Given that it’s the product of a company that makes bad decisions licensing out to a video game publisher that sometimes makes bad decisions, it’s reasonably surprising that WWE 2K18 will be bucking a gaming trend that has felt inescapable in recent years: there will be no paid microtransactions. A loot crate system will still be in place, but the crates will be earned through storyline progression, not extra payment. We would’ve thought that sports (or, in this case, sports-adjacent) games wouldn’t attract this kind of system the way something like Overwatch or Team Fortress 2 – which are entirely online, making cosmetic diversity a big part of the experience – might, but NBA 2K18 quashed that.
I’m generally not as fired up about loot crates as a lot of people seem to get, especially when the rewards are purely aesthetic, and when they’re only achieved through gameplay, there’s functionally no difference between the crates and a standard unlock system, even with the introduction of some chance.
The only worry is that this may be opening the floodgates. It isn’t outside the realm of possibility to see 2K19 or 2K20 adopting a less palatable pay-to-win system, especially when they’ve so readily embraced putting large swaths of wrestlers in DLC packs instead of the base game. But we can enjoy this relatively harmless system while it lasts. Even if it’s just for one game.
Written by Bobby Murphy (@RobertJMurph)
Image courtesy of WWE.com
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