I think we can agree that this is the year that AAA was finally able to pivot to the loot crate system for getting more revenue out of their players. In some cases like Overwatch, this is awesome because everyone gets free maps, additional characters, new modes and all of the crate contents are cosmetic and have no impact on gameplay. Then you have games like Forza 7, that have loot crates that contain more than just cosmetic stuff, while also offering regular DLC packs and season pass content on top of the base game price.
Shadow of War and Battlefront II seem to be aiming for a middle area. In Shadow of War, the loot crates definitely alter the game, but according to early previews they really are only necessary if you decide to grind out 100% of the game’s content after the meat of the campaign. Plus, it’s a mostly single player game. Battlefront II offers boosts and consumables in its crates that do influence multiplayer, but no one seems to mind because it’s Star Wars, which is a loosey-goosey affair anyway.
While PUBG has only “tested” their crate system so far, they will offer them someday. Fortnite doesn’t really have its Battle Royale crates yet, but Epic has said they will implement them eventually, and in the meanwhile they do have crates for the current pay-to-play modes.
Basically, this is the future of gaming. Maybe some other revenue system will come along (we’ll have to wait for Valve or Blizzard to stumble on it) but this is the way forward, at least for AAA.
What do you think that next big business model innovation will be?
What’s the fastest “start to crate” that you know of? That is, what game has the shortest amount of time from the start to a loot crate opening? Alternately, what game has the shortest amount of time from start to the moment when a player really must buy a loot crate to proceed?