Randy Pitchford Tweets His Opinions Regarding Loot Boxes And Micro-Transactions

As loot boxes and micro-transactions continue to hit the headlines Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford has tweeted his thoughts on the subject. The seem to be rather sensible as he suggests that any game that gives you an option to pay to skip the grind or alternatively, do tedious grinding, is a game you shouldn’t be playing anyway.

Here is his full statement.

I am generally very much against predatory monetization schemes in F2P games for consumable goods and even more so against them in premium games. I tend to oppose such techniques both as an artist and creator and also as a customer and a gamer. Evidence of my position is that we never sold Golden Keys (an arguably consumable good) in the Borderlands game. We had non-trivial levels of demand from customers to do so, but we did not relent. We chose to only give Golden Keys away via social media and partner relations.

Contrarily, I tend to be very supportive of post-launch monetization of durable goods as DLC in *almost* any form. Again, as a customer and as a creator, I think that new, discrete content that took energy to create deserves to have the effort compensated. I do, however, object to some of the arguments and language being used to fight against the predatory monetization schemes I have just derided in the first post in this thread.

As an artists and creator who very much *loves* the nature of the “loot box” as it appears in our Borderlands games, I’m concerned that the words “loot box” are being used as short hand for a practice I am not in favor of. Can we find another term for what we object to?

Also, I have seen arguments against consumable goods that are for customers who want to speed up progress along these lines: “Grinding sucks, I shouldn’t have to pay to avoid grinding.” I have an issue with this kind of argument. In the case where “grinding” is, well, playing the game and in the case where the player does not want to, well, play the game but doesn’t want to pay cash to skip playing the game, I recommend considering another choice: don’t play the game. If the “grinding” is the game and the game is not fun, the rational choice is to play other games that are fun. If playing the game is fun, it should be a reward, not an obstacle to play the damn thing. If playing the game is not fun and the desire is to skip it, well, that’s a game that should be skipped and passed upon.

I realize that there are some people who want the status of having beaten a game or having achieved a certain degree of progress in a game and are willing to pay in order to achieve that. Those are precisely the sorts of minds those kinds of games are for. But if you are the kind of mind who does not want to pay for progress and is not actually enjoying the “grinding” of playing the game, then, well, frankly, you should take it upon yourself to vote with your attention and just stop playing that game and move to something else.

I love games. I love playing them. I love creating them. As a customer, I am very happy making sure that I am helping to finance the efforts of artists who entertainment. As a customer, I can make free choices about where my time and moneys goes. So should you!

Source: Twitter

Written by
News Editor, very inappropriate, probs fancies your dad.


  1. This is far too sensible. How dare he say something so sensible?

    I will be skipping Battlefront 2 for exactly this reason, unless I hear from actual players, post-release, that it isn’t as bad as it’s being made out to be.

    If all things can be earned in game, and the time taken to do so isn’t ridiculous, that’s fine. If it’s as reports are suggesting, I’m out.

    • According to Gizmodo’s “EA posted the most hated comment in Reddit History” article, it takes around 40-hours playtime to unlock Darth Vader.. Personally, Im usually done with a MP game by that time, unless its really something special. Not knocking EA, but if they are throwing these out every year, I doubt they will be thrilling me after 40 hours.

      • Hmm, seems it was also posted on here about 20 hours ago… Kinda wish I’d read that first. :\

  2. Well the publisher (2k games) of his games wants them in everything it releases from now on so that’ll be interesting.

  3. Nicely put! Good luck to him too, I hope he and those who think similarly are able to resist their publisher or dev management pressures and structure their games just as they wish. It’s funny how ‘grinding’ has become a dirty word, in recent years it only represented an unusual ratio of time to achievement that genuinely did lead to pride, or an easy choice not to play. And I really like his idea of worthwhile DLC, he’s spot on in saying you need to put energy into making it to justify the cost. £15 gets you an aircraft hanger in GTA or a fifteen hour ginger mountain romp on Horizon, I know which I’d rather spend my money on.

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