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Ubisoft is getting in on the loot box craze for the upcoming Assassin's Creed: Origins. The new title will have loot boxes embedded into the gameplay experience. However, before gamers get completely irascible over the inclusion of such a feature, Ubisoft is adding a twist. All of the chests can only be acquired using in-game currency.
This is a departure from the typical loot box setup that usually has ties into real-world currency. Monolith Productions and Warner Bros., recently came under fire for allowing gamers to purchase loot box microtransactions using real money in Middle-Earth-Shadow of War. Turn 10 Studios and Microsoft also ran into some massive heat from gamers over Forza Motorsport 7, which also includes loot boxes that can be purchased with real world currency.
In the case of Assassin's Creed: Origins, the loot boxes within the game are available from a specific retailer who travels around the game world. According to game director Ashraf Ismail, the loot boxes were designed to give players an option to "play" the economy, with Ismail telling Eurogamer...
The reason we did that was because we saw, even two years ago, people playing the game in different ways, [...] Then there was a smaller set of people who would focus almost entirely on the economy, buying and selling stuff to gain as much money as they can. And we felt like, okay, that's a valid way to play the game - it's a part of the RPG [aspect], so we'll let them play the economy. So, it's one way to be able to purchase or get some of the unique items in the game.
Some gamers questioned what the purpose was of a loot box vendor if the items couldn't be purchased for real money and if there were already vendors selling items throughout the world of Assassin's Creed: Origins.
It's a good question, given that even if people wanted to play the economy, it still seems less expensive and less grindy to just purchase items from one place in the game world and sell it elsewhere, as opposed to risking all your in-game cash gambling on items from a loot box in order to sell the item to another NPC vendor.
Either way, gamers still aren't too fond of a $60 game featuring the whole loot box mechanic. Others are fine with it so long as there is no option to spend real money on the loot boxes. Some feel as if this whole loot box craze is just a masked attempt at implementing gambling mechanics into triple-A titles.
You'll be able to experience the loot crate system for yourself in Assassin's Creed: Origins when the game launches at the end of October.