RANT: Forza 7 Ditching Prize Crates, But Should We Really Care?

Prize crates will be gone from Forza 7 and Horizon 4 this coming winter.

Alan Hartman of Turn 10 Studios has explained in an announcement on the Forza 7 website that Prize Crates (Loot boxes) are going to be removed from Forza 7 this coming winter.

In addition to removing prize crates, The announcement states that it will be removing the paid tokens system from the game as well, despite the fact that it's been in the games since Forza 5.

While we’ve never charged money for prize crates in Forza Motorsport 7, their presence in the game has continued to be a source of controversy. The overwhelming feedback has been that this system feels out of place in the game. After careful consideration, we have decided to completely remove prize crates from Forza Motorsport 7.

Hartman further explained the difficulties that come with removing the prize crate system from the game, since it was baked into the game's production from the very beginning.

Due to the complexity of removing prize crates from the game – while keeping access to Driver Gear, Mods and Badges – we expect that this process will be completed in the winter timeframe. Starting this month we’ve already taken steps towards that goal, first by unlocking more than 100 previously locked “exclusive” cars and, second, by completely removing cars from the prize crates in the game. The current lineup of prize crates offer no competitive advantage and only offer Driver Gear suits, Mods and badges, and these crates will remain in place until crates are removed entirely.

It goes without saying that a game that's already $60 charging players hundreds of extra dollars in micro transactions to unlock the full content of the game is very unpopular to the overwhelming majority of video game fans. But with Turn 10 studios' decision to remove Lootboxes from Forza 7, many gamers are taking this as a sign that the push by triple-A game publishers to make their games a "service" is finally slowing down.

That time EA shat the bed with BattleFront II

Earlier in 2017, we've seen game publishing giants like EA release a full-price Star Wars game, (a game that revolves around its online multiplayer modes,) be flooded with micro transactions and lootbox mechanics that could give the games on the Google Play Store a run for their money.We're talking about tiered -purchasable- random item drops that exclusively determined competitive advantage in the game. about 6 months in, and EA ended up posting the most disliked reddit post in the website's history, in an attempt to counter the arguments brought against the company, and its shady business practice.

Screenshot of EA's cringy response to the Loot Boxes in BattleFront II on Redit. (The most disliked comment in Reddit's history.

Shadow of War was released with pay-to-win lootbox mechanics, despite having stirred up a lynch mob of controversy online when they were announced. The most common criticism being that the loot box mechanics clashed with the central theme of the game, all about persuading orcs to battle with you against the forces of mordor; not just buying them, or winning them in a loot chest.

What these game has in common with the Forza series is that both games rolled back their loot box mechanics 6 to 8 months AFTER the release of the game. What these publishers want you to think is a moment of clarity on their part, is likely something else.

You see, unlike indie titles released on popular platforms, sales of triple-A games aren't really popping like they are at -or around- their launch date. Sales drop off dramatically mere months after the millions of dollars in advertising start to overstay their welcome and die off. At which point, the public is already buying something else.

With this in mind, It isn't hard to imagine publishers ditching lootboxes in their games, but only after they reach minimal profitability; long after their hype has run its course. So, it should come as no surprise that 9 months after the release of Forza 7, is when announcements like these are made.

That being what it is, I don't see a whole lot to celebrate here. There are still triple-A games being released at full price with an encyclopedia's worth of competitive advantages. So when big game publishers act like they just had this big change of heart after they waited that long to remove something that shouldn't have been there in the first place, I don't really care. A better choice would have been not to turn a racing game into a random item-drop casino to begin with.

Wait 18 months from now, and I can guarantee you these same publishers are going to put this very crap right back into the next game, and still release it at full price. 

I'd wager that the only reason turn 10 cares to even announce this is due to the outrage still being  fresh from EA's Battlefront 2. Big publishers are just waiting for the heat to die down before they try to push the same old anti-consumer practices again.
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