With Warner Bros sneaking lootboxes into Middle-earth and Activision devising a patentable way to keep players buying more, the world has just about had enough of microtransactions yet again. As if in response to the events of the last few weeks, Phoenix Labs have removed the feature from Dauntless.
This being their take on the Monster Hunter formula, the PC-bound multiplayer action game has carried the lootbox formula into its pay-to-enter beta program before. Now, it's gone. But something else will have to take its place once it reaching its long-promised free release sometime next year.
In a call to PCGamesN last week game director Chris Cleroux said: “One of the things that we felt was never really the best of experiences was having a loot box based monetisation”. Monster Hunter has never been a free title, and the MMO experience has been exclusive to Asia for the most part. There is a China-only version on PC for free to cater to that specific market, but Western territories have always had to grind to earn the gear they need.
Going forward, Dauntless won't hide the chance of grabbing rare gear from a lootbox. Instead, they're hoping to follow a model similar to Warframe - which means you'll specifically choose which items to buy. The game will still be, in a sense, funded by microtransaction, but far more transparent ones at that. Cleroux explained the stance, "I want the player to think that we are doing it for them to deliver a quality experience, that they will reward us with their money. "
There's plenty of analogies to be had here, but PCGamesN and Cleroux bickered over one involving shoes. You can read the full interview over here. In the meantime, why not chime in with your own views. Is this a good move by Phoenix Labs, or another shady business venture?