it in disgust.

Could there possibly be a crash of loot box buying one day? That depends. Some games are far worse offenders than others. Sadly we need more regulation on it because why would companies want to stop people from throwing them money on their own?

Even South Park who made such fun of loot boxes in an episode has a mobile game coming out that’s got them in it.

There’s not much that can be done about it. Online games that don’t have them will be niche experiences for the foreseeable future.

oldandgrumpy
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Kickstarter Donor
oldandgrumpy

Guess they are convinced that there are enough whales to go around.

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Brother Maynard

There’s nothing more pirate-y than the treasure chest.

And there’s nothing more pirate-y than Ubisoft selling you the same fake treasure chest again and again and…

Reader
Sorenthaz

“We don’t want to create pay to win,” he says. “We don’t want to create something where players have to pay to compete.”

See, they said that about Epic Quest for Mighty Loot, but then did exactly that. So… something to take with a grain of salt.

Pretty much any company that says they won’t do P2W do end up doing some degree of it in the end.

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Sally Bowls

“There’s nothing more pirate-y than the treasure chest” IDK, some modern game developers feel pretty pirate-y to me.

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Kickstarter Donor
Darthbawl

Moar lootboxes! LOL

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camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

So many reasons to skip this. Ubisoft, gamble boxes, pvp…

So glad I have rekindled my interest in SWL and Eq2.

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Shiro Madoushi

If you are going to BS and lie, make sure you do it with a smile!

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

and pull my hair.

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A Dad Supreme

…“more of a service-based approach so that when you pay for this game, you have a commitment from us to develop content, new gameplay, modes, new content for the player to earn, and then of course, new regions to explore, and those things will unfold as the game launches and provide service over time.””
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Anyone else get a ‘pre-launch GW2’ vibe from this pitch?

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McGuffn

Sounds more like EA to me.