I don’t think Ubisoft adding loot box and microtransactions to Assassin’s Creed: Origins is a surprise, right? It’s like water being wet, except I think most people want to know how intrusive it will be throughout the game, and according to the devs they will not be “intrusive”.
I’m not saying that loot boxes or microtransactions are okay, but from the looks of it Assassin’s Creed: Origins will have loot boxes that do not prompt you to pay real money upfront, but instead have Heka chests that call for in-game currency to purchase.
Like any other game with “optional” loot boxes, the Heka chest is optional, too, and contains “one random weapon or shield” and opens automatically on purchase.
This Heka chest system is said to be for those who like to save up and buy stuff, but they are not there to disrupt actual story, quest or adventure progression when playing through Origins.
Personally, I’m taking everything that Ubisoft is saying with a grain of salt, but if you have no clue how Assassin’s Creed: Origins‘ loot box and microtransaction system works, YongYea has a video on it that also covers Ubisoft explanation:
While a lot of people will say that the e-shop, loot box and Microtransaction system is explained in a non-intrusive way, we shouldn’t forget what EA and DICE have done with Battlefield 1.
Battlefield 1 started with loot boxes that were still purely cosmetic, but you could only earn them through in-game currency, doing well in a match or buying Monster drinks with special codes on them.
EA and DICE later down the line changed it where you could pay for loot boxes with real money in-game and added in a slow/broken progression meter that was changed sometime later due to mass complaints.
It should also be noted that EA and DICE tweaked loot box drop value numbers to be skewed so that people would purposefully spend more money, but they did not disclose this until called out by YouTubers, people on Reddit, and on the game’s official forum board.
Thanks to community feedback we have increased the drop-chance rate for the Desert Gold legendary vehicle skin in Battlepacks.
— Battlefield (@Battlefield) December 30, 2016
So what is the main concern here? Well, it means that Ubisoft could have a non-intrusive loot box system much like Battlefield 1, until the devs see that gamers are actually spending a significant amount of money through the e-shop and so on, and could change rules without disclosing it later down the road.