This Week In The Business: Knocking Loots

Illustration for article titled This Week In The Business: Knocking Loots

QUOTE | “We really don’t like making money off players who are in denial of their addiction. And that’s what a large part of free-to-play gaming is all about.” - Clicker Heroes developer Playsaurus explains why it’s abandoning the free-to-play model for Clicker Heroes 2.


QUOTE | “What occurs with ‘loot boxes’ does constitute gambling by the definition of the Victorian Legislation.” - Jarrod Wolfe, a strategic analyst with the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation weighs in on loot boxes, saying the normalization of gambling tactics “is not just morally reprehensible, but is also legally questionable.”

QUOTE | “We didn’t allow Joe Camel to encourage our kids to smoke cigarettes, and we shouldn’t allow Star Wars to encourage our kids to gamble.” - Hawaiian state representative Sean Quinlan is among a number of legislators considering laws to curb loot boxes in the coming year.

QUOTE | “The whole notion that they’re always a top-down affair forced by the publisher is preposterous, even though that makes for a nice story in the head of internet ‘experts’.” - Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail says loot boxes aren’t necessarily bad design, and aren’t always the idea of a greedy publisher.

QUOTE | “Some people want refunds for the xp boosts they bought and used and I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to pay for insulin.” - Former Gazillion senior software engineer Andrew Hair offers some perspective after the ex-Marvel Heroes developer laid off its entire staff the day before Thanksgiving.

QUOTE | “You can’t form a relationship with a mechanic the same way you can a character. And it’s those relationships that stick in the player’s mind even when they’re not playing.” - June’s Journey lead writer Rebecca Harwick on the importance of narrative in casual games.

QUOTE | “A decision had to be made in terms of our relationship with the Hitman team. I wanted them to continue to develop the game, but I thought in terms of investing further in the game it would be best if they worked with another partner other than ourselves.” - Square Enix president and CEO Yosuke Matsuda explains why he was willing to let IO Interactive leave the company and take the Hitman IP with it.


QUOTE | “In 2015, the prior FCC bowed to pressure from President Obama. On a party-line vote, it imposed heavy-handed, utility-style regulations upon the Internet. That decision was a mistake.” - Current FCC chairman Ajit Pai has proposed scrapping net neutrality rules and allowing ISPs to charge customers and companies varying amounts and provide varying speeds depending on the content being accessed online. Pai said net neutrality has deterred innovation and prevented ISPs from improving broadband networks.

QUOTE | “Before it was the challenge of just making a game on your own, and I think now the challenge is getting people to play a game you made.” - We Are Fuzzy co-founder Maxx Burman says publishers are the most valuable piece of the puzzle for indies right now.


QUOTE | “Most tabletop games run on common sense; Magic is too big, too ancient, for common sense.” - Voyageur designer Bruno Dias explains how Magic: The Gathering’s designers have turned the game’s overly complex design into a strength rather than a weakness.

QUOTE | “I think you can go full-blown Hunger Games.” - Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin says the new Twitch Extensions functionality could soon allow sponsors and viewers to influence competitions by paying for supply drops and buffs for their chosen player.



It would be refreshing for a developer to just come out and say that loot boxes are going to continue because they make a lot of money and they aren’t going to do anything until various governments step in to put an end to it. The regulation will come, and any developer who acts surprised about it is a bald face liar.