Gamespot recently sat down with Justin Farren, creative director of Skull & Bones, in a new interview that answers some intriguing questions. The lengthy interview goes over a number of topics, detailing the possible inclusion of loot boxes, why Skull & Bones is a new IP, and more. Players may bulk at the idea of microtransactions, but Farren’s explanation of their inclusion may placate wary gamers.
So first, let’s look at what Farren has to say about these loot boxes:
GameSpot: And you had talked before about how you didn’t want Skull and Bones to feel like a pay to win experience.
Farren: Yeah, no.
GameSpot: But presumably there will be, as many triple-A games from Ubisoft and others, micro-transactions in the form of, if you wanted to buy things.
Farren: It’s early for that. What we want to do is make sure if players want things, that we provide content for them if they want and that they don’t feel like it’s gated off because they didn’t pay for it. So, we want to have live events, we want to have seasonal events, seasons where you’re able to compete against other players to try to get to the top of the ladder and the top of the food chain. Those things will give you opportunity to get those customization elements, those cosmetics, vanity items that will allow you to personalize your experience.
Seems like a typical loot model, but not one that’ll hurt completely free-to-play gamers.
Next, people have been wondering why Skull & Bones is inspired by the Assassin’s Creed games, but not actually a game in the series:
So, that was really the catalyst for exploring that aspect of it. When it comes to the type of experience you have with Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed is a very specific fantasy about being an assassin, about being in a crowd, and that’s not the game we wanted to make. We wanted to make something that really leveraged the power of those huge, massive ships.
Finally, here’s a snippet about Skull & Bones being free-to-play and Farren’s promise of a quality experience:
We definitely have taken more of a service-based approach so that when you pay for this game, you have a commitment from us to develop content, new gameplay, modes, new content for the player to earn, and then of course, new regions to explore, and those things will unfold as the game launches and provide service over time. But it’s not a, we don’t want to create pay to win, we don’t want to create something where players have to pay to compete. Our PVP is completely horizontal in a way that gives players a chance to develop their skills and compete against other players.
Skull & Bones will release on the PlayStation 4 in 2018.