CD Projekt Red isn’t impressed with loot boxes.
The Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077 studio CD Projekt Red has offered its opinion on loot boxes, and the company is not a fan of such monetization.
Speaking with PC Gamer, CD Projekt Red co-founder Marcin Iwinski said customers are owed full disclosure and information on products in order to make well-informed purchasing decisions.
If the customer purchases a full-priced game, it should contain “numerous hours of gameplay and a significant amount of content” for the price.”
“In our case it was always 50-60+ hours of the main story-line, with up to a couple of hundred of hours of side activities, if you really wanted to max out the title,” said Iwinski. “To me, this is a fair deal. You get what you paid for, plus we are always trying our best to over deliver. There is no better PR than a happy gamer recommending your title to their friends.
“The moment they feel you are reaching out for their wallet in any unfair way, they will be vocal about it. And frankly speaking, I think it’s good for the industry. Decision makers often aren’t asking themselves the question of ‘How would gamers feel, or is this offer a fair one?’.”
Iwinski said just because things look good “from a spreadsheet perspective,” doesn’t mean it’s good for the consumer, and hopes the recent backlash regarding loot boxes “will change our industry for the better.”
“If you buy a full priced game, you should get a big, polished piece of content,” he said. “Then there’s additional paid content. What we call Expansions. We released two Expansions [for The Witcher 3] like that, and each of them was a meaningful piece of content delivering many hours of new story and gameplay.
“Finally, there are the DLCs. For us, they’re small pieces of content which should be available for free. Where we stand is quite simple and you could see it with all of our past releases, most recently The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and GWENT.”
With GWENT, the free-to-play Witcher card game, card kegs and vanity items can be purchased. While this is a standard form of monetization with free-to-play games, GWENT players are able to craft their desired card collection through gameplay.
If they wish to spend money on card kegs, they are only paying for “time and convenience.”
Recently, elected officials have weighed-in on whether loot boxes as a form of monetization is a fair business practice. Many feel it’s a form of gambling, because the contents of the crates can be random. Hawaii state representative Chris Lee recently submitted bills which would ban the sale of games with loot boxes to those under 21.
New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan brought the subject up during a FTC Committee hearing, and Senators in Indiana, and Washington have also submitted bills regarding loot boxes.