Yesterday, Ubisoft held its earnings call for the company's most recent quarter. And while a big focus of the call centered around Ubisoft's success with the live service model, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot and CFO Alain Martinez were asked about the company's stance on loot boxes, to which the two gave a relatively straightforward answer.
"On loot boxes, what we can say is that we define it as a question of quality and choice. As simple as that," said Martinez. "We need to deliver, for whatever we offer, the right quality for people to be interested. At the same time, they need to feel that they are really free to not buy it and that their choice is really a fact."
Loot boxes has been a controversial subject in video games since EA's Star Wars Battlefront 2 controversy in November 2017. This morning, the US state of Hawaii introduced legislation that could potentially prohibit the sale of video games with loot boxes to anyone under the age of 21.
Perhaps sensing the tide's direction on the subject, Ubisoft seems keen on reiterating that whatever downloadable content the company introduces, it will be largely optional for players.
Some of Ubisoft's positions on loot boxes has already gone into effect in games like Rainbow Six: Siege. The upcoming Outbreak season will introduce cosmetics in loot boxes, but Ubisoft says that there will be zero duplicates, meaning players can simply pay a set price to unlock all DLC available in the randomized crates, without fear of double-dipping.
As the video game industry continues to reel from the loot box controversy, it will be interesting to see how other companies either shift, or distance their own loot boxes (if any) from the dread "pay-to-win" label.