Here’s how some online game developers justify lockboxes
Yes, it’s apparently the Month of the Lockbox across the internet, as the level of discussion and controversy over how these items manipulate your mind and whether or not they constitute as gambling by ratings boards is ramping up.
The public might have a mixed view on lockboxes, but have you ever wondered what developers think? While some might well be quietly humiliated that these items sully their game by marketing degree, others have publicly justified their inclusion. GIbiz recently found that most studios won’t comment on loot boxes, but a handful of devs did step forward to speak about them. The common thread? Cost of making games is going up while box pricing is remaining static… and something has to give.
“Some big games are just not selling enough copies to make the development and marketing costs viable,” commented Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley. “Loot boxes mean more revenue from those who are interested.”
“Regardless of development costs, developers and publishers are going to attempt to make money — it’s a business,” added former Bungie developer Niles Sankey. “Developers have retirement to save for and families to feed… If people don’t like loot crates and microtransactions, they shouldn’t support the game by purchasing them.”
And former EA exec Ben Cousins made the bold claim that some companies seem more immune to criticism over this topic than others: “Blizzard gets a free pass on pretty much everything, as does Valve. Never try to get learnings from them, as they are outliers.”