Following a closed beta for Trials Rising, controversy arose as players discovered the inclusion of loot boxes. This kickstarted a discussion on Steam, which a Ubisoft Support representative has responded to. While confirming the loot boxes are “purely cosmetic,” the representative suggested Ubisoft’s continued integration of microtransactions falls solely on consumers. The major take from the response is, “If players simply didn’t buy these crates, they would not be added into games in future.”
The representative, who goes by Ubi_Warlock on Steam, posted the following statement to the community page:
As has been pointed out, these loot crates are purely cosmetic. I do appreciate why players feel the way they do about them (not a huge fan myself), however, as it was also pointed out, you can always just not buy them.
Ultimately, they’re intended for players who want something to help them stand out from the crowd when playing online, or even just those who are big fans of the game and want to support us further.
Yes, it means that some players end up spending more on our games than others and that does result in increased profits for us. It also helps us to put more money into new titles and to understand what players look for in their games. If players simply didn’t buy these crates, they would not be added into games in future.
All in all, loot crates / cosmetic items in general have been a huge boon for the Gaming Industry, being a driving factor in the increased popularity of Gaming over the past decade or so.
They aren’t a bad thing if done right.
Your feedback on the topic is still very much appreciated as this is a hotly debated topic. I do hope you consider the impact it would actually have on your enjoyment of the game though.
This statement harkens back to Ubisoft Montreal’s Yannis Mallat once saying the publisher would halt yearly Assassin’s Creed releases if players ceased buying them. As many may recall, middling sales ultimately led to the series taking a year off between the launches of Syndicate and Origins. It stands to reason Ubisoft would similarly pull away from its loot crate practices if people stopped spending money on them.
Governments the world over are taking a closer look at loot boxes, with their inclusion in games being likened to gambling. Belgium remains at the forefront of these discussions, since the country’s ruling that loot boxes are indeed a form a gambling, thereby deeming them illegal. This example, and those that are to presumably follow, begs the question of whether the evident “boon” of loot boxes will be worth it in the long run.
Trials Rising will come to the PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One on February 12, 2019.