This isn’t news, as such. It’s more like an intervention. This whole loot crate thing, it needs to stop. At the very least it needs to be reigned in, hard. It’s not an isolated problem, as loot crates are infecting the whole gaming landscape with varying levels of justification – sometimes they are just a quaint way to spruce up your game, other times they are nothing more than Emperor Palpatine’s gnarled fingers dipping into your wallet.
And right now, it’s all everyone is talking about. Okay, that and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. And Assassin’s Creed: Origins. Dammit it’s almost Christmas, so people are talking a lot about a lot of things. But the recent Star Wars Battlefront 2 beta highlighted the issue with loot crates in a way that’s hard to overlook. It’s almost enough to warrant giving the game a miss entirely.
It’s almost too messed up to be true. The only way to unlock new weapons and abilities and so on is through loot crates. Random loot crates. You’re not working towards that much desired firearm, you’re gathering scraps to try to afford loot crates that may contain any random crap. You want that new blaster? Oh, sorry, here, have a funny hat. It’s shocking and it needs to stop. Pay-to-win is not ok when you’re already paying through your bum for the game itself.
It’s even worse that EA has made it nigh on impossible to make real progress using purely in-game earned currency. In FIFA Ultimate Team, you can splash some cash if you’re feeling flush, but you rarely feel like you have to – there’s always a fair number of coins trickling into your coffers from general play. In SWBF2 (can I call you SWBF2?), the scraps you earn in-game will not get you far. So before you know it, you’re whipping out the credit card and spending real money on imaginary guns and toy soldiers. And I felt foolish spending my money on a Wu-Tang Clan T-shirt for my Xbox Avatar? Pfffft.
Our only hope here is resistance. In ye olden days that would have been futile, but things are different now – look at how Turn 10 backtracked on some of the shocking decisions made in Forza 7. Yes, we can be like the Rebel Alliance, chilling on Hoth, trying to make a difference. I’d say it’s time to reach out (read: spew vitriol via Twitter) to developers and publishers and make the madness stop.