One of the biggest discussions happening in gaming today is centered around consumer exploitation through microtransactions and loot boxes. It's a hearty discussion that has brought out a lot of viewpoints from different sides of the table, but one thing is for sure and it's that CD Projekt Red will not make the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 a "game as service" title.
CD Projekt Red made the post over on its official Twitter account after gamers began mounting worries through comments, discussions, and conversations across social media, comment threads, and YouTube videos.
The comment from CD Projekt Red is actually in response to gamers responding to the CEO of the company, Adam Kicinski, who recently mentioned in an interview that GWENT would be a big part of the company's future as a game as a service title, and that future titles would explore recurring monetary opportunities for gamers. Many gamers took this to mean that Cyberpunk 2077 would be laced with microtransactions from top to bottom and began fearing for the future of the game.
While some people might think this is an irrational fear to have, keep in mind that almost every big AAA game that has come out this past fall season has been laced with either microtransactions or loot boxes. Forza Motorsport 7 and Need For Speed: Payback were two of the biggest culprits of these loot boxes, since performance and player progress were tied to the loot boxes, so the better items you acquired from the loot boxes the more likely you were to win races and move up the ranks.
Star Wars: Battlefront II also had a rather egregious loot box setup that allowed players to pay for the loot boxes to unlock better upgrades for the characters that directly affected in-game performance. The furor over the game's monetary system caused such a ruckus that EA and Disney reportedly had talks and EA pulled the premium loot boxes temporarily.
A lot of gamers see premium loot boxes as gambling since it requires users to pay real money for random items. You may or may not get the item you want, and players are encouraged to keep spending until they do get what they want. It works a lot like a slot machine. Some people have defended premium loot boxes by saying that players always get something when purchasing loot boxes, even if the item is of extremely low value or isn't an item at all but in the case of Star Wars: Battlefront II, pieces of crafting parts that could be used to craft Star Cards. However, some gambling commissions don't entirely agree that just because you get something in return that it exempts the act of paying into a system with random rewards (and no information on roll chances) from being considered gambling.
CD Projekt Red doesn't want to get involved in that sort of controversy, which is why it's mentioned in the tweet that the company will "leave greed to others".
These words assuaged gamers, who have been absolutely geeked for Cyberpunk 2077 and it would be a shame if the game's quality was undermined by microtransactions or loot boxes. Thankfully CD Projekt Red says that won't be the case.