We have had it confirmed to us by Joe Brammer, Executive Producer and Director at Bulkhead Interactive on Battalion 1944, that the game will indeed have Loot Crates that are paid for with real-world currency. However they will only contain cosmetic items and will be totally optional, and Joe views them as more of a way to tip the developers for doing a good job more than anything else.
According to Joe the team have worked very hard to keep the price of Battalion 1944 down to only £11.99/€14.99/$14.99, and having Loot Boxes is a way of supporting the game and fund further development, tournaments, and features.
Here's Joe Brammer's full response:
"Loot crates are a part of Battalion 1944, they're used to help fund development, competitive tournaments, and new features such as maps, teams, and weapons. You purchase crates directly from us in the game, they are not sold via Steam, but they do use Steam pay, and you can pay with Steam cash or real-world currency. While we're a crowdfunded shooter, our ethos has always been to work with the community: That's why we decided to keep the price so low.
If players agree with what we're doing and think we're doing a good job, then they have the option to keep supporting the game and get something for it. That way people can decide how much the game is worth to them. Yes we have skins and they are only cosmetic, but it's just another layer to the game, and entirely optional layer that will not affect the gameplay experience."
Loot Crates are something of a sore point for the games industry at the moment, primarily thanks to Star Wars Battlefront 2, where they were made vital to game progression and so ruined the experience, and Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, where the (pointless) end game was made into a grinding slog if you didn't buy them. There's talk of having them banned altogether from some countries.
We're just glad to hear that Battalion 1944's Loot Crates will be entirely optional, and are certainly easier to stomach within a cheaper title rather than a $60 one.
Battalion 1944, the crowdfunded World War Two FPS that intends to bring back the feel of classic online shooters, has released a new Behind-The-Scenes video to show how Bulkhead Interactive are aiming to make "the best FPS game of the year" when it comes out early 2018.
You can watch the Behind The Scenes video here or embedded below. It shows how the team at Bulkhead, with help from publisher Square Enix, are making Battalion 1944 as authentic as possible to the WW2 period by visiting locations in Europe and studying actual weapons from the time.
Howard Philpott, Creative Producer at Bulkhead Interactive, had this to say about the video - and game:
"Throughout development it’s been so important for us to study every element of World War II. The main thing for us is to really understand the brutality and the visceral nature of the Second World War. We’ve been working so damn hard just to make sure we can capture the intensity of these weapons, and making that translate to a mouse and keyboard. It’s been a challenge, but I feel like we’ve really nailed it."
This video isn't just to show how Battalion 1944 is coming, but also to prepare for the worldwide gameplay trailer on January 9 - and they say the game will launch soon after that. They've also revealed the game's price, and it's actually really cheap - £11.99/€14.99/$14.99. This is actually cheaper than the Pledge Tiers on their Kickstarter, so to reward backers with lots of exclusive cosmetic items and... "vanity-focused loot crates"? What are loot crates doing in an FPS designed entirely to be based on classic shooters? We'll seek confirmation of that and get back to you guys.
Battalion 1944 depressed a lot of people in the gaming industry when the Kickstarter happened and the Bulkhead team said that they wanted to recapture the classic shooters they grew up with - and meant Call of Duty 2. As someone who also grew up playing FPS titles, hearing the team talk about "going back to what was great about games" and mean the Xbox 360 is kinda sad when Call of Duty is still one of the world's most popular games and Wolfenstein 2 probably didn't do as well as it should've. Still with Call of Duty itself also going back to WW2 and being a bit flawed, the Battalion 1944 team might have a chance, and a more straightforward, fun online WW2 game sounds good. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go play Blood.