Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan reckons Loot Boxes are pretty good and blames finite content for their negative reception.
Loot Boxes are constantly under fire these days. Between making their way in to single player experiences or the simple act of opening them making it in to actual multiplayer experiences, the poor little things can’t catch a break.
Don’t feel too bad for them though as the general thoughts and feelings of Loot Boxes are that they are evil. They have been known to throw off game balance (not the Overwatch ones we are about to discuss however) and are inspired by gambling. It is a great way to get extra money out of (impatient) gamers pockets and can even have damaging, addictive qualities.
Kotaku took the fight to Blizzard and asked some direct questions to Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan in regards to Loot Boxes and the dreaded duplicate item.
Rather then the simple solution of not allowing a Loot Box to spit out a duplicate item, Kaplan went down a strange rabbit hole explaining that he can’t get artists to create infinite content for the games so you always receive fresh items saying:
“I always have to remind people that, within a system that doesn’t have infinite content, there’s no such thing as ‘no duplicates’, I can’t make it so that when you open a loot box, an artist gets an alarm in the middle of the night to come into work and model a new skin for you.”
How about this crazy idea: You embrace the content you have.
1/20 Christmas items collected, 3/15 Halloween items collected. No duplicate items just a finite amount of quality content. People love Overwatch and having every item in the Halloween Set isn’t going to stop people from playing. Even better, if they don’t have time to unlock all the content or really want a certain item they can still throw money at Loot Boxes to get what they want, because they will get everything eventually.
You still get to fill your pockets and the players get what they want, its a win-win. If you’re worried about your shady Loot-Box rigging that gives duplicate items to players who spend more, just cram all the items for their most played characters in the top end of the unlocks. If you don’t do that, then you don’t have anything to worry about anyway, you literally cannot lose.
Kaplan states in the interview that the Overwatch Loot Box system is getting an overhaul early next year.