Guild Wars 2 Talks Poorly-Timed Lootboxes For Mount Skins
It is a bad time to be a game company and have products that even somewhat resemble a "game mechanic-changing lootbox" at the moment. The Internet came down hard recently on EA for their questionable, if not downright greedy, practices in Battlefront 2, and probably feeling pressured to avoid bad PR, Guild Wars 2's Mike O'Brien took to their forums to discuss their recent "Mount Adoption License," which is a very fancy way of saying "Loot Boxes, but for mount skins."
On the forums, Mike states that the purpose of the MAL was to get a brand-new unique mount skin every time, for substantial discounts versus collecting them all. Duplicates aren't possible with MALs, and every time you purchase a Mount Adoption License, your odds of receiving any remaining skins go up. On top of that, this is a way to support variety, Mike says, as individual sales work with few, flashy skins, and MALs support players being able to get all skins for what is an overall lower price.
Lastly, there are changes coming to the MAL system.
"Microtransactions can be polarizing, and we’ve received both positive and negative feedback on the license. We won’t change the existing license in a way that would invalidate the investment players have made, but I want to confirm to you that our next planned mount skin releases will focus on individual sales like the Reforged Warhound and bundles like the Spooky Mounts Pack. We will not add any skins to the currently available Adoption License, thus not pushing down the odds of acquiring any one skin in that set."
Overall, it is good, if not at least interesting, seeing Guild Wars 2 make this announcement during the Battlefront 2 controversy. EA is a force that drives the industry, and if they decide that lootboxes and "freemium" features, like those found in mobile games, are worth it, then a vast majority of the industry will follow suit.