Trion Worlds ran into a miniature kerfuffle when the company tried adding a premium $100 loot box to RIFT that would give players one of the many mounts within the game. The special holiday-themed Orphiel Mount Crate’s $99.99 price tag sent shock waves through RIFT’s community, not necessarily because it was an expensive loot box, but because of what literally just transpired regarding the Star Wars: Battlefront II case and EA getting excoriated for attempting to get kids hooked on gambling.
According to MMO Games, the new Orphiel Mount Crate was introduced on December 14th, 2017, and the backlash was so immense and so overwhelming that on December 15th, 2017, it was announced that the premium Orphiel Mount Crate loot box was being discontinued.
The news comes courtesy of a post that Trion Worlds CEO, Scott Hartsman, made on the RIFT sub-Reddit. Hartsman explains…
“For this year’s holiday season, we wanted to do something fun and special across all of our games. We created a bunch of great events, sales and all new unique items to celebrate the holidays. One just plain wasn’t great.
“You dragged us for it. We deserved that. It’s gone. And we’re sorry it happened.
Orphiel’s Mount Crate, an item created for RIFT, was an attempt to do something new and create a tradeable box that guaranteed a rare cosmetic mount, but we badly misread how people would take it and that’s completely on us.
“We removed the crate from the store late this morning, and are discussing how to handle similar content in the future. The RIFT team and Trion Worlds as a whole are always trying to do right by our players, but we don’t always get it right. This was one of those times.”
Hartsman explains that since RIFT is free-to-play they try to keep the content themed around something balanced and fair to gamers while also keeping the lights on at Trion.
Gamers, however, were not at all sympathetic to Hartsman’s reasoning behind introducing the $100 loot box, but they did reluctantly accept his apology.
Greaterdivinity managed to sum up the gist of the community’s sentiments in a rather brief post that seemed to not only capture the issue that gamers had with RIFT but the overarching issues currently happening in the video game industry, writing…
“Appreciate the note, but honest question – Does nobody at Trion keep an eye on the industry and industry news? Did nobody see the lockbox/monetization blow-ups over the past few months from Battlefront 2, Shadow of War, Guild Wars 2, and more?
“This kind of thing seems like it should instantly raise a million red flags in the current landscape, and it blows my mind that this clearly made it past multiple people/teams in the approval process to make it live. Not really a good look for the company at all, especially when Trion doesn’t need any more of a bad rep than it has amongst a lot of gamers”
EA and DICE received major backlash from gamers and normies alike. In fact, it was the normies who launched a Facebook campaign to inform other casual consumers about the dangers of Star Wars: Battlefront II, gaining enough traction to attract the attention of Disney. In turn, the mega-corporation came down hard on Electronic Arts, forcing them to abandon the premium loot box mechanic in Star Wars: Battlefront II. The game still managed to top the NPD retail charts, but it did so with abysmal first-month numbers.
Trion Worlds learned the hard way that gamers don’t forget, and they certainly don’t forgive… easily.
Ads (learn more about our advertising policies here)