If 2017 will be remembered for on key thing in gaming, it will be the year that loot boxes and microtransactions final reached a tipping point. Friction between gamers and developers increased, and high-profile games and studios suffered because of it. Speaking with Trusted Reviews, Monster Hunter: World Producer Ryozo Tsujimoto said that microtransactions don’t make any sense for Capcom’s game, as it could cause friction among players and disrupt or dilute the core monster slaying experience.
“This is a co-op game and you’re going out in up to four-people parties. The idea is that there’s a harmony in the four players going out and you’re going to get on well together. If you feel someone hasn’t earned what they’ve got or they’ve got a better weapon just because they paid for it and you worked for yours, that creates friction,” Tsujimoto indicates that they want players to feel in harmony when out hunting monsters.
He goes on to talk about how he wants Monster Hunter: World to be about skilled play, and not money. “Even in a co-op game where it’s not pay-to-win, because we’re all on the same team, it’s like you didn’t earn that or you’ve got it and don’t know how to use it. We don’t want that for Monster Hunter. There are absolutely no plans, it’s not in the game where you can get your random crate or random loot box and get a great item or great weapon. None of the stuff that affects the gameplay is even paid for; it’s all cosmetic, just stuff that’s a bit of fun.
“We want to make sure nobody is under the impression that, because it looks like the kind of game where you might have loot boxes, they definitely aren’t in there. We want people to just enjoy our great gameplay loop of achievement satisfaction where there are tough challenges, but learning how to play the game and getting better at it, you’ll be able to overcome those challenges.” This is great to hear that Capcom is focusing on the gameplay and the challenge, rather than on how best to monetize their game.
Tsujimoto had one final thought about players adjusting their strategies and switching weapons, instead of throwing money at a problem. “Even when you get to a certain wall and you’re like ‘OK, I’m 10 hours in, I suddenly have a monster I can’t beat’, it’s not about ‘well I’ll just throw a bit of money in and I’ll get better gear to do it. What we want you to do is go back to your house and be like ‘well, I’ve been using the great sword, maybe I need to use the dual blades for this monster.
“We want you to go in and, through gameplay, find out what’s causing you to hit this hurdle and figure it out. Whenever you get over that hurdle by yourself, it’s such a great feeling, why would we let you skip that just to make a bit of extra money? It doesn’t make any sense. There’s no way we would interrupt that flow.”
Monster Hunter: World will be releasing on January 26.