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Developers Discuss Shadow of War Loot Boxes, Why They Are in-Game

When the developers behind the upcoming Middle-earth: Shadow of War revealed that the game would include purchasable loot boxes that players could buy with real-world money, fans predictably were not happy. Now, the developers have sat down in an interview and discussed why the option is included in the game.

For a bit of context, the upcoming action adventure game has an in-game store called the Market that sells orcs and other items used for the game’s Nemesis System. Players can buy loot chests, war chests, and XP boosts, which help level up Talion faster. War chests specifically will provide orc followers of varying rarity, meaning players could pay real money to get the best orcs in their army.

Publisher Warner Bros. has already released an announcement stating that anything gained from the loot boxes can be earned in the game for free, and the boxes were just there as an option for those who wanted to save time. Now, Bob Roberts – the design director for Shadow of War – has sat down with Eurogamer to discuss the controversial decision.

When talking about the loot boxes, Roberts is quick to note that the game is “100 percent” balanced and will not be purposely hard to try and force players to buy any loot boxes. Players will “earn resources at a regular pace and the systems are tuned to that so you don’t need another option.” However, the decision to include them was simply one of giving more choice to the player. It’s there, from my perspective, for people who are protective of their spare time and scared when a massive game comes along that they’re not getting to see the full experience.”

Roberts went on to promise that the game is tuned to work without the use of loot boxes, so the concept shouldn’t come up as a distraction when the launches on October 10. For more on the game, make sure to check out Eurogamer’s full interview with Roberts.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War releases on October 10 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.