Microsoft has been experimenting with new ways to monetize their games. One of the new methods includes loot boxes. It’s a popular feature that has been making waves in various free-to-play and triple-A games such as Overwatch. The gambling option to unlock new gear in Forza Motorsport 7 only relies on in-game currency at the moment, but some gamers feel as if it’s a precursor for Microsoft and Turn 10 Studios to start charging for loot boxes via the cash shop.
YouTuber outlet Pretty Good Gaming sums up the entire situation within a nine minute video, covering both sides of the spectrum.
Things started when gamers noticed that Forza Motorsport 7 had loot boxes in the game itself. According to Turn 10 Studios you could purchase the crates using only in-game currency and you weren’t required to use real money.
However, later on Turn 10 announced that they would be considering adding a token option to the game, similar to the previous Forza Motorsport outings, where you could spend real money on the cash shop to unlock new vehicles, parts, and customization items. It was basically confirming the fears about microtransactions that fans had all along.
In a statement to Ars Technica, Turn 10 explained…
“Once we confirm that the game economy is balanced and fun for our players out in the wild, we plan to offer Tokens [a real-money currency that works like CR] as a matter of player choice. Some players appreciate using Tokens as a way of gaining immediate access to content that may take many hours to acquire in the normal course of play. There will also be an option within the in-game menu to turn off Tokens entirely.”
This response didn’t sit well with gamers, however, and they decided to do the only thing in their power they know how to do to get the attention of large corporations: review bomb the product.
Turn 10 responded by issuing a message to Eurogamer, where they stated…
”Our fans are the reason we make games and the most important thing to us is that we have open communication with them. As soon as we heard from our community that there was confusion about the VIP description in the Windows Store, we immediately updated it.”
The update didn’t assuage the situation much, turning the fans further against them when it was realized that the credits included in the VIP pass are actually limited use cards, and once they’re all used up, it’s back to grinding for loot boxes just like everybody else who didn’t pay for the VIP pass.
This whole layered monetization system to get people to play, to buy, to play some more will likely have an expiry date on the patience of consumers. Eventually people will just stop buying, and when it completely tanks a franchise, expect that franchise to get iced… just like what happened Dead Space, Command & Conquer, Tony Hawk, and every other franchise that was whored out to the point of instilling disgust in gamers.