The amount of triple A games that have embraced loot boxes is staggering. Not only have games been slowly expanding with DLC and seemingly cutting content to sell back to players later, but now games are being intentionally made with a boring ass grind to coax gamers into opening their wallet to speed up the proceedings. I was unaware that Assassin’s Creed: Origins even had loot boxes, but apparently Ubisoft isn’t introducing microtransactions alongside them despite the season pass having premium currency.
While playing Origins, players will come across a merchant named Reda who offers a Heka (Mystery) Chest. This chest will have a chance to drop a random shield or weapon and will automatically open upon being bought. The only available option for purchasing this chest is in-game currency, called Drachma.
Speaking to Eurogamer, Origins’ director Ashraf Ismail said, “The reason we did that was because we saw, even two years ago, people playing the game in different ways. There are people who like to go into a military location, infiltrate them, steal the loot and equipment and hopefully find some unique or legendary gear.
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.”
So according to them, this is solely for players who happen to hoard money. If that is the case, why even go the random box route? Why not just give the merchant a chance to be holding a “legendary” item instead of gambling for it? It seems tailor made for a gradual introduction of real world currency, but at least there aren’t plans to add anything like that just yet.