One of the few game developers to actually eliminate, rather than add, loot boxes to their game is Phoenix Labs. The company announced plans to remove “Chroma Cores” from Dauntless late last year, and today co-founder and CEO Jesse Houston talked to GamesIndustry.biz about that decision.
Early in Dauntless’ development, Phoenix Labs introduced Chroma Cores because loot boxes were considered the standard for free-to-play games. After seeing the backlash for Star Wars Battlefront II, and other games, however, Houston decided to change tack.
“We weren’t feeling like we were necessarily giving folks exactly what they wanted. The more we continued to do soul-searching on it, and thinking through what we want players to feel when they invest with their wallet, we really wanted it to feel like, ‘I had this want, so I got it.'”
Houston goes on to say that he wanted the focus of the company to be on developing a great game rather than on trying to squeeze as much money as it can out of players. That attitude might be noble, but it often runs afoul of investors who care less about quality and more about quantity (of dollars), but Houston said that Phoenix Labs’ financial backers supported the company’s decision. Indeed, he said that he gets more questions from investors about gameplay elements, such as favorite weapons, than on monetization.
Dauntless will launch into open beta later this year.