E3 2018: Nintendo thinks lockboxes are unfairly maligned, help ‘drive engagement’


You know how sometimes, when nosy press asks you a question with no good answer, you’re better off shutting up? And when they don’t ask you about a tricky subject, you probably shouldn’t go out of your way to run into it head-on?

Nintendo didn’t get that memo at E3, apparently, as during an interview with Bloomberg, it broke ranks with more diplomatic game studios to basically defend lockboxes and lootboxes.

“Loot boxes, broadly speaking, have gotten a bit of a bad rap,” Nintendo exec Reggie Fils-Aime told the publication (via GIbiz), in answer to a broad softball question about digital revenue.

“The game mechanic of buying something that you’re not sure what’s inside is as old as baseball cards. What we believe at Nintendo is that a gameplay mechanic that offers the consumer something to buy that they’re not sure what’s inside can be interesting as long as that’s not the only way you can get those items. And that’s where some developers have made some mistakes. For us, its one of many mechanics we can use to drive on-going engagement in the game.”

Nothing says “engagement” in a game’s world, community, and gameplay like gambleboxes!

According to Bloomberg, Nintendo’s stock is down again today in the middle of E3, “bringing the drop in June to 16 percent and putting the stock on track for its worst monthly performance since September 2015,” chiefly due to investors’ concern about frontloading the success of the Switch.

Source: Bloomberg via GIbiz
Massively Overpowered is on the ground in Los Angeles, California, for E3 2018, bringing you expert MMO coverage on Anthem, Fallout 76, Elder Scrolls Online, and everything else on display at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo!

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Funny. I’ve played many games with loot boxes and never even thought of buying them. Never understood the issue or concern.

If you don’t like lootboxes, don’t buy them. They aren’t the problem, the player is. And if a player enjoys spending hundreds of dollars on lootboxes why should you care? It’s not your money.

People today complain too much instead of just doing what works for them. It would make things much easier.

Kickstarter Donor

Some people don’t like things being added behind a paywall instead of directly to a game.

Chosenxeno .

I’m glad their stock dropped lol. His Baseball Card Analogy is terrible.

Robert Mann

“Engagement” is a code word here for spending. That is what they really mean, it drives ongoing spending. That is the “engagement” they are looking for. And with that, Nintendo can make whatever they want but odds are I won’t be playing…

Anthony Clark

Never cared for Reggie Fils-Aime personally. Was already banning all things Nintendo in my household because of the classic console screw-up they did. This just supports my decision. I have no plans of going back now.

Zen Dadaist

For fucks sakes Nintendo. Really? REALLY?!


“Loot boxes, broadly speaking, have gotten a bit of a bad rap…”

You say that as though that understanding was an issue. o.O

Bryan Correll

Meth dealers recommend their own products as well.


Yep, that definitely gets me to engage…


He isn’t talking about player engagement in the game. He is talking about credit card engagement.

Kickstarter Donor

The company that profits from them thinks they are much maligned.. never could have called that lol